Essential Preschool Supply List for Back-to-School Shopping 2024

Preschool class supplies including scissors, crayons, and markers

Are you ready to give your little one the best start in their educational journey? As the first day of school approaches, it's crucial to ensure your preschooler has all the necessary supplies to thrive in their learning environment. With countless items on the market, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin, but fear not. In this comprehensive guide, we've compiled the ultimate back to school supplies list for preschool to make your shopping a breeze. Discover the must-have items that will set your child up for success and make their preschool experience an unforgettable one. Get ready to embark on an exciting adventure filled with creativity, learning and endless possibilities!

Table of Contents


Do Kids Need Supplies for Preschool?


Preschool boy writing his name on paper with markers and other supplies

Yes, preschoolers need supplies for their educational journey. While the specific items may vary depending on the school and curriculum, having the right supplies is essential for creating a stimulating and engaging learning environment. Preschool supplies help children:

1. Develop fine motor skills through activities like drawing, cutting and writing

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, "Fine Motor Skills Development in Children"

2. Express their creativity and imagination through art projects

Source: Journal of Applied Sciences Research "Integrated Disciplines: Understanding the Role of Art in Science Education in Preschool"

3. Engage in hands-on learning experiences

Source: The Power of Playful Learning in the Early Childhood Setting

4. Learn responsibility and organization by managing their own materials



What Are the Must-Have Items on a Preschool Supply List?

Essential Classroom Items for Preschool

Before diving into the specific categories, let's take a look at the essential supplies and school items every preschool classroom needs. These items are crucial for creating a stimulating and organized learning environment that fosters your child's growth and development. From basic essentials to creative materials, we've got you covered.

Activity and Craft Supplies Storage Items Cleaning Supplies Classroom Necessities
Markers Bookshelves Disinfectant spray Rest mats
Crayons Bins Gloves Hand sanitizer
Construction paper Coat racks Wipes First-aid kit
Child-safe scissors Cubbies Paper towels Visual schedules
Paint Labeled boxes Tissues (Kleenex) Bulletin boards
Glue sticks     Pencils/erasers
Tape     Paper/folders


Activity and Craft Supplies

Preschool is a time for exploration, creativity and self-expression. To nurture kids' artistic sides and develop their fine motor skills, include these essential activity and craft supplies on your list:

  • Markers (washable)
  • Crayons (large and small)
  • Construction paper (assorted colors)
  • Child-safe scissors
  • Paint (finger paint and washable tempera)
  • Play dough
  • Stickers
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Pom-poms
  • Feathers
  • Googly eyes
Importance of Creativity

These supplies aren't just for fun; they play a crucial role in child development. Engaging in creative activities helps preschoolers:

  • Develop fine motor skills through grasping, cutting and manipulating materials
  • Express their emotions and ideas through art
  • Explore color, texture and shape
  • Boost their confidence and self-esteem
  • Enhance problem-solving skills and critical thinking

Storage Items

A well-organized classroom is essential for creating a positive learning environment. By incorporating various storage solutions, you can help your child learn the importance of tidiness and responsibility. Consider adding these items to your list of preschool supplies you need:

List of Storage Solutions
  • Bookshelves
  • Bins (plastic or canvas)
  • Coat racks
  • Cubbies
  • Labeled boxes
  • Baskets
  • Drawer organizers
Role in Organization

Storage items serve multiple purposes in the preschool classroom:

  • Bookshelves provide a designated space for reading materials, encouraging a love for books.
  • Bins and baskets keep toys and materials organized and easily accessible and help with keeping track of items.
  • Coat racks and cubbies teach children to manage their personal belongings.
  • Labeled boxes help with sorting and categorizing, promoting cognitive development.
  • Drawer organizers keep smaller items like crayons and markers tidy and easy to find.

Cleaning Supplies

Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is crucial in a preschool setting. With so many little hands touching surfaces and sharing materials, it's essential to have the right cleaning supplies on hand. Don't forget to include these items on your list:

Hygiene Products
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Disposable gloves
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Hand soap
  • Hand sanitizer
Hygiene in Preschool

Keeping the classroom clean isn't just about appearances; it's a matter of health and safety. By prioritizing hygiene, you're:

  • Reducing the spread of germs and illnesses
  • Creating a safe and healthy environment for children and staff
  • Teaching children the importance of cleanliness and personal hygiene
  • Promoting a sense of responsibility and care for their surroundings

Classroom Necessities

In addition to the supplies mentioned above, there are a few classroom necessities that ensure your child's comfort, safety and engagement. Don't overlook these essential items:

Essential Items
  • Rest mats for nap time
  • Hand sanitizer for quick and easy cleaning
  • First-aid kit for minor injuries
  • Visual schedules to provide structure and routine
  • Bulletin boards for displaying artwork and important information
Visual Schedules

Visual schedules are particularly important in the preschool classroom. They help children:

  • Understand and follow daily routines
  • Develop a sense of security and predictability
  • Improve their understanding of time and sequencing
  • Reduce anxiety and transitions between activities

Checklist for Parents for Preschool Supplies


Preschool Supply List for Parents


It's essential to ensure kids have all the necessary personal items for a successful preschool experience. You can help families by providing parents with this checklist to ensure they have all the materials they need at the beginning of the year:

