Activities Child Development

First Thing’s First

What Essentials Your Preschooler Needs for School

Listen, I get it. As a parent of a toddler it can be heart wrenching to realize that their days as you baby are quickly approaching an end. Of course, they’ll always be your baby, but with back-to-school inching ever nearer, it’s likely you’re starting to wonder about how they could’ve grown up so fast. I know what you’re thinking: How are you talking about school when it’s still August? Well, San Diego preschools, regardless of the rising temperatures, head back to school come September—yes, even if it still feels like summer here in southern California. Come the start of August, much like anywhere else, the stores start shoving back-to-school essentials on the parent’s agenda, bringing pre-k parents to near tears.

classroomUnless you happen to be of the other side, wherein as sad as it is to have your child grow up and head into their first days of preschool, it’s exciting to finally have them starting school. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, or somewhere in between, it’s a fact that every parent must face. Kids head off to school, and it starts with preschool. Whether your child is heading into their first day of pre-k, or they’re heading in for year two, there’s every possibility that you’ll feel it much more than your child ever will. Make your first day easier by being prepared and stuffing your toddler with every back-to-school essential they might need.

Preschool Back-To-School Supplies

True, your preschooler isn’t likely to come home requesting a T-89 calculator for their AP Stats class, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be fully stocked to continue their education at home. Though your preschool will have many of the supplies required of your preschooler (and will provide you with a notice if they do not), it’s important to embrace the learning at home by sticking to the main preschool-groups.


Unlike when I was a toddler, preschoolers are now beginning to learn the ABC’s before they even hit kindergarten. In fact, many kindergarten classrooms expect some working knowledge of the ABC’s before accepting toddlpencilsers into their programs. Working with your child at home on their alphabet is a great idea to help keep your child ahead of the curve. Work on name recognition, including how to write and spell their names when they come home from a day in school. An increased understanding of writing gives confidence to toddlers, helping prepare them for their future years in the school-world.

To help the transition from classroom to home, consider investing in these things:

•A chalk or whiteboard to practice letters on, while saving paper and making it easier to erase
•Jumbo pencils (which are easier for toddlers to hold onto)

•Extra sheets of widely lined paper
•Magnetic letters (to be used on the white or blackboard, assuming it has a magnetic strip inside of it)
•Coloring books—Coloring books aren’t just for arts and crafts, they’re actually an excellent means for learning to write. Keeping inside of the lines, for example, helps kids learn fine motor skills that are essential to writing letters down the line.


What’s preschool without arts and crafts? This time in your child’s early education is filled with hands on learning that comes, most frequently, in the form of art. Whether it be stringing noodles onto yarn to create a necklace, getting in touch with finger painting, or putting their imagination to paper while coloring, art has the ability to help your child grow more quickly than anything else. Invest in some art supplies for your children to use when they come home from school, allowing them to continue their increased imagination. More often than not, your child will be ecstatic to sit down at a table filled with crayons, keeping fingerpaintthem away from the television in the after hours.

What to include:

•A new set of crayons
•Washable markers
•Colored paper
•Washable finger paint
•A child’s easel (if you get an outdoor one it will help with clean up)
•A child-sized art smock

For the Teacher

While you’re out, consider purchasing some supplies for the classroom as well. This will help ensure that your child has a classroom that is fully stocked and prepared in cases of emergency.

Common items to donate include:

•Tissue Boxes
•Hand Sanitizer or Wipes
•Markersback to school

Sending your child off to preschool is often hard enough on the parent without having to realize that you’re fresh out of any sort of after-school activity equipment. Stock your home, not only enriching your child’s life, but also helping them to their full academic potential.

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