School is starting in less than a month! This is so hard to believe. Summer is nearly over. Getting him just the right preschool supplies will make little ones feel confident, secure, and prepared for their first day of school.
While for public school you are sure to get a full list of supplies needed, preschool can be a little different and not so clear. This is the third year my big guy has been at this half-day ECDC preschool. They never really had any kind of list to go by but these are some basics that most likely every preschooler will need.
While they make smaller backpacks designed specifically for toddlers and preschoolers, I think they are too small. They won’t even hold a regular folder. Instead, opt for a small size backpack. Many mainstream stores have a lot of options these days for child-friendly backpacks. Pottery Barn Kids, Land of Nod, LL Bean and Lands End to name a few. Amazon also has a huge selection of backpacks. We opted for are the Wildkin backpacks. They have great designs and are super sturdy. My dino loving toddler has a new dino coordinating set for lunch, backpack and more if we needed.
Wildkin is so cool because they have so many things in their coordinating designs. Backpacks, lunch boxes, sleeping bags, and duffel bags to name a few. To continue the theme of dinosaurs we opted for the Wildkin Lunch Box.
Lunch boxes are out, Bento boxes are in. We opted for Bentgo Kids Children’s Lunch Box. The idea of a Bento box is new to me, but the idea of being able to pack a lot of healthy foods in an easy to open container seems perfect. This particular one is the perfect size for little people and is to clean and pack.
To keep lunch cool, we opted for these super cute ice packs in boy designs. It fits well with the Bentgo box in the matching Wildkin lunch box. An ice pack that fits easily with the lunch box you’ll be using is important because if it is too small it will not keep things cool and if it is too big you will not have room for anything else.
Camelbak water bottles are amazing. They are easy to drink from and they do not spill. I get my little ones to start using them at about 9 months. Big boy drinks a lot of water throughout the day so I am upgrading him to a larger bottle and to make it fun we are going to decorate it with dinosaur stickers. I love though the kids’ size Camelbaks that have great designs like dinosaurs.
A Sleeping Bag or Blanket and Pillow
Many preschools have a nap or rest time, especially if it is an all-day preschool. My big boy goes to just a half-day center, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm and they do not have a nap time. Wildkin has the most adorable nap mats though and will surely make even the most energetic kiddos want to curl up and relax for a bit.
Many schools provide bedding, but if your little one snoozes easier with familiar items, send them along, fully labeled. This may deter lice infestations that happen a lot at this age group. If he is addicted to a pacifier, like my little guy, send that along as well.
Diapers / Pull-Ups
Our school starts at 18 months so there are many classrooms where changing diapers is still part of the daily routine. My big boy is a bit late to the potty training game, he is just not ready and I am not sure if he will be before starting the three-year-old class. We will have to make sure that there are enough diapers or pull-ups for each day of class.
Some toddlers may only need to wear pull-ups or diapers during nap time. Slip two or three into the backpack, even if your child insists it’s not necessary. Better safe than sorry.
We purchase the Mama Bear brand from Amazon and we love these diapers. Baby boy has been using them since birth and we switched our big boy a year ago. The price is right and with subscribe and save I don’t have to worry about running out of diapers.
Wet wipes are a necessity in so many places. I have packages in the car, in each backpack, and each room of the house. They are a given for diaper changes but also great to have on hand to clean up sticky hands. We go back and forth between buying the Kirkland brand at Costco and the Mamma Bear brand from Amazon. Both are great quality.
Change of Clothes
Kids are so messy and time at preschool will not change this. A change of clothes in the backpack is essential for these moments. Make sure the clothes are seasonally appropriate. In Texas, the weather can change on a dime, so I usually have pants, a short-sleeve shirt, and a jacket. Whether it is an accident or a spill of paint, a change of clothing will come in handy. I pack a mesh bag for the new clothes and include a Ziploc Bag so dirty clothes can be easily packed as needed.
I recently wrote about Sticky Monkey Labels, a huge favorite of mine. They are great for labeling preschooler’s clothing, jackets, and personal belongings. While you can also use an old fashioned Sharpie to label belongings, these labels are cost-effective, dishwasher safe and have the most adorable designs!
Folders for Art Projects
I love these thin but multi-folders that I found on Amazon. I have one of these in our big boy’s backpack so I can immediately add all his artwork that gets sent home from time to time. This six-pack has enough for all your little ones to stay organized. At the end of the year, I organize all his items into a larger file folder box that is separated by every year of school. This box has more information, almost a scrapbook type, of teachers, school location and other tidbits.
Usually preschools are stocked with oodles of art and educational supplies, but certainly ask your school or teacher if you should provide any glue, paint, paper, pencils, crayons, etc. It’s a good idea to stock up on these items at home, too, to keep the creativity going and growing. These items may include:
- Number 2 Pencils
- Handheld pencil sharpener
- 5-inch blunt tip scissors
- Glue stick
- Crayon sharpener
- Colored pencils
- Watercolor paint
Are you sending your child off to preschool? What’s on YOUR shopping list?