10 Activity and Supply Ideas for Teaching Preschool at Home
Supplies you’ll need for teaching preschool at home. These activities and supplies will make teaching your preschooler easy and fun.
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MathLink Cubes are interlinking cubes that come in a pack of 100. There are 10 sets of 10 different colored cubes. They are a great tool for helping your child learn tangible math skills, like basic addition and subtraction. They also help kids to count by 2s, 5s, and 10s. For a younger child that may not be ready for math, the cubes are great for teaching colors, matching, or patterns.
I used our MathLink Cubes to create a matching game for my kids. I made cards with a number from 1-10 written on them. There were 10 different piles of cubes that coordinated with the numbers on the cards. The kids would pull a card and then match the number to a pile of cubes. My older child could match on her own, whereas I had to help my 3-year-old with identification and counting. They both enjoyed the game and also enjoyed just playing with the cubes in general.
By the time a kid reaches preschool age, they are usually starting to phase out of playing with MegaBloks. I put our old MegaBloks to good use by using them to help my preschooler with her reading. I would start with a block and write the ends of simple words on it using a dry erase marker. These were words that ended with -at, -an, -in, etc. On other blocks, I would write the first letter of the different word possibilities. For example, for -at there were blocks that had b, c, f, h, m, p, r, and s. My preschooler would add the first letter, tell me the sound it made, and then the word it created. My preschooler is a kinetic learner, so this activity was one of her favorite ways to practice reading.
Preschool Learning Library
We purchased a Preschool Learning Library from Costco as a learning tool as well. The “library” contains three matching sets to help kids learn the alphabet, numbers, and colors. For the ABC’s matching set, the kids match a picture to the word. Numbers match a number to a set of objects containing that number. The objects and the numbers are also the same color, which makes matching much easier. The final matching set is colors. They match an object to the coordinating color. The sets look a bit like puzzle pieces, so if they choose the wrong match the pieces won’t fit together. This is an excellent tool for kids that love puzzles or need to be more hands-on with their learning.
Preschool Work Books
This one probably seems like a no-brainer, but I can’t recommend workbooks enough. They are full of activities ranging from handwriting to matching and simple math. I never did more than one or two workbook pages a day, just so my kids didn’t get tired of them. It was also simple to switch from workbook to coloring book or vice versa.
While preschool is a little young for major science experiments, kids are never too young to get excited about science. We bought this fun Learning Resources Primary Science Activity Kit for preschool at home. It was a blast! The kit comes with idea cards, goggles, plastic test tubes, and a beaker. We used the kit for simple experiments with mixing colors. We also made a few “volcanos” by combining baking soda and vinegar. The volcanos were everyone’s favorites, especially when we added food coloring to make them colorful.
One of the best preschool purchases that I made last year was a large fabric calendar. Every morning after breakfast and morning chores we would adjust the calendar together. It helped my girls understand the concept of time so much! They quickly learned when the weekend was, and what to expect each day. For example, I clean on Mondays. Every Monday when we did the calendar they understood that meant they got to watch movies while I cleaned the house. I would tell them that we were visiting Grandma on Wednesday and they wouldn’t bug me all week. Then on Wednesday, they were ready for Grandma’s.
Sometimes the best way to learn is through play! I’m not the best at coming up with creative “playful” learning games, so I rely heavily on board games. I already have a full list of the best board games for preschoolers. This list includes games like Memory, Cootie, and Candyland. I especially love board games as tools for learning math. Our favorite counting and math-centric board games are Count Your Chickens, Hi Ho Cherry-o, and Monopoly Jr.
A giant roll of craft paper comes in handy for SO many different purposes. Of course, it’s great for coloring or painting, but there are so many more uses! I would write a large letter on a section of the paper and have my kids place snacks on the letter. Or mold Play-Doh to be the same shape as each letter. I also drew large circles with numbers inside. The kids would place snacks, LEGOs, or other small objects of the matching quantity in each circle.
Sight Word Books
Sight words are frequently used words that kids should learn to recognize immediately. They include words like: the, and, of, are, etc. Students should know these words without needing to sound them out phonetically every time they read. To help my oldest with her sight words, and reading in general, I purchased a small collection of sight word books. There are about 5 words on each page making them easy to read and comprehend.
Introducing a preschooler to reading is an excellent way to prepare them for Kindergarten. I also noticed a huge improvement in my daughter’s speech. As she learned the sounds that letters and combinations of letters make, she started to pronounce her words more clearly. If you have a preschool-age child that struggles with speech, I’d definitely encourage doing phonics and reading lessons with them.
Arts and Crafts Supplies
Arts and crafts supplies may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s probably the most important preschool tool out there. Activities like painting and coloring allow kids to express themselves creatively. They also help further develop their coordination skills. Craft projects can tie in with books, movies, or holidays. It’s also an excellent activity for teaching primary and secondary colors. Here’s a link to a Pinterest account full of fun crafts for little kids.
Specific supplies that you need for many of these projects include:
- Washable paint
- Paint brushes and foam brushes
- Blunt-tip Scissors
- Glue stick
- Colorful construction paper
- Pipe cleaners
- Googly eyes
- Clothes pins
- Paper plates
- Pom poms
I bought a little craft kit on Amazon that had almost all of these supplies included!
Bonus: An Affordable Preschool Curriculum
Teaching preschool at home may seem like a daunting task. There are so many ideas for crafts and what to teach! I was completely overwhelmed when I first started. It can be difficult to know where to start. I researched several homeschool preschool curriculums. Finally, I found the Blossom & Root Early Years Curriculum. Blossom & Root is a non-religious curriculum centered around nature-based learning. It encourages a lot of outside play, along with an emphasis on music and art. The curriculum is less than $50. It does not come with books or supplies, but they do give you a full supply list. I borrowed books for the lessons from the library or bought them used on Thriftbooks. I mostly used the curriculum as a loose guide to take the work of lesson planning off of my plate.
Taking on the task of teaching preschool at home may seem daunting but with a few helpful tools (and a lot of patience) it can be a fun experience for everyone.