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Math and literacy centers are one of my favorite times of the day. I love to watch the independence and incredible learning that happens during free-flowing centers. And while they are an incredibly important part of early learning, there are so many supplies! It’s hard to know what’s necessary to have, and what is too much. So I wanted to let you in on what I think are the best classroom supplies for Kindergarten center time!
*Grab our Pre-K and Kindergarten Centers by Skill BUNDLE for engaging, hands-on centers for the entire year!
Free-Flowing Kindergarten Centers
Free-flowing centers not only allow the students to work at their own pace and connect with the material, they also allow the teacher flexibility to work with students and small groups in a more meaningful way.
When teaching the routines for free-flowing centers in a Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, it’s important to remember that before students are required to use materials with expectations they need time to simply EXPLORE them. This makes a huge difference with engagement and you will notice fewer management issues down the road.
When it comes to actually setting up your classroom centers, it can feel like the supplies and materials needed are never-ending. But the nice part about centers is that you can decide if you want to be a minimalist or have every supply under the sun.
You can have different cutesy, matching materials for every activity, or you can have a couple of general manipulatives that will work with lots of different center activities. It’s completely up to you!
Plus, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have great center supplies for your students! You can find a ton of manipulatives and center time tools at your local dollar store.
Best Kindergarten Center Time Supplies
There are so many options when it comes to center supplies, but there are some that I just love to have available for students.
Of course, I love free play, and I think it is extremely important, but for the purposes of this post, I am talking about math and literacy centers.
I like using common supplies that are versatile and can be used for many different activities. For example, kiddos can use counting bears for so many things; patterning, sorting, adding, subtracting, number sentences, color activities, etc.
Below are the rest of my favorite Kindergarten center time supplies!
- Counting bears
- Linking cubes
- Popsicle sticks
- Magnetic numbers
- Pattern blocks
- Small blocks
- Toob animals
- Colorful bowls or containers for sorting
- Small legos
- Pom poms
- Letter tiles
- Magnetic letters
- Alphabet Cards
- White boards
- Dry erase markers
- Pipe cleaners
Grab Your FREE Printable Center Supply Lists
Don’t have tons of manipulatives in your centers yet? Don’t worry! You can build up your manipulative collection over time! And to keep track of what you have and what you still want, be sure to grab the free printable lists of my favorite Kindergarten center time supplies by clicking the large, yellow download button at the end of the post!
Want to stress less with even more “must-try” tips while learning how to create a “Playful Learning” environment?
(even if you “aren’t allowed to play”)
If you’re wanting to incorporate playful learning, free-flowing centers, effective routines, and more in your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, then you’ll definitely want to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!
This course is a deep dive into practical ways that you can create a playful learning environment in your classroom. Be sure to request an invitation so you’re the first to hear when the virtual doors open!
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