15 Supplies You Need For Homeschooling Preschool and Beyond

Are you ready to homeschool the smallest members of your family? We have 3 children ages 5 and under, so this is my primary focus. I’ll give you my best ideas for how to get started.

Credit to Design Dazzle

1. A Designated Space

I’ve been known to pour over homeschooling pictures on Pinterest, and I’m covetous of my friend Kaye’s giant built-ins. Why? They have designated space for everything. I feel like every time I sit down to do something with the kids, I run from room to room, gathering supplies. Argh.

That’s one of my goals – to create a space I love to hold most of my things so that I can enjoy teaching the kids.


2. Laminator

Luckily, my dear friend Angie at The Jammie Girl gifted me with her laminator, but you can keep your eyes peeled for a deal online. We print things on heavy card stock, then laminate them for greater durability.

3. Card Stock

I use this for work sheets, do a dot pages, puzzles, file folder games and more. I skip around to different places at times for sales, so I’m not entirely sure where the best deal is. You can try amazon, office supply stores or even warehouse stores like Costco.

Do a Dot Markers

4.Do-A-Dot Markers

My children love these. They are paint like, without all the mess, and great for working on fine motor skills. We have the brights, as well as the fun sparkle versions. Do a dot makes coloring books, but we have the best luck finding free printable pages online.

Do a Dot Markers

5. Round Magnets

Another great fine motor skill manipulative — you can use the same do a dot pages, or magnet pages with these. Give your kids a cookie sheet from the dollar store, and have them use the magnets to fill in the circles. These are also great for learning colors and counting.

6. Links

These look like giant paper clips, and can be used in a myriad of ways. We’ve used them to teach colors, count, as well as join cards together. Simply punch a hole in a flash card, and you can join cards together in alphabetical order, or add the same number of clips as is depicted on the card.

In my house, if you have enough links, you can also make a leash to attach to a stuffed animal or sibling.

7. Crayons, Markers and Colored Pencils

In my house, I can never have enough of these. I’ve tried to buy the Twistables more often, to minimize breakage, which doesn’t always work with my crew. I try to stick to Crayola whenever possible, since the quality is so much better.

dinosaur foam stickers

8. Foam Sheets and Stickers

Foam stickers have long been a staple in my house, used most often for quiet time during church. I’ve been able to find these in the Dollar Tree, and they even come in themed packs, like dinosaurs, birthday, and spring (butterfly, caterpillar and flowers). They would be perfect to use with accompanying unit studies. Plus, they are another fun way to encourage fine motor practice.

9. Construction paper

I try to stock up on this during the huge back to school sales, since I have trouble finding it during the year. We use this for all kinds of crafts, especially cutting practice

child scissors

10. Child safe scissors

A bit of a misnomer, but you’re basically looking for some scissors
that cut well, but do not have sharp ends.

11. Binders

I use these to store ideas that I have, or unit studies I’ve gathered. Easily found at the Dollar Store, Target, or office supply store. I even picked up a few at a local homeschool consignment sale.

12. Ziploc bags

We use these for storing unit studies, too. I use sandwich size for things like puzzle pieces, or flash cards. Quart sizes are good for bigger items, and most times I have to use the two gallon (pizza size) for items like laminated worksheets. (8×11 paper)

dinosaur craft

13. Glue

We use a combo of glue sticks and white glue at home. Some projects just seem to work better with the white glue. For my boys, I’ll squirt glue into a shot glass, then give them a cotton swab to ‘paint’ the glue on. Works like a charm.
Biggie Beads and Pegboards

14. Beads

This section requires much patience on the part of moms, for sure.

We use a variety of beads in our house for different projects or quiet time. I keep ALL beads up, and only bring them out during craft time. Keep in mind, these will be choking hazards for small children – play it safe.

christmas bead crafts

We use beads and pipe cleaners for simple bracelet crafts, or practice sorting by color, and counting with beads.

Another new favorite in our house is Perler beads. You arrange the beads on a pegboard in a pattern, then iron the beads together using the fusion paper. Biggie Beads are the version we use in our house, and the children love them!

15. Scrap Paper

If you or someone you know works in an office setting, loads of paper are thrown away daily. Ask them to start saving some for you, and bring it home to your children. These sheets can be used for writing practice, drawings, scissor practice, or to do lists for Mom.

What about you? Do you have a favorite supplies for preschoolers that I have missed? Be sure and leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

Dianna can be found writing at The Kennedy Adventures. This fall, she will be homeschooling three children 5 and under, including identical twin boys! She keeps active by training for her second half marathon, and relaxes on Pinterest and Twitter.

