80+ Must-Have Budget-Friendly Materials For Makerspaces or STEAM Classrooms

By ShaiCoggins | Reviews and Recommendations

Oct 30

No two makerspaces, STEAM laboratories, or tinker stations in classrooms are alike. And, that’s how it should be. After all, no two students or teachers are alike. That’s why each space should be planned, developed, and stocked with resources according to the needs of its participants.

If you know that your students are more of the visual art type, then you might need to fill your space up with art and craft materials. If they prefer building, then start collecting recycled materials and construction toys. See what they’re interested in and consider your own curriculum.

However you’re planning your space, here’s a list of things that you might consider adding into your resource carts or cabinets. They’re organised by types of materials, not in order of importance. So, you’re welcome to pick and choose depending on your needs. This list is simply a guideline or starting point for your makerspace or STEAM classroom planning.

Makerspace or STEAM Classroom Tools and MaterialsWhat are your favourite makerspace tools?

Art Materials
1. Paper (white, black, Kraft, coloured, graph)
2. Pencils (Lead and Coloured)
3. Felt Tip and Ballpoint Pens
4. Crayons
5. Black and Coloured Markers
6. Paint (watercolour pans, liquid watercolours, acrylics, finger paint)
7. Brushes
8. Cardstock
9. Oil and Chalk Pastels
10. Ink pads
11. Inks/Ink dyes

Craft Materials
1. Popsticks or Craft Sticks
2. Pipe cleaners
3. Pompoms
4. Googly eyes
5. Masking tape
6. PVA Glue
7. Washi tape
8. Yarn
9. Felt
10. Fabric
11. Beads (wooden/plastic)
12. Coloured tissue
13. Feathers
14. Hot glue gun (use with caution)
15. Scissors
16. Craft knife
17. Buttons
18. Glitter
19. Plastic needles
20. Matchsticks

Household Materials
1. Aluminium foil
2. Baking soda
3. Shaving foam
4. Drinking straws
5. Paper/plastic plates
6. Disposable cups
7. Plastic spoons and forks
8. Kitchen towels
9. Toothbrushes
10. Salt
11. Wooden clothes pegs
12. Baking paper
13. Cooking oil
14. Cleaning brushes
15. Ice trays
16. Dishwashing liquid
17. Aluminium or plastic trays
18. Uncooked rice, pasta &/or beans
19. Vinegar
20. Food dye
21. Flour
22. Cornstarch

Recyclable Materials
1. Newspapers
2. Magazines
3. Old, broken toys and knick-knacks
4. Bottles
5. Jars
6. Cardboard
7. Bottle caps
8. Egg cartons
9. Paper tubes
10. Tin cans
11. Plastic containers
12. Rubber band (from vegetable packaging, etc)
13. Wood pieces
14. Cork
15. Boxes

Other materials
1. Velcro
2. Wires
3. Balsa wood
4. Batteries
5. Alligator clips
6. Motors (DC and vibrating)
7. Paper clips
8. Bulldog clips
9. Play dough
10. Blu tack
11. Droppers
12. LED lights
13. Gloves (plastic or rubber)
14. Marbles
15. Ping pong balls
16. Magnets
17. Copper tape
18. Twigs, branches, acorns, etc

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About the Author

Shai Coggins is a Registered Teacher in South Australia, with a Masters' degree in Teaching and Applied Psychology. She is a practicing artist and a published author. She started Creative STEAM Studio to promote holistic and play-based learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) with a strong literacy focus for kids and families in Adelaide and around the world.

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