Need to generate some enthusiasm for the coming school year? Create some hype and make back to school cool! Try a few of these ideas to celebrate this new beginning in a fun and memorable way.
THE WEEK BEFORE
Start prepping kids early for the big day with an activity to get excited about.
Family Time Capsule
Capture the school year in a tangible way by creating a yearly family time capsule. Have your kids include one or two meaningful items and interview them about what they’re looking forward to this school year, who their best friends are, etc. Place the items and interviews in a time capsule and bury it in the backyard. Next fall, before the start of the school year, dig up the time capsule and see what has changed for each child – then bury the next one!
Backyard Camping Adventure
Pitch a tent in the backyard for the ultimate school-themed camping adventure. Invite kids to spend the night under the stars for a little fun before the hectic school year begins. Have a fire pit? Ask kids to write any fears they have about the upcoming year on a piece of paper and then toss them into the fire as a way to build encouragement and support.
Kids love a good countdown, especially when they can participate in the action! Create a construction paper chain with each link signifying the number of days until the first day of school. Every morning, have your child tear off one of the links, announcing how many days left until backpack time. A chalkboard or dry erase board with the number of days remaining can be fun for kids to update each day as well.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Get the buzz going with a special activity designed to commemorate the big day tomorrow!
‘Twas the Night Before School Box
Pack new jammies, pencils, markers or crayons in a fun box or bag to present to your child on the eve of the first school day. Kids will love opening something special meant just for this night.
Potluck Dinner with School Friends
With a little advance planning, a potluck family dinner is a great way to celebrate the start of a new school year. Invite some classmates and their families to the backyard for a communal cookout and throw in an easy scavenger hunt for school supplies for a little extra fun.
Family Movie Night
After everything is lined up for tomorrow morning, settle in for school-themed movie night. Main attractions could include the Magic School Bus or High School Musical. Talk about the characters and stories and find out what your child’s hopes or goals are for the new year. (And don’t forget the popcorn and Twizzlers to make your movie night truly authentic.)
THE FIRST DAY
The big day has arrived – start (and end) it with a bang!
Bus Stop Donut Party
Get a sweet start by sharing donuts with fellow classmates before jumping on the bus. (Parents will require coffee, of course!) Everyone loves a party – and a morning celebration can be extra fun and unique.
Parents love a good first day picture. If you can, remember to snap a pic of the last day of school too. You and your kids may be surprised by how much they’ve changed! (Get a shot of everyone at the bus stop too!)
First Day Balloon
What grade is your child entering? Get a number balloon at your party store that corresponds to surprise your child with as he or she gets off the bus.
School Themed Dinner
Put down your pencils and pick up your utensils for a family dinner to honor the end of the first day! Ask kids to help plan the menu with some of their favorite foods. If you have the time, alphabet shaped cookies for dessert make for a report card winning A +.
A new school year is a big deal for kids – and parents! Put a positive spin on this new beginning by starting a few special traditions your children will look forward to every year!