Preschool Supply List Breakdown: Classroom, Online, & Homeschool Lists

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Get prepared with a preschool supply list to match your child’s needs across a variety of learning environments – traditional classrooms, online platforms, and homeschool settings. Learn the difference between preschool must-haves from unnecessary clutter, ensuring your preschooler’s readiness for their first year of school.

No time to read? Here’s the gist… 

Typical Preschool Supply List

  • Backpack
  • Change of Clothes
  • Crayons
  • Child-Safe Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Construction Paper
  • Copy paper
  • Preschool pencils
  • Notebook or Sketchpad
  • Age-Appropriate Books
  • Tissues
  • Hand Sanitizer

Want more ideas? Keep scrolling!

preschool supplies list

Like many of you, my educational journey, in a nutshell, was… go to public school. The preschool school supply list was relatively the same each year. Getting the typical preschool supply list is all my parents had to think about. 

Is this the educational story for our children today? Not even close. 

With more opportunities popping up in the world of education, there is no longer a one size fits all preschool supply list anymore. 

As I’m getting my own son ready for his second year of preschool, we have several things to consider when making his preschool list of supplies. 

This coming fall, I’ve enrolled him in a local preschool but we’ll also be supplementing with an online reading program, Outschool classes, and homeschool.

Each one of these learning experiences will come with different preschool supplies. 

Having taught in public schools, online education, and as a homeschool mom, I want to share with you what I’ve learned about school supplies for each learning environment.

I’ll cover a general preschool supplies list, preschool homeschool supply list, lists for online preschool students, and more.

The lists below may surprise you! Some of the supplies you currently think are essential really aren’t and supplies that used to be optional are now a must-have.

Preschool Essentials

If all you want is a basic preschool supply list, this is the list for you. This minimal prek supply list is especially nice for parents on a budget or who want to keep things simple. 

Must-Have Pre-k School Supply List

  • Washable markers
  • Pencils (jumbo)
  • Crayons
  • Washable paint
  • Extra clothes
  • Pocket folder
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Glue sticks or Elmers glue
  • Safety Scissors
  • Tissues 
  • Apron/ old shirt (for messy activities)

Preschool Classroom Supplies

Many public/private school teachers will ask parents for help to bring extra preschool classroom supplies to keep things clean and running smoothly. 

This was something that the teachers at my district did back when I was teaching public school. 

Here are some of the more common ones teachers ask for.

Pre-k School Supplies

  • Box of tissues
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Ziplock bags (various sizes)
  • Paper towels
  • Extra change of clothes (labeled with child’s name)
  • Snacks for the class (following any dietary restrictions)
  • Art supplies (crayons, markers, glue sticks, construction paper)
  • Playdough or modeling clay
  • Small toys or educational manipulatives
  • Blanket or nap mat (for rest time)
  • Aprons or smocks (for messy art activities)
  • Recycled materials for crafting (paper towel rolls, egg cartons, etc.)
  • Books for the classroom library
  • Indoor or Outdoor toy donations
    • Outdoor play equipment (balls, jump ropes, etc.)
    • Musical instruments for group activities
    • Sensory materials (sand, water table items)
    • Costume items for dramatic play

Homeschool Preschool Supplies List 

Although many of the supplies your homeschooler will need are similar to the supply list for a preschooler who is attending a physical classroom, there are some definite things you don’t want to miss if you’re learning from home. For a full list of homeschool supplies, read this article.

Homeschool Preschool Supply List 

  • Computer or tablet
  • Curriculum
  • Supplies for curriculum
    • Science experiment materials
    • Nature exploration kit (magnifying glass, binoculars)
    • Musical instruments (for learning through music)
  • Laminator (for creating reusable learning materials)
  • Educational apps or software
  • Storage containers (for crafts and learning materials)
  • Arts and crafts materials (paints, brushes, glue, scissors)
  • Educational games and puzzles
  • Whiteboard and dry-erase markers
  • Activity books
  • Age-appropriate books and reading materials
  • Manipulatives (counting bears, blocks, etc.)
  • Learning posters or charts
  • Playdough and tools
  • Educational posters or wall charts
  • Building blocks and construction sets
  • Alphabet and number magnets
  • Sensory play items (sand, water, sensory bins)
  • Art smock or old shirt for messy activities

Online Class Essentials

As I mentioned above, I’m supplementing my son’s education with an online reading program and classes on Outschool. If you’re like us and want to have a smooth virtual learning experience, you’ll want to consider coming prepared to class with the following supplies. 

Preschool Supply List for Online Learning

  • Reliable computer or tablet
  • Headphones or earbuds
  • Webcam (if not integrated)
  • Mouse or touchpad
  • High-speed internet connection
  • Printer (optional but useful for worksheets)
  • Whiteboard and markers (for interactive activities)
  • Manipulatives (physical or virtual)
  • Art supplies for virtual art projects
  • Organizational tools (folders, digital calendars)

Art & Craft Supply List for Preschool 

Preschoolers do a lot of arts and crafts activities to make learning fun, teach emotional skills through self-expression, and develop fine motor skills. 

It’s a great idea to have several preschool-friendly art supplies handy to enrich lessons but keep in mind that you don’t need everything from this list. 

Here are a few of the more popular craft supplies to choose from.

Preschool Supplies List for Arts & Crafts

  • Washable tempera paint (variety of colors)
  • Paintbrushes (assorted sizes and shapes)
  • Washable markers 
  • Crayons (jumbo and regular size)
  • Safety scissors (blunt tip for safety)
  • Glue sticks or liquid glue
  • Construction paper (assorted colors)
  • Finger paints
  • Watercolor paint set
  • Colored pencils
  • Safety smock or old shirt for messy activities
  • Stickers and adhesive foam shapes
  • Googly eyes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pom-poms
  • Feathers
  • Craft sticks (popsicle sticks)
  • Tissue paper
  • Beads and string for threading
  • Playdough or modeling clay
  • Felt sheets
  • Chalk and chalkboard or sidewalk
  • Glitter glue
  • Assorted craft paper shapes (stars, hearts, etc.)
  • Recycled materials from around the house (egg cartons, milk jugs, etc.)

Optional Preschool Supplies

During the back-to-school season, our excitement often drives us to buy items that are unnecessary and unused throughout the school year. Some of the items below can be used as a reward to motivate your student to learn but aren’t essential for a great learning experience.

Optional School Supply List for Preschool 

  • Water bottle
  • Lunch box
  • Fancy pencils
  • Pencil bag
  • Individual pencil sharpener
  • Educational Games
  • Personalized Labels
  • Binders
  • Book covers
  • Decorative Pencil Toppers
  • Themed Erasers
  • Rulers
  • Scented Markers
  • Themed Stencils

Conclusion: Preschool Supply List

In a rapidly evolving educational world, where learning takes place in various environments including traditional classrooms, a tailored preschool supply list becomes unavoidable. 

Everyone’s preschool list of supplies will look slightly different but by using the ideas above, you’ll be on your way to creating your own preschool supplies list that fits your child’s unique needs. 

What’s Next?

Keep learning! Here are some of the articles that were mentioned above. 

Discover how to create your custom homeschool supply list.

Start your online learning now by choosing the right tools.

Start learning now with your preschooler with the activities below.

Get your preschooler motivated to learn with the ideas below.

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