The beginning of the school year is fast approaching, which means that this is the absolute best time to stock up on the school supplies that you’re going to need throughout the next year. Art supplies such as crayons, scissors, and glue are on sale for rock bottom prices that are impossible to find the rest of the year, so this is definitely the time to do it—but you do have to know which ones are worth the bargain, and which ones are still going to be sitting in your cabinet sometime next year. For example….
Crayons. Small children go through crayons much the same way they go through candy. They break them; they lose them; they color with them until they are no longer usable. Young children don’t need the fancy 96+ packs of crayons; but they do need the basics. Crayons help with fine motor skills, color recognition, and coming up with a quick activity when you’re waiting for an appointment, trying to get a meal on the table, or otherwise need a minute of silence. Do you need more than one or two packs? It depends. How high is your tolerance for that sound that your preschooler is going to make when he realizes that he can not find the all-important red crayon? Here’s a hint: there’s only one crayon that even comes close to red in the 24-pack.
Yep. Three or four packs, probably not a bad investment.
There are also a host of projects that can be done with melted crayons, including melted crayon art; candles; and making big, chunky crayons in fun shapes out of the melted-down pieces of broken crayons; so take that into account when you’re doing your school supply shopping. Something else to keep in mind: many of those fun projects can be done just as easily with off-brand, but for actual coloring purposes, most preschool and kindergarten teachers recommend Crayola brand.
Scissors. Scissors are a great tool for working on fine motor skills, and cutting is a skill that children are expected to have before they enter kindergarten. As such, if you’re working with your preschooler at home, you’re going to want to have some scissors on hand for practice. If you’re super organized and never lose anything, one pair per child is sufficient.
If you’re homeschooling multiple children, disorganized in general, or are well aware that the scissors may find their way to the bottom of the toybox two weeks after you introduce them to your preschooler, this is another item that you might want to have several of on hand.
Glue. To teach your preschooler how to use glue, glue sticks are far and away the best. They’re much less messy, and much harder to use too much of. They don’t last forever (though, for whatever reason, they seem to last longer in their packaging), so a couple of packs of them are probably sufficient for the beginning of the school year. If you’re going to be doing craft projects with your child, including a host of projects like make-your-own floam or slime, you might want to consider buying several bottles while they’re on sale.
Paper. Notebook paper, computer paper, construction paper…a lot of it can be found cheap this time of year. Stock up while you can! If you’re doing crafts with a preschooler, you’re going to go through a lot of it.
Other supplies. In general, preschoolers don’t need a host of supplies, and many of the sales that you find listed in the papers won’t be of great benefit to you. However, arts and crafts supplies are always useful; pens and pencils never hurt anyone; and an extra set of markers…well…you can keep them up out of reach when you aren’t using them, right?