PreSchool Shopping and Packing List – with Free Printables

It’s that time of the year again when all stores are stocked up on princess bags and spiderman lunch boxes. Frozen, minions, planes, cinderella (and others I don’t remember the names of) are “in” and you see every single thing plastered with their pictures on it! Basically back to school/pre school shopping is easy right? you just go to any store (literally any store during this season) and buy everything on the shelves and you are done! yay!

That’s exactly what I thought and did before my LO started going to nursery. But I was about to be surprised about how I made the wrong calculations. And there is nothing more disappointing than sending your first-born to nursery improperly equipped. It makes you feel like a failure (so much for mom reading parenting blogs 24/7!)

It took me time (and lots of depression) to find out what exactly was needed. How do other parents figure it out?!! Or is it always like this for first time parents? please say yes!

So I am putting together this list so that (hopefully) no other parent has to go through this ordeal. Most things just make sense, but others not so much, and they may still be vital!

  1. Bag – yes I know very obvious! but before you get lured by all those pretty themed (and huge) trolley bags, think again. Pre schoolers don’t carry books in their bags, the most they may carry are diapers, wipes and a change of clothes. But nothing more. So get a compact one.
  2. Lunch pail – depending on how long your LO will be at the nursery, you might have to pack up to 3 lunch boxes for them (breakfast, snack, lunch). Get a big lunch pail that will fit the appropriate number of boxes and water bottle/juice etc. This was one item I did not find necessary at the beginning but later realised its importance (after spills of food in the bag, soaking diapers. I know my antics sound like I am mentally challenged. I am. Sort of). Easy to clean is an important feature because no matter how leak proof your lunch boxes are, it will get dirty. Often. Too often.
  3. Lunch boxes – Invest in a good lunchbox and it will last you a long time. My favorites are the laptop lunches from Bentology , but I like yumbox too. Getting 2-3 lunch boxes will save on time for mommies and make packing lunches more enjoyable.
  4. Cutlery – I would suggest getting separate cutlery for the nursery (one that you don’t mind losing). Pack at least 2 spoons with the lunch, even if the lunch does not need a spoon to be eaten with (yes. toddlers are moody)
  5. Water bottle – get a sturdy one (I don’t know how many I have had to replace in the beginning because they would shatter the moment they touched the floor), and the style your LO is used to (sippy, regular etc). Avent and Camelbak are your best bets, find both of these at mumzworld.
  6. Ice pack – it’s freezing cold in the nurseries thanks to A.Cs I know. But food is packed inside containers and might stay there for quite some time. You also have to consider leftovers. Get an ice pack to keep the temperature of the lunch pail favorable. I got mine from laptop lunches.
  7. Labels – IMPORTANT. If you are paranoid like me, or even if you are not, please get good quality labels. School supplies are very common nowadays and with every child having similar things it gets very difficult for the teachers. Save yourself the hassle of returning things that don’t belong to your child or the other way round. Label e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g . Forgetmenot does good quality and affordable labels, and they deliver super fast too!
  8. Sleeping bag – regardless of the cleanliness status of the nursery, I would not let my toddler sleep in a bed that I may be a stranger too. Neither will the child be comfortable in it. Give yourself some peace of mind and get a sleeping bag. Your toddler can even practice sleeping in it the days preceding opening of the nursery. Most nurseries ask for it anyway, but even if yours doesn’t, send one. You can wash it as frequently as you like, i do mine every week. Get a spare pillow and blanket too, just in case. You know your baby’s sleeping habits best, so it is appropriate to send other things they might need for a nap. Be it a teddy, a pacifier, a bottle of milk, send it and inform the teacher (and teachers assistant, and the nursery manager…. basically print out an announcement and pin it to the notice board. lol. jk! ). I got mine from Pottery Barn Kids and honestly don’t know any other place you can get them from!
  9. A word on the toilets – if your toddler is still in diapers, pack enough diapers for the day, wet wipes and a diaper rash cream. If they are potty trained (and I had to no idea about this one, until my friend asked me about it. Thank you F), send toilet seat liners. I might go to the extent of sending their own liquid handsoap bottle too (I know i am being super paranoid, but it doesn’t hurt, does it?).
  10. Pocket tissues/Handkerchief  and Sanitizer – Keep them well stocked for the runny noses, or even otherwise. I would suggest a sanitizer that is natural and hence more child friendly. Forever living does natural aloe vera sanitizers.
  11. Socks – It was too tempting to dress up my DD as a diva when going to nursery, until I realised they had to take off their shoes while inside the class. Some nurseries allow shoes, others don’t. Nevertheless, send them with socks on. And btw, you can never have enough socks! (never thought I would say this!)

Here’s my 11 must-haves for children going to pre school. I have also compiled 2 printables, a pre school shopping list and a pre school packing list. Do tell me if there is something you send and it isn’t on my list!




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