Once again, school is in just over a month. This year Big Guy is starting Kindergarten (cue the tears!), and little man is going to an immersion Spanish preschool (exciting!). This past year we did not have school, with everything going on. So now I am back in planning mode to get all the supplies for my 3-year-old preschooler, and my Kindergartner.
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. I just absolutely love all the coordinating patters of this brand. There are so many patterns to choose from. Both of my boys are Dino-Crazy, and they actually have a green pattern and a blue pattern to match with my color-coordinating mom hack.
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 Guy 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.
Nap Time Essentials
Blanket and Pillow in One
Many preschools have a nap or rest time, especially if it is an all-day preschool. My Big Guy used to go 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. Little Man’s new school will have nap time, so I am looking into purchasing supplies. The school he is going to is still half-day but has a nap time. They are requesting a nap map, and he can take a blanket or cuddly.
Many schools start at 18 months, and do not require potty-training for the littles. Big Guy’s preschool was like this, and he wore diapers / pull-ups all the way into the 3-year-old classroom. Big Guy was a bit late to the potty training game, he was just not ready, so he wore pull-ups into his 3-year-old school year.
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. Little Man has been using them since birth, and we switched our Big Guy 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, and more. We go back and forth between buying the Kirkland brand at Costco and the Mamma Bear brands from Amazon. Both are great quality.
Kids are messy and accidents happen. Preschool will be no exception. 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.
Art Project & More Supplies
My favorite part about preschool is the art projects. I am not great at crafts myself, and so I go absolutely giddy for the things that they make. They bring home a lot though. Between daily worksheets, daily art, and special art projects it adds up fast. Amazon has some thin multi-folders, that I absolutely love. I used one of these in Big Guy’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.
Since the preschool supplied most of the supplies for artwork, I didn’t have to provide any, but with the pandemic, we got into coloring and doing more crafts. I love the Create & Carry set from Crayola that includes markers, crayons, and small pieces of construction paper. Everything fits perfect in the case and it stores so nicely. For the car we have a similar set that has the mess free markers!
Of course, now that big guy is headed to Kindergarten, we are buying so many more supplies. Things I didn’t even know existed like a Primary Composition book! Some supplies, I want to make sure to have a home set for homework, and crafts, like glue, kid-friendly scissors, crayons, and markers.
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
If you have followed me for a while, you know I LOVE Sticky Monkey Labels. 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!
My boys love their labels. Big Guy’s theme from birth was a robot and from his first days of preschool he has had adorable robot labels. Even for labeling toys or items that we have two identical ones (not able to color code) they love it. Little Man’s theme was a panda, and we found matching stickers for him. The company is run by a lovely mamma, and they are so accommodating. I just needed one size and wanted to different prints and colors, and they did it without charging for two sets!! They are amazing.
Are you sending your child off to preschool? What’s on YOUR shopping list?