Below I have a comprehensive list of items I find the most useful to have on hand year-round. If you are just starting out, don’t let this list overwhelm you – you don’t need to buy it all at once. When I first began homeschooling, I made an Amazon Homeschool Wishlist and added everything to my list. When a lesson popped up that required an item, I would buy it until eventually I was fully stocked. You can click each item and it will take you to the exact item on Amazon that we use. Sometimes I buy supplies at local stores, but I have included affiliate links for everything if you prefer to shop online.
The first three items are for for organizing the printable curriculum. We are currently using The Peaceful Preschool curriculum, and you can read more about how I build off of it here. After much research, I decided on the printer listed above, and it has been perfect. I also use my laminator weekly. If you don’t have a laminator, the one listed here is inexpensive and gets the job done. Scissors will do for cutting out laminated cards, but having a paper cutter for this task makes prep so much faster. Lastly, the trays, baskets, little bowls, and little pitchers are used for our Tot Trays.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Each unit has theme-specific arts and crafts activities. The materials listed here are ones we use time and time again. Additional supplies may come up for certain projects, but the ones above are the staples. If you have never introduced Dot Markers to your child, they will love them! The acrylic and watercolor paints I listed are bigger investments up front but they last a year or longer, even with as much as we use them. I love the Twistable Crayons because they don’t break and little fingers are getting extra fine motor practice when they twist them up.
LETTER RECOGNITION & FORMATION
I use a variety of sensory methods to introduce letters and to invite my children to practice letter formation. You can read more about the multiple activities I use to teach letter formation and recognition here.
Floor mat (one per child)
Rhythm sticks (one pair per child and yourself)
Foldable felt board
Each morning we sit together in the living room for what I call “Together Time.” This is a time we read stories, sing songs, do fingerplays, play group games, and introduce new Tot Trays. I’ll be writing a more detailed post about our Together Time soon.
SENSORY & FINE MOTOR SUPPLIES
Sensory learning and fine motor practice are essential to our learning. The Helping Hands Tools and the Tweezer Set are two of the best purchases I have made to help my son’s pencil grip. We use the Tunnel and the Hopper Ball in moments that my children need to get their bodies moving and some wiggles out before moving on to the next activity. Sometimes I just let them freely play with them, but usually I incorporate them into a lesson.