As kids are getting ready to head back to school, it is important for parents to think about how to make this time as special as possible. There are only a few times that a family gets to celebrate the first day of school, and before we know it, children are flying the coop and heading out into the real world.
To hold on to this time and get kiddos excited about getting back into the classroom, try out one or more of these 10 ideas; from DIY projects and photo opportunities to traditions that the whole family can partake in together, these are all cute way to celebrate back-to-school season.
Children seem to really enjoy counting down, whether they are playing hide and seek or using an advent calendar during the holiday season. Before school starts, make a countdown so that everyone knows just how much time is left before the first day.
This will be extra useful for those who may not be excited about heading back, as it builds up the excitement and allows children to know exactly how much time is left. Kids can even help with making this countdown, whether it is marking out days on a wall calendar or taking loops off a paper chain.
Many families go back-to-school shopping, since new clothes and supplies may be needed. This is another smart way to get everyone ready for what is to come! There is just something about those aisles of fresh paper, unsharpened pencils, and super cool backpacks… Let kids pick out what colors and designs they want on their supplies, and let them have a try-on session in the dressing room, as well. They will feel responsible and anxious to show off their new finds, and they will have the tools they need for a successful year.
After buying any new clothes for the school year, let the kids help in planning their new outfits. For many, that first-day-of-school ensemble is a big deal, as it will make a first impression and assist in setting the tone. During this time, children can learn about mixing and matching and about what is appropriate for a school setting, and they will also surely enjoy getting a say in what they will be wearing. This is another idea that can get everyone excited about this new time in life, especially for anyone raising a wannabe runway model!
Some kids do not see their classmates all summer long. Others will have new friends to make. And some kiddos may even be preparing to attend new schools. In all of these instances, a party is a grand idea.
It doesn’t have to be anything big and fancy, but this celebratory time will allow everyone to mix and mingle either right before meeting up in the classroom or right after the first full week of school. Building up relationships with peers is important to kids of all ages, especially when fun can be enjoyed outside of school, too.
A common occurrence on the first day is to have a photoshoot, and there are lots of adorable ideas for this. On day one, a child can hold a balloon with a “1” on it, and then can hold the appropriate number on a different balloon when the last day of school rolls around. A child could hold up a chalkboard sign with questions and answers, like what grade they will be in and what they want to be when they grow up. A child could also get measured on this day and the last day, with a photo taken both times, in order to see how much they grow.
To elaborate, parents may want to hold an interview with their kids before school. This could be recorded and shared with the world, since the answers could be adorable, or it could be a private moment that is done just to check in before school starts. Questions can be about this time in life, to find out if a child is nervous, what subject they are looking forward to most and so on. And there can also be questions about the child’s current interests, which can be asked again at the end of the year, to see how much they have grown and changed.
Besides the necessary supplies a student will need for the classroom, think about throwing in a few special items, as well, as the Backpack Fairy. Like the Tooth Fairy, this magical being comes in the night and leaves goodies!
Some ideas for this include a new lunchbox, a special first-day outfit, a book about school, snacks or a wanted toy. This is a unique way to, once again, prepare a child for the year and hopefully cause some excitement (which is extra important for those who are reluctant to return).
Another tradition that families may find useful is making a calendar together. Organization and scheduling are important skills for children to learn, especially as they begin taking on more responsibilities in school. Once a parent has a child’s schedule for the year, everyone can sit down together and fill in important days, deadlines, practices, due dates, holidays and more. It may be best to have this on a big whiteboard calendar, too, hung up in the house where it can be seen and checked in on often, while older kids may prefer their own personal planners.
Once school starts, students will be bringing home tests they aced, art they created, stories they wrote and more, and parents will want to save all of these precious memories. Some may choose to hang up work each week on the fridge and then put it in a folder to be filed away. Some people may have special boxes or trunks that are filled with projects like these. And the kiddos can even help in building a specific area, which is broken up by grade level and which is used as a storage area for all of these beautiful pieces.
So, as mentioned, the first day of school is about to happen. Some children may be super anxious to get back to learning and playing with their friends. Some children would rather stay at home all day. And some parents are having mixed feelings about this time as well. Therefore, once that last bell rings on day one, pick up the kids and take them somewhere special: an arcade, to get ice cream, home for a movie marathon, the pool… Celebrate this time with them, ask them all about their day, and cherish the moment, since the next few years will fly by.