Back to School Essentials for Preschoolers

Given the amount of things required, some parents may feel like they are sending their three or four year old off to college, rather than preschool. While the specific essentials may vary from preschool to preschool, here’s a list of 10 typical essentials preschools require students to have.

A backpack. Even in preschool, your student will come home with classroom newsletters, permission slips, important information, craft projects and of course, the token school fundraiser order form. When choosing a backpack, be sure it’s the appropriate size for your preschooler. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a filled backpack should not be heavier than 10-20% of your child’s weight.

A Lunch Box. If your child will be in a full day program, packing lunch is essential. Kids who are used to eating a leisurely lunch may feel rushed to finish during the school day. Choosing a bento type lunch box, like one from Planet Box, can give her quick access to her food choices.

A Nap Mat. While some schools provide nap mats for the children, others require students to bring their own. Since rest and naptimes may be mandatory, you’ll want to be sure she has an appropriate place to rest.

A Pillow. A child’s size pillow is typically requested for naptime. A smaller 14 inch by 20 inch pillow is easier to tote around and will fit well on the nap mat.

A Blanket. In addition to the pillow, a small blanket may be required for naptime. is a great place to score handmade nap mat covers, personalized preschool sized pillow cases and blankets. You can even have the child's name embroidered onto them.

A Pillowcase. A pillow case is a great way to transport your child’s blanket and pillow to and from school. Ironing your child’s name onto the pillowcase can make it easier to keep track of at school and to transport home for weekly washing.

A Change of Clothes. Most preschools will require a complete set of seasonable clothes for each child. Messes and accidents happen, so it’s good to be prepared. Store the change of clothes in a zip top bag for easy keeping.

A Spare Pair of Shoes. In addition to the change of clothes, some schools even require a spare pair of shoes. Depending on the school, your child may have to change into slippers before entering the classroom. Some schools simply want an extra pair on hand should the others become wet or muddy.

Sunscreen. For parents that want their children to have sunscreen applied, the school will require a signed consent form and sunscreen. Some schools, however, will not apply sunscreen to children even with written consent.

Pull -Ups. For children who are just potty trained or not potty trained at all, Pull-Ups will be requested for nap time or for daily wear. Be sure to supply adequate changing supplies like wipes, to go along with them.

If your child is on medication or has allergies that may require an EpiPen, you’ll want to be sure the school is well aware of his condition and has the medication, a signed consent form and written instructions for use on hand.