Prepping resources can be time-consuming – especially if you don’t have the right supplies!
Before you get started, make sure you have these five key supplies that will help you prep any resource at home or at school!
This post contains affiliate links to items.
Key Supplies to Prep Resources
As someone who has prepped a lot of resources, I have gotten pretty good at narrowing down the supplies I need so that only those key supplies are what I purchase most frequently.
Once you know what you need, it’s a lot easier to save time, be more focused, and get more done!
Here are the five key supplies that will help you prep any resource anywhere!
1 – A Printer
Forget about sending your downloaded resources off to a printing company and print them out instead. You’ll need a good printer that can:
- print in color and black and white
- print cardstock
- print regular copy paper.
You can usually find a printer in the $40-60 range that will work.
Many teachers sign up for the HP Instant Ink program which is a good program if that’s something that you’re interested in, but I prefer to purchase my ink from Sam’s Club or the office supply stores when they’re having sales. Only you can determine which method will work best for you based on how much you print.
Here are some printer suggestions:
2 – Paper
Paper is a necessity when printing out the resources you’ve purchased or created. Plain white copy paper is one of the key supplies as most things will be printed on this type of paper.
If you want to add some color to your black and white printables, colored paper is another option. Astrobrights is a teacher favorite and comes in a wide variety of colors. You can use it for task cards, color-coding student work, and so much more.
It’s also a good idea to have plain white cardstock on hand. This can be purchased at a big box store or online. Colored cardstock is another option if you want to jazz up your bulletin board pieces or make your moveable manipulatives more colorful.
Here are some paper suggestions:
3 – A Laminator & Laminating Pouches
I have used a lot of different laminators over the course of my career but my favorite and the most economical is the Scotch Thermal Laminator. It comes in two sizes – a larger 13-inch size and the standard 11-inch. While I use both, it’s really up to you to decide which will be best based on what you will be laminating.
Pro Tip: It has been my experience that you can get the regular-size laminator for less at Target or Walmart than on Amazon, but you might want to cost-compare before purchasing!
While the laminator may be more expensive on Amazon, the regular-size laminating pouches are definitely less expensive! I get the Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches in a pack of 200 in the 3-mil thickness and keep an eye on the price as it fluctuates. I know that if it hits $20 or less, I’m stocking up so that I have pouches to last me a while. The typical price is around $24-25.
For the larger laminator, I use menu lamination pouches and they work great!
Here are some laminator and laminating pouch suggestions:
4 – Scissors
The hand cramp struggle is real when prepping resources! That makes good scissors a must!
I have two pairs that I use exclusively when prepping supplies. The Fiskars Easy Action Bent Scissors are my favorite for cutting out pieces. They are spring-loaded so they don’t require a lot of pressure when cutting. That keeps hand cramps at bay and makes it easier to prep a lot of materials without fatiguing.
For Velcro, I use the Westcott Bent Titanium Non-Stick Scissors. The ergonomically designed handle makes them easy to use and the non-stick surface is perfect for cutting sticky Velcro. I keep a separate pair of scissors just for Velcro so that if there’s any stickiness, it doesn’t transfer to any of my other materials.
Check around for prices, as they do vary from store to store and online.
Here are some scissor suggestions:
5 – Hook and Loop Fasteners
There are many different size hook and loop fasteners, but I like to use the 1/2-inch coins (dots) as I find that they work best for most things that I’m doing.
I also buy and use the strip hook and loop fasteners for larger items or when assembling certain products and resources.
While I use the saying “soft stays (loop side), hard travels (hook side)” when applying the fasteners to my resources, you can do whatever works best for you.
Here are some hook and loop fastener suggestions:
BONUS – 6 – A Spiral Bound Binding Machine
While the five key supplies above are must-haves for assembling and prepping resources, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a sixth supply that has been a life- and timesaver for me when creating resources.
A spiral bound binding machine may seem like an extravagant supply, but it is amazing for assembling adapted books, notebooks, and so much more. It’s a great alternative to putting things in a binder!
Here are some spiral bound binding machine suggestions:
Want to see me describe the supplies above in more detail? Check out the video below!