School Supplies Shopping Expedition
- Shopping list
- Reusable bags
- Talk to the teacher. Find out what specific school supplies your teacher expects kids to have. School websites may provide lists, or your local stationery store may have a master list you can check.
- Shop at home first. What do you already have that you won't need to spend money on?
- Shop early ... or shop late! Prices go up right before school so look for school supplies early in the season or after school starts.
- Designate a study space. It doesn't have to be at a desk, but your child should have a place reserved for homework or school projects. Make sure it's well-lit and well-equipped.
- Go on a scavenger hunt. At the store, ask your child to point out folders, paper, notebooks, pencils, pens, markers, rulers, calendars, scissors, computers, printer ink, phones, printers, magazines and so on.
- Scout out shapes. Look for star-shaped stickers, round computer discs, rectangular bulletin boards, square note pads.
- Buy a master family calendar. Use it to keep track of your family schedule AND teach numbers, dates of the week, months of the year and holidays. Hang it in a prominent spot and cross off days as you go to help your child understand the passage of time.
- Hook it up. Buy a hook to hang your child's backpack near the back door or kitchen. Make sure the backpack is ready to go each night before bedtime.
- Zip it! Look for a zipper pouch for pencils, erasers and other small school supplies.
- Reuse and recycle. A big box of paper can store your child's artwork later. Use both sides of construction paper for drawings. Cut up used folders to make flash cards.
- Investigate. Ask your child these questions:
- How can we organize your artwork? (Take photos of it, hang it with magnets or pushpins, store in boxes, show it off in a portfolio.)
- Name three things you can do with a pencil.
- Name three things you can do with tape.
- What tools can you use to write the ABCs? (Pencils, pens, markers, chalk, paints, stencils, rubber stamps, computers.)
- Why are the letters on the keyboard of a computer not in alphabetical order?
- What tools can you find with numbers on them? (Calculators, computers, rulers, adding machines, clocks and so on.)
- What uses ink? (Printer, pen, copy machine.)
- Read all about it. Check out Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, Millions to Measure by David M. Schwartz, and My First Book of Cutting from Kumon.
Bonus Explorer Activity Have each child decorate a shoebox or cardboard box to make a personalized at-home school supply storage bin to keep near his study space.
For more exploring, play Dora's Great Big World game, find do-together Dora crafts, recipes, and activities, and print a personalized Explorer Kit for your child at DoraTheExplorer.com.
Thanks to Susan Hood
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