preschool essentials

Preschool Essentials – Checklist

This post is all about preschool essentials.

preschool essentials

Are you new to parenthood or preparing to send your little one off to preschool? It’s an exciting but overwhelming milestone that can leave you with many questions about what your child needs to be ready. From clothing to supplies, the choices can be daunting when researching preschool essentials. To help you get started, this guide will provide an overview of essential items to help make your child’s preschool experience the best it can be. We will cover topics such as comfort items, accessories, school supplies, and more. So don’t stress! With the help of this guide, you can ensure your child is well-prepared for their first day.

Your child’s school will likely provide you with a list of items they need, but here is a list to ensure you’re fully prepared!

As a means for providing for my family I may earn a small commission if you purchase through the links on this page.


1. backpack

Backpack is an obviously preschool essential. They’ll need to this transport their lunch, snacks, schoolwork, and nap items. I love this Simple Modern brand because of the quality, pockets, and size. I also love that it comes in so many different patterns, so your little preschooler can pick one that they LOVE. Having a fun new backpack can also help combat the separation anxiety at drop-off. (It always helped my daughter to have a fun backpack or new outfit that she was excited about.)

Simple Modern Toddler Backpack for School Girls | Kindergarten Elementary Kids Backpack | Fletcher Collection | Kids – Medium (15″ tall) | Unicorn Fields
  • Kids Backpack: Unicorn Fields school backpack great for ages 4 and up
  • Spacious: Measures 15.25″x12.5″x5.25″ with 12L Capacity
  • School Ready: Features a padded tablet sleeve, a large zip-closure front pocket, a zip-closure stash pocket, and two expandable bottle sleeves on the sides
  • Durable: Made from easy-to-clean polyester and built with padded, adjustable shoulder straps with reinforced stitching and buckle


2. Insulated lunch Box

The school will likely not refrigerate the packed lunches, so you’ll want to get an insulated lunchbox to carry their lunch and snack items. Bentgo Brand makes great ones. And they fit the kid’s Bento Boxes perfectly. There’s also tons of pattern options perfect for any boy or girl.

Bentgo® Kids Lunch Bag – Durable, Double Insulated, Water-Resistant Fabric, Interior & Exterior Zippered Pockets, Water Bottle Holder – Ideal for Children 3+ (Unicorn)
  • #1 LUNCH BAG BRAND: Say hello to premium materials, detailed finishes, and ultra-thick, double insulation that keeps your child’s meals fresher for longer. Bentgo Kids Lunch Bag…
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE: From the water-resistant exterior to the padded, thermal lunch compartment, this reusable lunch bag was made to stand the test of time. The strong YYK…
  • MULTIPLE CARRYING OPTIONS: When you need customization, our kid’s lunch bag delivers. A padded handle allows for comfortable carrying, or an adjustable strap easily fits around…
  • MAKE IT A BENTGO SET: There’s a print for every personality carried across our Kids Prints collection of lunch bags, lunch boxes, utensils, water bottles, and backpacks! An…
  • PURCHASE WITH A PURPOSE: Bentgo continues to be a proud supporter of Feed the Children, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that gives hope and resources for hungry children and families. Since…


3. bento Box

Bento boxes are an absolute must in my book. And the Bentgo brand are my favorites. I have 3 of them that I rotate throughout the week to make sure I always have a clean one ready to pack the night before. Not only are bento boxes for kids great, but the different compartments force me to pack a balanced meal with some variety. As an added bonus, it’s always satisfying seeing the final packed lunch, full of color!

Bentgo® Kids Prints Leak-Proof, 5-Compartment Bento-Style Kids Lunch Box – Ideal Portion Sizes for Ages 3 to 7 – BPA-Free, Dishwasher Safe, Food-Safe Materials (Dinosaur)
  • #1 LUNCH BOX BRAND*: Bentgo Kids has upgraded America’s favorite one-of-a-kind children’s lunchbox with fun prints and patterns that showcase your child’s personality….
  • LEAK-PROOF TECHNOLOGY: Keeps meals and snacks fresh and mess-free during transport – Designed with 2 kid-friendly latches that are easy for small hands to open and close
  • DROP-PROOF DESIGN: Constructed with durable, rubber-coated edges that are slip and slide proof while meal prepping on the kitchen counter – The sturdy design even protects the…
  • MICROWAVE AND DISHWASHER-SAFE: Removable compartment tray reheats food safely in the microwave and cleans up easily in the dishwasher (hand washing is recommended for the outer…


4. ice Packs

You’ll need some icepacks to keep your preschooler’s lunch fresh. Bentgo Brand takes the cake on this one too! They come in 10 different shapes to make lunch time extra fun. My preschooler picked the Fairy ones, which are super cute!

