I am still in disbelief that the kids are going back to school next week! Whether you are getting ready to send your kids off for the first time, or for the last time, here are some fun ideas to make back-to-school fun and memorable for your child(ren).
1.) Back to School Fashion Show – my favorite part about going back to school was (and still is) back to school shopping. Let the kids show off their new clothes with a fun family fashion show!
2.) Present School Supplies in a Special Way – wrap them up, make a school supply “cake,” or hide them around the house and hold a scavenger hunt – there are many ways to have a little extra fun with receiving their new school supplies this year! Also, I know the list we get is fairly specific, with no room to splurge on the fun stuff (which I understand, as it keeps things “fair” at school). But, go ahead and splurge on some of that fun stuff and just keep it at home for homework!
3.) Create a Homemade Gift for your Child's Teacher – there are many ideas on Pinterest if you need some inspiration, but making something thoughtful for the teacher, before they have to go back to paper grading, will be fun for your child and the teacher will appreciate the thought behind the gift.
4.) Make a Summer Scrapbook – As you make your summer scrapbook, spend time talking about the memories you made over the summer and reinforce how much the time you spent together means to you.
6.) Plan a Special Breakfast – One of our favorite special breakfasts is a strata, but a close second is a french toast casserole. Pick a favorite dish that you can prepare the night before, and just pop it in the oven in the morning. Or, make a sweet twist on a classic breakfast with double chocolate chip pancakes (use chocolate milk while making the pancake batter and add chocolate chips). Or, nothing says special like a candle – put a candle on a muffin, waffle, or stack of pancakes, and sing “Happy Back to School to You!”
7.) First Day of School Photos – Take a picture every year, in the same spot, or holding the same sign. There are a ton of printable “First Day of School” signs on the Internet – check some out on Pinterest. You can also write some information on a chalk board or dry erase board. Just make sure to take those pictures.
(One of my favorites is my daughter holding a picture of MY first day in Kindergarten on HER first day of Kindergarten!)
Bonus) Make sure you look into resources like collegepaperworld that help your child get ahead with their homework.
8.) Boo Hoo Breakfast – This tradition is not for the kids – it's for the moms! Because it can be a hard time for moms sending their kids off to school for the first time, plan a breakfast with a group of moms in a similar situation the first day of school, after the bus picks up the kids. Whether your tears are of sadness or joy, you will enjoy the company of other moms at this special breakfast.
9.) Back to School Interview – I have pinned a couple interview forms, and I have always had so much fun asking the kids the same questions every year to see how the responses change. I kept all my interviews saved on my computer, which proved to be sad when my laptop was stolen last year. So, moving forward, I will also print them and keep them with our records. An alternative is to keep one piece of artwork (or the way they write their name) to compare with how their work/name looks at the end of the year!
10.) Leave Notes in Lunchboxes – Leave a short and sweet note in your child's lunchbox on the first day of school, and everyday! If they can not read, draw a cute little picture – a simple heart, star, or smiley face will do! They even have printable pre-designed notes available on Pinterest.
11.) School Year's Eve – Make the night before back-to-school a night to remember! Throw up some decorations before you: get their backpacks ready to go, pick out their outfits, and put the finishing touches on the Teachers gift.
12.) Back to School Fairy – a cousin of the tooth fairy, the back to school fairy will drop off fun school supplies, and/or a note of encouragement for the first day of school. A fun and unique way to start the day.
13.) Special After-School Snack – When your kids get off the bus in the afternoon, surprise them with a special after school snack. Maybe you want to go BIG with a giant cookie cake, or allow them to help you make the special snack (which will make it even more special!).
14.) Special Dinner – Head out to your child's favorite restaurant, or prepare their favorite foods for dinner.
Implementing all 14 ideas may be a little extreme, but think about picking one or two to try with your kids this year. What are your favorites?