My Kindergarten Essentials Checklist

A couple of weeks ago, we received a letter from my son’s school with a list of “School Supplies” for his entrance into Kindergarten this September. The list only includes a pair of velcro shoes, a paint shirt, an extra set of clothes and a backpack on it. Our school supplies for class are purchased by the teachers out of a shared fund. While the basics are great, I put together my own list of essentials for Kindergarten.

Kindergarten essentials

10 Essentials for Kindergarten

  1. Backpack – there are many cute backpacks out there, but size and fit are a huge factor for me. I wanted a backpack that would be appropriate for a 5-year old’s body and had good strap padding with a chest clip for back and neck health. After a lot of research, I purchased one from Pottery Barn Kids.
  2. Lunchbox – you can purchase a traditional lunchbox and fill it with a myriad of containers and bags, or you could purchase a Planetbox (review here) and be done in one step. I looked into a variety of bento-type systems, and am very happy with our choice. You can purchase a sleeve or carry bag as well, so you can insert an ice pack. If you’re willing to back a Kickstarter bid (US only), the OmieBox looks like another great option to offer hot / cold options all from one box. TIP: your child should know how to open and close all containers.
  3. Water bottle – I’ve lately found our water bottles too small for my 4-year-old, so I purchased a larger volume bottle. I have never had leaks with the Thermos brand, so I purchased their 12oz bottle. Hopefully it’s large enough!
  4. Snack and Sandwich Bags – I have a variety of these including some from lunch skins and pottery barn kids, with other local options including gogobags. I plan to use these for either snacks, packed separately from lunch, or take them with me for after-school pick-up, since I expect full-day K will be hungry work and we’re planning on walking to/from school! 
  5. Insulated Food Jar / Thermos – for days when you want to pack a hot lunch. We have cute thermoses from Crocodile Creek, though if I could do it again, I would purchase a thermos with a wider mouth such as the Klean Kanteen vacuum insulated container.
  6. Snack kit – for days when I want to pack a larger snack, or send a hot lunch in a thermos with some additional food, I purchased the PlanetBox Shuttle. I’m tired of washing a million snack containers, so I have two of these now to simplify day trips and picnics too!
  7. Labels – we have a basic kit of Mabel’s Labels that we’ve been using for a couple of years now to mark bottles, bags and containers as well as shoes and spare clothes. I’ve never had a single label peel off. 
  8. Smoothie Pouch – we often have smoothies for snack. They are great to make ahead and freeze. My favourite brand is the Sili Squeeze (see review here). 
  9. Art Smock – A simple art smock that is easy to put on and covers the full arms helps for kids who don’t like to get messy. 
  10. Love – This goes without saying! It’s a big change and our kids will need our help through it. Take some inspiration from the Napkin Notes Dad and perhaps slip a little drawing or printable in with your lunch bag. I am currently DIYing a dry-erase or chalk magnet for our lunchbox and have a few fun lunch forks and things to bring a smile to my son’s face during the day.