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Preschool Must-Haves

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

First-time parent? Are you nervous about your son or daughter starting preschool or Kindergarten? As educators and moms, we can suggest some common items that are typically considered as preschool must-haves:

  • Backpack or bag.

As cute as little backpacks are, we strongly suggest that you invest in a regular-sized backpack so that all personal items fit - including sweaters and jackets. That way, they are less likely to get lost or left-behind. We suggest you use a multi-use Backpack with lots of storage. Another option is to have one with wheels, in case your little one likes to be independent.

  • Extra clothes

Accidents happen, so having a change of clothes in their bag can save the day. It's an even better idea to have two complete changes of clothes; one that stays at school and the other one is kept in their backpack. We suggest labeling everything and packing these extra sets of clothing in a Ziploc bag.

  • Wet Dry Bag

Having a separate wet dry bag for wet or dirty clothes keeps things neat and tidy in their backpack. It also prevents other important items, such as books, from getting wet. We suggest these.

  • Comfortable clothes

Preschoolers should wear comfortable clothes that allow them to move and play freely. Clothing should also be easy for them to put on and take off by themselves. This creates independence.

  • School Shoes

Keeping a pair of running shoes at school, means that students will always have access to safe footwear. Did they arrive to school in rain boots? No problem. They can change into their sneakers and participate in all the fun activities during the day. We recommend that they can put on and take off their shoes independently. At this stage, that means having slip-on shoes or shoes with velcro.

  • Lunch box

A lunch box or container is needed to store snacks and/or lunch. Make sure it is easy for your child to open and close. Don't forget to label their lunchbox and containers. For lunch ideas and tips, click here.

  • Water bottle

A water bottle is important to keep your child hydrated throughout the day. We suggest a closed thermal water bottle with a built-in straw. This keeps their water cold all day and also prevents spills. Find more options here.

  • Outdoor gear

Preschoolers should have access to appropriate outdoor gear like sunscreen, hats, raincoats, and boots to keep them comfortable and protected during outdoor play.

  • Nap-time gear

If your child takes a nap at preschool, they may need a mat, blanket, or pillow for rest time. Some schools provide these items, but if you send your own don't forget to label them.


These are just a few of the items that can be considered as preschool must-haves.

Ultimately, what your child needs may depend on their specific preschool program and routines.


Don't forget to check items for proper fit and cleanliness throughout the year. A good time to exchange or launder items left at school is during the breaks, specifically during December.


For the CANUCK KINDER list for the beginning of the school year, check out our "community page."

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