The Kindergarten Must-Haves: Classroom Supplies and Materials

kindergarten must have supplies

Preparing for the start of a new school year can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to stocking up on supplies for your kindergarten classroom. To help you get organized, we’ve put together a list of must-haves that will ensure your students have everything they need to start learning and having fun. From crayons to storybooks, these essentials will make your classroom a welcoming and engaging space for young learners.

Crayons, markers, colored pencils, and pencils

kindergarten must haves coloring tools

No kindergarten classroom is complete without a variety of coloring tools. Crayons, markers, and colored pencils are essential for art projects, coloring pages, and other creative activities. The best brand that I have found is Crayola, specifically for crayons and colored pencils I highly recommend Twistables by Crayola. They are a bit more expensive, but they last so much longer because they are plastic. So, you don’t need too many packs on hand. No more crayon wrappers littered all over the place. No more needing colored pencils sharpened. The children can just twist up to get more crayon or colored pencil tip! When I introduce the materials to the students I make a big show of not twisting out too much of the crayon/colored pencil (otherwise they break easily).

For pencils, I love having a mix of pencils for students to use. I love the thicker “handwriting” Ticonderoga pencils. These thicker pencils are easier for students to grip when working on their fine-motor skills. Tiny golf pencils are also great for students who struggle with handwriting. Finally, the PaperMate mechanical pencils are so fantastic for young children, because they are thick, but also because there is no more waiting for a sharpened pencil. I teach my students exactly how to push out more lead and not get too much. I love having these in my pencil cup for students to choose between.

Kindergarten Must-Haves: Table Bins

kindergarten must have table supplies

The way that I organize my supplies for students is in table bins. I have a long bin that I put four cups inside (this way, if I only need pencils for an activity, I can just grab the pencil cup for each table. One of the cups has pencils, one for colored pencils, one has crayons, and the last cup is for markers. The marker cup can only hold so much because they are so thick. If two students need the same color marker, we talk about how they can be flexible and wait their turn, use a colored pencil or crayon instead, or borrow an extra marker from the communal marker bin. I like having big communal bins of extra pencils, crayons, colored pencils, and markers so that if something goes wrong with a supply they are using or they need to borrow an extra one, they can just go take it. They don’t need to ask me for help.

Other Classroom Supplies

kindergarten must haves supplies

In addition to extra pencils, crayons, colored pencils, and markers, I keep bins of communal supplies that students will occasionally need, but not as frequently. For example, glue sticks (the purple is the best because students can see how much glue they are using), highlighters, white board markers and erasers, post-it notes, and scissors. When I need to use these supplies, I have my supply manager (one of our classroom jobs) pass out one of each to every student. I also want to highly recommend that you invest in Magic Erasers – they are the only thing to clean off every little mark on your tables and they erase dry erase sheets and boards perfectly!

Kindergarten Must-Haves: Literacy Supplies

kindergarten must haves literacy supplies


If you are starting a brand-new classroom that has nothing and are in need of books, start by asking your school what they can provide. You never know until you ask! After that, look in Facebook marketplace or yard sales for beginning readers. I would invest in a few decodable readers, because those will be the most beneficial for your students this year.

Writing paper

You’ll want to have a few different options on hand for writing paper choices for students to use during writing lessons, but also throughout the day! If you let them write when they want, they’ll be inspired to write more! I would have a few options for the amount of lines. The first couple of months they will only need 1 or 2 lines per page. As the year progresses, some students will be ready for 2-4 lines per page and some will be ready for more! You’ll want to get to know your writing curriculum, handwriting curriculum, and students before getting all these pages ready. But think about where in your classroom students can get the paper and see the options they can choose between.

Fix-it tape

One of the most beneficial writing supplies I have in my classroom is “Fix-It Tape”. This saves so many tears about mistakes in their writing. We specifically use felt-tip pens for writer’s workshop and keep them in their writing folder. Some students get overwhelmed with the possibility of making mistakes that they don’t write anything. Knowing that they can easily cover up a mistake is such a relief to them. Of course, before I show them this tool, I teach them how to only take a small piece at a time.

Writing folder

I give each student a writing folder to house all of their writings for the unit. After the unit is over, I send home any of their unpublished works. The left side of the folder has a green dot, that symbolizes keep working, and the right side of the folder has a red dot, that symbolizes all done.

Ideally, you’ll have a space to put an alphabet chart or other resources for students. If you don’t, you can always staple a page protector to the back so you can slide the resource pages in and out. You can also put plastic photo stands on the tables during writing with table alphabet charts and other resources for students.

Book bag

You’ll want a way for students to store the books that they will be reading. There are book bins and book bags. For young students, their books are so small and thin, that the best storage I found was book bags. Book bins take up so much space in the classroom, and they aren’t ever full for the younger readers. I like that I can put the book bins together into one table bin for easy grab-and-go storage.

Kindergarten Must-Haves: Math Supplies

kindergarten must haves math supplies


Almost every math activity that I use with my students involves dice. I like to have 6-sided dot dice for most games. Sometimes, I add in dice that have numerals on them, instead of dice. This makes it harder for students to add two dice together, because they can’t rely on counting the dots. Additionally, these dice are good for number recognition. It’s also helpful to have some blank dice on hand so you can write on them if you need different number for an activity.

When thinking about how to use dice in the classroom, it will help to have a plan for managing the dice. Felt squares are great to minimize the noise in the classroom with all the dice being used, and to have a clear visual of where the dice should go. I personally use plastic trays (like the kind from frozen meals) for the students to aim and contain their dice as they’re using it.

Number Cards

If I’m not using dice for an activity, I’m using number cards. The number cards are either 1-10 or 0-10. I love cards that have symbols of the number shown, so that students can count the objects to help add multiple dice together. If you can’t find these cards, grab some hand-me-down deck of cards and take out the face cards. These will be really good to have on hand for math activities. One management tip is to put a tiny sticker or draw a tiny colored dot on each set and then put the cards in a plastic bag with the same sticker or colored dot on the bag. This will help keep the sets separate from each other.


You will need many different kinds of counters for children to count and sort and organize. You can get a collection of random items from almost anywhere- nature, recycling, yard sales, your grandmother’s collections, etc. One set of counters you should definitely have is chips – two-sided counters with red and yellow (or any color really). I love using these to help teach number decomposition, but also they are perfect for bingo-related games. You will also need some kind of cubes for activities. I like to organize mine by color.

To see what supplies I have for teaching math in small groups, check out this blog post!

Kindergarten Must-Have Play Supplies

I have a whole blog post on my top five play kindergarten must-have supplies! The main takeaway is to try and get open-ended materials that can be used for a variety of types of play. (Tip: these can also be used for counters in math!)


Preparing your classroom is a big part of the job of becoming a kindergarten teacher. Having the right supplies and materials can help you create a space that is conducive to learning and is comfortable for your students. By gathering the right items, you’ll be ready to start off the school year right and ensure that your students have everything they need.


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