On a daily basis parents and caregivers at the studio and online ask us, “where did you get that?”
a great deal of our supplies, furniture, and materials are repurposed and recycled from place like Re-Source Vermont, Goodwill, generous customer donations, and of course the good ol’ summer TAG SALE!
BUT–we do have some favorites that we purchase on a regular basis.
below you will find links to just a few of our favorite supplies that keep children engaged and fuel their creative spirits!
these supplies have been field tested by many busy little hands at Wildflowers camps, classes and open studios!
we like to keep materials simple, yet high quality, allowing for children’s imagination take the driver’s seat.
Click on the item for a direct link to purchase.
Resources for BUILDING
Magnatiles–Yes they are expensive, but worth EVERY PENNY. And you can never have enough! Great for ages 1 and up
Building Straws- These are so versatile. Kids can build huge structures or keep it small. They do have some small parts, so better for ages 3 and up.
Tangrams–These are amazing for teaching early Geometry skills (and making cool designs). The best part about this set is that they are Magnetic! Best for ages 3 and up.
Bristle Blocks- These have been a favorite since we first opened the doors at Wildflowers. They connect in such a unique way that make them different than any other block. This set that we have at the studio has some really fun moving parts too! Great for ages 1-8.
A designated place to build- Children appreciate boundaries–and they help us contain the mess! Indoor-outdoor rugs are great for building spaces because they are thin and can be wiped down. And bonus—this one is made from recycled straws (we love that!)
Resources for SENSORY PLAY
instasnow- wow..this stuff is so amazing. Just add water and you have one of the coolest sensory experiences around! We have used it many times and always gotten the same great result. best for ages 2 and up.
kinetic sand– don’t skimp on this one. buy as much as you can afford. it will last forever and is an all time favorite. it’s calming, soothing and unlike any other substance around. the link here is for 11 pounds which is enough for 1-2 children. best for ages 2 and up.
Dish soap and glycerin–bubbles….that last! Glycerin helps the bubbles stick around for awhile and not dissolve. And bubble play can be taken in so many directions–from car wash, to a “bubble tea party,” to baby washing! great for all ages.
sensory bins–these bins can be spraYed and wiped down and are big enough for more than one child to play!
Resources for open ended art
large paper roll- 100 feet sounds like a lot. it’s not. get the big roll of paper. cover the kitchen table and let their imagination fly. it’s a parenting win! great for any age–0-99.
masking tape– rainbow masking tape–in bulk. it’s a maker child’s dream come true to have unregulated access to tape! cut up some cardboard, throw them a roll of this tape and sit back and enjoy that cup of coffee! great for ages 2 and up, although the under 5 crowd may need you to tear off a bunch of pieces for easy access–or give them scissors (who knew ripping tape is a very difficult fine motor task?!)
dot markers– my mom used to call them “Bingo dabbas.” but these are specially made for kids–and washable! you can give free range on the paper roll, or have fun filling in shapes made from tape! great for ages 1 and up.
wooden people peg dolls– we have made fairies, pirates, families members, friends and more from these simple little pegs. Water colors work wonderfully–or if you’re brave like us you might hand over a set of sharpies (gasp!). Fairly small (choking wise) so best for kids 3+
Resources for open ended play
play silks– Sarah’s silks are beautiful, made from 100% real silk and environmentally friendly dyes. they’re beloved for baby doll blankets, yet big enough to tie around little ones to make into superhero capes and baby doll carriers. they will be a staple of play for many years.
the perfect dolls– as a mom of four i have seen a lot of dolls come and go. these dolls have tested time at wildflowers. they are sturdy and made completely of vinyl–so totally washable (and paintable!). they’re great for bubble play and at just 10 inches big, they are perfect for littles to handle. to top it off, they are available in many ethnicities!
Resources for low-mess paint exploration
tempera paint sticks– it’s paint–in a stick! it slides on smooth and is like a giant crayon all grown up. big kids will probably be excited to discover a new mode of painting and little kids will get their fingers in the mix. Great for all ages!
the best watercolor cakes– watercolor paints are amazing–with just a little water and a brush any age child can paint on paper, wood, cardboard….use your imagination. and the drips wipe up with…wait for it…. a wet cloth. This set is inexpensive, but still good quality–a nice combo for kids who like to experiment….a lot. Great for all ages.
Resources for gross motor play
MOLUK Bilibo- this little indestructible little “thing-a-majigger” is quite amazing. I have no idea what it actually is, but I’m pretty sure it’s got some kinda magic. Don’t let me fool you that it’s listed under gross motor, it’s been used so much in our house for imaginative play and building too! Great for babies on up to 8/10 year olds!