Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, M.S. SpEd
Teaching the youngest learners is a tall order. Preschool teachers need to entertain, amuse, and delight their PreK posse, all the while providing them with their first academic experiences. And while every good preschool teacher undoubtedly has an impressive supply of games, stories, crafts, and activities in their arsenal, sometimes a little help, a little inspiration is needed to keep the kids interested, entertained, and ready to learn.
Here’s our pick for the best websites for preschool teachers who are looking for ideas, support, resources, and inspiration:
Class Dojo (classdojo.com)
Class Dojo is more than a website—it’s a classroom community that allows teachers, students, and parents to connect. And while many of the tools on this site are better suited for the K-8 classroom, we love the resources found here, such as activities focused on social and emotional learning.
This site even introduces preschoolers to the power of technology, as they can complete projects on a tablet and then use the upload feature to share them with their class dojo account.
Childhood 101 (childhood101.com)
Childhood 101 is like a little slice of heaven for the crafty preschool teacher. They’ve covered it all here: arts and crafts, the best books for kids, sensory play, outdoor play, science and nature, and much, much more. Free printables, crafts ideas, games, and ideas are organized with colorful photos and designs for maximum inspiration. We really love their book lists that cover nearly any theme or topic a preschool teacher could be looking to introduce.
Education.com doesn’t come free (there’s a small monthly fee for accessing most of the site), but the resources here may just be worth the fee. This site is jam packed with worksheets, activities, lesson plans, songs, stories, and games—more than 30,000, if you’re counting.
We’re also impressed with how easy it is for preschool teachers to design their weekly curriculum and handle their classroom prep through the site’s Weekly Boost feature. Plus, preschool teachers can provide parents with an access code that allows them to continue the learning at home.
PreKinders is a free resource for accessing a wealth of preschool inspiration. We love the Pre-K Activity Archive, where ideas, activities, and lesson plans are organized by learning areas (literacy, math, science, art, etc.), themes (families, pets, weather, bugs, etc.), and classroom ideas, which includes teacher tips and tech for teachers, among other resources.
For preschool teachers who want the ideas to come to them, PreKinder also has a free newsletter and weekly activities.
Preschool Inspirations (preschoolinspirations.com)
Preschool Inspirations is all about hands-on activities, from ‘How to Make a Pom Pom Christmas Tree Ornament’ to ‘How to Make a Color Mixing Sensory Bottle’ to ‘The Best Alphabet Bead Activities and Ideas.’
This isn’t the site for worksheet activities. For the get-your-hands-dirty kind of preschool teacher, this site it chocked full of activities that will keep little hands busy and little minds stimulated.
Teach Preschool (teachpreschool.org)
Teach Preschool is a fanciful resource for play-based preschool learning. While some of the content on the site requires a purchase (workshops and music downloads, for example), there are just as many free resources, such as DIY projects (DIY chalk paint is a great one.), STEM-related activities, and activities that build on literacy.
We also love the blog posts on this site; they’re totally worth the read for preschool teachers looking for sound advice on everything from teaching independence in a play-based classroom to teaching preschoolers about what it means to care for the environment.
A list of websites aimed at the best in preschool teacher inspiration is never complete without a shout-out to Pinterest, the place where every post is more interesting, more creative, more out-of-the-box than the next. This online tool allows preschool teachers to share images that they can then categorize into boards.
Just a sampling of the posts found here include how to make a math snack for preschoolers, touch and feel counting cards, and an ice cream and sprinkles alphabet writing tray. Every preschool teacher can pin, share, and create to their heart’s content using Pinterest.