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learning tools for children {our essential preschool materials}

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I am so excited to share our extensive list of essential preschool materials with you!  We have compiled preschool learning materials for art, alphabet and math learning, as well as other learning toys that we have found helpful in our home tot school and preschool!

preschool essential materials for learning

Over the last year and beyond, I have shared many Tot School adventures with you.  I always try to introduce new writing tools and fun learning toys to keep my son engaged in his learning — activities like coloring and tracing don’t excite him very much, so we change it up a lot to keep things interesting.  Thankfully, any of these learning tools have been gifts, or I’ve found them on sale, but there is a cost involved, so I am only including the ones we love most.  {This list doesn’t include all of the homemade paints and play doughs and sensory fun you can make with and for your child, so this is surely not a complete list for what you can use or do in our home preschool!}  I have divided this into five lists:

  • Art Bin for Children
  • Natural Art Ideas
  • More Learning Tools for Children
  • Alphabet Learning Tools
  • Math Learning Tools
  • More Learning Toys

Well here it is, our essential preschool materials….

learning tools for children {our essential preschool materials} - Wildflower Ramblings

{This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy.} 

The primary tools we use are kept in this tub that I bought on super-sale from Target. It isn’t a perfect container, but holds our must-have essentials:


  • Do-A-Dot markers are so so awesome.  They last forever and can be used for so many art ideas!  My son is not a “coloring” type, but he loves these!!

More Natural Art Ideas!!

First, you can see my opinions on What is Art? and Rethinking Arts & Crafts.  Also make sure to read (and meditate on :) ) The Artful Parent book to get ideas about art!!

  • Paper of all types: big rolls, constructions, black, white, scraps
  • Paint: tempera paint, baby paint
  • Brushes: paint brushes, hands, q-tips, pine cones, sticks, leaves, rocks, more tools from nature
  • Always have little pieces of paper and tools available for creativity!



I have another bin packed with other writing and learning materials.  We use these sporadically, depending on John’s mood, or whatever I want to use for that day.  

  • We also use Tempera Paints with brushes, nylons filled with rice, toilet rolls, anything can be used as a painting medium, but these aren’t “readily accessible to him” :)


Alphabet Learning Tools:

  • Alphabet magnets are a must have for every preschool home.  We have several sets from Melissa & Doug.  (One of the sets we have is exclusive to Toys R Us, so make sure to head over there to find them!)


learning tools for children {our essential preschool materials} - Wildflower Ramblings

Math Learning Tools: Fun and essential manipulatives.

  • These fun Learn & Links can be used with so many activities — color or shape sorting, as well as simply hole-punching a sweet picture and putting these through the holes for fine motor skills!
  • Unifix cubes: for math learning, since each cube can equal “1”.
  • These circle magnets and homemade pom pom magnets (hot glue together: little magnets and poms) are fun for fine motor skills and can be used to aid in math and literacy learning.
  • Also check out these fun Wikki Stix, for building letters or having fun!!


More Learning Toys we use almost daily:


My post on How we organize our toys shows the bins where all of these supplies are held!  

And I have more learning ideas in my post: Quiet Boxes for Little Ones!


Happy playing and learning,

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  1. Amy, I ♥ this post! It’s a wonderful selection for preschool essentials!

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