Celebrate the First Day of School

Traditions for the First Day of School

I can’t believe how fast the summer is flying by! Before you know it will be time for Back to School again. To make the first day of school 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 use first day of school pictures to mark how much their kiddos change year to year. It’s an exciting time when things seem fresh and new for kids. However, it’s also a time of year when kids can get a bit anxious and nervous. By establishing fun first day of school traditions the transition is easier for many kiddos. 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.

Celebrate the first day of school.

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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 Celebrations

Make going back to the first day of school a positive event. Incorporate some of these fun back to school traditions and help ease those first-day-of-school jitters. Not only will the kids feel better about going to school, but you will make some fabulous memories. And if your kids feel the love through these traditions – you may see them reused with your grandkids!

We have gathered up our favorites in the following categories:

The Night Before School Traditions

The last night of summer should be fun! It should also come to a timely end so those kiddos are ready for their new normal on the first day of school. :p I love the idea of making it special by have a dedicated dinner, activity, and bedtime! This list has ideas for your nervous babies too – even if that’s you.

Go on a school supply scavenger hunt for a new school tradition.

Back to School BraceletsThese 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.

Back to School Schultütes–  A Schultüte is a German tradition used to celebrate a child’s first day of school. Kids receive a giant paper cone {the schultüte} full of school supplies and treats.  Fun, huh?  {Check out this tutorial for how to make your own schultüte!}

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.

Celebrate School Year’s Eve–  We’ve ALL heard of New Year’s Eve, but have you ever celebrated School Year’s Eve?!  Turn the night before school starts 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. Not only that, but it will get the kids excited about the new school year.

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.  One of our FAVORITE place to buy clothes for the kiddos is Zulily.com. They have awesome daily deals, especially on clothes for kids!

Back to School Dinner Party–  Back to school time is ALL about making new goals, right?  And this back to school themed goal setting dinner party is the perfect way to do just that with the whole family!  In addition to the goal pages you will find name tag place settings, napkin rings, and fun hats for everyone to wear!

Back to School Snack Mix– This adorable “Back to School Magic Snack Mix” is quite possibly one of the cutest things I have seen.  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.

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!

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, this is the perfect activity. Add a little excitement by sending your kids on a scavenger hunt for their new school supplies.  You have to buy them anyway, so why not turn it into a fun game?!

Good Morning Celebrations for the New School Year

Keep the positive vibes going! Last night was a special one for your family, make the morning special. A rushed, annoyed, frantic morning for the first day of school is no one’s friend – but we’ve all been there. Make sure you wake everyone up on time, have those “first day of school” printables ready for pictures, and plan something special for yourself after the kiddos are in school.

Interview your new student for a back to school tradition.

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

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. It can be especially hard if you’re dropping off a Kindergartner for the first time.  Turn it around and host a “Boo Hoo Breakfast” for all your mom friends!  Not only do you get together to chat, but also breakfast!  But on’t worry, if you’re more into celebrating the kiddos going back to school we have a special Parent’s Independence Day party. 😉

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!  A great memory to stick into your child’s journal or scrapbook, and you can download the printable interview page for free!

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 to record th first and last day of school memories.

First Day of School Balloons– How fun would THIS be to document the start of a school year?!  You could also fill their doorway with balloons for when they wake up!

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!

At School Surprises for the First Day

Ok they are out of your hands – make sure the kiddos know they are NOT out of your heart! Pack a special lunch with a sweet note. This can give them a lunchtime that will carry them through the day and into your arms.

Candy grams are a great back to school gift.

Special First Day of School Lunch–  Make an adorable sandwich with sprinkles for the first day of school and add in a cute note. If you wanted to make their first lunch special – these printable notes are key! And make sure to check out our post FULL of school lunch ideas!

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

Back to School Candy Grams–  Make the first day of school extra sweet with these clever back to school candy grams. You could also wrap up individual candies (this site uses Red Hots, AirheadsExtra Gum, Starburst, Crunch and Nerds) with fun sayings.

Welcome Home First Day of School Ideas

Yay! Kids are home and hopefully ready to share all about their first day back at school! Make it a special time by meeting them at the schoolbus with some water balloons! Or if water fights aren’t your thing, present them with special coupons, a studdy buddy, or a delicious treat. Welcome home!

Gift your kid a study buddy for back to school

Back to School Surprise Coupons –  If you have a kiddo who has some trepidation going back to school, then this is for them. Not only do you get to give them something to look forward to, but it also provides quality time.

Back to School Binder– Here’s a fun idea- start a “Back to School Binder” for each of your children.  This will it help you get organized for the new school year. And conveniently it’s also a great place to store 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. Set up after those first days so you know what to expect.

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.

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 the bunch of balloons?! If you haven’t, drop everything and order some STAT!

Back to School Time Capsule–  Using mason jars, 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!

School Bus Cake-Celebrate 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 via Pinterest!  Perfect for the younger ones.}

Gift a Study Buddy– How darling is this back to school tradition? On the first day of school give your kids a special Study Buddy! You could even take the kids shopping for a new “study buddy” stuffed animal!

For even MORE fun ideas and printables, head on over to 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!

About the Author: Becca

Besides my hilariously witty husband, I love a good book, sappy songs, old black-and-white movies, cute crafts, and all things chocolate. I have four (seriously adorable) little kiddos at home and they definitely keep life at home FUN!

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