Preschool Essentials Checklist: What Every Parent Should Have on Hand


Preparing for preschool takes some effort upfront from parents but pays off in dividends later. As 3-5 year olds enter key developmental years, parents have a chance to set them up for success by equiping them with essential supplies. This checklist covers the academic materials, clothing, safety items, and more that children need to thrive in new social and learning environments. When kids head off to preschool fully stocked, parents find peace of mind knowing needs are met for play, discovery and health. Use this guide when assembling your preschool arsenal so having the right gear eases the transition for the whole family. When kids head off to preschool with all the right supplies, parents can rest easy knowing needs are met for play, discovery, health, and more as little ones navigate new social situations and learning environments. Use this list as a guide when assembling your preschool arsenal – having the gear for an optimal experience eases adjustments for kids and parents alike.

Learning & Academic Essentials:

Use preschool’s precious years intentionally, stocking engaging materials to build literacy, math, and social excellence for later success. Essentials include delightful books, tactile math tools, props spurring pretend adventures, and more – create an inspiring space for multidimensional development.

  1. Books:
  2. Fill your home library with board books, picture books, early readers, and alphabet books. Rotate books often to keep interest high. Create a cozy reading nook for your preschooler.

  3. Inspire Creativity with Art Supplies:
  4. Let preschoolers explore their inner artists with washable markers, crayons, colored pencils, safety scissors, glue sticks, blank paper, coloring books, and reusable stickers. To protect clothing, keep plenty of easy-to-clean smocks or oversized shirts on hand for budding creators.

  5. Build Skills with Engaging Flashcards:
  6. Vibrant, preschool-level flashcards can make learning letters, numbers, shapes, and colors delightful. Select decks showcasing appealing real-world images to aid key skill building.

  7. Promote Development with Puzzles & Building Toys:
  8. Grow spatial thinking, critical thinking, and motor skills with knob puzzles, chunky puzzles, and building blocks featuring your child’s favorite themes and characters. Open-ended building sets also let inventive preschoolers sharpen visual processing abilities and creativity.

  9. Sparks Imagination with Pretend Play Toys:
  10. Inspire daydreams and roleplaying adventures using play food, toy tool benches, stuffed animals, dolls, costumes, and other tools for acting out scenarios. Toy props provide endless opportunities for nurturing empathy, emotional skills, communication skills, and collaborative skills through immersive pretend play.

Clothing & Shoe Essentials:

Dress your preschooler for full days of playing, learning, messy art, and outdoor adventures with these clothing and shoe essentials:

  1. Complete extra outfits:
  2. Pack at least one full extra set of clothes, including underwear and socks in case of accidents, spills, or messes. Update with the seasons.

  3. Prepare for an all-weather adventure with the right layers
  4. warm coats, boots, gloves, and hats for cold months, lightweight jackets, and closed-toe shoes when it’s mild. Check forecasts to help pack weather-wise. Also, equip your mini Matisse with a washable smock to spur creative freedom without damaging darling daily duds during inevitable crafting spills or snack drips.

  5. Backpacks:
  6. Let your preschooler carry their own gear to school in a durable, lightweight kids’ backpack large enough for paperwork, extra clothes, and creations. Look for ergonomic straps, easy openings, and bright colors.

Health & Safety Essentials:

You may rest easy knowing that your child’s preschool has everything they need to remain safe and healthy while they’re away from home:

  1. Tissues & hand sanitizer
  2. Help teach good hygiene and curb germs with a pack of tissues and kid-friendly hand sanitizer in your preschooler’s backpack.

  3. Masks:
  4. Include a few reusable masks in fun kid patterns for preschools requiring face coverings for unvaccinated children.

  5. Medications:
  6. If your child takes any rescue or daily medications such as epinephrine, asthma inhalers, EpiPens, or Rx allergy medicine, provide extras for the school health office per medical guidelines.

  7. Sunscreen:
  8. Apply sunscreen before school and include a bottle labeled with your child’s name for reapplication before outdoor play to prevent burns. Look for “reef safe” and “non-nano” formulas.

  9. Water bottle:
  10. Help your preschooler stay hydrated during the exciting school day with their own reusable water bottle. Select a no-spill style.

Gearing Up at Home:

Aside from stocking up on preschool supplies to send along with your child, there are several items you’ll want to have on hand at home to make the preschool years easier for the whole family:

  1. Calendar & scheduler:
  2. Stay on top of preschool events, activities, and schedule changes with a family calendar displayed in your home. Sync preschool dates with your digital calendar and set reminders for things like school picture day and PTA meetings.

  3. Labels:
  4. Label removable tags on your child’s jackets, lunch bags, water bottles, and backpacks so things make it home and don’t end up in lost and found. Labels make great preschool teacher gifts, too!

  5. Lunch gear:
  6. Invest in reusable food containers, small coolers, no-spill cups/water bottles, and child-sized utensils to make packing healthy lunches and snacks simple. Pick items your independent preschooler can open on their own.

  7. Play clothes:
  8. Have designated play outfits and shoes ready for your child to change into after preschool so they can burn energy and get messy while keeping school clothes clean.

  9. Sensory equipment:
  10. Stock up on sensory materials like playdough, slime, rice bins, popping toys, and fabrics to help your active preschooler self-regulate their senses and develop fine motor skills.

  11. Indoor/Outdoor equipment:
  12. Fill time before and after school with activities that meet your preschooler’s needs: bath toys for unwinding after a long day, dress-up clothes and prop boxes to fuel pretend play indoors or outdoor toys like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, balls, and bikes in nice weather.

  13. Independent skills tools:
  14. Encourage self-help skills like potty training, proper hand washing, dressing/undressing, and picky eating with engaging books, visual charts, sticker rewards, and unique incentive tools designed just for preschoolers.

  15. Memorable keepsakes:
  16. Capture precious memories of your child’s preschool journey with yearly school photos displayed prominently in your home, framed art projects spotlighting their blossoming skills, and journals noting funny anecdotes or new developmental milestones.

  17. Reference library:
  18. Keep child development, parenting, education, and children’s health resources on hand to better understand this incredible stage. Stock go-to recipe books, kids’ cookbooks, activity guides, and curriculums tailored specifically to preschool learning levels.

  19. First aid essentials:
  20. Expect bumps and scrapes; stock up on child-friendly antiseptics, adhesive bandages in fun styles, instant cold packs, ace wraps for minor sprains, antimicrobial ointment, thermometers, and infection-fighting saline spray.

  21. Screen time alternatives:
  22. Limit digital entertainment and equip your home with interest-based toys and activities like light-up building toys, three-dimensional puzzles, LEGO and magnet tile building sets, interactive learning tools, and good old-fashioned board games.

Adding a few handy at-home items to your preschool prep checklist helps the school year go smoothly for your entire family. Adapt this list based on your family’s needs, interests, schedules, and budgets. Most importantly, take time to soak up special moments with your little learner. The preschool years fly by all too fast!

Getting your child— and household— stocked with these essential preschool supplies sets you both up for a great year of growth and discovery. Adjust the checklist based on your school’s guidelines and your child’s needs. While building your preschool arsenal may require an initial investment of time and money, the rewards in your little one’s development are priceless.

For more such interesting blogs, Visit EuroKids