Before you get started with using a classical approach to homeschooling your preschooler, you’re going to need some supplies. Start going through your cabinets, bookcases and drawers, take stock of what you have and make a list of items you still need to purchase.
If you budget is tight, buy a few items at a time, or add them to your wish lists for Christmas or birthday presents. I consider them an worthwhile investment in our homeschool.
Our big focus is quality art supplies, as well as activities designed to encourage fine motor skills.
Art Supplies for Your Classical Preschool
I know what you may be thinking.
“Who gives a 3 year old pricey art supplies?”
I used to think the same thing, until I sat down with the children to draw. Better quality supplies produce brighter, cleaner colors, are easier for the children to use, and give better results.
If the thought of giving a preschooler $8 crayons makes you squirmy, find a place to hide your special supplies. Bringing them out for special school time is fun, and makes them last longer.
Tip: Take advantage of back to school specials and stock up. I have an oversupply of glue sticks and construction paper, all bought during the ultra-cheap back to school sales.
Here’s what we use:
Preschool Art Supplies
Not just for preschoolers, sidewalk chalk is a favorite medium for our entire crew. My children’s birthdays are in the spring, so we often ask for sidewalk chalk as a gift.
These chunky sticks are perfect for little hands to manipulate. We use them outside, as well as on our easel and even on construction paper.
Construction paper holds up to toddler and preschool scribbles better than plain copy paper. We add a tiny piece of tape to the back for added stability.
Crayons and coloring pencils
While I’m reading aloud to the older children or reviewing Latin, I often encourage Maeve to draw. We love these triangular crayons for younger students.
Melissa and Doug
For a different look and feel, pull out coloring pencils. My older daughter actually prefers using colored pencils over crayons.
As your toddler grows into an older preschooler, you’ll begin to teach them how to use scissors. Try these in the beginning, then move up as they become more skilled.
Glue sticks weren’t around when I was a kid, so I’ve always been fascinated by them. (we were stuck using regular white glue and paste when I was a kid!)
We like to use the purple sticks that dry clear, so that our littles can ‘see’ where the glue is going.
Watercolors and brushes
Preschoolers LOVE to paint,and watercolors are a quick and easy clean up. We use these paints and brushes.
Most days, we just pull out a piece of copy paper and let Maeve scribble to her heart’s content. If we’re encouraging her to spend a bit more time on her artwork, then we pull out some heavier duty drawing paper from Strathmore.
Preschool Supplies to Encourage Fine Motor Skills
Long before they learn to write, children need to strengthen their hand and wrist muscles. Playdough is the perfect way to let them create and explore while exercising the muscles they will need to write.
We love to make homemade playdough for the kids, and let them play with cookie cutters and rolling pins on the kitchen table.
I’ve had my eye on sandpaper letters for a while now, and I’m going to take the plunge this fall. Using touch, preschoolers learn how to recognize and create the shapes and forms of letters and numbers.
This set from Diadex has uppercase, lowercase and numbers, too.
Wikki Stix are another fun tool to encourage kinesthetic learning. They are easily shaped into letters and numbers, and are another medium for practicing fine motor skills.
Once your little one has mastered some of these fine motor activities, it’s time to start writing.
This paper is perfect — raised lines remind children when to begin and end their letters. I wish we’d had this when Rachel was learning to write!
We have lots of toys to help encourage fine motor skill work, but this is one of my very favorites. Inside the Toddler tote, you’ll find crepe puzzles and a small mini-pegboard to work on shapes, colors, counting and more.
What about you? What items would you consider essential to stock your preschool at home? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
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