25 Fun First Day of School Traditions

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First Day of School Activities

Before you know it will be time for Back to School again. To help you celebrate the first day of school and make it extra special for your kids, we found some fun first day of school traditions! The first day of school has become such a great time of year to capture a kid’s growth! So many people are using the first day of school pictures to mark how much their kiddos have progressed from year to year. It’s an exciting time when things seem fresh and new for kids. It’s also a time of year when kids can get a bit anxious and nervous. Establishing fun first day of school traditions may make starting school an even more exciting and easy transition for your kids. For all the parents wanting to celebrate sending those kids off to school, here are some great first day of school traditions to work into your family celebrations 😉

25 Fun First Day of School Traditions

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The first day of school can be a scary (and sometimes dreaded) day for some kids.  The anxiety of new teachers, new classmates, and maybe even a new school can be a lot for a little kid to deal with.  BUT there are also a lot of fun and exciting things that come with “Back to School” time.    

First Day of School Traditions

By incorporating some of these fun back to school traditions, you can help ease those first-day-of-school jitters, make some fabulous memories, AND get the school year off to a great start!

First Day of School Fun

1.  Celebrate School Year’s Eve  We’ve ALL heard of New Year’s Eve, but have you ever celebrated School Year’s Eve?!  Why not turn the night before the first day of school into a party and give the kids a reason to celebrate?  Throwing up some decorations for a quick, impromptu back to school party is an easy way to set the mood and get the kids excited about the new school year.  

2.  Back to School Dinner Party–  Back to school time is ALL about making new goals, right?  And this super-dee-duper cute back to school themed goal-setting dinner party is the perfect way to do just that with the whole family!  It even includes coordinating:  goal setting cards, name tag place settings, napkin rings, and fun hats for everyone to wear!  

3.  Back to School Fashion Show Getting new school clothes was always my favorite part of going back to school.  Let the kids show off their new outfits with a family “Back to School Fashion Show.”  Set up a little runway in the living room and let each of the kids take turns strutting their stuff on the catwalk.  Our definite FAVORITE place to buy clothes for the kiddos is Zulily.com. Have you signed up yet?! They have awesome daily deals, especially on clothes for kids!

4.   Back to School Breakfast–  Here’s a fun first day of school tradition!  Surprise the kids with a special breakfast before school- pancakes in the shape of their new grade level.  

5.  First Day of School Interview Page–  Document all of the anticipation and excitement of the first day of school with a back to school interview!  This would be such a fun keepsake to stick into your child’s journal or scrapbook, and you can download the printable interview page for free! 


First Day of School Photos

6.  First Day of School Memory Page See how much your child changes over the year with these school memory pages.  This printable keepsake makes it easy for your child to record his or her first and last day of school memories.  

7.  First Day of School Photos– This might be the most popular back to school tradition- every year take a photo of your child on their first day of school.  These printable first day of school photo signs make the perfect photo prop!

8.  Back to School Binder– Here’s a fun idea- start a “Back to School Binder” for each of your children.  Not only will it help you get organized for the new school year, but it’s also a great place to keep and store their school memories through the year AND the rest of the grades.  These back to school binder printables include sections for homework, artwork, grades, and calendars.

9.  Back to School Snack Mix– This adorable “Back to School Magic Snack Mix” is quite possibly one of the cutest things I have seen.  All you have to do is attach the clever poem to a snack mix and voila- you have a sweet treat to give your kiddos.  The idea is that they eat it right before bed to help get rid of those pesky back-to-school jitters.

10.  First Day of School Fairy– If your kids love the tooth fairy, they are sure to love the first day of school fairy!  If you leave the windows unlocked for her, she drops off fun school supplies and a little note of encouragement for the first day of school.  What a fun way to make the first day a little more magical for the little ones!


Fun Back to School Traditions

11.  First Day of School Lunchbox Love Notes Here’s a super quick and easy idea that will make you super-mom.  Just print off these adorable lunchbox love notes and tie them onto a treat or two to tuck into their lunchbox.  

