This is it ladies and gents; this is the year where my first baby officially starts school. Sure, Luke will go back to school at the same one he attended for preschool, but this is the first year he’ll be going all day, five days a week. I’ll pack his very own lunch that he’ll eat with his buddies in the cafeteria. He will be at school more hours a day during the week then he’ll be awake at home and this will be our first go at real homework.
I haven’t decided yet if I’m thrilled or terrified.
One thing that I do know for certain that I want to make the beginning of the school year memorable for my kids. I’m looking at this first year of school as a fresh start for new traditions for our family and as a way to add some extra excitement into an already exciting time. In case you’d like to do the same, I’ve put together a short list of ideas for traditions you can start with your own family.
1. Create a special celebratory dinner.
I saw this idea on Nie’s blog years ago and the idea has carried with me since then. I adore that she puts together a delicious dinner, complete with the fancy china and crystal goblets for a meal with just her family to celebrate the beginning of the new school year. If fancy dinners aren’t your cup of tea or the thought of using Grandma’s antique dinner ware gives you the chills, try making it special in another way. Let your child pick the menu, buy character paper plates, blow up balloons and tie them on the backs of the chairs. Do something above and beyond the norm to make it memorable.
2. Start their first day off right.
Now I’m not saying to create two celebratory meals for your child (unless you totally want to), but why not make a nicer-than-usual breakfast? Typically have cereal or oatmeal for breakfast like we do? Pancakes are just that much better. If you already make your children a hot breakfast each morning, you’re my hero and keep doing what you’re doing. 😉
3. Create a self-portrait.
One of my favorite activities to do with my new students when I was a teacher was to have each child draw a self-portrait of themselves. I absolutely adored getting to see how they each viewed themselves as they started the school year. I made sure they included a background as its a great way to see what they enjoy doing best or where their favorite place is. Tuck it away in a safe place and have them do it again at the end of the year. The growth and change over the course of the year is awesome.
4. Welcome them home in style!
I know a lot of people have banners that they hang up for kids when they get home from their last day of school, but I think it’d be great to come home to a banner like that on the first day of school. Celebrate the beginning of something, not just the end! And while you’re at it, bake up a home made treat like your child’s favorite cookie or cupcake. I don’t offer up goodies like that to my kidlets on a regular basis so a special occasion like the first day of school is the perfect opportunity to splurge.
5. Hand write a letter to the teacher. Trust me.
Not all traditions need to be about your kids. It’s important to remember to recognize the teacher your child will spending countless hours with over the course of the next nine-ish months. Something as little as a handwritten note introducing yourself and thanking them for the hours they’ve already put into getting ready for the school year can go a long way. It’s the little things that matter, that truly count. Sure, gifts are nice, but words can be so much more touching.
6. Take a picture; it lasts longer.
If you read a blog, any blog, or peruse Pinterest in your spare time, you’re sure to have seen the Back To School Signs that are floating around the internet. They are everywhere. I have some of my hands-down favorites pinned to my Printables board. Check ’em out, print them, and prepare for unending photo cuteness!
There you have it, my top ideas for traditions to embrace this new school year!
I’d love for you to tell me in the comments if you already do some of these suggestions or if you have other yearly back to school traditions that your family makes sure to do each year. I’m always looking for more ideas to kick the year off right!
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