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Packing Your Toddler’s Nursery Bag: 3 Must-Have Items

If your little one is soon starting nursery or playgroup, then you will likely be given a list of things that you need to prepare in advance for their time there. Uniforms, school shoes and a warm coat will typically be at the top of the list, along with the vague mention of a backpack. 

Many different childminders, nurseries and playgroups will ask you to provide a few different things and, if you do an online search as to what you need, you’ll likely be sending your little one to school with a suitcase instead of a small backpack! It’s always best to check directly with your chosen nursery or playgroup as they’ll likely have their own individual list, but with that in mind, we’ve got a list of 3 must-have items to not only make your child’s nursery journey a little easier but to help them settle in quicker. 

Spare Clothes

Nursery is full of fun activities for your child to do that they won’t have done before, from messy painting to splashing in the water tray and often, a lot of these activities mean that your little one is likely to get pretty messy! It’s always a good idea to pack them with a change or two of spare clothes that they can get changed into if needed. T-shirts, pants or leggings, vests and socks are a must-have! 

If you want to avoid them getting particularly messy or having their clothes stained at mealtimes, you can pack a bib with sleeves that their childcarer can quickly pop on beforehand. 

Food, Drinks and Snacks

Most nurseries and pre-schools will provide meals, snacks and drinks whilst your child is there, especially if they are there for the duration of the day whilst you are working. But, if this is just a settling in period before they head to reception, you may be asked to provide their food and drink. Getting your child their own lunchbox which is recognisable for them is a good idea, as it means that they know exactly what to expect. Be sure to give them a good selection of bits they can enjoy for their lunch, from their favourite sandwich and pack of crisps to some fresh fruit and yoghurt, this is a good way to get them used to the idea of school dining. 

For younger children, you might not be expected to provide their meals and snacks, as these will likely be provided by their nursery or pre-school. You should still send them in with a bottle of water that they can drink if they get thirsty and, on pick up, you might want to take a small snack for them to enjoy on the way home, especially if you’re walking or travelling a distance. 

Weather Appropriate Accessories

Depending on the season, you might want to make sure you pack a few extras in your little one’s backpack. If it’s a cold day, pop a pair of gloves and a hat into their bag that they can wear if they take part in any outdoor activities, as well as an extra jumper if they get chilly during the day. 

In the summer, your child’s nursery or pre-school will probably make the most of any good weather by having extended play outdoors. It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, you’ll need to pack a sunhat and suncream for them to keep their skin and head protected. If you pack suncream, you might need to provide a letter of approval saying that it’s ok for this to be applied if needed, or the nursery or pre-school may ring you before applying just to check!

Note: The Right Backpack Is Important!

Whilst you are expected to pack and provide some things for your child’s nursery or pre-school journey, the important thing is choosing the right backpack! You need to make sure that the backpack is small and dainty enough for your child to carry if needed, but that it also has enough space for the things you need to send them in with each day. You also want to make sure that it is one your little one likes, as this will encourage them to use it and have happier connotations with going to nursery or preschool!

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