Bentgo® Buddies Reusable Ice Packs – Slim for Lunch Boxes, Bags, and Coolers Multicolored 4-Pack (Unicorn)
  • CHARMING & COLORFUL: Add a touch of fun to lunchtime with this 4-piece set of ice packs in kid-friendly designs and bright hues
  • KEEPS FOOD & DRINKS COLD: Freezes quickly and helps food and beverages stay cold up to 4 hours — ideal for school, work, picnics, game day, and more.
  • ULTRA-SLIM DESIGN: Measuring just about 0.5” thick, each slim ice pack fits perfectly into any lunch bag or cooler and leaves maximum room for food and beverages
  • 100% SAFE & NON-TOXIC: Made with durable and reusable food-grade safe plastic that contains no BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead, or vinyl


5. Spill-Proof Water Cup

You’ll need to send them to preschool with a spill-proof water cup every day. You likely already have some of these stocked up, but if not, you’ll need to get a few. I highly recommend the THERMOS FUNTAINER. Not only to they come in lots of fun designs, but you can completely pop out the straw area and clean it through the dishwasher. So there’s no hidden mold anywhere! To top it off, you can buy replacement straws, so you can switch out the straw/sipper periodically. (A set of two replacement straws are only $4.99 right now!)

THERMOS FUNTAINER Water Bottle with Straw – 12 Ounce, Purple Hearts – Kids Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle with Lid
  • Stays cold: THERMOS vacuum insulation technology keeps drinks cold for up to 12 hours. Our stainless steel water bottles are built so their drinks are as cool on the inside as they…
  • Kid-friendly design: This reusable metal water bottle is lightweight and compact with a push button lid so it’s easy to carry and open. The integrated carry handle features a…
  • Daily durability: Perfect kids water bottle for school and daily use. Made with high-quality 18/8 stainless steel construction to handle drops, dings and provide everyday…
  • Easy care and cleaning: Help keep germs away with a hygienically covered pop-up straw that’s also removable for easy cleaning. This kids water bottle is dishwasher safe, though…
  • Protect what you love: With 120 years of heritage, Thermos Brand food and beverage containers keep things fresh, sealed and protected. Trusted since 1904 because our products help…


6. Water-Proof Labels

You’ll need to label all of your child’s belongings when sending them to preschool. (Lunchboxes, water cups, bento boxes, etc.) Having water-proof labels like these make it MUCH easier!

Baby Bottle Labels for Daycare, Self-Laminating, Waterproof Write-On Name Labels, Assorted Sizes & Colors, Pack of 64
  • Large labels measure 2.36”×0.63” and small ones measure 1.28”×0.63”.
  • Self-laminating labels with an extra layer provide protection from water, smudging and rubbing off.
  • Durable labels stay in place over time without peeling and are removable without leaving a sticky residue behind.
  • Features a variety of kid-friendly patterns and bright colors. Perfect for identification and organization.
  • BPA free. Waterproof, dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe.


7. Crib Sheet

No, you’re preschool will not sleep in a crib at naptime, but the crib sheets fit the cots that they use. (Most daycare centers have cots for the children to take naps on, but check with your specific school.) I swear by these sheets because they are SO buttery soft! It comes in a 2-pack with lots of fun pattern options to fit your little one’s personality.

Stretchy Fitted Crib Sheets Set BROLEX 2 Pack Portable Crib Mattress Topper for Baby Boys Girls,Ultra Soft Jersey,Full Standard,Elephant & Whale
  • FITS MOST STANDARD CRIB MATTRESS: Stop worrying whether this crib sheet set is going to fit your portable crib mattress pad- thanks to its thoughtful constructions, our portable…
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: ultra soft jersey knit of the bassinet sheets are going to treat you baby’s skin like royalty- forget about rashes and undesirable skin infections!
  • CLEAN IT WITHOUT HASSLE: This fitted crib sheet set topper can be cleaned easily and effortlessly, as it’s machine washable.
  • APPLY IT WITHIN SECONDS: Thanks to the elastic bottom ,those convertible crib mattress topper can be applied within seconds and guarantees to stay in place no matter what.


