38 Must-Haves for Kindergarten Teachers
Kindergarten teachers prep for everything during the school year. Where the kids will sit; where the supplies will be stored; what color folders belong where; how high to hang pocket charts, and so much more.
Before you begin planning, you probably want to know what you will need as a kindergarten teacher. To help you get started, I’ve created a list on amazon of must-haves for kindergarten teachers.
Welcome Kindergarten Teacher
Did you just land your dream job teaching kindergarten? Or, perhaps you have been transferred to teach kindergarten after many years of teaching another grade level. Either way, congratulations!
Kindergarten is the most exhausting, yet more rewarding grade level I have taught. Your brain will be fried at the end of the days.
Your idea of a fun night out will soon be a silent night at home. However, you will get so many hugs, and so many little kids excited about learning.
Kindergarten Teachers Must-Haves
In case you missed anything above, here’s a quick reference list. After the list, there are shorter paragraphs explaining why you will want each item.
You can also find the amazon items in my storefront, HERE.
- Teachers Backpack
- Flair Pens
- Dry-Erase Tape
- Read-Aloud Books
- Dry-Erase Pockets
- Flexible Seating
- Anchor Chart Paper
- Chart Paper Markers
- Counting Manipulatives
- Label Maker
- Pocket Charts
- Crayon Sharpener
- Storage Containers
- Laminator and Laminating Sheets
- Dry-erase pads
- Astrobright Paper
- Bean Bags
- Teacher Planner
- Foam Dice
- Magnetic Letters
- Magnetic Counters
- Wireless Doorbell
- Shaving Cream
- Alphabet Pocket Chart
- Crazy Straws for Birthday Surprises
- Shaving Cream
- Table Organizers
- Kindergarten Crate Subscription Box
- Poem of the Day
- Question of the Day
- Math Talks
Kindergarten Math Talks
I’m starting with my absolute favorite! Actually, there are three resources I couldn’t live without as a kindergarten teacher. Math Talks, Poem of the Day, and Question of the Day. I’ll touch on the other two, and other items listed, below.
Hands down – these math talks (digital and printable) will be your favorite kindergarten resource, too!
Student-led Math Talks about all of the kids favorite seasonal and holiday themes will quickly become the best part of the day!
Use code LEARNING at checkout to get 10% off your order!
Question of the Day
As your kids walk into the room, or sign in to remote learning, get them into a routine of answering the question of the day. Kids love this! A simple yes/no question gets them feeling as though they are a part of the classroom community. This fun activity leads into so many more learning opportunities, such as writing or journaling prompts, math lessons, etc.
Kindergarten Teachers Backpack
We are starting off with an essential that is just for you! A teacher bag, or teacher tote, is a must-have when teaching any grade level. However, when teaching kindergarten, you will need a large bag to carry home lots of items to prep. I’ve had tote’s in the past, but prefer a backpack. Either one is great to carry your lesson plans, materials, lunch bag, and laptop, in.
These flair pens will quickly become a staple in your kindergarten classroom. I stock up on these at the start of every school year!
You will want sharpies for labeling folders, binders, writing on zip-loc baggies, and so much more! I love the assorted pack with bright, vibrant, colors!
Classroom Dry-Erase Tape
This dry-erase tape is a game changer; turn any space into a dry-erase surface. You can use dry-erase tape as name tags on tables or desks, write daily learning goals, cubbies, labeling hallway displays, to write the sight word or letter of the day, etc.
Eric Carle Books
I absolutely love Eric Carle books, and believe they should be a staple in every kindergarten classroom! I read Brown Bear, Brown Bear at the beginning of each school year, and use Brown Bear printable resources as a follow-up. Then, throughout the year, I continue to introduce Eric Carle books. At the end of the year, the kids loved doing an author study.
Dry Erase Pockets
These dry-erase pockets are great for centers, small group practice, morning work, and so much more! Simply slide a worksheet into the pocket, and use your favorite dry erase marker. I love the dry erase pockets below, because they come with color coded dry-erase markers! Plus, the markers have erasers on them, which means you won’t have to search around for erasers in the middle of a lesson!
Flexible Seating in Kindergarten
Give students a choice to maximize learning. Wobble stools, cushions, scoop chairs, and ball chairs are just a few! If you’re lucky, you’re district will provide at least a few flexible seating options in each classroom. If not, create an amazon wishlist, and let your friends and family know what you’re saving up for.
Anchor Chart Paper
I’m obsessed with anchor charts! You can stick these post-it charts right to the wall, and not worry about finding a way to hang them. I also use lined chart paper for morning message, shared writing, weekend news, how-to-draw lessons, and so much more! Love, love, love these!
You will use these counting bears for counting, colors, sorting, graphing, matching, addition and subtraction. There are endless ways to use these manipulatives in the kindergarten classroom.
I had pockets charts all over my kindergarten classroom! Use them for word work, build-a-poems, building sentences, question of the day, and so much more!
