For kids across the country it’s that time of year again, heading back to school. For parents, back to school season happens one of two times a year causing them to be: party down or lonesome town. Regardless of whether you’re ready for a break from the kids or will miss them dearly, one thing is for certain: they’re going to need art supplies!
Now, if your kids have been going to school for a while, you may be used to stocking them up with the appropriate supplies. However, if you are in the same scholastic boat as my wife and I, then your little one will be embarking on an educational journey for the very first time. It means you are about to enter… Preschool! And if you’re like us – and many other parents, guardians, and families out there – you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of materials and prerequisites your preschooler is going to need for that first day!
Because of this, I decided to do a little research that soon ended up turning into A LOT of research! My wife suggested sharing some of the constructive ideas I learned in the event that it could help out any other caretakers who may be a bit flustered about their child’s first foray into higher learning.
What is Preschool?
I know this sounds like a rhetorical question, but please, hear me out. I never gave much thought to the lessons my son would be learning in preschool or how it would help shape his mind as he matures. Like I said, this is our first time sending our child off to school. We didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately, my wife and I had an orientation at our son’s school this week, which is what got my supplies gears turning!
Helpful Art Supplies Lead to Enriched Minds
The goal of preschool is to provide an engaging, developmentally appropriate experience for our young children. It is the age that our kids’ minds begin to expand as they absorb knowledge and start to comprehend what it all means. Yes, as the saying goes, they are like sponges soaking up an abundance of new information, but the trick is keeping their attention within a controlled learning environment. That’s why we saw so many arts and crafts supplies at our son’s orientation. If your refrigerator is looking kind of plain, never fear because it will soon be decorated with all sorts of colorful masterpieces that your little one brings home. With that in mind, here is a list of some great supplies worth packing in your kid’s backpack AND keeping at home!
List of Art Supplies for Preschool:
- Paint Brushes
- Watercolor Paint
- Acrylic Paint
- Liquid Chalk Markers
- Stretched Canvas Boards
Painting and drawing helps young children develop visual-spatial skills. It allows them to analyze what they see and make choices based on visual information. This type of trait guides their ability to plan their behavior, which is essential to academic success. Also, it’s just plain fun watching them create art and even joining in!
Helpful Art Activities to do with Your Preschooler
Speaking of joining in, there are numerous fun art activities that will allow your children to express themselves right at home! It’s a great way to stimulate their minds and creativity before they embark on their first day at preschool. It’s also much more enriching than staring at a screen, which my wife and I still do allow in moderation. Here are a couple of preschool-friendly activities worth trying:
Materials: Watered-down paint for a sheer effect, plain paper, bending straws, spoon, and a container with sides to hold liquid in.
Directions: Simply add a watery paint droplet to the paper and have your child blow it in different directions, creating unique splotches and shapes in an array of bright colors.
Materials: Colored markers, paper towel cardboard tube, aluminum foil, small objects like dried beans or rocks, and masking tape.
Directions: A rainstick is a hollowed out instrument that is filled with small objects that produce a variety of noises and effects when shaken about, which will capture your child’s imagination and keep them engaged.
Materials: Iron (for adults), wax paper, pencils, pencil sharpener, scissors, crayons, and string.
Directions: This activity gives children the chance to draw on an alternative to regular paper that offers impressively different results. Simply have your child cut out wax paper shapes and then give them markers and crayons to decorate the shapes however they like. As they watch nearby, you can carefully iron the art to create a seamless melding of bright cheery colors that will look lovely on their bedroom walls or elsewhere.
Materials: Crayons, canvas, and hair dryer.
Directions: Have your children pick out their favorite crayon colors and lay them out in a way that they like on the canvas. Then, heat up the crayons using the hair dryer. This is a fun way to teach your children about heat and how it melts the wax crayons.
Hopefully, you now feel a bit more confident about sending your child out to their first day of preschool! Here’s a quick recap of the discussion points:
- Keeping your child creatively stimulated helps to further develop their rapidly-absorbing minds and makes learning fun.
- There is a plethora of wonderful art supplies available to assist your child’s education experience.
- Working with your child on at-home art projects not only reinforces what they’ll be learning in preschool, but it’s an excellent way for you both to bond.
Contributing Writer: Michael Catalano