Back-To-School Shopping List for Junior Kindergarten

Now Kate’s Kids have all graduated from kindergarten a few years ago (she had kids in kindie for 6 straight years), but Erin will be preparing to send Thumper back to daycare in September and then kindergarten in 2022. The list for Back to School List for Kindergarten and Preschool is pretty similar. As a teacher I tell parents to keep it simple in terms of supplies as the schools should provide all the basic essentials. 

back to school shopping list for junior kindergarten

Lots of parents start to fret when it comes to what to get for back-to-school.  You want to do most of your shopping before the kids head into the classrooms, but what do they need?  What are you wasting your money on? What do I need to send for kindergarten? Well here is my Back-To-School Shopping list for Junior Kindergarten:

Back-To-School Shopping list for Junior Kindergarten

Clothes and Shoes

  • Indoor AND Outdoor shoes – No laces, your child needs to be able to put on and take off their own shoes.  Go with Velcro, or something like this awesome Ninja Turtles slip on runners until your child has mastered tying shoes. Velcro Shoes  are the best option as they are the easiest for kids to put on and off themselves and they are still structured to provide support unlike crocs or slip on shoes. 

  • Pants – Stay away from jeans if you child cannot button/unbutton them themselves.  I love to pick up jogging/sport pants. They are easy to get on/off independently while at school. 
  • Shirts – Go for comfort, kindergarten has lots of movement and play.  Make sure your kids will be comfortable in their clothing. If your kids go to a school for uniforms be sure to check out Carter’s Uniform Collection including khakis as they carry Uniform Ready Dress Code Basics in Navy and White for a great price! 
  • Hoodie – Perfect for layering up over t-shirts during the Spring and Fall. 
  • Winter Gear – Costco often starts selling their winter gear as early as August. Another great place to buy winter gear like jackets, and snow pants is from Carter’s as they often have sales. Make sure to Label all of this gear as it often goes missing, as the Kindergarten cubby area is almost always pure chaos.

  • Hats – Pick up extras so you are not in a panic in the morning when trying to get out the door for school. 
  • Mitts – I buy several identical sets of mitts, so if you lose a mitt or two you still have matches. 

What School Supplies do Kindergarteners need:

  • Backpack – We went with a regular size backpack, I know it might look large on your JK, but you don’t have to fill it.  Plus it gives you room to pack an extra change of clothes and lunch  and  snow  pants  in  the  winter. 

  • Lunch box – Get a lunch box that is large enough to fit everything.  Once you get a sandwich, a few snacks and an ice pack you would be surprised at how much space that takes up. I personally like Bento boxes as it allows you to have different compartments and offer your child multiple different snack options. Check out these Easy bento box lunch ideas for kids.easy-bento-box-school-lunch-ideas-1
  • Water bottle/Lunch Containers – Choose a container that your child can open themselves to make lunch and snack time less stressful for your child. 


  • Tissues– While you might not need this at the beginning of the year, come winter time it is a good idea to have some small packages of tissue to send in your child’s bag for runny noses. Teachers also love if you can send in some boxes of Kleenex as classrooms go through tons.

  • Masks – Welcome to the world of a pandemic where sending masks with your child has become the new normal unfortunately. You want to send your child with multiple masks as they are sure to get wet, dirty, fall on the floor and everything in between. 
  • Hand Sanitizer – I like the hand sanitizers that you can clip to your child’s lunch bag to ensure that they wash their hands at snack breaks. 
  • Labels – Seriously, label EVERYTHING. Makes it so much easier to get back hats, water bottles, and even shoes when they are labeled. Our favourite go to for Labels is Mabel’s Labels.


Back to School Snacks:

You may have noticed the lack of school supplies on my back-to-school shopping list for Junior Kindergarten, and that is because at this stage your child is going to need very few actual school supplies.  Paper, crayons, markers etc will likely all be supplied by the school. 

If you don’t have any arts & craft supplies at home, then maybe pick up some so your child can practice skills like drawing shapes or cutting paper with scissors at home.  But don’t go overboard with the markers just yet, at this stage enjoy the fact that you don’t need binders, rulers or calculators yet.  Instead I had some fun shopping for back-to-school clothes online as it saved so much time!

Moms will appreciate the reasonable prices while kids love shopping the large selection of styles at Carters, Amazon, and Children’s Place. 

Bee is going into kindergarten this September and I’m not sure what to expect.  I’m hoping everything will go smoothly after all my daughter enjoys daycare and makes friends easily, so it should be no problem right?  Haha, not likely.  I know there will be tears, likely from both of us.  New school, new people.   The only thing I can do is prepare her by making her a little more independent. 
The teachers at my daughters new school have already told me that they follow the philosophy “Ask three then ask me” which means: ask three of your peers and if you still need help the teacher will step in.  Very different then her daycare where the adults help put shoes and sunscreen on.  This has made me aware of all the little things my daughter needs help with that she could be capable of doing on her own if she’s just shown how.
With that said, lets take a look at these small changes you can make at home this summer to prepare your child for kindergarten.

5 Tips on Getting Your Child Kindergarten Ready

  1. Shoes:It goes without saying that unless your chile can manage shoe laces sending easy to put on shoes is best.  Velcro or elastic style laces work well.  As far as getting them on the right foot, well I put two circles on Bee’s shoes with permanent marker.  Just place one circle on each shoe where their big toes are, so when they put their shoes on they know that the polka-dots need to match up.  She has not put her shoes on the wrong foot since!

  2. Label Lunch Containers: A lot of the new students don’t know which order to eat the contents of their lunch bag and will therefor eat their afternoon snack at lunch time.  The solution: place a letter or number on each container so they know which one to use first.

     For example morning snack #1, lunch #2 and afternoon snack #3.  Also, buy easy to open containers or have your child practice opening them (see the next tip).  

  3. Practice using Lunch Bag:  Something that never occurred to me until I went to the kindergarten information session was teaching my daughter how to use her lunch box.  The daycare she attends brings her lunch and snacks to her so I’ve never had to pack a lunch.  We are now practicing how to open her lunch containers as well as using her lunch bag like they would in school.  

    From morning snack right through to afternoon snack.  This way when school starts she will know how to open the lunch containers as well as which snack to eat and when.  Also, consider timing your child, mine is a slow eater which she will have to remedy for school.

  4. Time Away: If you were able to stay home with your child until now and they haven’t spent a lot of time with other adults or children you may want to set up a few play dates in which you are not present.  Going to school full time will be a big change for them.

  5. Wean Nap Time:This may or may not be successful, or you might not be interested in breaking your child’s need for a nap, however know that most kindergarten classes do not have a nap or quiet time during the day.  So, if your child is very tired and still naps they may find themselves falling asleep in a reading area or even the floor.

Did I miss anything on the Back-To-School Shopping list for Junior Kindergarten?  What are your” must haves” when shopping for back-to-school?




6 thoughts on “Back-To-School Shopping List for Junior Kindergarten”

  1. Must haves are good quality shoes, and clothes that will last but don’t break the bank….they will get so messy and dirty while learning in kindergarten that I don’t want to have to worry about items that get ruined

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