Teaching Tools

Three Teaching Tools

Everything is easier if you have the right tools. For example, the thimble is one of the basic tools for any quilter. I was updating a fellow quilting buddy that I was hand-sewing the binding on a quilt. I must have mentioned using a thimble, because that is when she told me she has never used a thimble. I was so surprised and wanted to react, “What?!” I still cannot imagine doing all that hand sewing without using a thimble. This little tool is such a help on the tip of your finger as you pull the needle and thread through the fabric over and over. It keeps your finger from getting sore, too. My friend said that no one ever showed her how to use a thimble when she was starting out, so she had just never picked one up.

This made me wonder about basic tools for preschool teachers that everyone should know about. What are the tools we use to help make teaching easier? I will share the top 3 tools on my list.

Ziplock bags: I couldn’t do without them! I use them in several ways.

  • Store items from the Mission Friends Resource Kit and Pictures. The pictures fit in a gallon bag, and these can be wiped off when used with babies, ones, and twos. Some resource kit items have several pieces, and the quart bags are good to keep puzzles or matching game pieces together.

  • Use a ziplock bag for a paint mixing experiment in which preschoolers use their fingers to move the paint around in a freezer bag sealed shut with duct tape.

  • Make books by putting several bags together. Make a seed book by placing seeds and the seed envelope in a bag and seal. Place different seeds in several bags. Use duct tape to bind the sealed edges together. Use ziplock bags in a similar way to make books with pictures of families, flowers, or animals.

  • Supervise preschoolers at all times with plastic bags.


Painter’s tape: This tape comes off easier than masking tape, so I use it for temporary purposes.

  • Post teaching pictures on the wall.

  • Mark off a hopscotch game on the floor.

  • Make lines on the floor (straight, zig-zag, wavy) for preschoolers to walk along.

  • Mark off the boundaries of an interest area.

  • Tape a plastic table cover onto the table so it will not shift during an art activity.

  • Tape a city mat to the floor in Blocks.


Plastic tubs: Keep your room neat with different size tubs.

  • Use a plastic tub on a towel for a water or sand tub.

  • Use a tub as a baby doll bed.

  • Organize art supplies in tubs.

  • Place nature items in tubs (pinecones, seashells, etc.).

  • Store dress-up clothes in a tub.

  • Keep homemade play dough in a tub to last longer.

  • Store toy food in tubs.

  • Place block accessories in tubs.


Have you used these tools in different ways? What else would you include in your list of basic tools for preschool teachers? Tell us on our Facebook page.

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