Preparing for Kindergarten- School Supplies

We polled our parent & teacher community to see their recommendations!

You asked us for recommendations for your future kindergarteners, and then we asked our 123 Petits Pas community for the answers! Below are some recommendations, suggestions and tips on preparing yourself and your little one for kindergarten this fall regarding all things school supplies. 

P.S. We are in no way affiliated with any of the brands below. We are simply sharing the answers from our parent poll. 🙂 

Lunchboxes:

When we asked about lunch box recommendations, there was a variety of answers, however, the two top brands mentioned were YumBox and Bentgo Kids. Other brands mentioned were: Costco Roots lunch bags, So Young,  Little lunch box co., Louis Garneau, Planet box, and Sistema brand. One thing to consider was that it might be simpler to send their food in multiple containers. This way if they open their lunchbox and it spills, they won’t lose all of their food for the day. 
 
Your top tip for lunch boxes: make sure your child can open and close the lunchbox themselves! 
 
Practice with your child to ensure that they know how to open up the lunch box and also pack it all up once they are done. You want to set your child up for success, and if this is a skill they have, then they can focus on enjoying their lunch (usually 20 minutes) before heading out for recess. Another recommendation was to keep it simple and make sure the lunchbox will be suitable for the amount of food they typically eat. And don’t be surprised if they come home with a barely eaten lunch… this is totally normal as they adjust to school! 
 
A side note from lunchboxes, it was suggested to buy water bottles that will actually keep their water cold; something else to keep in mind! 

Shoes:

Most of the answers to the shoe recommendation was not about the brand of shoe, but the type of shoe. Most of our members suggested a supportive shoe, and something with velcro! Velcro shoes were the top recommendation (unless of course they already know how to tie the laces themselves). Some suggested brands of shoes were Sketchers, Nike, Geox, Natives, Ciciban and Stride Rites. 
 
Pro tip: make sure your child can put on their shoes themselves! 
 
It should be an easy shoe that they can put on and take off themselves (velcro or slip ons!). We are also going to assume that this would be recommended for winter boots too, not that we want to think of winter just yet! 
 
Another community member also mentioned not buying expensive shoes as you may need to replace them throughout the year. So perhaps keep that in mind as well!

Backpacks:

A few brands that were mentioned for kindergarten backpacks were Pottery Barn Kids, MEC, Parkland, So Young, and Land’s End.  One parent recommended checking with your school before purchasing a backpack as they may have size restrictions. The one thing that was mentioned over and over though when it came to backpacks was to make sure that your child could open and close the backpack themselves and also to ensure that it was big enough to carry their lunch, agenda (or whatever your school will use to communicate with you), extra clothes, hats and mitts and snow pants. Try and find something that is not too big, yet not too small, and perhaps a backpack with lots of compartments. 

Fun tip: pick a backpack that makes your child excited for school! 

Water Bottles : 

The parents and teachers who were polled all agreed on these helpful pointers:
  1. Choose an insulated bottle so that the water stays cold.
  2. Choose one with a spout (no bottles that require unscrewing!).
  3. Choose one that’s easy to clean (stainless steel).
  4. Make sure it doesn’t leak.
 
The most recommended bottles were: the Thermos FUNtainer, the Yeti Rambler Jr., the Thermo Flask Kids, and the Hydro Flask Kids. All four of these options are incredible!

Labelling: 

Mabel’s labels was highly recommended! Most community members said it was important to label pretty much everything (like everything!) but it was highly suggested to at least label all outer wear, shoes, masks, hats and mitts, and tops and bottoms of the containers.  Other options for labelling were Olivers labels, Trodat clothing stamp, using your own label maker, or a black sharpie pen. An incredible Canadian small business is “Colle à moi” labels.
 
Number 1 tip- label everything that might get lost easily! So basically, label everything! 

Other helpful information:

Most of the information parents provided were to focus on skills that would allow the child to be independent in the classroom and feel confident doing things on their own. As mentioned above, have your child practice skills like getting their shoes on independently, opening and closing their backpacks and lunchboxes on their own, putting their coat on themselves, and things like toileting and washing their hands independently. 
 
Other skills mentioned were to have your child be able to recognize his or her name in the classroom (recognizing their name on all the labels on their things, their cubbies, desk tags, etc). 
 
Another member of 123 Petits Pas mentioned having hand sanitizer with holders that they can hang from their backpack and have easy access to. 
 
When it comes to attire, suggestions included to choose simple clothes that are easy to take on and off (thinking of sweaters and hoodies, etc.) and the less buttons and zippers the better! Plus it might be a good idea to send some extra clothes or have multiples of their hats, mitts, and socks. 
 
Other helpful information was to play at the school playground beforehand so it’s a familiar place. 
 
And lastly, for drop off at school, it was suggested to have quick “bandaid goodbyes”; a quick kiss and leave and let out all of your emotions in the car. 
A little extra advice for us parents: 
“They will do better than you think!”
 
“Know that they will be okay and have so much fun.” 
 
“Good luck, you’ve got this!” 
 
Thank you to all of our 123 Petits Pas community members who contributed their advice and suggestions to our poll questions, we couldn’t have written this without you. If you have any further advice you would like to share, please send it our way! After receiving all of this input, we feel confident that our little ones will be prepared with all of their school supplies. And stay tuned for a future blog post with great book recommendations for starting kindergarten! Merci! 
123 Petits Pas

123 Petits Pas

The recommendations found in this blog post were made by parents from our instagram community @123petitspas ! Merci beaucoup!