With all the excitement and possible anxiety that the first day of school brings, help your children take on the new school year with enthusiasm. Pick a few of these back-to-school traditions to start and then keep repeating each year.
School Year’s Eve Dinner. No need to stay up until midnight, instead toast to the new school year the night before with a special “School Year’s Eve” dinner. Whether it’s a favorite homemade meal or a trip to a local restaurant, celebrate as a family with a delicious dinner to make the kids feel special and gear up the excitement. Talk about what everyone is looking forward to in the coming year.
Student Survey. Create a series of interview questions for your kids. Ask what some of their current favorites are, what they are hoping to learn, and what they want to be when they grow up. The interview questions can be fun to repeat on the last day of school to see how their answers changed through the school year, as well as from year to year.
Height Check. Each year, it feels like kids grow like weeds. Make it a tradition to mark down everyone’s height the night before school starts. Whether it’s on a wall in your house, in a doorway, or in a closet, it will be a family heirloom as you watch everyone grow each year.
Gift of Words. Gift each child a new book for the new school year. Whether it’s the latest best-selling picture book, a new popular series, or one of your own favorites from childhood, it will be something your kids will remember. Go a step further and write a note on the interior cover of the book to your little one.
Sidewalk Cheers. Break out that sidewalk chalk after the kids have fallen asleep the night before school starts and get creative on your front stairs or sidewalk. Write sweet messages or draw pictures to help ease any first day nerves.
Breakfast of Champions. The first day of school deserves more than cereal and milk. Make a favorite breakfast complete with something that smells delicious to help spring them out of bed. Whip up their favorite muffins and include that for their morning snack to remind them you are rooting for them.
Strike a Pose. Get creative with your first-day-of-school pictures. Create a template with the date and school year, and then pick the same spot to take those photos later on to see how much your kiddos are growing. Whether it’s a chalkboard, a piece of paper, or a custom t-shirt, make the photos your own.
Sweet Note. The first day of school deserves a note of encouragement snuck into the lunchbox. No need to compete with a crazy creative lunch, instead include a note or drawing that will help your kiddo get through the day.
Post-School Party. Toast the end of the first day of school with a post-school party with some of their favorite or new friends. Let the kids choose popsicles or their favorite cookie to munch on while they debrief everything that happened on the first day of school. ■