In many school boards, Kindergarten students are not required to bring ANYTHING to school as far as school supplies go! In fact, most teachers discourage it because they have specific tools they would like the children to use AND things go missing SO easily with little ones, which always brings tears. It is highly recommended to wait until your child goes to school to purchase any school supplies, as they should get a newsletter on the first day that will outline all expectations.
Having told you to WAIT to purchase school supplies, there are a few things that are a “MUST HAVE” for the first day of school.
What to Pack for the FIRST DAY of Kindergarten:
- backpack – I highly recommend a regular sized backpack that will be large enough for all of your child’s belongings including lunch, water, snacks, extra clothing, school work etc.
- water – make sure that you find a good quality, LEAK-PROOF water bottle that your child can open and close independently. I recommend that you avoid sending juice in bottles or juice boxes, as it spills easily and if they don’t finish it during their quick eating time, it will go to waste and you will never know! The last thing you want is an improperly closed juice bottle, spilled all over your child’s nice, new backpack.
- snacks and lunch – be sure that your child has time to practise opening and closing all lunch bags and containers prior to going to school.
- extra set of clothing – this should be packed in a sealed ziplock bag (so that it doesn’t get wet from water spills etc.) with their name on it. Even if your child is fully toilet trained, accidents to do happen. There are also water tables and other messy opportunities for your child in their classroom, so this is not just for washroom accidents.
- indoor pair of shoes – be sure to label all footwear and clothing that gets sent to school. with their name. I recommend the rule of thumb, “If you want to see it returned home, be sure to label it.”
- emergency card – on a thick piece of paper, in permanent marker, write down emergency contact information including your child’s name, your name, your cell, your home phone and address. Place this emergency card in a small resealable bag and put it in the front of your child’s backpack. You never know when this information might come in handy.
I’m not sure what new Kindergarten parent doesn’t feel mixed emotions at the start of school, but trust me when I say that after a month or two, it will be old hat! Even with the children that have the MOST challenging transition, by the end of September, 99.9% of them have settled in.
I know a few parents, who truly didn’t feel ready to send their child to Kindergarten, but sent them anyhow and realized quite quickly that it was the right decision. Most kids will flourish in the program and even if you think they aren’t ready, they are. They thrive on routine and social integration. It is difficult to let go, but sometimes the best decisions in life are the most difficult to make.
New Kindergarten Parents Support Group Learn how to JOIN NOW by clicking on the image above!
Over the past few years, I have written a few other articles about Kindergarten parents that you may wish to read as this is a topic that I am very passionate about, having spent a number of years as a Kindergarten teacher and having two children of my own complete Kindergarten.
Getting Ready for Full Day Kindergarten
Preparing for Kindergarten – Part 1
Preparing for Kindergarten – Part 2
A Kindergarten Visit – Who Needs More Preparation, Mom or Child?
For all NEW Kindergarten Moms and Dads, This is For YOU!
Back to School – Mommy, I Don’t Want to Go
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If you have any questions about sending your child to Kindergarten, please feel free to Contact Me! I LOVE to talk to Kindergarten parents about their children and school!
Good luck and sending strength and hugs your way!