So your little one is about to head out to preschool for the first time: congratulations! You understand the many benefits of preschool and how academic preschool activities can help your child prepare for a successful school career. You checked out the local preschool program and found the right preschool for you. Now it’s time to go–are you ready? Here’s a preschool checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you need:
- Make sure you have all your paperwork. On the first day you can expect the teachers in the school to want all the paperwork that they sent you. This includes all forms, like allergy forms and contact information, and anything that you needed to sign to give permissions. You make your own life and the lives of everyone working at the preschool easier if you just remember your forms.
- A small backpack. Your child will love having her own little backpack, and getting her one will help her prepare for school in the future, as well. When school starts to get more difficult and going back to school makes her sad, one bright spot will be her special and unique backpack. Just make sure that her backpack is the right size. You don’t want something too big that will be bad for her back.
- Pencils, pencil box, erasers, and a notebook. The next thing on your preschool checklist should be the items that your preschooler will most often need throughout the day. It is a lot of drawing and artistic encouragement of preschool, so make sure he’s ready.
- A “bring home” folder. Another important item on your preschool checklist should be a special folder for bringing home any notes from the teacher or school. Let your teacher know that your child has such a folder so they can help your child put the note in the folder at the right time. It’s a good idea to get a folder that closes rather than the simple flap open type, as this will increase your chances of actually getting the note at the end of the day.
- A change of clothes in a large zippered bag. There are all kinds of things that could result in your child needing a change of clothes. Whether it’s an accident with paint during art time, a particularly messy lunchtime, or your child decides to go through a mud puddle, you’ll be glad you included a change of clothes and a waterproof bag to take the dirty clothes home in.
- A cool lunchbox. This is another item on the preschool checklist that can really help your child feel special and get excited about the idea of going to school. Let him choose a nylon bag or plastic box with the design he likes so that lunchtime, and preschool, are extra special.
- A small blanket. Most preschools will incorporate a nap time into the day. If your child has a favorite blanket, or wants to choose one from the store, she’ll sleep a lot better under her cozy blanket.
- Lunch; and possibly also a snack. It’s a good idea to pack at least one snack in case your child becomes hungry or refuses to eat the snack provided by the preschool. Choose lunch items that are as nutritious as possible, but be aware that kids tend to compare lunches. If everyone else’s lunch is a lot “cooler,” your child might not really want to eat the lunch you packed. It’s tough to straddle that line between healthy and fun, but do the best you can.
- A spill-proof water bottle. Your child needs to drink throughout the day, and one of the best ways of encouraging him to do that is by providing his own special water bottle. Just make sure he can’t dump it all over the classroom floor. His teacher will thank you.
- Extra tissues and wet wipes. Any preschool teacher will tell you that you can never have too many of these items. Never. Add these to your preschool checklist and the whole class will thank you.
The first day of preschool should be fun and exciting. Help to keep it that way by making sure your child has everything they need to succeed.