Kindergarten is full of play, excitement, friendship and learning for kids, but it’s also a huge transition for our little ones.
Kids are still quite young when they enter school – some are still babies – just 3 years old! It could also be a child’s first time away from their parents and experiencing lengthy programming outside of their home. It can also be a huge jump for kids who have been going to daycare. The days seem longer, as there is no such thing as nap. Plus, your child is expected to be more independent because the adult to kid ratios are higher, meaning there is less individual attention.
To help make this transition easier for your child (and you) below is a list of Roo Approved back-to-school essentials for our young pupils. These items will help little ones throughout their school day, building their confidence and independence.
I agree that there is nothing cuter than a little kid carrying an oversized backpack. BUT this is not the most practical option for your child to carry to and from school each day. When picking out a backpack for your child make sure that it is not too big, but also not so small that it can’t hold anything. A kid’s backpack should never be larger than their back. PRO TIP: get a backpack with a hip belt as it will help prevent the pack from bouncing and shifting. Multiple pockets is also essential– one pocket for the lunch bag, another for extra clothes and another for a love note from mom.
Once you have all this nailed, look for one with a cool pattern or character that your child will identify with – this will get them excited about school and help them know which pack is theirs.
Two of my favourite styles are
Burton Kids’ Gromlet 15L Backpack
The Gap Kids Critter Senior Backpack
One of the biggest challenges that kids face when they start school for the first time is making sure that they eat enough food throughout the day. Kindergarten is the first time that kids are expected to manage food – and to eat adequate amounts at snack time and lunch time.
The best thing that parents can do to help their child spread out their food is to get them a lunch bag that has two compartments – one for snacks and one for lunch. Have your child use and practice with their lunch bag in the weeks leading up to school – this will teach them how to manage their food when you aren’t around.
Here are two great lunch bag options
Frozen Dual Compartment Lunch Bag
Lunch packing containers for school these days are impressive, but some can be tricky to operate for little fingers. To avoid your child returning home hungry with a thermos full of chili – don’t send a container they’ve never used on their own before. I also recommend having a lunch time dress rehearsal in the morning before heading to school. This will help you teach kids how the containers works, allowing them to feel confident and independent when they are sitting in the lunch room at school.
These lunch accessories are easy for little kids to use + promote litterless lunches:
Little Lunchbox Co. Kids Bento Box
Thermos Brand FUNtainer Vacuum Insulated Food Jar
Shoes and Clothes
Kindergarteners need to have some independent self-help skills. There are lots of kids in the class with varying abilities, and sometimes there are only 1 or 2 teachers available to help. Sending your child to school with shoes (hello Velcro!) and clothing that they can independently operate will help your child be more successful at school and enjoy outdoor play time faster!
We love these simple to put on items:
Nike Revolution 4 Running Shoes
Pull On Jeans – I cannot stress how important it is to get kid’s pull-on pants for school. Kids have to go to the bathroom independently in kindergarten. Buttons, zippers and snaps can make bathroom trips tricky for kids – which can be very successful for them – especially because kids tend wait until the last minute to go because they are experiencing FOMO.