  • 1 change of clothes (including socks)
  • Snow boots, snow pants, gloves and a hat (during the winter)
  • 1 small pillow and stuffed animal if necessary
  • 1 blanket for nap time
  • 1 nap mat
  • 1 small water bottle
  • 1 bottle of hand sanitizer
  • 2 boxes of tissues 
  • 1 box of wipes 
  • 1 box of gallon-sized bags 
  • 1 box of quart-sized bags 
  • 1 box of sandwich-sized bags 
  • 1 pack of three dry-erase markers 
  • 1 box of chalk 
  • 1 box of glue sticks (with at least 3 sticks) 
  • 1 box of crayons 
  • 1 pair of safety scissors 
  • 1 box of markers 
  • 1 two-pocket folder with prongs 
  • 1 two-pocket folder without prongs and with pencils

Printable Preschool Supplies List for Easy Shopping

At Vanco, we understand the challenges that come with managing a preschool or daycare program. That's why we've developed comprehensive preschool management software to help streamline administrative tasks, saving you time and energy. But our support doesn't stop there — we also offer a wide range of free printable templates, including our popular parent supply list for preschools.

Our printable supply list takes the guesswork out of back-to-school shopping, ensuring that parents have a clear and concise guide to follow. By providing this resource, you're making the process easier for families and it's another great way to foster a sense of community and collaboration.


Preschool Supply List for Parents Basic



How to Prepare for Preschool Back-to-School Shopping

Bus with Back to School Written on it with Supplies Coming Out of Top


Tips for Back-to-School Shopping for Preschoolers

Navigating the world of back-to-school shopping can be overwhelming, but with a few simple strategies, you can make the process a breeze. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Shopping Advice

  • Start early to avoid last-minute stress and out-of-stock items.
  • Take advantage of sales and promotions, especially during back-to-school season for the items you'll need.
  • Compare prices across different stores and online retailers.
  • Invest in durable, high-quality items that will last throughout the school year.
  • Consider buying in bulk for items like crayons and markers to save money in the long run.
  • Don't forget to check consignment shops or online marketplaces for gently used items.

Organization Tips

  • Create a designated space at home for storing school supplies.
  • Use labels to keep items organized and easily accessible.
  • Encourage your child to help with sorting and organizing supplies.
  • Establish a routine for packing and unpacking backpacks daily.
  • Create a visual checklist for your child to ensure they have everything they need each day.

By involving your child in the shopping and organization process, you're not only teaching valuable life skills, but also building excitement for the upcoming school year.

Understanding the Safety Requirements of Preschool Supplies

When purchasing supplies for preschoolers, safety should always be a top priority. It's important to choose items that are age-appropriate, non-toxic and free from potential hazards. Keep these safety considerations in mind:

  • Look for art supplies labeled "non-toxic" and "child-safe."
  • Avoid supplies with small parts that could pose a choking hazard.
  • Choose scissors with rounded tips to prevent injuries.
  • Ensure all materials are free from sharp edges or rough surfaces.
  • Opt for toys and equipment that meet safety standards and regulations.
  • Check for any product recalls or safety warnings before making a purchase.

By prioritizing safety, you're creating a secure environment where kids can explore, learn and grow without unnecessary risks.


How to Involve Parents in the Preschool Supply List Preparation


Parent holdign a preschool girl

Ways to Engage Parents in Creating the School Supplies List

Involving parents in the process of creating the preschool supply list can lead to a more comprehensive and tailored approach. Here are some ways to engage parents:

  • Send a survey asking for input on essential classroom items.
  • Host a virtual or in-person meeting to discuss supply needs and gather feedback.
  • Create a shared document where parents can contribute ideas and suggestions.
  • Encourage parents to share their experiences and insights from previous years.

By involving parents in the decision-making process, you're fostering a sense of ownership and investment in their children's education.

Asking Parents for Input on Essential Classroom Items

Parents often have valuable insights and perspectives when it comes to their children's needs and preferences. By asking for their input on essential classroom items, you're:

  • Recognizing their expertise and experiences
  • Ensuring that the supply list reflects the diverse needs of your student population
  • Creating an inclusive and collaborative environment
  • Building trust and rapport with families

Remember to be open to feedback and suggestions, as parents can offer unique solutions and ideas that may benefit the entire classroom.

Effective Communication with Parents about Preschool Supplies

Clear, consistent communication is key when it comes to ensuring that parents are well-informed about preschool supply needs. Consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Provide a detailed supply list well in advance of the school year.
  • Send regular reminders and updates about any changes or additional needs.
  • Offer multiple ways for parents to contribute supplies (e.g., purchasing directly, donating funds, volunteering time).
  • Be transparent about how supplies will be used and distributed throughout the classroom.
  • Express gratitude for parents' contributions and support.

By maintaining open lines of communication, you're creating a partnership with parents that will benefit your students throughout the school year.



Get 100+ Editable and Printable Templates for Almost Every Preschool Situation

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We know preschools like yours are busy. That's why we made dozens of templates to help you manage the various aspects of your organization. With billing and invoicing, activity templates, forms and even marketing materials, we have it all. Download all 100 today!


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