Updated: Dec 15, 2019
Flameless LED Candles: We use these for our Christ Light Candle before we read our story. The kids don’t mind that it’s battery-operated (real flames are ideal, but we’re in a rented building!), and it provides the perfect transition to engaging with Scripture.
IKEA bowls: We store crayons in small plastic bowls from IKEA and stack them in a plastic bin for storage. We also use these for small art supplies and mixing paint. Bonus: They’re too short for markers or colored pencils, so our crayons never get mixed up with other coloring supplies. At $2.50/6, you can get 2 dozen for $10.
IKEA Signe rugs: When setting up our children’s ministry, I looked all over for area rugs for quiet time, and this was easily the most affordable option. At $4/rug, it’s a small investment for an item that use weekly. All 15 of our rugs roll up into a blue IKEA bag for storage, making them easy for our mobile church.
Thrift Shop Books: When my Amazon shipment was running late, I ran to Half-Price Books the night before All Saints Day and found 1 book on church history for toddlers and 3 books on St. Francis of Assisi for elementary-age children. I regularly find books on Ancient Near East geography, DK books with Bible facts and books with beautiful illustrations. Most books at my used book store are hard-cover; many of them are gift editions.
Note cards: I snatch these up when I find them for <10c/card and use them for Happy Birthday, Thank You, and Thinking of You cards mid-week. The most stunning behavior changes in kids I’ve worked with have resulted from 50 cents worth of note cards and a few silly doodles.