When you donate to a preschool classroom, it's not time to get rid of things you don't need. It's time to give the school things it does need. Because preschool classes tend to be "hands on," kids go through supplies fast. Think in terms of preschool activities, and you'll understand the kinds of donations that can really help out.

Art Supplies

When kids make art, they get everything on their hands, so make sure all of your art supply donations are non-toxic. Consider glue sticks, crayons, washable markers, finger paint, and pencils. While you're at it, think about giving them cotton balls, yarn, string, pipe cleaners and paint brushes. They can always use construction paper, plain white poster board or white drawing paper.

Science Activity Supplies

Little preschool scientists can't conduct sophisticated experiments, but they do explore the natural world, solve problems and learn to observe carefully. They can enjoy mirrors, prisms, magnifying glasses and scales. Think of useful items like tweezers, scissors, rulers and child-size microscopes. Kids can plant seeds, and they'll need a watering can for their plants. Books on plants and animals will help them learn as well.

Containers

Kids need plastic containers with lids, as well as plastic bags and paper plates. You should consider tape for keeping containers closed, as well as paper clips to seal plastic bags. Preschoolers can even use brown paper bags to store their personal supplies in. They can write their names on the bags. Pill boxes can allow them to store small items like beads.

Technology

Inexpensive and durable CD players can give kids the chance to listen to music. They can also listen to radios, or they can watch DVDs on portable players. Notebook-style computer games can teach them through interactive activities. They can use the touch screen to draw or indicate choices. Don't forget the software as well.

Gift Certificates

A gift certificate to a local school supply store will allow the teacher to purchase what she knows the kids need. Instead of telling the teacher what you will donate, a gift certificate allows the teacher to decide.