What to Pack for the First Day of Preschool?

Your child’s first day of Preschool is a big milestone in their lives and can be quite an emotional one for parents, especially if it’s their first child. It can also be daunting for your child. that’s fine and normal.

Naturally, there is plenty to sort out and prepare ahead of time. For first time parents, this can seem a lot to do and quite daunting but don’t worry. In this SmallSmart article, we put together the ultimate checklist of what to pack and bring for your child’s first day of preschool.

Age/School Appropriate Backpack

A good backpack is a must for your child but, one thing some parents don’t consider, it needs to be age or school appropriate. By this, we’re not thinking if the image on the bag or design is appropriate for your child or other children.

We are talking about the size and design. Your child’s preschool backpack needs to be an appropriate size for your child. Bags that are too big can prove to be problematic for your child to carry and, if they overload it, can hurt their backs. Bags that are too small, however, will not be big enough to carry what they need.

When choosing the bag, parents need to consider its size and design in comparison to their child. It needs to be easy to use and of a practical size for their needs. Not all backpacks are the same, some have useful hidden features!
One feature could be a tether. As your child comes closer to preschool, they’re more stable on the feet and very active. It’s about this time, parents can struggle to keep them still in one place. A tether which connects or attaches to your child’s backpack can give you peace of mind as you walk to school in the mornings, knowing your child is close to you.

If you want a backpack which has a tether or can connect a tether on should come with a harness feature. This is where, instead of just straps which goes over their shoulders, it has a buckle which locks the back onto them. This means, when you’re out and about, your child can’t just slip out of the straps and get away from you.

Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness - Unicorn £16

Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness - Unicorn

Water Bottle

A good water bottle is a vital addition to any child’s school life. The perfect bottle is something that won’t leak in their backpack, it’s a nightmare when it does, and keeps beverages chilled all day.

Introducing water bottles to your children at this early age helps instill a culture of drinking water over fizzy pop and other sugary drinks. This will help towards their view on what makes a healthy diet and lifestyle in later life. If your bottle bottle can also store milk and juice, this is also a bonus.


OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup - Green £6.50

OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup - Green


It's good to pack a few snacks for your child’s first day.

When considering snacks, remember that some snacks need to be chilled and others don’t. Your child might not have access to a fridge at preschool and certain snacks can become unpleasant or leave smells if not chilled.

When you’re packing your child’s snack, think about what container you’re using. Containers come in different shapes, sizes and materials, and it's worth acknowledging if its right for your child and their snacks. While your child may not have access to a fridge, can your container be chilled at home and remain cool throughout the day?

Size might be something to consider. Besides being large enough to store their snacks, it needs to fit easily in your child's bag. However, if its too small or have too many parts, your child could lose it. Also, it needs to be simple and easy enough for them to open.

It is just as important you avoid certain foods such as peanuts when picking snacks. Even if your child is not allergic, other children might be.

Outdoor Wear

This is dependent on the time of year but something parents need to will need to assess if they’re sending their children out, with appropriate outdoor wear. Naturally, this would be seasonal and dependent on the weather. This could be a raincoat and wellingtons for rainy days to sunscreen and a sun hat for the summer.


Grass & Air Kids Mini Adventure Wellies

Grass & Air Kids Mini Adventure Wellies

Comfortable Clothing

Unless there is a uniform in place, you need to asses the best clothes for your child’s preschool. Naturally, it has to be practical for the time of year. Jumpers and cardigans for autumn and winter, shorts and short sleeves in the summer. However, some parents may not think about what your child would be doing when at pre-school. 

It is a time where they’re developing and learning through play. Your child’s preschool clothes need to be durable and comfortable, and keep up with them. While its all well and good to buy smart clothes but if they’re not built to suit them, they’re going to be damaged and thrown away.


On The Go Essentials

On The Go Essentials

Shoes or trainers, especially, must be comfortable. It can be difficult for parents to pick out a good pair with children more concerned about colours and flashing lights. However, if they’re uncomfortable or aren’t a good fit, they can hurt your child’s feet and affect how they walk.

At SmallSmart, we are a business created by parents for parents and we know how important your child’s first day of school is. That is why we work with leading and emerging brands to provide our customers with the best for their child’s first day of school.

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