This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesdays, Works for Me Wednesdays, The Mommy Club, Preschool Corner, Tot School and the Hip Homeschool Hop.

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Dianna Kennedy
Dianna Kennedy is the mother of six, writing at The Kennedy Adventures. She shares resources for Catholic homeschooling, including printable Rosary cards for children and Saint Fun Fact Cards. Connect with her on G+, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


  1. says

    Great post. My kids use cotton swabs when we use white glue too, though I squirt theirs into either a small tupperware container or a section from an egg carton. That homeschool space looks amazing…Right now I have a couple of bookshelves for storage, and the kids have a small table in another room to do their work on.

    • says

      The shot glass was a totally off the cuff thought — I needed something quick! I love the egg carton idea, and that’s a quick and easy cleanup!

      We have a entertainment center, which needs more shelves, and various roll around carts, totes, etc. Sigh. I have stuffed crammed everywhere.

      That space is in my dream world, for sure!

  2. says

    Great list and some new ideas for this old homeschooling mom who has been homeschooling preschoolers for the last 23 years and still has preschoolers in the house. Now I also have grandchildren who occasionally visit and will be homeschooling as well. I will note several ideas you included for their Christmas box!! My daughter is expecting her fourth baby…due before the oldest turns five. She is busy indeed!

    • says

      I love it that I gave you some new ideas! My all time favorites here are Do a Dots and foam stickers. They keep my children occupied long enough to get dinner started, load of laundry in, etc!

      I think it’s awesome that you’ll be teaching your grandchildren! My husband and I aspire to that as well.

  3. Michelle says

    My kids are elementary age and our list includes file folders (for ff games and lapbooks), colored pencils, hot glue gun, and a library card.

    • says

      How in the world did I miss colored pencils?? My daughter LOVES them — and we’ve gone through an entire box already!

      I go back and forth with file folders — when Rachel was small, I made a few file folder games. Maybe I’ll get back on the bandwagon.

      I had my hot glue gun out the other day — and my youngest son told my husband that it was my pink gun to shoot bad guys. (where do they come up with this stuff?)

  4. says

    I’ve been getting along without a laminator so far – I either use contact paper or sheet protectors, depending on what it is. It’s a cheap and easy way to get things done without committing to a big purchase. :>)

    • says

      If you keep an eye on Amazon, the laminators go on deep sale periodically (around $29 or so). I use the ‘off brand’ sheets, which work just fine.

      I’ve done contact paper in the past, and it was just too frustrating for me. Sheet protectors wouldn’t hold up in my house, full of rambunctious little ones 😉

  5. says

    Great list for preschoolers! I’d have to add Wikki stix and felt to the list because they are also great materials for nearly all ages (3 and up) and offer tons of creative possibilities! My kids (now 5 and 8) also love the rubber crepe puzzles by Lauri, Cuisinaire Rods and Wooden Pattern Blocks. We’ve had them all since my youngest was 2, and they are still used frequently. Worth the investment!

    • says

      I had to go and check out the Wikki Stix … and I might just have to buy some of those soon!

      We do a lot of felt, too — felt board work, and I’m creating a craft now for a busy bag for the boys. (tiny clothes, clothespins,and clothesline – fine motor skills, color matching, etc)

      I checked out those crepe puzzles — where in the heck have those been all my life?? I’m still a bit confused about the Cuisinaire rods, but the Wooden Pattern Blocks are on my ‘to buy’ list too! Great additions!!

  6. Rena says

    Nice list! I’d add a camera. I take pictures of just about everything, especially my kid’s artwork that’s too big or bulky to keep. We store a lot of their school work in 4″ binders, but sometimes things are just too big, so a photo is good. That works well for food crafts, too. My kids love going back and seeing pictures of projects they’ve made over the years.

    • says

      As I look at my fridge, and back door, I LOVE this idea. I saw an awesome idea on Pinterest, that took photos of artwork and laminated them, then put them on the stair risers. Totally cute, totally protected, and totally interchangeable!

  7. says

    Thank you for sharing this list with us. I appreciate it. We are doing preschool at home and the more I think about it, I really do need to get a laminator. :)


    • says

      If you keep your eyes peeled at Amazon, that laminator goes on DEEP discount periodically …. like in the $30 range with sale price plus rebates. I also use the ‘off brand’ laminating packets from Amazon, and they work just fine …. saves you lots of $$$ over the Scotch brand packets.