Fun fact about me… I LOVE community supplies in the classroom! I personally find them much easier to manage and if I’m being honest, my kids truly only use like 15 pencils (as a CLASS) in the whole year. Supplies seem to last way longer this way for me. And whether it’s center time supplies and manipulatives or community supplies, I am always looking for new tips to help with management and organization. Check out my top tips for Easy to Manage Community Supplies for Pre-K & Kindergarten to make sharing supplies in your classroom stress-free and simple to do!
*For even more teacher tips and how to create a playful learning environment in your classroom, be sure to join us in P.L.A.Y. (Playful Learning All Year)!
Community Supplies for Pre-K & Kindergarten
Sometimes it may feel as though our classroom supplies are magically and randomly disappearing throughout the year. We start with fresh boxes of new pencils, glue sticks, and crayons but before we know it, they’re gone – hiding under tables, in backpacks, or who knows where else?
That’s why I decided early on to embrace the idea of community school supplies and it has made all the difference. Check out how I make this work in the classroom!
Tip #1 – Designate a Space
First, designate a space for shared supplies! This ensures that students can always clearly see where the supplies are and where they go back.
Having a clear, open space for supplies in Pre-K and Kindergarten is important. If the kids have easy access to supplies and materials, it makes it easier for them to return all of the things to the correct place. This could be a shelf, a table, or whatever open space you have available.
Tip #2 – Color Code!
Color coding all of your storage containers is another way to be sure your students return the supplies to the right spot when they are done!
Our community supply station is color coded green. That means I have green trays, cups, and bins. But what if all of your storage containers aren’t the same color? DON’T stress! Simply tape pieces of construction paper in the designated color to the containers. We’re going for effective – not fancy.
Tip #3 – Get Creative with Containers
Speaking of effective… get creative with your storage containers!
Play dough cups are the best for storing crayons. They fit perfectly and they make a super simple grab-and-go option for kids to take to their desks and easily return to our community supply shelf. This is especially helpful in free-flowing centers and flexible seating!
RELATED RESOURCE: Back to School Centers and Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten
Tip #4 – Simplify the Supply Search with Trays
Tubs and bins are great for sorting supplies in Pre-K and Kindergarten and we have plenty of them. But sometimes trays offer a less messy option that makes it easier for kids to see the supplies available to them. No more digging around required!
Bonus Tip: Put out only the amount of supplies that you know you need PLUS 1-2 more. This is another way to encourage putting things away and taking care of our shared supplies.
Do you (typically) use community supplies in Pre-K & Kindergarten? Let me know! And feel free to share any helpful tips you have!
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 want to incorporate playful learning, free-flowing centers, routines, and more in your Pre-K or Kindergarten classroom, then you will want to be sure to join me 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!
It’s going to be awesome (you can check out more about it HERE) and I can’t wait to learn together when the virtual doors open.
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