Preschool Age Essentials

Editor’s Note: This post is sponsored as I was kindly sent complimentary products featured in this post – all are designated with “c/o” – in exchange for writing about them. All editorial and opinions are my own. 

I can hardly believe W just started preschool – where did my baby go? All those people who tell you to soak up every little last moment because babies grow up way too fast are right. It all goes by in the blink of an eye and this season of life we’re in right now has got to be my favorite so far. It’s so beautiful seeing our little gift from God grow and learn and laugh with us. I thought I’d share a few of our current essentials with you which are all geared toward the preschool years.

Beige Saddle Oxford Shoes by L’Amour (c/o) from Petit Foot

We just had W’s formal portraits taken along with some family photos and these beige leather saddle oxford shoes were dressed-up cuteness to a T. I love that they seem comfortable for W and, boy, are they handsome with those knee socks! The color is also so versatile that we’ll be able to use these for photos, Easter celebrations and transitioning into summer. Petit Foot has the loveliest collection of shoes for babies, toddlers and young children from boat shoes to boots to moccasins to Mary Jane’s.

Personalized Heirloom Outfit (c/o) from Zadabug

I know W is getting close to that age where I’ll no longer be able to dress him in all the sweet bubbles and smocked jonjons that I love. So, for me, these preschool years mark the last bit of time that I can still dress my W up like a baby doll and I plan on doing it every chance I get. This darling monogrammed 2-piece suit from Etsy shop Zadabug will be perfect for Easter and spring pictures this year and I’m highly pleased with the quality. I also must say, Ronda, the shop proprietress, is the sweetest. She even helped me find the most perfect monogram style and I love the white-on-white ‘W’ she made. I’m so looking forward to having W wear this when it warms up outside and the flowers are blooming.

Custom Silhouettes by Patti Rishforth (c/o) from Heart Paper Scissors

I’m not sure I can even contain my excitement with these silhouettes! Patti Rishforth, of Heart Paper Scissors, captured W’s raw essence with those angelic ringlets and sweet little profile. I love that when I look at these silhouettes there is no doubt that I’m looking at my sweet little boy. Patti has so perfectly immortalized this precious fleeting time in W’s life and I am forever grateful – a true heirloom gift to treasure for generations. Oh, and something even sweeter? When you order a silhouette, Patti folds the paper so you will receive two silhouettes – one to keep and one to give. In my case, I asked for two additional copies so I could gift them to a few special people in our lives.

Patti is also available to hand cut silhouettes at events like weddings. As she hand cuts the silhouettes of guests, they can then sign the guestbook next to their silhouette. And even better, because Patti folds the paper which makes two silhouettes, the guests are able to take one home with them. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds hired Patti for their beautiful Charleston wedding a few years ago which was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings – you can sneak a peek here and even see Patti’s silhouettes of the famous couple.

Deluxe Road Rug Play Set (c/o) from Melissa & Doug

At this age, W is all about cars and trucks and tractors so we thought he’d love this play rug and our guesses were right on the money. While he may not quite grasp the concept of keeping vehicles on the road or the importance of not running into buildings, he sure does enjoy playing with this set! As a mom, I love that the play pieces are wooden and that the rug is soft and machine-washable. And what’s really cool is that the rug fits perfectly inside W’s teepee so sometimes we pop it in there if we need extra room. The set features pieces for both a little city and a farm and I think this will be a favorite toy for many years to come. It’s also great to pull out for play dates!

Backpack and Lunch Bag (c/o) from Upcycled Threads Co.

I was surprised to learn during registration that W was required to have a backpack for preschool. I figured he would need a lunch bag but I didn’t envision him trotting off to school with a backpack on his shoulders until at least pre-K. Our preschool teacher suggested we get a regular sized children’s backpack so that it would easily fit W’s folder for his artwork and progress reports. Plus, this way the backpack will grow with him and he can use it as he gets older. I love the matching personalized backpack and lunch bag we chose from Etsy shop Upcycled Threads Co. And Tyffany, the shop proprietress, did a beautiful job monogramming them and shipping them ever so quickly so we’d have them in time for school. She also has the same style set in a cute alligator pattern that I was really tempted to order before deciding on the stripes. A few things I really like about this set: the backpack features adjustable and comfortable shoulder straps, there’s a padded compartment for a tablet as well as lots of extra pockets. The lunch bag has an easy-to-clean insulated lining, an exterior pocket and an adjustable handle with a buckle so you can easily attach it to the backpack for easy transport.

Children’s Stationery (c/o) from Ginger + June Paper Co.

I feel like the preschool age is the perfect time to order custom stationery for little ones because they’re beginning to form relationships with teachers and classmates that may necessitate some hand-written correspondence. Obviously, W isn’t going to sit down and pen an eloquent letter to anyone anytime soon but I think it’s a sweet touch to have some personalized note cards at the ready for him if I need to send a quick thank you to his teacher, classmate or friend. In my opinion, it’s never too early to teach the importance of a prompt and well-written thank you. And I am so in love with these adorable notecards from Ginger + June Paper Co. W loves anything with trucks on it so I thought the personalized cars and trucks notecards would be right up his alley as well as the firetruck notecards. And I just couldn’t pass up the sweet rainboot notecards – I mean, how sweet!

