Create a Learning Spot

This one is for parents who are going to be home school their children.

I can not stress enough how important it is going to be, you will need a routine (a schedule of sorts) and a LEARNING SPOT.

I suggest you find a spot that is not just the kitchen table. Somewhere you can add decorations/posters up around the area that will be helpful to your little one during their learning.

For preschool, kindergarten and even 1st graders you’ll need space for:

  • Alphabet
  • Number chart (Numbers to 20 for Pre-K, Numbers to 100 for K, Numbers to 120 for 1st)
  • Artwork or “Proud of You” wall space
  • Daily Schedule (visual schedule for little ones that need the extra assistance)
  • If you have the space I HIGHLY suggest having a Word Wall – if you don’t know what that is, or would like ideas on what yours can look like, click here. I’ll make a post about my word wall and how important it is in our classroom soon.

You will also need space around the area for the following:

  • A library (a book shelf, or at least a box for books they can read, or choose from)
  • Math Manipulatives (snap cubes, a number line, dice, shape blocks, flashcards, 10-Frame & Counters, Math Rack, etc)
  • School Supplies (scissors, glue, markers, crayons, pencils, paper, etc)
  • A Writing Journal/Notebook
  • Math Journal/Notebook
  • Small Dry Erase Board, Dry Erase Markers & Eraser

If you are going to use technology, make sure you have a plug/charger near by, because it will not fail that one night your child (or you) will forget to charge it up and you’ll both have to do the painful waiting for it to finally charge up enough to turn back on, and that will just mess with your schedule!

If you like some added bonus items that will be really helpful I suggest:

  • Laminator & Laminating Sheets OR Dry Erase Pockets (These will make games & activities easier to erase & do/play again. You can use a Dry Erase Marker right on the lamination or Pockets. These will also help prevent that pages from being ripped, or crumbled easier. I do not suggest to laminate everything, BUT you will find that some games, activities that your little ones enjoy playing again and again will very easily be ruined without these!)
  • Glue Sponge (These are VERY easy to make and even EASIER for little ones to use, and you wont have to worry about loosing the tops to glue sticks, or using way. too. much. glue with traditional glue bottles).
  • Binder Clips (these will be useful so that you wont have your little one drawing on EVERY SINGLE PAGE in their notebooks.
  • Sentence Strips (to create hats, use for number lines, create their own alphabet cards, use on their word walls, make flashcards, etc)
  • Book Box – use these for independent reading book choices so that your little one is spending their reading time actually reading and now just flipping through for what book to actually read. Giving your little one about 5 books to choose from will help them maintain their stamina (not just quickly flip through) and I would let them switch books once a week. I would also use these to help store the different games/activities for your little ones.
  • Spinners (I like these or these) – both will be great for LOTS of different games and activities. I like these ones in particular because you can put them on top of any game/activity, they are not specific to just numbers, letters, etc. I will say that the clear ones are a bit easy to misplace… they are clear. And I’ve had to “doctor” them by hot gluing the actual spinner parts together because my little ones kept popping them apart. I haven’t had those problems with the yellow & red spinners. So I am switching over to those in my classroom.
  • Construction Paper – for art projects, anchor charts (posters to help remind them how to do something), etc.
  • Kid friendly Magazines – they don’t have to be Kid Magazines… just kid friendly ones. Your little one will be able to search through these, cut out pictures that are the focus color, or start with the beginning sound, or show the number, etc. Remember: Cutting is little push ups for their hands… so any time you can have them cut (and who doesn’t love scavenger hunts) the better!
  • Printer and Lots of Paper – I know you might be relying on E-Learning, but little ones still need to touch, write and work.

There has been a dramatic decrease in students small motor movement (the muscles in your hand that help you easily control the pencil when you write) and this is because more online activities to help with that I also suggest you gather:

  • Giant Tweezers (sometimes you can find them at Dollar Tree in the toy section) or you can use a medium binder clip or clothes pins for similar muscle building
  • Pom-Poms/Cotton Balls
  • Beads and String
  • Buttons and/or Snaps – you can use a shirt, just to have kiddos practice undoing & redoing the buttons/snaps
  • A Shoe to practice putting the shoe laces through the holes
  • PlayDoh – its a great muscle builder (and super fun too!)

If you have any other suggestions on items that Parents should get for their little ones please leave a comment!

Published by KinderKidatHeart

Hi! My name is Katie Friedl and I have taught Kindergarten in Chicago for 13 years. It is not always easy, but its worth it! I will be writing about by tips and tribulations about teaching K in Chicago. Stay tuned to be inspired (hopefully... crossing my fingers) and probably even get a little giggle... at my expense I'm sure!

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