ARTICLE by Natalie Brown

Our guide to preschool prep

 |  Reading time: 4 minutes
B_for_Blog | Natural Baby Shower

Are you a parent preparing to send your little one to preschool? Or maybe you're curious about what goes into getting them ready for this new stage of life?

Either way, you're in the right place!

In this post, we'll outline everything you need to know about preschool prep, from choosing the right school to packing your child's bag for their very first day. 

So, whether you're just starting to think about preschool or you're almost ready to drop your little one off, read on for our guide to making the transition as smooth as possible…

back to preschool essentials

Are they ready for starting preschool?

It’s likely you’ve looked into what age you want your little one going to preschool however, if you’re still on the fence, don’t worry. 

There’s no definitive age that you need to send them to preschool! However, the average age most parents decide on is between 3 and 5 years old. 

So, depending on what’s right for your family, consider that the preschool prep may need to be tailored to your little one’s age and needs.

Preschool prep guide

Visit a few preschool choices  

If possible, one of the first things to do is have a good look around a few local preschools before deciding exactly which one you like. You can then get a feeling of the environment that they’ll be in so you can get them 'ready for starting school'. 

Some preschools will let you bring along your little one too, so that they can interact with staff and equally get a feel for the place. Familiarisation with their environment will be super important when it comes to their first few days. It will hopefully help encouraging your child to ease the separation too. 

When you have a preschool of choice confirmed, try to bring the fact your child will be starting school into regular conversation. This way, it’s already part of their everyday routine and dialogue. Preparing your child to be ready for school is a big challenge, talk about the school day and spend time supporting your child to be ready.

Potty training

Be prepared that preschools may ask you if your little one is potty trained or not. It’s not always a deal-breaker but it’s good to check a preschool’s policy. You should aim to do this a while before they start in case you will need to progress their potty training. 

Although, fear not if your little one still experiences the occasional accident. Preschool staff will be on hand to change them, just make sure you pack a spare set of clothes in their bag.  

Trial periods spent apart

Many little ones will likely shed a tear or two on their first day of preschool when the realisation sets in that you’re leaving. 

To try and prevent a mini-meltdown and make the experience much better for everyone, consider trial periods of separation before the day. This will hopefully mean they become somewhat used to waving you goodbye!

Whether you practice time apart with friends, grandparents, or relatives, you’ll find getting them used to life without you will improve their overall time at preschool too. 

Nevertheless, if you and your little one is currently joined at the hip, some preschools allow parents to accompany them on their first few days.

Practice self-help skills

Tasks that your little one can do by themselves will make them more independent and ease any worries that you have of them being without you. 

Activities like washing their hands, going to the toilet, and putting their shoes on will be great to master before starting out. 

Mealtime manners

Many preschools encourage parents to teach their little one about mealtimes such as how to use a knife or fork. Maybe not so much that they can cut up their own food, but just enough that they won’t eat certain meals with their hands. 

If your little school-starter is coming home for lunch and dinner – meaning that drink and biscuits will be the only items on the menu then typically, this won’t be something to worry about.

Otherwise, you’ll want to invest in some good starter cutlery and to start practicing at home. That includes picking out their favourite bottle that they can take with them.

Introduce the routine

You'll find that a change in routine will not be received well by your little one. 

That’s why it will be good to start slowly introducing what the new day will look like. This includes getting them up at a new time if it’s an earlier start, packing their bag for the day ahead and scheduling in a new lunchtime.


You may have heard other parents or experts recommend teaching your little one some of the basics, such as reading and writing before they begin preschool. 

However, while we all want our little ones to have the best start in life, you shouldn’t feel lots of pressure to teach them too much before they start preschool. 

Instead, look at how to incorporate play into their learning. This way they’ll associate it with fun and it will likely suit their stage of development.

Preschool equipment

The more obvious essentials to shop for a little one at preschool include a backpack and school shoes, yet there’s some things that may not have yet crossed your mind. 

That’s why we’ve popped together a free downloadable checklist to help pack your preschool bag, meaning that nothing’s left off the list!

Take a deep breath

Lastly, some advice for you, remember to take a moment to chill. After all, it’s likely the stress will soon disappear when they’re skipping off to their new-found friends in the playground.

In the meantime, if you need some inspiration to shop preschool essentials or want to browse some of our favourites, why not discover our Back-to-school collection!

Shop Preschool Essentials>>