Thursday, July 28, 2016

Round Up Your Supplies

Look at you go, girl! You've completed lessons 1-5, and now it's time for a shopping spree!! And while I wish I could tell you that you get to go spend money on a new outfit for yourself, it's actually time to shop for all of the supplies you will need for your preschool group. Don't worry - it's just as fun (well, almost)!

By the way,  if you missed some of the other lessons, you can jump back to the beginning HERE.

But back to shopping.......I highly recommend purchasing supplies as a group. That way, you always have your essentials taken care of - and you each aren't purchasing a class supply of glue sticks and crayons for when it's your turn to teach. So, let's get ready to hit those Back to School sales!

First, you will need to decide as a group what supplies you will need. Make a list - because you definitely won't remember once you start looking down the aisles of all that Back to School goodness!

You will also need to decide whether you want to have a group supply bin or if each student will have their own smaller bin for their own supplies. However, I highly recommend a common supply bin. With preschoolers, something is always getting lost or broken, and it's just so much easier to have a bin of supplies to pull from than to try to manage the group and comfort Jenny who cannot find her blue crayon. Of course, it's up to you, but that's just what we decided to go with.

To get you started, here's a list of items we always stock up on:
  • 1 large clear bin (I like the ones with a locking lid). This is for you to store all of the supplies week to week. 
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Construction Paper
  • Glue sticks
  • White glue -you really need this is you plan on doing any crafts that include materials other than paper
  • Markers
  • Dot Markers
  • Highlighters - I love these for tracing!
  • Paints & brushes
  • Watercolors
  • Stickers
  • Baby wipes
  • Zip-top plastic bags - great for sorting materials ahead of time!
  • Any cleaning supplies you think you'll need
  • Hand sanitizer
Remember, you don't need to get all of the items listed above. And maybe there's something you'd love to have in your supply box that I don't have listed. Go for it! You need to do what works for you!

Once you've got your list, you'll need to decide upon how the items will be purchased. You could have each mom pick an item or two and purchase that item for the entire class. Or, you could assign 1-2 people the job of purchasing all of the supplies. Then, just take the total and divide it by the number of people in the group. We always add a little "fluff" to the total and set that aside so that it when it comes time to replace the glue sticks - which always seem to run out around March - we already have money set aside for that purchase. So, if you spent $70 on supplies, I'd add about $10 for extra supply expenses during the year, making it $80. Then, if you've got 8 kiddos in the group, it would be $10 per child - and your supplies for the year are covered. 

Of course, this covers all of your basic supplies. If you are planning an art project and you really want those cute googly eyes, you'll need to go out and purchase that for the week. But let me tell you, having this bin of supplies has been such a blessing! It has saved me numerous trips to the store and quite a bit of money. The other great thing about putting everything in a bin is that it makes it super easy to rotate. After each preschool group, whoever is next on the schedule to teach can just take the bin with them and have the whole week to prepare and prep supplies. It was ah-mazing!!

So, time to get shopping! Leave a comment below and tell me about you best back to school score! You know there are some amazing deals out there! What are you back to school essentials for your preschool co-op? I'd love to hear.

And if this post or series has been helpful for you, I'd love for you to share it with your friends. Just click one of the icons on the left to share.

Then, check back with me next week and we hit the final lesson! See you soon!

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