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Ten Teacher-Approved Learning Tools That Your Tot or Preschooler Needs For This Back to School Season

As a mom who’s also a teacher, I feel like I am always trying to follow my one-year-old’s lead and find fun opportunities to teach him more about whatever he is currently interested in. Right now, he’s all about markers. He’s pretty much a walking rainbow by the end of the day.

Sometimes, we do the fancy, Pinterest-mom stuff when I’m feeling super motivated. More often than not, though, we keep it pretty simple because, lets be honest…who really has extra energy after chasing around a toddler? (PS: I have the dark circles under my eyes and a lukewarm cup of coffee at 2 PM to prove it!)

Either way, I’ve come up with a list of ten, teacher-approved learning tools that your tot or preschooler needs for this back-to-school season. Even if your little one isn’t heading off to school quite yet, there’s no reason they can’t join the back-to-school fun and jump into some easy learning right at home!

Honeysticks Crayons


These natural, beeswax crayons are free of icky chemicals and safe for even the littlest artists! Beeswax is safe to chew and difficult to snap, which means no more broken crayons. These crayons come in three sizes for different ages.

Wooden Alphabet Tracing Board

bannor toys

Practice recognizing and forming letters with this natural wood, tracing board by Bannor Toys. Younger kids can trace with their fingers, while older kids can use the walnut “pencil” stylus. It’s also fun for crayon rubbing or filling the letters with beans or beads. Bannor Toys products are made in the midwestern United States from responsibly harvested, American hardwood.

Fiskars Starter Scissors

fiscal scissors

Fiskars has become the gold standard for school scissors, and these starter scissors live up to the same reputation! Fiskars Starter Scissors are spring-loaded with a plastic blade to help little hands safely master the opening and closing motion needed for cutting.

Book of Dressing Frames

book of dressing frames

If you’re a caregiver who worries about your little one being “school ready” when they start preschool or kindergarten, the best thing you can help them with is practical life skills! Practice buttoning, zipping, snapping and more with this Book of Dressing Frames by Treasure Trunk. These dressing frames are soft-sided and washable making them great for both at home and on the go!

Veggie Baby Paints

tempera paint

Veggie Baby paints are organic, fruit and vegetable based paints that are perfect for little artists of any age. Available in both tempera and finger paint, the all natural paints are safe if ingested and easy to clean up! Veggie Baby paints are sold in packs of five colors and come in a powder form. Just add water when you’re ready to paint! 

Kid of the Village Educational Prints

nature print

This mom-owned, small business combines modern, neutral aesthetic with kid-friendly visuals! (We have these art prints in our playroom, and I am OB-SESSED.) The educational print series includes themes like numbers, letters, weather, bugs, and botanicals, which are all beautifully crafted in earthy colors and realistic detail.

Wooden Marker Stand

marker stand

Probably the simplest item you’ll find on this list, a wooden marker stand is a practical addition to your little one’s creative space. This wooden marker stand will help keep your marker caps and lids together, which means no more dry markers!

Nature’s 123 Flash Cards

flash cards

Practice number recognition and counting objects with these beautifully illustrated, animal flashcards from artist Jo Collier. The cards are printed in a matte laminate finish to help protect them from sticky, little fingers.

Wipeable Craft Smock

Wipeable Smock

If you love creativity but don’t want more laundry, this wipeable craft smock is perfect for your little one! This craft smock by Go Gently Nation is acrylic coated, organic cotton which makes wearing it comfy and cleaning it easy!

Magnification Blocks

magnification blocks

Help your little one explore the world around them with these magnifying blocks. This block set includes six blocks with hardwood frames and magnifying, acrylic window centers. The blocks can be used for building and stacking or examining the details of treasures found indoors and outdoors.

Back-to-school outfit for your preschooler

About the Author

Brittani is a thirtysomething wife to Jeff and momma to one year-old, Louie. When she isn’t chasing around a rascally toddler, she works full time as an elementary educator in an urban school district, teaching many immigrant and refugee students. At home and in the classroom, she’s a firm believer that play is learning and mess is creativity! Over the weekend, you can catch her DIYing her latest home renovation project, sipping an iced coffee with oat milk, or exploring St. Louis with her family! 

Brittani Allen

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