A kindergarten classroom is an environment where young students are able to learn using engaging, hands-on methods. Many of the items used in kindergarten classes are costly or time-consuming to make and, due to budget restraints, teachers often rely on donations from parents and other people in the community who are willing to help. Kindergarten teachers have a variety of things on their wish lists. Check with the teacher you would like to help to get a better idea of what she needs or wants before sending anything to school with your child.
Arts and Crafts Supplies
Kindergarten teachers use fun art projects and crafts to help students learn reading, writing, math and fine motor skills. Arts and crafts supplies can be costly, and to purchase enough for all students to last through the school year would consume the teacher's budget. Arts and crafts materials often used in kindergarten classes include pompoms, glue, construction paper, clay, wooden craft sticks, safety scissors, colored pipe cleaners, finger paints, tissue paper, and craft glitter.
Many items that can be found in grocery stores or office supply stores are used in kindergarten classes. A kindergarten teacher's wish list may include items such as hand sanitizer, brown paper lunch bags, used toilet paper rolls, baggies, file folders, and facial tissue. File folders and baggies can be used to make file folder games for phonics instruction or storage. Paper plates, cups and napkins can be used for class parties. Diaper wipes and disinfecting wipes come in handy during cold season to help keep surfaces clean that aren't typically maintained by custodians.
Kindergarten classes need games, toys and books to stock learning centers. These items can also be used during recess time when the children can't go to the playground. Things to donate in this area are puzzles with large pieces, coloring books, children's books, magnetic letters, magnets and foam letters. Small plastic items, such as insects, can be purchased in bulk and are good for counting activities. Magnifying glasses and maps are useful for science and social studies centers.
Keeping a kindergarten class running smoothly is a time-consuming task and many teachers would appreciate hands-on help from people who have the time to do so. Check with the teacher and school to make sure you follow their safety protocols and schedule. Some teachers may even have tasks that could be sent home for you to do instead of working at the school, such as pre-assembling items for crafts. Another way to volunteer is to come to the class and read to the students or help organize center materials. Some parents have jobs that would make for interesting "guest speakers," like a police officer or firefighter.
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