I am here to share some fantastic and beneficial homeschool preschool essentials with you. The pressure to buy everything is intense when your kids are young and just beginning their homeschool journey. I am a former preschool teacher and operate within a real-life budget.
My youngest child attended a Mom’s Day Out preschool when we started homeschooling. Even though I taught my older children at home, we kept him enrolled. However, this year, he will be home full-time with us. I am so excited! He is starting pre-k. Because he is my last child, I do not want to spend much money on things we will only use for a short time. So, I am sharing with you what I consider to be all the homeschool preschool essentials.
Essentials You’ll Use for Years
Tabletop easels are great because they take up less space and can easily be stored. I love easel work because it hits so many learning points for preschoolers. For example, did you know that easel work teaches pre-writing skills by encouraging top/down hand motions?
This marble run kit is a favorite for all three of my kids! However, I plan to utilize it most for our preschool. So much STEAM activity is involved in designing and building these structures. And preschoolers LOVE it when they finally release the marbles down their creations.
This set of gears provides another opportunity for planning and creating with a big reward of action at the end. We work on building gears on the flat surface first; then, we start working on vertical structures.
I love this dinosaur balancing game. This kit works on proprioception skills as well as fine motor movements. Start with the animals on a flat surface, then use the included curved base. My preschooler also really enjoys pretend to play with this toy.
I love these blocks so much. I had them in my classroom when I taught preschool. Every piece is the same size and weight. That might sound boring, but it fuels creativity. Because all the blocks are equal, building impressive stable structures that don’t fall over easily is easy.
Essentials for Arts and Crafts
I’ve said it before, and I will repeat it. I am not a crafty mom. When I taught preschool, my co-teacher did all the arts and crafts because I didn’t enjoy it. However, they are essential for preschoolers. Crafts provide opportunities for so much exploration and learning, so of course, I will be doing all the crafting with my preschooler this year. Below are a few things I consider essential to always have on hand but might not be obvious. Additionally, most of these products can be used in other subjects, such as math and science.
These Dot Markers were a last-minute addition to my homeschool preschool essentials, but I am so glad I bought them. They are easy to hold for kids who might not have a tremendous pincer grip yet, and they practice the handwriting skill of using appropriate pressure. Use these to create artwork, or you can use them to learn all about patterns in math.
Everyone knows about construction paper, but cardstock paper is great for preschoolers. Cardstock is, of course, thicker than construction paper. This means the paper won’t tear as quickly when your child uses 10x of the glue necessary. The same is true when your little one colors too much with markers in the same spot. Cardstock is also great for building on established hand-strengthening skills like folding, tearing, and cutting.
Triangle crayons are fantastic if your preschooler struggles with their pincer grip. They encourage proper grip, meaning you must correct your child less. The bonus is these crayons won’t roll off the table.
Essentials for Sensory Play
Finally, we need to talk about the importance of sensory play. My preschooler has ADHD, and he needs sensory input throughout the day. Even if your child is not neurodivergent, sensory play is essential for early learning. It fuels learning and curiosity for preschoolers (and all children, honestly). Below are things I have on hand for sensory play at all times.
Last year I added a fidget station to our homeschool, and it was such a huge hit. Every child has fidget preferences, so this kit provides a little of everything.
Whenever I talk about sensory needs and children, I share this vibrating cushion. It is probably what gets the most use, in our home, out of all our sensory tools. A child can sit on it, and it will automatically start vibrating. This provides loads of proprioception input. My preschooler likes to use this cushion during meal times and when he is upset and needs help to calm down.
This Ikea Trofast storage bin is what I am using for a sensory box. It is big enough to provide enough room to play but small enough to be practical. I also like how it can be used for water play. I switch up what is in here every week for my preschooler. For our first week of school, I put soapy water in it along with his little construction builder trucks. His activity was to wash and dry them. He loved it!
And there you have it! I wanted to keep this list sparse, containing only what I consider homeschool preschool essentials. You can always add more once you begin schooling and notice gaps. But this list will get you a great start to your homeschool journey! I would love to know what you think is a must-have for homeschooling preschoolers. Also, make sure to share this post with your friends!