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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.