Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Preschool activity materials at your fingertips


I love to lesson plan (it's one of those weird teacher obsessions), but for some reason, lesson planning never actually made me feel more organized.  Then I realized that just because I had a plan in my head, it didn't necessarily mean that I was prepared for the activity.  The most stressful time of my day was always running around trying to find the supplies and materials that I needed to implement activities.  The solution was so easy that I can't believe it took me so long to figure it out - Every Friday afternoon I would gather all of the materials that I needed for the next week's activities, then I would put them in bins labeled with the day of the week, so they were ready when I needed them.

This simple act changed the way I teach. Now I don't run around like a chicken with my head cut off! I get to sit down and work with the children, I have time to talk to them and document their work and our conversations.  I also feel less stressed, and that feeling alone makes the extra effort worth it!

Here are some great bins and containers that would be perfect for organizing your materials for the week: (All links are Amazon affiliates)

This one would be perfect! It comes with six baskets, one for each day of the week and another for items that you use regularly, or books for circle time.



These are the kind I use.  You can't beat the price on this set of six , and you could easily decorate them if you want.


This set is sturdy and can be wiped down easily if something spills.


This caddy will keep your materials organized and you could write the day on the bin.


Canvas tote bags could be the perfect solution.  Fill one for each day and hang them on hooks in the classroom or in your closet. 
Some additional tips:

  • I prefer bins that are not see through, they are less distracting and you don't have to worry about everything fitting neatly into them.
  • Think about where you will store your bins, this will make a difference how big they are, what color they are, and what they are made out of. 
  • Some materials just won't fit in a bin, that's ok.  If you have the majority of your materials, then then grabbing one more thing won't cause extra stress. 
  • Are you using the same materials for one activity on Monday and another activity on Thursday? When you finish with them on Monday put them in the Thursday bin so they are ready to go. 
How do you prep your materials for the day? Share your tips in the comments!



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