I’ve decided to invest in some component “staples” so I can more easily do simple projects with the kids. After looking around a bit, I decided to get a few value packs from Futurelec. Specifically, the 1/4W resistor pack, a ceramic cap pack, mylar cap pack, a diode pack, and the linear ic pack. They shipped quickly and the pre-sorted and labeled nature made it easy to pop into my cheapo Home Depot containers. Great stuff.
I came upon Futurlec while looking for 8088 related parts for another project. If you haven’t tried them they seem to have great prices for 74LSxx stuff and the like (compared to digikey and jameco) and ship small orders.