Are you beginning your journey of home preschooling your kids?
…or maybe you have toddlers and you’re just hanging around doing some research for the possibility of homeschooling. Maybe you want to see how you can teach in an interactive environment, such as density cubes for Science lessons, costumes to re-enact plays for English, the possibilities are endless with learning. Whatever place you’re in, I’m glad you’re here! We’ve been preparing for home preschool for some time now, and I’d love to share a few supplies that I have found to be essentials for our home preschooling journey. I know that for some people it can be hard to buy even everyday essentials if they are on a budget, this is where an American Express Blue Cash card can come in handy to get these essentials for your children, you don’t need to worry about affording things for your kids if you know where to go and how to help yourself!
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These are so multi-purpose that they had to go first on this list! They can be used for their intended purpose of lacing, but there are an infinite number of other ways to use them as well! Inside sensory bins, for spelling practice, for alphabet ordering, for sorting (see below)
See what I mean? These beads really are the workhorse of preschool lessons! And with 288 beads per container, you don’t have to worry if you lose a few here or there 😉
We started with small lap sized ones, but have moved on to a larger swing board now because we get so much use out of them!
Sensory Bin Supplies
These are a necessity. They give kids a chance to learn and play in a way that pleases their developing senses! Visit my friend Susie at Busy Toddler to learn more about putting together sensory bins (and read her tips on keeping them enjoyable and neat!)
They don’t have to be anything fancy, just choose a set you think your child would be interested in. Blocks are great for developing spatial awareness, critical thinking skills, encouraging pretend play, and so on. You could also take them to a pretend play camp with an indoor playground, such as Kidtropolis, where they can engage in purposeful play and hands-on learning experiences in a family-focused environment. Your child is actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life when he engages in pretend (or dramatic) play. He learns to take turns, share responsibility, and problem solves creatively through cooperative play.In comparison to the modern technology-driven toys, you may be tempted to skip these and label them as “boring” or “old school”…I’d encourage you not to write them off, though! The truth is, the simpler a toy is, the more a child will be learning (and using their imagination with) as they play with it!
Quality Preschool Music
You’re going to be singing more than just the ABC’s song! I happen to like Barbara Milne’s preschool music, it’s great and slow paced fto help kids catch on quickly, and it’s very calming for busy kids! For more upbeat music, I like Raffi’s fun music.
This is used almost daily at our house! It’s great for imaginative play, but also useful for number formation, letter formation, play dough mats, developing hand strength, etc. I would highly recommend making your own (it lasts much longer and is chemical free. You can see our play dough recipe here). I’d also encourage purchasing a few play dough tools (although not necessary, most any small items can be used with play dough! Toy cars, bottle caps, animal figurines, rubber stamps, etc. have all found their place with play dough in our house!)
Trays, Bins, and Various Storage Supplies
I keep supplies in these see through shoe boxes (get them at Wal-Mart) so it is easy to identify contents. Our art supplies were stored in a cart like this at our old house:
(Read more about our Art Cart here)
You’re also going to want some wooden trays . These are good for creating simple invitations to play or presenting art projects to kids.
Variety of Paper Products
You’re going to want more than just printer paper! Here are some products we always have on hand that you might want to consider investing in:
- Watercolor Paper (this is really a necessity for proper watercolor painting!)
- Butcher paper/ Kraft paper (for lining tables and BIG art!)
- Scrap paper/ junk mail (keep a small box available to use for scissor skills and art projects)
- Tissue paper
- Foam sheets
- Cardstock (I like these neon colors!)- for durable signs or cards.
- Construction paper– good for all crafting needs!
- Post-it notes
A storage container like this comes in very handy for sorting all that paper!
Basic Art and Craft Supplies
- Washable paint
- Watercolor paint (we prefer the vibrant colors of liquid watercolors)
- Paint brushes
- Crayons, colored pencils, lead pencils
- Scissors (Decide which are best for your preschooler here)
- Googly eyes, stickers, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, clothespins, etc.
- Glue and glue sticks (they should learn to use both)
- Chalk, chalk pastels, oil pastels
Books, Books, and more Books
We visit the library once a week to check out our preschool “curriculum” (picture books and non-fiction books are jumping-off points for deeper lessons!) Access to a large variety of books is an absolute essential. If your home has custom built ins (home library), make sure that you fill them with books! Don’t skimp out on providing your kids with quality reading material! Reading is essential skill children need to adopt, and as parents, we should ensure that they have the access to enough materials.
Need some help picking out good books? Visit Jodie at Growing Book by Book– she has wonderful lists to help you find the very best books for kids!
That about sums up our Essentials list! We incorporate lots of other supplies that are in our normal toys (animal figurines, toy cars, pretend play materials, etc.) as well. To keep costs down, I started collecting these supplies when my kids were toddlers. I stocked up on many items at Dollar Stores, thrift stores, or online buy/sell/trade groups. If you really want to enjoy shopping at a dedicated teacher store, my recommendation is to visit your local Lakeshore Learning!
I hope this list helped you gather some ideas regarding what you may need for home preschooling. If I’ve left something off the list you think is essential, please share it in the comments below!
Already have these basic supplies? Head over to see our list of Home Preschool Splurges and leave us your thoughts!
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