Starting back to school traditions with kids can be fun, inspiring, and create new memories for many years to come. Growing up, I remember my mom decorating the house, making a special ice cream sundae for a snack and taking lots of pictures! Every summer, I looked forward to returning to school because I knew fun surprises were waiting for me when the new school year began.
Back To School Traditions to Start This Year
At the time, I didn’t realize those were traditions that my mother was creating for myself and my brother, but now I know and each year, I am sharing those same traditions that my mom started so many years ago with my boys and they love it!!
Check out some of the many back to school traditions my mom started with me and the new traditions, I have started with my boys! Start your own back to school traditions…your kids will love it!! Trust me…I know firsthand how fun these traditions are!
Back To School Traditions
Make a Summer Scrapbook together
Spend some time talking about memories from the summer and make a summer scrapbook together. You and your child could scrapbook the trip to Grandma’s house, the first fish they caught, the week at the beach and so much more. Reinforce how much the special time you have together means to you. Send them off to school in the security of knowing that no matter what happens during their day, YOU are there.
Enjoy a special breakfast
Before you send them off on the first day of school, give yourself a little extra time in the morning for a stack of hot pancakes, or a yummy casserole that you can prepare the night before and pop in the oven when you wake up in the morning. Get them going with a healthy belly-filling meal before you send them off to school!
Make an afterschool snack together
Instead of just dropping something in front of them include them in the preparation. It doesn’t need to be a complicated Martha-esque recipe either. Sliced apples and peanut butter, popcorn with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, a smoothie or trail mix made from things on hand will do.
Decorate to celebrate
Decorate your home a little and make it feel special for their first day. Especially if it’s a milestone year; PreK, Kindergarten, the first day of middle school, the first day of high school. It doesn’t need to be a huge party. Simply putting streamers in the doorway, a few balloons out front and a small handmade “Welcome Home” sign on the table will do. Make a batch of cupcakes for your little scholar. Incorporate some little touches that tell your child that you missed them and that you acknowledge it was a big day.
Have your child fill out an interview form
You can create your own “interview form” or take a peek on Pinterest to find one that someone has already created. You are sure to find one to suit your style. Put them together each year and watch how your child grows over the years.
Write a letter to your child’s teacher
Let your child’s teacher know you are grateful for the job path they have chosen and that you appreciate all the work they put into it. Be sure to tell them one or two things about your amazing kid, even though they will figure out the best qualities in your child.
Create a homemade gift for your child’s teacher
It doesn’t matter if it’s a pencil vase, sharpie mug or something thoughtful for your child’s teacher, have your child help you make something homemade for them. Explain why they are making something special for their teacher (how they invest so many hours into teaching them, etc.). Not only will it be quality time together but you are teaching your child the art of gratitude.
Choose a special book
Have your child’s teacher write a message every year, to be given at graduation. The popular choice is Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss, but I personally think any of these would be fantastic;
- Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (personal favorite)
- The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
- Curious You: on Your Way by H.A. Ray
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
- I Can Be Anything by Jerry Spinelli
- If you Hold a Seed by Elly McKay or anything else that is special to you and your child.
Have your child pose in the same spot every year so you can really see the difference in their growth and various other changes. Don’t forget to do it on the last day of school too! Take a photo of the night before with their clothes laid out to show the anticipation. Take pictures that include their backpack of choice, the school bus (if they ride one), friends they walk/ride with, a photo with the teacher. You can never have too many pictures!
Pack a Fun lunch
Be sure to include a note from you; it can be a silly joke, or a simple – Love, Mom. Even just using some cookie cutters you have on hand to cut out special shapes from a sandwich will have an impact on their day. It’s all about bringing a little light and happiness into their first day of school!
Share you back to school traditions you do at home with us!