Back-to-School: First Day of School Traditions to Start
For my daughter’s first day of Kindergarten, I figured a photo would make the perfect first day of school tradition. I ordered a cute “First Day of Kindergarten” sign for her to hold while capturing the moment. I took her picture inside, outside and walking into school. For not being a morning person, she was a good sport when it came to smiling and posing for the camera!
Looking back, however, what I remember most is how excited (and nervous) she was to be going to a new school. I love pictures, but I want to start a tradition that’s not only memorable for me, but also fun for her! I want her to start her school year off on a happy and positive note, since this can be such an overwhelming time for young children. Here are some back-to-school traditions I’m considering starting this year.
First Day of School Traditions to Start
1. First day of school survey. Ask your child a short list of questions about their likes and favorites. For example, favorite song, favorite food, activity he/she enjoys most, etc. Ask these same questions each year, and one day, look back and compare their changing answers.
2. After-school dinner date. After the first day of school, let your child choose a restaurant to go eat at! Use this as an opportunity to ask all about their first day. What they learned, who they’re sitting next to, what they think about their teacher…
3. Special dinner at home. Have a “I Survived My First Day of (Grade)” party! Order pizza (or your child’s favorite food). Set up an ice cream sundae station. Get balloons, a banner and a goody bag for your child full of their favorite treats, toys, pencils, notepads, etc. Invite some of their friends, or keep it family only. Play loud music, dance around and enjoy each other’s company before bedtime!
4. Special treat inside their lunchbox. On their first day, write a small note and put their favorite candy or treat inside! Imagine the excitement your child will feel opening their lunch bag and seeing a special note from mom or dad (and the candy helps too!).
5. Back-to-school gift. Is there a toy your child has been asking for all summer? A new pair of shoes? A book series you think they’ll enjoy? Wrap something up and give it to them in the morning or after school. Have it sitting on the kitchen table when they come downstairs for breakfast or sitting on the porch when they arrive home from school.
6. Back-to-school fashion show. Invite family and friends over, set the stage and let your child model all of his/her new school clothes! Set up a chairs alongside a “runway”. Take photos and play music. This is actually something my sisters and I used to do and I remember it being a highlight of my back-to-school experience.
7. Create a back-to-school countdown. For all of December, we create a string of paper rings and remove one each day leading up to Christmas. Do this for the month prior to get your child excited about the first day of school!
8. Don’t forget the photo. Have your child hold a small sign or chalkboard marked with the date, grade, etc. You can take one on the last day of school too and compare.
What are your favorite back-to-school traditions for children? How does your family commemorate the first day of school?