12.  Giant After-School Snack Here’s an idea any kid is sure to love- surprise them with a GIANT after-school snack when the walk in the door from their first day of school.  Surviving the first day can be rough, they deserve a special treat.  

13.  The Magic School Bus-  Darn, this link is no longer available 🙁 But a visit from “The Magic School Bus” is a great way to get the little kids excited about a new school year!  Imagine your child’s surprise when they answer a knock on the door to find a whole bag FULL of back to school goodies!  

14.  Special First Day of School Lunch This cute collection of printables for your child’s lunchbox is the perfect way to make the first day of school extra special.  Included are fun tags, coupons, and treat labels to make your kiddo feel extra loved. And make sure to check out our post FULL of school lunch ideas!

15.  School Supply Scavenger Hunt- The original link is no longer available but we designed our  FREE PRINTABLE School Supply Scavenger Hunt with TWO versions…. a picture “search and find” for the younger kids AND printable scavenger hunt clue cards for the older kids who can read. Add a little excitement by sending your kids on a back to school scavenger hunt in search of their new school supplies.  You have to buy them anyway, so why not turn it into a fun game?! 


Fun First Day of School Traditions

16.  Back to School Candy Grams–  Make the first day of school extra sweet with these clever back to school candy grams using Red Hots, Airheads, Extra Gum, Starburst, Crunch and Nerds.{Oh, and while you’re at it, you have to check out this cute First Day of School Candy Poster I found on Pinterest!}

17.  School Bus CakeCelebrate the first day of school with this cute {and delicious} school bus cake! Surprise the kids with it when they get home from school OR have fun decorating it together.  {Oh and you if have littler ones- you have to check out this other darling school bus cake I found on Pinterest!  Perfect for the younger ones.}

18.  Water Bomb the Bus–  Meet the kids at the bus stop after school and water bomb them with water balloons!  Now THIS would officially earn you the title of “Fun Mom!” Have you ever seen these water balloons?! If you haven’t, drop everything and order some STAT!

19.  Go Shopping for Study Buddies– How darling is this back to school tradition?  Take the kids shopping for a new “study buddy” stuffed animal!  

20.  Back to School Schultutes-  The original link is no longer available but it’s a German tradition to celebrate a child’s first day of school with a giant paper cone {called a schultüte} full of school supplies and treats.  Fun, huh?  {Check out this tutorial for how to make your own schultute!}


Back to School Ideas

21.  Back to School Time Capsule–  Using boxes like these, make a back to school time capsule together on the first day of school to preserve those precious memories that seem to fly by way too fast!  Then enjoy looking through it together on the last day of school! 

22.  First Day of School Balloons How fun would THIS be for your child to wake up to on the first day of school?!  Nothing says “celebration” quite like some streamers and balloons.  

23.  Jitter Glitter– If your child is anxious and nervous for the first day of school, this “Jitter Glitter” using small packets of glitter might be the perfect thing to help calm those nerves and re-gain a little confidence.  

24.  Mother-Daughter Back to School Bracelets These mother-daughter back to school bracelets {and the clever poem that goes with them} may be the sweetest thing ever!  Wear them while you’re apart to keep each other close at heart.

25.  Boo Hoo Breakfast for Moms Most back-to-school traditions are for the kids, but here’s a tradition that is perfect for the MOMS!   The first day of school can be a hard one for mom {especially if you’re dropping off a Kindergartner for the first time.}  So why not host a “Boo Hoo Breakfast” for all your mom friends and get together for breakfast after the school drop-off.  Whether you’re crying tears of sadness or joy- every mom is sure to appreciate some time together to eat and chat!


For even MORE fun ideas and printables, head on over to Angie’s 30 Ways to Celebrate Back to School AND don’t forget to check out our “Back to School Ideas” Pinterest Board!– it is seriously loaded with Back to School fun & inspiration! We also have a Back to School Shopping List loaded with all your kiddos will need!

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Besides my amazing husband, I love a good book, sappy love songs, chick flicks, musicals, cute crafts, and all things chocolate. I have four kiddos at home and they definitely keep life at home FUN!

Learn more about Becca
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