If your little one is heading to pre-K, send them with all the supplies they'll need to grow.

List of School Supplies for Pre-K

by Sandy Kreps

So your little one is ready for big kid school -- pre-kindergarten! Pre-K is usually attended by kids ages 4 and 5 to prepare them for kindergarten. In pre-K, boys and girls develop the learning and social skills needed to be ready for elementary or primary school. They work on learning the alphabet, numbers, sharing and taking turns, creative play, and arts and crafts designed around special subjects such as zoo animals or holidays. You may be wondering what supplies your preschooler will need for Pre-K. If the school hasn’t provided a list, it’s a safe bet your child will need the following supplies.

Full-Size Backpack

Most of your child’s supplies will stay at school, but she’ll need a full-size backpack for personal items and for bringing home papers and art projects. The backpack should be large enough to hold a folder, a lunch box, if she’ll be eating lunch at school, and a plastic baggie that holds a full change of clothes in case she has an accident. Most schools discourage the use of backpacks with wheels or rollers, so opt instead for a sturdy backpack with shoulder straps that adjust to fit your child.

Writing Utensils

Pre-K students will be using writing utensils such as pencils, crayons and non-toxic washable markers. Some schools provide these supplies, but others will request you supply a box or two of each. Preschoolers typically learn to write alphabet letters, some numbers and their first name.


Your child will be using craft paper such as colored and white construction paper or plain paper for art projects, drawings and writing practice. Some schools supply all the paper, while others will ask you to contribute a ream or two.

Wipes, Tissues and Sanitizer

Plan to send at least two boxes of baby wipes and two boxes of tissues for your preschooler. Wipes are used to clean little hands after playing outside, making crafts, and before and after eating. Tissues are needed for sneezes and boogies, and hand sanitizer is indispensable for keeping germs and illness away.

Nap Items

Some full-day preschool classrooms have a short nap time and may request that you pack a travel-size or crib-size blanket and a small pillow for your child. The blanket should be able to fit inside the pillow case or inside your child's backpack. Some schools may also require a folding nap mat, but most schools provide these for student use. Most schools will also allow your child to bring a small comfort item, such as a stuffed animal or lovey, for nap time.

Additional Supplies

Blunt-tip scissors, watercolor paints, white glue or glue sticks, and pocket folders are additional supplies your preschooler will be using regularly. These supplies are often provided by schools, but you may be asked to contribute them.

About the Author

Sandy Kreps has more than 15 years of experience writing for books, magazines and online publications. Specializing in green living, parenting and home life, Kreps contributes regularly to "Green Child Magazine" and several websites. Her first book, "Fresh Start: 31 Days to Simplify, Declutter and Rein in the Chaos," is available on Amazon. Kreps holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from Kansas State University.

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