There’s nothing like going to Kindergarten!
I don’t think people realize this fact until they have a child that is going off to school for Kindergarten. It’s their child’s first real year of school. Parents realize their baby is growing up! I know that is how I felt with my kids. We had to walk them into school, take a picture of them with their teacher, of them at their seat, with their backpack on them, and with their friends.
As a previous Kindergarten teacher — after teaching four years of second grade — I saw how parents would almost be more nervous than their children about putting them into Kindergarten. As a teacher, I wanted to relieve those fears and be the best teacher I could be for their children.
All of us want Kindergarten to be a year that children enjoy — as we don’t want kids to hate school. All of us want our children to thrive and to grow and to mature and to learn.
How do we do that? How do we make the beginning of the Kindergarten year successful?
One way we do that is by giving them what they need to succeed. Give your children what they need to succeed and help your child’s teacher have what she needs to succeed. Teachers pour a lot of their time and money into making school be a welcoming, inviting, and fun place to be. Help them out by giving them some of those items that she needs! (I know Kindergarten teachers can be male too, but since I am writing from my perspective as a female teacher, I am going to say “she” for the Kindergarten teacher.)
What are some items you can send with your Kindergarten child to make them feel prepared for the world of school? Of course, you will send them with a backpack, crayons, glue sticks, and the items on your child’s school list.
Here are some other items that my children liked:
- Washable markers — Walmart will usually have these for very cheap during Back-to-School sales. No teacher wants to be scrubbing marker off of surfaces. (With a sharpie, I would put our last name on each crayon/marker/pencil. That way if a marker or crayon dropped on the floor, the teacher would know whose marker or crayon it was.)
- Washable watercolors
- Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils — My children loved these, and I loved them as a teacher as I don’t have to sharpen them!
- Good wood pencils, like these. You can get just a few for your child OR give your teacher a whole big box of these already sharpened pencils. I don’t like the huge pencils for kindergarten. They are hard to sharpen and you can’t use a pencil grip on them.
- Pencil grips that will help our child hold his/her pencil correctly. Help your teacher establish good handwriting for your child. The Pencil Grip, Inc. has many different choices that are great! Here are a few of the ones they offer:
- The Original Pencil Grip for Righties & Lefties. I love this grip. It is easy to use and keeps the fingers in place.
- The Pinch Grip
- The Crossover Grip — It has the same design as The Pencil rip but has has added wings to help prevent fingers from crossing over each other.
- Writing Claw — This one is really neat!
You can see which one your teacher likes and buy a whole bunch for her to use in the classroom!
- A change of clothes in a plastic Ziploc gallon size bag with another Ziploc bag inside of it — because you never know. The faster your child can get dressed after an accident and not be embarrassed makes for a much better school experience. Two ziploc bags are good because you may want to keep dry clothes away from wet clothes or maybe they all won’t fit into one bag.
- Easy to open snack containers — let your child feel like a big boy or girl and open their own containers and save the teacher some time!
- I let all of my children pick out a Thermos Funtainer 12 Ounce Bottle for their water when they went to Kindergarten. It’s easy to use, keeps the drink cold, and doesn’t spill easily.
- Provide them with shoes they can play in and that they can take on and off by themselves. Either make sure they are a pro at tying shoes or buy shoes with velcro. One school I taught at had tunnels the kids go in, but they had to take off their shoes. No teacher wants to tie 25 pairs of shoes!
- A smock or an oversized T-shirt for art activities with the child’s name on the tag.
- Eraser — write your last name on the back of the eraser with a Sharpie.
- If your teacher wants your child to have a 2 pocket folder for papers to come home in, buy a plastic folder. The heavy duty plastic folders are great! The paper ones will rip up quickly!
- If they have a rest time, send in a non-bulky blanket and a small pillow with their names again on each item.
- If your school asks you to send in scissors, get a pair of scissors (5″) that have blunt ends (not pointed ends.)
I am sure I forgot some items as my youngest is now going into second grade. What did you try to send in with your Kindergarten student?
Here are some items I would have loved to receive as a teacher:
Some schools provide some of these items for the teachers, but many teachers buy these items out of their own money.
- Post-it Notes — The Pop-up Notes are pretty cool too!
- Sharpie Highlighters
- Red pens
- Good work stickers teachers can put on papers
- Expo Markers (if they have a white board)
- Sharpie Retractable Markers
- Flash Drive
- Disinfecting wipes
- Hand Wipes or baby wipes to hand out after messy crafts. We also used baby wipes for the kids to wipe down their tables. Teachers could use the disinfecting wipes after kids go home.
- Gallon and quart size Ziploc bags
- A good electric pencil sharpener (see if she has one already) — I bought this one when I was teaching Kindergarten, and I still have it. I love it!
- If she does a treasure box, little prizes to go in it.
- A gift card to your local teaching store or Dollar Tree
- Starbucks or another gift card where she can pick up her favorite coffee or meal!
- Yourself! Ask if there is a time when you can volunteer to help her. If you can’t help during the school day, maybe there is something you can do for her at home. Every teacher wants to know that you support her!
CHECK OUT SOME MORE BACK TO SCHOOL IDEAS!
Enjoy These Back To School Guides and Craft Ideas Too! Click on photos!