5 School Gear Essentials to Get Your Toddler Preschool-Ready!


a list of what your child needs for preschool

It’s back to school (shopping) time!  Sales are on, school calendars are being posted to fridges, and Zappos boxes are piling up on doorsteps.

I’m heading into my fourth year as a preschool mom, and now I have two kids to get ready. Regardless of whether you have a boy, a girl, or both, there is a simple formula for school gear that guarantees your kids have, not just everything they need, but everything they want to fit in with all their friends.

The Lunchbox

We go with the classic Pottery Barn Kids lunchboxThe matching backpack is optional but always desired by the 4 years and older crowd.  It comes in every color under the sun, and of course, you can monogram it.

Don’t forget the inserts! If you want to get creative here, you can go with a few options. The BentGo insert is a great option. If you’re trying to avoid plastics altogether, the LunchBots box is also nice and cleans very easily.

The Water Bottle

Second, you will need a plethora of water bottles. Even if you’ve already gotten the one that matches your lunch box, you’ll need a few extra. Water bottles have a way of disappearing at preschool. The Pura stainless steel water bottle is a favorite. Be sure to get extra tops – they will most definitely leak without it.  The Contigo pack is a quick and efficient way to be sure you have enough parts to mix and match, too.  

The Rain Boots

Even though we barely have any rain (most years), you will definitely need a pair of rain boots—preschoolers usually play outside rain or shine. I like Hunter Boots. They are a toddler staple. The kids will spend hours jumping in 2” puddles, and they actually come in handy for more than just rainy days. They have a whole rainbow of colors to choose from, and are available in multiple styles, so they are guaranteed to please even the pickiest kids.    

The Labels

No matter where your child goes to school or camp, they will need their name on everything.  I have tried a few different label options, but Minted name and clothing labels are definitely (in my opinion) the cutest and give the most choices.  

The Outerwear

North Face or Patagonia seem to be the brands of choice in our area, and it’s always a good idea to pick up a vest and fleece.  It doesn’t usually get cold enough for full-on snow jackets, so unless you plan on visiting the extreme cold, these two pieces will be enough to keep your kids warm through fall and winter.  The nice thing about these pieces is that there are plenty of unisex options and can easily be passed down among kids.  

Share your favorite preschool gear in the comments!



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