- Crayons and Pencils: I know for a fact that one or two boxes of crayons won't last the entire school year. For a bit of humor, see 10 Crazy Ways Kids Use Crayons. And pencils are chewed on, purposely broken and cut upon, while the fascination of sharpening appears endless.
- Markers: Buy washable markers for children and Dry Erase markers for the classroom. Many teachers have small white boards for their students.
- Glue bottles and sticks: One or two bottles will not last the entire year due to practically daily gluing activities. Children love to squeeze lots of glue to make anything stick. It must be the squeezing motion they enjoy or they just haven't grasped the concept that a little dab will do ya.
- Playdough: Children's favorite malleable teaching tool is playdough. It helps develop fine motor skills and has many other benefits. To read more about the wonders of playdough, and my favorite No Cook Recipe, click here.
- Scissors: Odd how they are lost so easily. Sometimes kids sneak them home in their backpack because they can't find their scissors at home - or don't have a pair. Yes, cutting crayons and using them with playdough will make them duller, but still buy child safety scissors and supervise so they don't give themselves a haircut.
- Notepads and Index Cards: Little notepads can inspire children to write. They can be used for Blue's Clues, Scavenger Hunts, and I Spy games. White or colorful index cards are great for labeling items around the house like a pet's name on their habitat, Toy Box, Book Shelf, Art Supplies, Collections... This helps your home have a print rich environment, teaches the reading/ writing connection, and helps children learn to read.
- Simple Science Tools might include a magnifying glass, bug box, LED Headlamp, flashlight, and bug net. These fun items will encourage your little ones to go outside and explore, discover, and learn about their fascinating world. What child doesn't love to make collections or look at the wonderous activities of small critters?
- Jump rope and balls. Exercise releases endorphins, the feel good hormone, helps develop fine and gross muscles, and helps children get a better night's sleep.
- Sidewalk Chalk: Children can learn letters, how to print their name, play hopscotch, and develop socialization skills while they are outside in the fresh air with some chalk. Neighborhood children will gather around if you provide chalk and a smile. Variations of hopscotch can teach numbers, letters and words. Your children could lie down on the sidewalk while you trace around them, then encourage them to fill in the area.
- Fine Motor Tools might include pipe cleaners, stickers, pom poms for sorting and counting, or a scoop and funnel for pouring sand or rice. You might be amazed at how long a child will pour rice through a funnel.
|Click for my No-Fail Playdough Recipe|
You might also consider buying extra crayon/pencil boxes and fill them with the basic school supplies. Children enrolling or transferring after the school year begins often come with no supplies. It helps ease their anxiety to have a pencil box prepared. Your child's teacher will also be grateful.
Yes, teachers do have a small budget for classroom supplies but it is not nearly enough to cover what they need throughout the year. Every contribution is greatly appreciated.
I was always touched to see a child beam when they received a new box of crayons. We adults sometimes forget that children depend upon us for their teaching tools. These are inexpensive ways of helping children learn, grow and develop through playful activities using their imagination and creativity. "Santa, are you listening? We've been good!"
Great Gift Ideas: Would you like a glimpse into Kindergarten? See Kindergarten: Tattle-Tales, Tools, Tactics, Triumphs and Tasty Treats for Teachers and Parents. Moms of Preschoolers - let Mommy with Selective Memory and me help save your sanity, one project at a time with the child development explanations with The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn. Both are bestsellers and also available on Barnes & Noble and Kobo. The ebooks are only $3.99.