Homeschooling preschool has been one of the most exciting seasons of school for me. There’s nothing more awesome as a preschool parent than seeing that “aha” moment happen. Watching them discover the world around them is amazing and truly inspires me as an adult to have that child-like faith and curiosity in life.
Currently, the youngest of my 6 children are 19 months, 4 and 5 years old. My 19 month old participates just as much as the bigger littles, but more on a tot school level. I don’t plan on starting any formal kindergarten work until they are closer to 6 and 7. In the mean time we take a very Charlotte Mason view of teaching/learning. We let it occur naturally.
Over the past couple of years I’ve found several items to be true must-haves when it comes to teaching my littles at home.
10 Must-Haves for Homeschooling Preschool
#1 Construction Paper
Colorful paper is definitely a must-have for most preschool crafts. Whether you’re making some rainbow heart sun catchers or a toilet paper roll Thanksgiving turkey, having construction paper on hand is a must. Thankfully, it can be found most anywhere and almost always at a reasonable price.
Crayons are kind of a no-brainer when it comes to preschool. Two of my children were peelers. They couldn’t use a crayon without peeling the paper completely off first. In general I only buy Crayola crayons as I’ve found that these give the best color. Buying crayons (and other supplies) at back-to-school time is when you’ll find the best prices. I can usually snag the 24 packs for .25 at Walmart.
#3 Fat Pencils
When we first started tot school/preschool I totally forgot about the fat pencils. It didn’t occur to me until we sat down to do some letter writing (because they wanted to try to write their names), and they kept trying to reposition the pencils in their hands. Then it hit me! OH! Little hands need big pencils! I’ve only ever purchased them on Amazon since they aren’t easy to find in stores.
#4 Glue Sticks
I cannot tell you how many glue sticks we’ve gone through. I used to buy them 4 at a time. Now I buy then buy the 30-pack. Seriously. It’s the cheapest way I’ve found to buy them AND the pack lasts way longer than just 2 or 4.
#5 Smelly Markers
Okay, so you don’t have to have smelly markers, BUT they are so much fun! Both the kids and I enjoy using them. They really bring a whole new kind of fun to coloring.
#6 Preschool-Sized Scissors
These are super important. I went through several pairs until we found some that fit their little hands properly. The Fiskars are definitely more expensive than some of the other brands but hands-down they are the best. I love that they have the optional self-opening mechanism.
#7 Fine Motor Skills Building Toys
There are a lot of fine motor toys out there and admittedly, most of them are great. However, you can achieve the exact same thing with pasta and yarn, or buttons and pipe cleaners, or tweezers and beads, or. . . just google fine motor skills and you’ll find a plethora of ideas using things you already have at home.
#8 Drop Cloth
Trust me on this one. You WILL need a drop cloth. We do lots of fun science experiments around here and they almost always make a mess. A terrible mess. You can buy a real drop cloth like a paint cloth, OR you can use an old sheet or table cloth. Can you tell I’m all about using what you already have? Why buy something you don’t need?
#9 Raised Ruling Writing Paper
This has been a relatively new discovery for me. I’ve bought lined paper at the dollar store many times, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon some of the good stuff at Target that I realized we had been missing out!! The raised lines really do make a difference!
#10 Kwik Stix
Kwik what? I know. You may not have heard of them. I hadn’t until a few months ago. They are a newer product from The Pencil Grip. It’s tempura paint but in glue stick form.
WE LOVE THEM.
All of my children are big painters, but honestly it’s a pain. The water, the brushes, paper towels, aprons, newspaper or cardboard under their painting pages. . . and then of course there’s clean up. Most of the time when the kids would ask to paint, I’d say no. I simply didn’t want to deal with it. That is. . . until we discovered Kwik Stix.
Check out this video. . .
Isn’t that cool!? There’s literally NO mess and NO prep. We can paint anywhere- without worrying that the pain will leak through. There’s no offensive odor and it dries exactly as if you had used a regular paint and brush! Did you catch that it dries in 90 seconds?
I am impressed with the extensive color array. We like having all the different colors to choose from. Also, they last a good while. Even when we leave the caps off for 30-45 minutes at a time, they don’t dry out.
I have used these with my 19 month old several times and it has always gone smoothly. That in and of it self is a major feat. The only downfall I have found with the Kwik Stix is that they aren’t really conducive to detailed painting. Due to their wide tops, it’s just not possible to create small, detailed paintings. But realistically I don’t foresee my littles complaining about that.