Consider this article a public service announcement on behalf of early childhood teachers everywhere. With the back to school season upon us, we want everyone to get the best value and the best quality for their money. We will, of course, take whatever donations we are given, but because teachers work with these materials we have seen certain brands work better than others. And so, here is our Do NOT Buy These Back to School Supplies list on behalf of preschool, kindergarten, and first grade teachers.
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Do NOT buy off-brand crayons. Many off-brand crayons have color issues; blue comes out green and red comes out pink. When kids are learning the colors, learning to draw, and learning to write it is important that the tools they use accurately represent what they truly are. Stick with Crayola friends.
Do NOT buy purple glue. If your teacher is requesting glue stick, please buy the white ones. When young children glue, the glue tends to clump and not stay where it is supposed to. When you mix that with purple glue, it can just be a mess. White glue blends in with the paper and so the kids paper is not filled with purple globs when it is done.
Do NOT buy backpacks with rollers. It’s kindergarten friends. Students do not need a backpack with any sort of wheels on it. We are not using any heavy textbooks or anything more than a few papers. Why do I care? Well, because some years my classrooms had kids put the backpacks on the chairs. Wheels make this extremely difficult to do this. These bags are also typically a lot bigger and bulkier. It’s kindergarten.
Do NOT buy Trapper Keepers. LOL. If your child needs a folder for school, please just get them a plastic folder. If they need a binder, the teacher will ask for a binder. And if they ask for a binder, still don’t get them a Trapper Keeper.
Do NOT buy shoes with games on them. Sigh. Who invented these anyways? Shoes don’t need Simon Says on them or skates at the bottom. OK, that may be fun but it’s definitely a distraction in school. And consider, if it’s not distracting for your student who is wearing them, it WILL be distracting to others in the class.
Teachers really appreciate when families are able to purchase school supplies at the start of the years. We are genuinely appreciative of whatever you are able to do, but we want you decisions that support your students learning and help them to be the best they can be in their classroom. So all of this is said with love.