8. nap Time Blanket

Any of their blankets from home would be a good choice. Preferably a blanket they use often and would find some comfort in while away from home. Or if your school doesn’t offer cots, you’ll want to grab a Nap Mat (with built in pillow and blanket)

TANOSHII® Toddler Nap Mat with Pillow and Blanket, Portable Kids Sleeping Mats for Daycare, Preschool, 21″ x 53″, Lightweight and Soft Sleeping Bags for Kids (Mermaid, 21″ x 53″)
  • Extra-Large and Thick: Compared with similar mats for kids, our sleeping mat is extra large and thicker, measuring 21″ x 53″ . This size is ideal as it can accommodate kids of most…
  • Comfortable and Soft: Our nap mat with pillow and blanket is made with high-quality poly microfiber. Materials that are free of harsh chemicals, super soft. No worry about getting…
  • Convenience Design: Carrying handle, Secure strap closure, Name tag with clear window included for easy identification. The kids nap mat can be rolled up, Its travel-friendly…
  • Easy Care: This nap mat is machine washable. Place your nap mat in a washer in cold water on a gentle cycle and tumble dry on low heat, do not iron, do not bleach.


9. comfortable Shoes

Open-toed shoes are not typically allowed at preschool because it can be a safety hazard when they’re on the playground. You’ll want to ensure they have a comfortable pair of shoes that will be good for lots of running around! Get ones that are easy to take on and off as well! You don’t want to be dealing with that struggle in the morning, and you won’t want to put the preschool teachers in a frustrating situation with difficult shoes! (They typically keep their shoes on all day, but kids will be kids.)

Merrell Trail Chaser Hiking Sneaker, Navy/Green, 10 US Unisex Little Kid
  • Hook and loop closure provides precise and secure fit
  • Suede and mesh upper
  • Eva removable footbed
  • Non-marking outsole with M Select GRIP for superior traction


10. Wet Dry Bags

Even when children are potty-trained, accidents are bound to happen. So you’ll need a Wet Dry Bag to keep in your kids cubby.

ALVABABY 2pcs Cloth Diaper Wet Dry Bags Waterproof Reusable with Two Zippered Pockets Travel Beach Pool Daycare Soiled Baby Items Yoga Gym Bag for Swimsuits or Wet Clothes L2933
  • Fashion , Reusable&Waterproof , High quality -A trim and attractive design. ALVABABY wet/dry bag are made from waterproof 100% polyester, put dirty cloth diapers in a wet bag. Comes with handle for easy carrying or attaching to your diaper bag or stroller.
  • Double Zippered - TWO Zippered compartments for keep wet and dry things separate. Each bag contains a “wet” section that is sewn and sealed for no wicking or leaking.


11. Extra Clothes (Including Underwear)

These preschool essentials are often forgotten about! Your preschooler will need an extra set of clothes (including underwear) to keep at school incase of an accident.

12. Lunch and Snack Items

Stock up on all the favorite snack and lunch items! If you haven’t already, try out Amazon Fresh! Amazon Fresh offers grocery delivery on TONS products – from a complete grocery selection to everyday essentials, toys, gifts and more.

I also really like using these re-usable snack bags. Not only is it better for the environment, but as an added bonus…it saves money from constantly re-buying plastic bags! And yes, they are dishwasher safe!


13. sunscreen

Especially during the summer months, you’ll need to send a bottle of sunscreen to your child’s preschool. Keep in mind that most preschools will not allow the aerosol bottles. My preschooler has very sensitive skin, and I also just try to stay away from highly toxic brands. So after some research, Blue Lizard has become one of my favorite sunscreen brands to use on my preschooler, and for our whole family.

BLUE LIZARD Kids Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ 5oz Tube, cream
  • #1 pediatrician recommended mineral-based sunscreen brand with broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 50+ – Mineral active Zinc Oxide provides broad spectrum protection
  • We love the reef sunscreen – Contains no Oxybenzone and no Octinoxate to help protect delicate coral reefs
  • Always mineral-based – Combining mineral and chemical UV protectors for water-resistant performance you can trust
  • Paraben-free and fragrance-free – Contains no fragrances or parabens, making it ideal for sensitive skin


14. Diapers, Wipes, Diaper Cream

If your child isn’t potty trained yet, you’ll need to send diapers, wipes and diaper cream to school. Some preschools may require your preschooler to be potty trained before they start, so definitely check with them. (Check out this post of the 15 Best Potty Training Books for Parents and Toddlers!)

15. Seasonal Outerwear

Your preschooler will get outside time year round, as long as the weather is safe. So you’ll need to be prepared with heavy coats, mittens and hats for winter, and light jackets for the spring and fall months.

16. Any Needed Medication

If your child requires any daily medication that will need to be administered by the school staff, make sure that is documented and communicated to the school director and staff.

17. preschool Resource Bundle

Make sure your toddler is ready for preschool with this 100 page Toddler/Preschooler Resource Bundle!

100 Page Instant-Download Printable Bundle full of resources for toddlers-preschool age kids and their parents!
Includes great learning activities for indoor activities, planners, chore chart options, daily learning calendar, kindness BINGO, emotions chart, mathematics packets for each season, scissor activities, and more!


preschool essentials
preschool essentials
preschool essentials