I had a request earlier this week for a run down of the sorts of things I have tucked away to make all the Precious Play activities. I thought, ‘what a great idea’ and then the problem emerged, it was in a bit of a mess! I have spent a lot of today (violins please!) sorting out the mess and am rather delighted that it is now an organised *ish* Precious Play cupboard (or two)!
Please don’t laugh but the ‘organised’ photo is the one below! It may well not meet some of your standards but believe me, it is better than it was! So, here it is, a run down as to what is in my Precious Play tool kit! This was not all found in one go and has been accumulated as and when it was spotted at reasonable prices. It has taken me three years to get to this stage and I know, I haven’t finished yet!! It is not meant to be a definitive list or a list that you cannot live without… it merely aims to help give you some ideas about some things to collect to make your lives easier when putting Precious Play moments out for your little ones.
I have also not included our paint box which simply includes things like ready mix paint, acrylic paint and for lazy days, water colour paint pallets. Also in there are rollers, brushes of different sizes and an assortment of block shapes for printing. Also missing are things like funnels, cups, jugs etc for water play. Anyway, see what is here and hope you find it useful! 🙂
So, here we go…
Within the cupboard, I have countless baskets, lunch boxes and containers to store the materials as this keep everything in it’s place and easily seen in the cupboard. Easy access is essential when you have two (soon to be three) children wanting something to play with. You may also notice the CD player is in there ready to pulled out when there is energy to burn off!
There are several boxes with individual things in to keep them easy to access… sequins of different shapes, sizes and colours. I often pick these up when end of season stuff is on sale… just keep a look out. I have lolly sticks; coloured ones, wide ones and the white circular ones. Lolly sticks are a crucial resource and used weekly. There are foam sticker shapes in another box, buttons of different shapes, sizes and colours in another and wooden beads in the final one pictured below.
One of my favourite things, pom poms! We have three boxes of these, you can never have enough in my opinion!! Also photographed below, golden ribbon and feathers.
Another essential one for us; stones! We have glass stones, pebbles and rainbow coloured stones. Again, these have all been collected over time and picked up as cheaply as possible.
Also within the cupboard; a basket full of play dough tools such as cutters rollers and some shop-bought play dough for emergencies! I always have flour, baby oil (cloud dough essentials), hair gel (sensory bags), salt, (salt dough and play dough), cornflour (gloop) and vinegar and bicarbonate of soda for exploding experiments!
A bag of ribbons of all sorts of shapes, colours, patterns and sizes is also a regular feature for our play. Again, end of seasons and craft shop sales are great for picking these bits up.
Another must have, pipe cleaners, although I’m running low on these!!
Within the cupboard, I have My OWN box. The contents aren’t for my children and therefore, kept separately.
Within the box, there are LOADS of pens, markers, and felt tips and more specifically: cable ties, skewers, string, sharp scissors, tape, electrical tape, glitter, sticky dots, sharpener, velcro, permanent markers, elastic, double sided sticky pads, paper clips, pins, strong glue, PVA and blue tack.
Moving on, I have some ideas for sensory play and to make small world habitats. The stones already mentioned are perfect for small world habitats but so too are things like the samples below… I say samples because this is most definitely not all of it! Below we have; water beads, aquarium gravel (come in a wide variety of fab colours), fake snow, aquarium logs, fake leaves, plastic long grass, fake moss, hamster toys, flower pot liners and the space box is a min sensory tub/small world I made about space and left it set up so that it could be pulled out in a minute. There is a close up of this tub in the next photo. I aim to make more of these at some point!
I can’t talk about a Precious Play tool kit without mentioning our fine motor tool bag!! Below are the items we use on a weekly/daily basis to develop J’s fine motor skills. G will get to use them soon but for now, they’re all J’s. Below we have; squirt water bottle, turkey baster, plastic tweezers, tongs, wooden tongs, measuring spoons, measuring spades, sieve. scoop, wooden fork, wooden spoons, tooth brush, nail brush, scrubbing brush and face brush. I couldn’t put my hands on the syringes as we need to collect some more from empty medicine bottles but these are great for play. Also, things like clothes pegs are superb for fine motor play, easily nabbed from the laundry cupboard as and when needed.
I have mentioned before that whenever out and about, clearance shelves and bargain bins are always worth a quick look. Below are some of the things I have picked up recently and will be using in Precious Play activities soon. There are tiles, polystyrene balls and eggs, sponge, cardboard plant pots, plastic eggs and lids I have collected from empty tubs. Things like the corks I used the other day would also be in this box.
The pound shop is also great for picking up bits and bobs like… these petals…
The final thing I wanted to mention was J’s craft box. This is a set of ‘Really Useful Boxes.’ These boxes are perfect for organising small amount of items for J to create and play with. He often gets this out for spontaneous art or creations and when playing with play dough. It just needs to be topped up and kept organised so that it is appealing for J to play with.
So, what’s in the boxes? Felt cut into shapes, wooden letters, coloured pencils, foam stickers, scrap materials left over from Precious Play activities x2, wooden numbers and shapes, gel pens pom poms x2, stickers, beads, sticky tape, wooden matchsticks, buttons and elastic bands.
As I said at the beginning, this is NOT meant to be a definitive list, there will be things I have missed out and things that you may not want. This is just a list of things we use on a regular basis to make the Precious Play games, arts, craft, making small worlds, sensory bins and generally learning through play. Basically, these are the things we have that are not toys as such! We also collect and use cardboard and recycle lots of everyday items for our play. By no means do you have to have all these things and they’ll be things you have that we may not or I just haven’t remembered to include. Anyway, what I hope this post does is give you an idea of some of the things we have in our cupboard (or two!)