Unconventional School Supplies

Preschool School supplies What do gel food dye, borax, shaving cream, cornstarch & cream of tartar have in common? All of these are on my “must buy” list when it comes to school supplies (in addition to the obvious things like glue, markers and construction paper). You can make so many things with those five ingredients!
Gel food dye – I use it in edible paints, like the ones we have made to paint our pancakes. We have also used it to dye anything that has to be bright, like paintable chalk and of course playdough.

Borax – This is a necessary ingredient in goop. We are obsessed with goop over here! I love how mess-free this play medium is and am amazed with all the ways we use it to learn.

Shaving Cream – this is the base I use to make our fingerpaints. It is a lot of fun for sensory learning! And you can even clean wood surfaces with it – have crayon on your table, no fear, shaving cream to the rescue!

Cornstarch – We have had lots of fun learning about germs and how they are spread (in place of glitter), making and molding with moonsand, and of course it is another ingredient in both goop and in numerous of our paint recipes, like bathtub paint.

Cream of Tartar – this elusive ingredient is hard to find at our grocery store. We use it in creating playdough. I have made playdough without it before, but it wasn’t as elastic. Cream of Tartar is great for playdough!
So, what fun things were on your back-to-school list?

Thanks Laffy for the picture!


  1. if you ever have trouble finding cream of tarter let me know and I will send you some

  2. What a fun list! I’ll have to think about what should be on our list… I usually try to work with whatever supplies we have on hand, but this is a good time of year to restock our craft supplies.

  3. Hi Rachel. Typing on my iPad so pardon my brevity. Great post! Thanks for stopping by adaddyblog today! I just added your button to my fav's list, btw. Have a great day!

  4. You have some great tips on this blog. Glad I stopped by!
    Mom loop

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