What A Teacher Toolkit Is And Why You Should Have One

The ‘Teacher Toolkit’ refers to the repertoire of games and activities that you know you can use at the drop of a hat to enliven your lesson.  It contains a selection of reusable and multi-purposed materials, games, activities,  songs or lesson ideas that are easily adaptable for students of different ages and levels.

To put together a ‘Teacher Toolkit’ you will need a special box, bag or cupboard to store your materials in.   These materials don’t have to be expensive and can include things like bits of cloth, a ball, a magic wand, a deck of cards, a bell, some puppets and a few of your favourite stories.   Having these things on hand can help save a lesson because, as you know, things don’t always go as planned in the young learner classroom.  Your ‘Toolkit’ is your Plan B and every good Young Learner Teacher has one.

My Teacher Toolkit Top 5

I have accumulated (probably way too many) things over the years that I like to have on hand when I teach.  If I have choose my top 5 most versatile and effective teaching materials, these would be the ones.

1. Bean bags

They may take a little time at the beginning to make but they will last you for years and are fun, safe, and can be used with children of all ages in many many different ways.  Here is one a tutorial for how to make them yourself from www.sewyoustudio.com. These are my 2,5 year olds on their first ever day of English class.  It was great to see them interacting with each other (albeit with only one word!) in the foreign language so early on.

2. Calm Down Bottles

These can also be used for so many different actives but I love them at the start of the year to put in my Calm Corner. 

Yes, that’s right! I like to create a cosy cubby in a corner of the room for when children feel they need a quiet time.

The video below is also from one of my classes.  You’ll find this and many other ideas on my Instagram.

Calm down bottles in a Claire’s class – a nice part of a teacher toolkit

3. Magic Wand

Every teacher needs a little magic from time to time and this particular wand design has the added bonus of doubling as a bubble wand….whaaaat?!  How awesome is that?!

The tutorial for the magical wands in the photos below can be found at www.artfulparent.com

wands can be used in a teacher toolkit

4. Mystery Box

This is a pre and primary school classic!  It’s used as a way of generating interest and getting them to make predictions about the topic that you will be working on in the lesson. It should be big enough to have at least a few small items related to the topic inside. You can put holes in the sides to allow them to put their hands in to feel what’s there.

A nice box from a teacher toolkit

5. Dancing Rings

Great for moments of music and movement, you’ll be able to incorporate these into many games and songs to add an extra fun factor and get kids crossing that mid-line and working on their gross motor skills.  They are easy-peasy to make but seem to be all over Etsy.com as well.  The beautiful ones in the photo are from IndieBambinoToys.


So now I want to hear from you. What are you top 5 resources that you couldn’t teach without? Leave your ideas in the comments.

If you’d like to know how I use these materials, you can read all about it on this post.


  • Claire Venables is a qualified English teacher who has been dedicated to ELT since 2001. After a decade in Spain, she moved to Brazil in 2011 where she has worked in the creation and implementation of bilingual programs in schools, the development of teacher development courses, as a national and international speaker, materials writer, active member of the National Association of Teachers of English (BRAZ-TESOL). Despite her wide-ranging experience, she is and always will be most passionate about teaching children.