We’ve covered what items you should pack with your child to their day care center, but what about items you shouldn’t bring? Here’s a list of items that are better left at home.

Special Occasion Clothes

Dressing up your kids nicely for their day at a day care center may seem like a good idea. But day care isn’t the place for clothes that you want to keep nice.

Teachers don’t have time to follow your child around to make sure their clothes stay just right. So, expect your child to get messy at day care. After all, hands-on, sensory play is one of the best ways to learn, and that can be a messy endeavor. Instead, embrace the mess and send them in clothes you don’t mind getting food or paint on. They’ll have more fun if they are able to explore and play without worry. Sending an extra pair of clothes with your child is also a good way to ensure they’re clean, dry, and happy when you pick them up.


Necklaces, bracelets, and rings are fun to wear, but these are items that should be enjoyed at home only. These can pose a choking hazard and could cause injury to another child. Not to mention, other classmates could also become jealous of your child. This might end up causing fights, tantrums, and hurt feelings (especially if some of the jewelry becomes broken or damaged). While jewelry is a great way to play dress up and accessorize an outfit, it’s best to leave it all at home when leaving for the day care center in the morning.

Shoes That Can Slip Off Easily

Flip flops and crocks are easy to put on your child’s feet, but these shoes often slip or fall off easily. Your child (and their teacher) likely won’t want to stop to put on their shoe again for the 50th time. Sneakers are a great option, but any shoe that won’t easily slip off is the one you want to have your child wear to day care.

Items that Aren’t Labeled

If it isn’t labeled, it likely won’t make its way back home. So, make sure you label every item! And we mean every item. Clothing gear, shoes, bedding, hats, water bottles – everything should have your child’s name on it. This will not only keep your child’s items with them, but it will also help teachers tell which items belong to which child.

Candy or Juice

In some day care centers, your child may need a lunch or a few snacks sent with them each day. When packing up their food, it’s best to leave out candy or juice. Cookies, sweets, candy, juice, or chocolate milk will give them an energy spike and then cause them to crash the rest of the day. It can also cause some trouble if other kids see your child’s food, resulting in tantrums. Pack them food that will give them lasting energy (they have a lot of playing and activities to do!), and give out sweets when they get home.

Special Toys

Try and send your child with the essentials (diapers, wipes, extra clothes, etc.) and nothing extra. Sometimes, they can bring a toy and leave it in their cubby or bag if they are feeling homesick. But usually, special toys, stuffies, and cherished items shouldn’t come along to day care.

Many kids get attached to certain items, and it may be hard to keep them at home. But the risk of those things getting taken or forgotten at day care is big. Remind your kiddo that their special item will be waiting for them when they get back, and there will be so many new and exciting toys, books, and activities waiting for them at day care.


Sending your child to a day care center with their favorite tablet or electronic will not be in anyone’s best interest. Daycares have plenty planned for your child to do – including outdoor play, sensory play, art activities, storytime, and other learning activities that are used to help your child grow. Tablets and other electronics would only be distracting and have the potential to get broken. Have your child leave all electronics at home. This way, electronics stay safe at home, and your child will spend their time making friends, playing games, and doing activities with the rest of the group.

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Let Us Help Your Child Learn, Play, and Grow.

Leaving these items behind will help your child have a fantastic day at their day care center. If you’re on the hunt for the right day care for your child, look no further than Giggle and Grow!

At Giggle and Grow, we focus on the needs of very young children and will help your child grow with guidance and encouragement from our teachers. We strive to make a positive difference in the life of every child by partnering with parents to provide an environment that is safe, nurturing, educational, and individualized. Let us help your child learn, play, and grow!