September is nearly here, which means many families have already devoted a significant amount of time to choosing the right preschool and emotionally preparing their preschool children for their first day. After all, 87% of five-year-olds in the U.S. were enrolled in preschool classes during 2015, so it’s likely your little one will be joining in very shortly. But for all you’ve done to ease the transition into this new routine, you’ll also need to ensure your child has everything they will physically need for the start of school.
In order to set preschool students up for success, teachers and staff will let parents know about the essentials that preschoolers should bring on the first day. It’s a good idea for you to gather these items ahead of time to avoid the last-minute rush (and to potentially grab some deals). Then, you and your child can pack these items so they’ll be ready to go when it’s time. Ultimately, having these essentials is just as important as choosing the right preschool. Both can allow your child to thrive in a new scenario. Here’s what you should make sure you pack for your child to bring to school.
- An age appropriate backpack: Make sure it’s comfortable, fits your child well, and can be opened and closed easily.
- An easy-to-open water bottle: Ideally, this water bottle should be spill-proof. Bonus points if it stays cold all day! Juice and milk may be an appropriate addition, too.
- Snacks and lunch: Make sure these items are packed in a lunchbox your child can open and that items stay chilled if necessary. Ask about any classroom allergy concerns beforehand.
- Extra clothing: Whether your child gets sweaty while playing, falls on the playground, or has a little accident, it’s a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes if they need to change throughout the day. A second pair of socks and underwear is usually advised.
- Protective outerwear: Depending on the climate, you may need to pack a sun hat or an extra layer (like a sweater) to ensure your child will be protected during outdoor time. Non-slip shoes are a must, as well!
- Bed linens: If choosing the right preschool for your child involved opting for a facility that provided cots, you may not necessarily need to provide much for nap time. Some preschools do ask that parents pack a sheet or blanket and a mat. Be sure to ask in advance and ensure all linens are laundered properly before and after use.
- Sunscreen: Regardless of how much time students spend outside, sunblock is a must! Sunburn can happen even on cloudy days and harmful UV rays can make their way through windows, so it’s important to protect your child from sun damage. Give the sunblock to the teacher for safekeeping upon arrival so it won’t be forgotten in a backpack.
- Comfort items: Even if choosing the right preschool was a breeze, that doesn’t mean the first day will be. Many parents pack along a comforting item from home to remind their children that everything will be okay. A stuffed animal or small toy can do the trick. It may never need to come out of their backpack, but your child may feel more emotionally confident knowing that it’s there.
- Medications: If your child regularly takes any medications, you’ll want to alert the school beforehand and supply these pharmaceuticals directly to them. Parents of children with food or environmental allergies should also let their school know prior to the first day and provide instructions pertaining to any incident that could occur. This will allow staff and other parents to adequately prepare and do everything possible to create a safe classroom environment.
- Requested items: Your preschool may request specific items unique to their program, including certain school supplies, indoor footwear, or any number of things. Make sure to comply with these requests as best as you can and ask for clarification prior to the first day, should you need it.
With your child’s first day of school fast approaching, now is the time to start gathering all of the necessary supplies. We’re here to clear up any questions you might have about first day essentials. For more information, contact us today.