Published: November 3, 2023
Maintaining your children’s ministry supplies costs money, but these days your budget may be tighter than ever. So why not use Christmas as a chance to collect donations? You may have families who are eager to help, but don’t know what to give. So make a children’s ministry supplies wish list, and have families donate what you really need. When donations arrive, it’ll be a merry Christmas and happy New Year for you and the kids you serve!
We did a survey of what supplies people like to keep stocked in their children’s ministry closet, and here’s what we’d recommend for the top 20 supplies to add to your Christmas wish list.
Basic Classroom Supplies
There are some items your ministry uses all. the. time. So you go through them quickly! Request these basic classroom supplies to set yourself up for success.
1. Kid-Friendly Bibles
You want kids reading their Bibles more, but not every child has one. If you have kids open their Bibles during the lesson (a great idea!), you’ll need a stash of classroom Bibles. You may also want some nice pristine copies to give away to kids who don’t have Bibles at home. It’s great to use a kid-friendly, easy-to-follow translation like the New Living Translation or New International Readers Version. Having many copies of the same Bible makes it easier for kids to follow along (because the words match) and to find the passage (because you can give page numbers). Check out the Hands-On Bible and My First Hands-On Bible for great options!
If your ministry serves snacks, you know they can get pricey. Make a list of the specific snacks you like to rotate through, and ask parents to donate those non-perishables.
If your crayon bin isn’t full of broken crayons or crayons with the wrappers peeled off, congratulations! But for most of us…our crayons could use refreshing. Start the new year right with a fresh batch of brand-new crayons.
Glue is a must-have, but it often dries up in the cap so you can’t squeeze any out! Ask for small bottles so the glue gets used before it dries. Glue sticks and Glue Dots are great, easy-to-use glue options, too.
5. Play Dough
Like your crayon stash, your play dough has probably seen better days. If yours is more crusty than squishy, it’s a great time to ask for some new jars.
6. Construction Paper
Construction paper comes in handy, but chances are you don’t use all the colors at the same rate. (Doesn’t red always run out first?) Add to your stash, and if you’re feeling really motivated, organize it by color!
Craft and Paper Supplies
Crafts are a long-time staple of children’s ministry. But there’s one thing about crafts: They can’t be made from nothing! Put some standard craft supplies on your wish list and you’ll fall in love with crafts all over again. Want some Christmas craft ideas? Check them out here!
7. Chenille Wires
These versatile strands can do so much! Kids love ’em for free play, games, and structured crafts, so they run out fast. You can never have too many!
8. Curling Ribbon
There’s no better time of year for parents to find curling ribbon than Christmas!
So many crafts can be improved with the addition of stickers. So stock up your sticker bin. Bonus: You’ll get more variety with a lot of people buying them.
10. Sticky Notes
Sticky notes aren’t just an office supply. They’re great for hands-on learning! And since they come in plenty of colors and sizes, you can enjoy a wide variety.
11. Tissue Paper
With all the gift giving that happens at Christmas, this is another supply that’s plentiful in December.
12. Cotton Balls
Make this request extra Christmassy by requesting little lambs.
13. Disposable Dishes (cups, plates, bowls, silverware)
These supplies can be great for serving snacks, but they also come in handy for crafts, object lessons, and even games! Get a good supply and you’ll find yourself with endless cup games.
Kids have a lot of energy—and games are a great way to release that energy in a meaningful way. Thankfully, many game supplies are reusable, so you can often count on your supply closet. But for those easily lost or consumable game supplies, it’s great to stock up!
Balloons are so fun for games, but they’re one-time-use supplies. So keep a good inventory and you’ll always be ready to go. If you’re concerned about latex allergies, encourage parents to find latex free options.
15. Ping-Pong Balls
They’re lightweight, they bounce well, and they don’t hurt if they hit you. They’re the perfect game supply! But, they do get lost and crack easily. Stock up so you’ve got plenty on hand.
16. Playing Cards
Playing cards are great for a lot of games or opening activities, but chances are you’re a few cards short of a deck. Parents can often find two-packs of cards at dollar discount stores, so this is a cheap gift that will go a long way.
17. Small Jigsaw Puzzles
Speaking of dollar discount stores, families can stock up on puzzles there! They’ll be great for arrival games—or for fun object lessons.
And while you wait for your wish list of supplies, play these fun Christmas games with your kids!
For the families who want to give but don’t have many financial resources, they’d love to know that there are free items you need that they’re used to just throwing in the trash! These recyclable supplies are often useful for crafts—and when you need them, you usually need one per child. Why not collect a stash of trash this Christmas?
18. Paper Towel Rolls
With parties, visitors, and baking, many homes get extra messy around Christmas. That means more paper towel clean-ups—and more rolls for you to hoard!
19. Cardboard Scraps
Cardboard can be used to make a lot of awesome crafts. Check out this whole book of cardboard craft ideas!
20. Empty Water Bottles
Water bottles are filling up our landfills, but they don’t have to! Put them to use in crafts. Collect a bunch so you’ll always have plenty to use.
You can also load up your wish list with books that are chock-full of awesome ideas—and put those supplies to good use! Here are our top picks.
Looking for more leader tips? Check out these articles!
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