Personalized School Labels (c/o) from Phoebe & Emmet

We were instructed to “Label EVERYTHING!” in our preschool registration packet so I considered investing in a label maker but I wanted to find some labels that were custom and cute so I did a little browsing and I found just that with Phoebe & Emmet. My favorites from this Etsy shop are the waterproof vinyl alligator school labels and the personalized waterproof vinyl name stickers. Both of these waterproof styles are awesome for sticking on cups and tableware. We’ve hand washed the items several times now and so far, the stickers are holding up beautifully. I also really like the firetruck stickers for things like folders and supplies. They’re super cute and hold up well on items like those.

Silicone Tableware (c/o) from oogaa

I wanted to find some durable tableware that could easily go from home to school with W and I love the pieces we have from oogaa. They are all made from European approved food-safe, high-grade silicone (higher than FDA standards) and the coolest part is that with the two bowls, you can use washable markers to write notes or draw little pictures on the lids. The bowls are my go-to for school lunches because they are easy to pack and pop right in W’s lunch bag. The Jewel Blue Divided Plate is my favorite for meals at home because I like how the three compartments keep food separated. Oh, and oogaa’s spoons are wonderful, too – super soft with a long handle that makes it easy for adults to help.

Custom Monogrammed Bulletin Board (c/o) from LG Designs

I have come to absolutely love picking up W from preschool. His little face always lights up with the biggest smile when he spots me which makes my heart explode. And when we get home, the first thing I do is open his backpack to see what he made that day. His teacher always comes up with the cutest crafts and while I had just been taping them on the kitchen cupboards, I decided a bulletin board would display his art so much better. And I was so excited to find LG Designs because they make the most gorgeous customized bulletin boards. They offer so many different options – from the style and color of the frame to the fabric (I chose natural raffia but their linen colors look beyond gorgeous) to the numerous monogramming styles. I’m partial to traditionally styled monograms but I’m also loving this family board and this coral stamped board. Gina was lovely and easy to work with and the form I filled out was very thorough so I felt like I knew exactly what I’d be receiving and it showed up just as expected. The white frame and lettering against the raffia looks so clean and crisp and I love how that makes the board so versatile. For now, it’s hanging in our kitchen but I know it would also work great later on in an office or W’s room. For now, it’s such a happy sight to walk in and see all of W’s cheery masterpieces greeting us – but in a super organized and beautiful presentation thanks to LG Designs.

Children’s Art Displays (c/o) from JS Kids Gallery

I wanted something to add a bit of texture, movement and visual interest to our bulletin board and I just love these art palette children’s art displays that I found on Etsy. The primary colors pair so perfectly with W’s artwork and I love the colorful clothespins. The art displays are actually longer than I realized so I coiled some of the cord behind the easels but I like knowing that if I wanted to I could hang the displays on the wall if I need more space to showcase future masterpieces by our little artist.

Blue Gingham Push Pins (c/o) from Sydney Kathryns

There isn’t a gingham pattern I’ve ever met that I didn’t like and these adorable Blue Gingham Push Pins just pull everything together for me. They add a lovely dressed-up feel to the board and hum so nicely with everything. They also transition easily from a children’s bulletin board to a more “grown-up” board. The same Etsy shop also offers the sweetest travel tissue holders for weddings with cute sayings.

Diaper Storage Caddy (c/o) from Fawn Haven Baby

This beautiful fabric storage caddy is perfect for holding diapers, wipes, toys, etc. I originally had plans to use it in the car for better organization but it’s become a bathroom counter essential for now and really helps to tidy things up. I love the extra pockets in front for extra storage.

Custom Laminated Placemat (c/o) from Tricia Lowenfield Design

I am just smitten with everything by Tricia Lowenfield. Her style is a delicious mixture of whimsical European style folk art with a dash of classic. This custom laminated gingham placemat is the cutest thing and and I love how easy it is to clean. And the best part is how customized it is – I love how W’s sandy blonde ringlets are showcased. You can also request that the child hold different items (fishing pole, cross, bunny, etc.). Tricia also makes the prettiest ceramic plates (for weddings, birthdays and more).

Gingham Check Storage Baskets (c/o) from Wild Fleur-de-Lis

In the few short years that I’ve been a mom, I’ve learned that you can never have enough storage and I’ve come to really embrace storage baskets. I think we have some in nearly every room. With a toddler tornado in full effect, these baskets help keep my sanity in check because I can easily scoop up toys and books and toss them in a basket. Super quick and easy and they help make our house look (mostly) pulled together in a jiffy. I love the tan and white gingham check on these baskets and how well made they are. The neutral color and pattern makes them transition easily from room to room, as well.

Personalized Soft Cooler Bag (c/o) from Groomsday

I love using a cooler bag for impromptu playground picnics or for when we travel to the grandparents. And this personalized soft cooler bag has made it even easier to tote around as it has an adjustable shoulder strap. I also love the front pocket storage and the bottle opener … and obviously, the monogramming option! 

LT Balance bike (c/o) from Banana Bike

We knew it was just about the right time to get a tricycle or training bike for W but I kept hearing praises about balance bikes so I decided to look into it a bit. From what I’ve learned, balance bikes offer a great way for a child to start on two wheels right from the start which enables children to learn how to balance. With that mastery of balance, the transition to a pedal bike is supposed to be easier. I don’t know how all of that will go for W but I remember how hard it was for me to lose my training wheels as a little one and the frustration I felt in learning to ride without them so I’m hoping this makes that transition easier for W.

We chose the LT Balance bike (c/o) from Banana Bike and I really like the lightweight design of the bike – W can easily pick it up which means he doesn’t need help getting on or off. And the seat is adjustable which means it’s perfect for small children and can easily adjust to accommodate growth.

Photography and styling by Sarah Darcy of Classic Bride blog.