What To Get For A Toddler Starting Preschool
My two and a half year old son recently started day camp, pre-school and an after-school program for the first time in his life. In the past, his only similar experience was at home or with babysitters. This is an exciting new milestone. Since this is my first child, I did not know what to get him in preparation for school. I spoke to the pre-school administration, and was told that I would receive a letter in the mail with a list of supplies needed. A few days before he was scheduled to start, I got the letter in the mail with a list of supplies to get before the first day of school. With very little time, I rushed around with my husband to a number of different stores, looking for the products that I needed. On this page, I will share my experience and lessons learned during the process. I hope that this will help other first-time parents with getting the pre-school supplies necessary for their toddler, prior to the first day of school.
Below I will provide the list that I was required to produce for my child. I added in notes and edited it to apply to others as well. I will then narrate my experience shopping for the items at the last minute (the list was sent to me at the last minute, when it was too late to order on-line). I went shopping at Babies R US, Toys R US, Kohl's, Amazing Savings, The Children's Place, The 99 cents store, Staples, and scrambled for other items as well. I wished that someone would have given me the list in advance, with instructions regarding where I can buy it. If you have a few days to wait for shipping, you can purchase the items directly through the links on this page.
Intro Image Credit: abbybatchelder on Flickr source
Diapers/ wipes (if necessary)
If your child is not toilet-trained, and if the pre-school accepts children that are not toilet-trained, you may need to send along diapers and wipes for your child. Alternatively, you may need to toilet-train your child.
A Smock is a protective garment which is worn above your child's clothing to protect it from paint, ink, markers and other residue. It is generally worn when children are doing arts and crafts, or painting or coloring. It can also be worn by adult artists and painters. It is similar to a plastic apron or a big bib. It is also known as an Art Smock, an Artist's Smock, or an Arts and Crafts Smock. They usually have front pockets for storing pens, markers and brushes.
Swimwear includes a bathing suit for a girl, swim-trunks for a boy, swimming diapers for kids in diapers, sun screen, a towel, and crocs or water slippers. My son's pre-school specifically asked for crocs.
Shoe box with a change of clothing
Get a shoe box and pack up an extra shirt, pair of pants, and socks. This is useful for when children have accidents or otherwise soil their clothing. This is kept in the school as an emergency back-up.
You can use sticker labels, sew in labels, or use a magic marker on different items, as applicable.
Pick up the standard medical form from the school and drop it off at the doctor's office. This must be filled out and returned to the school prior to the first day of attendance. Make sure to inform the school staff and your child's teachers, of any allergies or special health considerations for your child, and make sure that your child is up to date with immunizations.
Payment of Balance (Sorry, I can't help you with that).
Mail in or drop off a check for the amount required. You may have to pay a deposit upon registration, and find out when each month's tuition payment is due. Some schools have after-school hours with a separate payment schedule. The school and summer day-camp generally have different fees and different hours.
Confirm whether Lunch and snacks will be served. Make sure to feed your child the necessary meals, and possibly send along food if your child will not eat what they serve, or has allergies. Check whether the school allows you to send food from home. Some schools don't allow it, and some may require it.
Check with your child's school to see if there is anything else that they require or recommend that you send. It is important that your child should be accepted and well-liked. Therefore, you should make sure that he has everything necessary, that he looks good, that his items are nice and clean. A child with an old and ugly looking smock or bathing suit, could end up being an outcast, teased and taunted and looked at with disgust. This is unfortunate, but could happen. Therefore, try to get your child things that will help him to fit in and to be well liked. Nobody wants their child to be bullied. You want your child to have good self-esteem and to feel proud of what he is wearing. Plan accordingly.
Which Swim Diapers Should Parents Get?
For swimming diapers, the main options are Pampers Splashers and Huggies Little Swimmers. We got Pampers Splashers, but we might try out the Huggies Swimmers next time. Try it out and see which one you like better. Some people say that they are very similar, and some parents are adamantly for one over the other.
Which one do you think works better, and why? Tell us Here.
Compare quality, design, price, effectiveness, or any other factor in you decision.
Which Swimming Diapers Would You Buy, and Why?
Huggies Little Swimmers
Swimming Diapers, Sun Screen, and a Terry Bathrobe
Toys R Us was attached to Babies R Us, but they only sold Toys. (Why don't they have a Toddlers R Us?)
Kohl's was next door, so we tried there next.
At Kohl's, we were able to find toddler boy swim trunks size 3T, which is meant for the average 3 year old toddler. If you have a girl, get a bathing suit that you like.
Although they did have crocs for children, they did not have any that were small enough for my son. I asked an employee where I can find a smock, and he asked me, "what's that?". When I explained it's similar to a plastic apron or a big bib for arts and crafts for a toddler, he directed me to the section with bibs, which of course, did not have what I was looking for.
After asking numerous people in different stores, each of whom did not know what a smock was, I began to wonder whether a smock is an English word, or just a term used in my community. For those of you wondering: yes, "smock" is an English word.
While at Kohl's, I asked the cashier whether they could label the clothing with the child's name for school. She recommended that I go to the tailor or cleaners to stitch in the labels.
I tried Amazing Savings, The Children's Place,The 99 cents store, and Staples
Check Out These Pictures of Toddlers In Smocks
A Smock Makes Art Messes Less Scary
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Check out the article below regarding what to expect when your child starts preschool!
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