A convenient list of favorite homeschool preschool supplies that we use each and every week!
With over a year of tot school / preschool homeschooling, and conveniently, 99 posts on this blog, I decided to make #100 be a little recap of where things stand, plus a compilation of our favorite homeschool preschool supplies!
When I started the blog in January 2014, I was a work-from-home mom supporting my full-time baker husband. Our son was 2.5 then and tot school was an ideal fit for him! A couple months later an ideal part-time job became available, and very soon after, full-time work. So all of a sudden, we’re homeschooling, I’m blogging, and I’m out of the house 50 hours a week. How did that happen?
In the end, both the blog and homeschool allow me to stay more involved though I may not be home. My husband and I have switched places, and I have the peace of mind that my son is in such good hands. I’m proud to see how far we’ve all come!
As for the blog, I am sticking to my simple philosophy. I like my single theme posts, with generally just one collage, running down everything we did that week. I generally write all my posts while riding the bus and it is so therapeutic. I can’t thank everyone enough for their wonderful free printables, helping keep my costs down as we navigate the preschool years! Big thanks as well to the Kid Blogger Network, the most supportive group of people ever!
Another caveat regarding my list below. I am leaving off some of the less-exciting items, such as scissors, glue sticks, notebooks, etc. Naturally, I stock up on these items during the back to school sales! Oh, I can’t get enough of the back to school sales. (It’s April and I am getting excited thinking about those deals!)
Anyway, that’s enough talking, let’s move on to this list I’m hoping proves helpful for other beginning homeschoolers out there. Enjoy!
There are Amazon affiliate links in this post. Links to CraftParts.com, Lakeshore Learning and elsewhere are not affiliate links.
1. Lakeshore Learning Math Trays
I put these wonderful trays way up at the top for a few reasons. As I outlined in the linked post, I rarely spend $45 on anything. I wrote that post about a year ago, and especially in the past few weeks, we use at least one tray each week! They are unbelievably durable and we will surely use them for decades, regardless of whether we are homeschooling or not.
2. Tidy Tray
I end up mentioning this cute little tray very often on this blog. I have had my own for 25 years, back when scrapbooking, stamping, and especially embossing was catching on! A note: some do not have a ‘covered’ opening at the end, like the tray is just a tray with a notch. The tray with more of a funnel opening is so much better!
3. Rotary Paper Trimmer
Another necessity from my scrapbooking days is a good paper trimmer! For years I got by on the Fiskars ones, replacing them as needed, basically. After a huge sale on this EK Tools version, I got hooked! Especially Jo-Ann will run great online deals on the replacement blades and tracks.
4. Madesmart Drawer Organizer Bins
I first came across these awesome bins at a HomeGoods. I have since bought sets in white, orange, and green. They often function by themselves as trays on the shelf, or, they offer nice pops of color on bigger trays. The longer bin is perfect for pens and scissors! I use them to organize drawers throughout the house as well.
5. Wooden Pattern Blocks
After a couple years on E’s Amazon wish list, we went ahead and purchased them this year. I am so glad we didn’t wait another day! Pattern blocks are such an iconic part of our own childhoods and it’s fun to watch him play with them, too. (There are some absolutely wonderful free printable mats available from Jessica’s Pattern Block Mats and PreKinders!)
6. Scotch Laminator
Who doesn’t have a laminator on their homeschool supply list? You can get great deals on laminator pocket refills from Amazon or Sam’s Club. I really like this pack of legal sized laminating pouches – a great price and even thicker than the name brands!
7. Write & Wipe Pockets
Even with the laminator, there are plenty of times that these pockets come in handy!
8. Round Magnets
This set of 30 or so magnets usually costs around $5. I first got a set to round out a $25 purchase! Since then I have bought 2 more. We always find reasons to use them, from hanging artwork to doing Do a Dot pages.
9. Cream of Tartar
Probably one of the first things I saw on Pinterest was making your own play dough. I’ve loved it – no funky smells and it lasts forever! But one necessity was cream of tartar, and all I ever knew of it was the tiny little container in the spice aisle. This Frontier-branded bag is an amazing deal and is great quality.
10. Silhouette Cameo
I got my Cameo as a Christmas gift when E was 1.5. As I have mentioned before, the Cameo was just a big headache for me for at least a year. I just had no patience for it! But after my husband learned to use it, and subsequently taught me, I have come to love it, especially for making shirts. But I use it all the time with homeschool and it has become quite a helpful tool!
11. 3″ Circle Punch
Despite having the Silhouette, this huge hole punch is still something that I use extensively. It’s easy to just quickly cut a sheet of circles on cardstock or whatever I need. And to think I was worried if I would get my money’s worth when I bought it to make some invitations!