Colorful Storage Container for Kindergarten Teachers
Oh. My. Goodness! These are ah-may-zing!!! Use these colorful storage containers for math talks, centers, task cards, build a poem word cards, and so much more!
I finally invested in my own Scotch laminator, and absolutely love it! I no longer have to wait in line at the laminating machine just to find out it is jammed or out of lamination. Plus, the lamination is better quality than the typical school film. I can’t believe I didn’t have this earlier in my career! The laminating sheets are a great value on Amazon!
Cotton Pads for Dry Erase
You may have read about these on my Basics of a Kindergarten Classroom post. These facial pads, or should we call them magic erasers, are a hit year after year!
I can’t think of a kindergarten teacher that doesn’t have an abundance of playdoh in their classroom. The more the merrier. You can use playdoh for fine-motor, letter building, word building, sight words, sensory stations, etc.
If you’re school doesn’t provide Astrobright colored paper, I strongly suggest investing in some. You’ll want to run off important forms and parent letters on this to catch the parents attention.
What teacher doesn’t have a planner? I like to have a desktop calendar, but also a planner that I can carry back and forth.
Bean bags are great for playing games. Games for kids can include board games, card games, music & movement, and more.
You’ll definitely want foam dice for math games and centers. Regular dice, however, are too noisy and easily distract others. But foam dice are silent, and nobody can get hurt if they “accidentally” get tossed too hard.
I should have put this first! No explanation needed. Every kindergarten classroom needs a set of magnetic letters.
Magnetic Counters for Tens Frames
You will be teaching base ten and introducing a fives frame and a tens frame. These magnetic counters are perfect for those lessons. You can also use them for counting the days of schools and daily number talks.
Clip boards are great for independent centers, such as write the room, and when doing work at the carpet area.
Alphabet Pocket Chart:
I have had my alphabet pocket chart for over a decade, and it is still like new! This can be it’s own center, or kept in the guided reading area. I love it because it comes with so many picture and letter cards.
I use crazy straws as a birthday gift! Simply tape the happy birthday printable tags to the top of crazy straws, pencils, or a treat to give to the kids on their birthdays.
So many kindergarten teachers swear by this! A wireless doorbell is great for getting the students attention, rather than using some traditional call and response methods for classroom management.
You’ll want an abundance of clothespins. You can use them for clip-card centers, or to hang student work. They are perfect for also helping the kids build their fine motor skills.
Oh, my love for binders! I used binders for the student’s Poetry Notebooks. We would learn a poem a week, and take home the binder over the weekend to read it to a family member. Get your FREE poetry guide, along with free printables to get you started!
Stickers for Kids
Kindergartners love stickers! Use them for student work, on tens frames, counting the days of school, or on sticker charts.
Shaving Cream for Kids
A class favorite every year! Use shaving cream for sensory-based writing, sight words, or make shaving cream playdoh!
Table organizers would sit in the center of each of my student’s table. They would house crayons, glue sticks, and scissors.
Chapstick for Positive Behaviors
Using chapstick as a smelly sticker, or smelly spot, has been my best classroom management strategy for kindergarten.
There are several ways in which I use smelly spots in the classroom. For example, when transitioning the kids to/from the carpet, I acknowledge those who go quietly and quickly, and quickly give them a swipe of smelly chapstick on the back of their hand as a reward! I also use them in small groups when students follow directions. The short video below demonstrates how I use chapstick for positive behavior in small groups.
Kindergarten Crate Subscription Box
Ok, so these might not be a “must-have”, but I promise you – once you get a Kindergarten Crate Box, you’ll understand why I love them so much!
Every month, a box arrives at your doorstep, complete with everything you need to teach that month’s theme. For example, you’ll get a teacher gift, craft supplies, a book to read aloud to the kids, and tons of math and language arts activities to go along with that story.
Go to KindergartenCrate.com and use code CORNER to get 10% off your order. Try it…you’ll love this kindergarten subscription box!
Before you go, here are a few blog posts you may enjoy:
115 Top Picks for Poem of the Day in Kindergarten
21 Best Educational Apps for Kids
Oh, these are wonderful ideas! Thank you!
jane roberts says
These items would make great teacher gifts. maybe let parents know if they wish to buy the teacher a gift let them know you would like things for the class room instead of tings they would never use.
Great idea, Jane. During open house, I used to set up a “we could use” table. I would write down items, such as the ones listed in this blog post, written on post-it notes. With no obligation to help, parents would voluntarily take a post-it and donate the item to our class. It was wonderful!
What is the purpose of a wireless doorbell?
Hi Alicis, wireless doorbells are a great alternative to traditional call and response classroom management techniques.
Melissa Pyatt says
They are also good if you have a runner. It can alert you and other teachers the door has opened.
Yes, Melissa, you are so right! I worked in a district where the majority of kids were emotionally disturbed. Needless to say, I have had more years with runners than without. Anything to keep them safe!