12. Unifix Cubes
One of our favorites from the library, we were more than happy to get our own set. We love these for counting, sorting, and even making “swords”! These days he loves these cubes for making his own patterns.
13. Geometric Cookie Cutters
Here is another one of those things we got a long time ago that is proving useful in homeschool! This set of 24 shaped cookie cutters fits right into a circular case. While the smallest cookie cutters serve little purpose in baking, those are our favorites for play dough and cutting pieces of goat cheese. I love this set!
14. Dough Tools
Frankly, we came across dough tool sets when looking for a pair of dough scissors. We got those through a now-discontinued set from Lakeshore Learning. But, this little set has been so much fun. Many times we have paired this set with some homemade play dough for a great gift!
15. Landscape Clipboard
We have a regular, portrait clipboard as well. But, I had specifically wanted a landscape clipboard for activities on our recent plane trip. It’s proven great for worksheets on his homeschool shelf!
16. Minimotors Counters
I was a little overwhelmed with counters when I first learned what they are! I started small by getting a few counting bears (a great buy and gift!) But when trying to decide another set to get, I went with the Minimotors. We have used them extensively in school (cars, planes, trains, buses!) and have found so many ways to learn and play with them.
17. Small Cookie Pan
This is another item purchased for our recent vacation that we still use today. While we have dollar store trays we use for magnets as well, this pan is the perfect size (9.25″ x 13.25″) to hold a standard sheet of paper or cardstock.
18. Fruits & Nuts Flannelboard Figures
I distinctly remember playing with felt figures on my little sister’s felt board. While DIY options were tempting, I wanted to purchase a few sets of already made pieces. These fruits & nuts are my favorite! They are very realistic and true to life!
19. Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet
This is such a good way to practice writing! We have the standard black version, the first one that came out, but now there are many more. It’s a nice way to use “technology” without being plugged in and online!!
20. Wooden goodies from CraftParts.com
What a wonderful resource CraftParts.com is! I first found them when looking for big wooden blocks for Christmas gifts. But since I have placed many orders with them. Some of my favorites for homeschool include their alphabet tiles, wooden peg people, wooden washers, unfinished checkers, and cute wooden flower pots.
21. OXO Good Grips Mini Measuring Beakers
This is just the cutest set. While the smaller sizes are not entirely practical in a kitchen (in my opinion), they are simply wonderful for school. If you are wondering, the four sizes are 1 tsp., 1 tbsp., 1 oz. and 2 oz.
22. White Duct Tape
I could just say TAPE in general here. We use so much for so many reasons! (My husband and I are both DIYers, to put it nicely. I always joke that we each have several containers of various adhesives!) White duct tape and wide painters tape are my favorites to have around.
23. Washi Tape
I will give Washi Tape its own place here. Love the stuff! The multi-packs avaiable from Oriental Trading are a great deal and add a good amount of color to our homeschool! My favorite ways to use Washi in school are to hold down a piece of paper for watercolor, or, a picture for a salt “reveal”.
24. Lauri Toys Tangrams Plus
Lauri Toys seriously makes some of the best toys. When E was immersed in the throwing stage, the crepe rubber pieces in the Toddler Tote were more than welcome in our house! The stacking pegs are so fun as well. But this set is a great introduction to tangrams, and includes several pattern cards of varying difficulty.
25. Easy-Clean Craft Trays
I know there are a lot of trays out there, but Lakeshore Learning’s set of trays are just great. We have had them for years and they do truly wash well. They are big and I have since purchased some smaller trays from Montessori Services. But we use at least one of the Lakeshore trays every day!
26. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Alphabet
I appreciate the dollar store alphabet sets but I really love this set from Melissa & Doug.
27. Pinch/Dash/Smidgen Spoons
I say Pinch/Dash/Smidgen because that is all I have, but this set now includes tad and drop! This is such a cute set for sensory play. I haven’t yet seen this set in a Montessori catalog btu it is surely perfect for it!
28. Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Set
Hooray for science! This complete set is a nice start for a homeschool classroom. E likes the big beaker the best. There are some cute experiment cards in the set, too.
29. Learning Resources Primary Bucket Balance
Another Learning Resources gem, this bucket balance is a fun way to learn about what things weigh. We used it for both science tot school and science preschool!
30. Kid Blogger Network
Last, but certainly not least! If you are ever for looking for any inspiration, a great new activity, anything, they are the source! The Kid Blogger Network on Pinterest is a must-follow.
Thanks for stopping by as I celebrate my 100th post! I hope you founds some new homeschool preschool supplies and helpful ideas. You can view my Top 25 Preschool Homeschool items on Amazon.
Did I miss one of your favorites? Please let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading,