You may or may not be ready to see the end of summer break, but there’s no denying the anticipation and excitement that this time of year brings. The start of a new school year has its own set of fun adventures. Now is a great time to build memories with simple back to school traditions that can be repeated year after year…
1) Back to School Photos
Take a back to school photo. Here are a few photo suggestions:
- Take the picture in the same place each year.
- Make a sign announcing your child’s grade level. Have them hold it for the photo. A small chalkboard or dry erase board makes a great prop.
- Write their grade level with sidewalk chalk on the driveway. Take their photo with the chalk writing in the shot.
- Take a photo and use a free photo editor like PicMonkey to insert text about your child (name, grade level, and favorites) onto the photo.
- Check out this post for some easy photography tips.
2) Self Portrait and Interview
Have your child draw a self portrait and answer a few interview questions at the beginning of each year. Preserve all of these in a book, album, or folder. Here are few interview questions you could ask:
- What is your favorite food?
- What is your favorite color?
- Who is your best friend?
- What is your favorite book?
- What are your favorite things to do?
- What are you most excited about for this school year?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
3) School Lunch
Pack a special back to school lunch for your child with their favorite foods and a note to let them know you are thinking about them.
4) Growing Up
Use a growth chart or a door or wall in your home to mark your child’s growth on the first day of school each year.
5) Off to a Great Start
Begin a tradition of cooking a special breakfast on the morning of the first day of school. Whether its a back to school quiche or pancakes with a candle representing their new grade, the kids will enjoy having a special meal with you before heading off to school.
6) A New Chapter
Buy a new book each year and write a special message inside its cover. Books like Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, and other grade specific books are a fun option!
7) Note-able Tradition
Hide a note in your child’s backpack for them to find once they are at school. It doesn’t really matter if it’s funny, encouraging, or sweet. The purpose is to calm those back to school jitters and let them know you are thinking about them!
I grew up with a mother who prayed for us as we went off to school each morning. This is a powerful and beautiful tradition to begin with your child.
9) After School Snack or Meal
Enjoy a special treat, snack, or meal with your kids after school. Use this as an opportunity to talk about their first day.
Balloons always make events more fun! Have some waiting for them when they wake up. It will be an exciting way to start the day!
11) Classroom Charm
Give your child a key chain or piece of jewelry with a meaningful charm on it. They can hold onto it or place it on their desk when they need a reminder of the special meaning behind it. A charm bracelet that you can add a new charm to each year is another fantastic option.
12) Back to School Crafts
A quick search online for back to school crafts will result in more ideas than you’ll know what to do with. Choose a new craft to try at the beginning of each year.
13) Attention all Shoppers
Get the kids involved in back to school shopping. Younger kids will love going with you to buy their new supplies. Have the older kids make a list, clip coupons, and even find the best deals. Let the kids help with preparing everything for the big day too!
14) An Apple for the Teacher
With your child’s help, put together a small back to school gift for their new teacher.
Have a pizza and movie night! Put up decorations! Throw a small School Year’s Eve party! Go have fun at their favorite place! Do something–anything–that celebrates your child and another year of learning!
Do you have some back to school traditions that you plan to start or that you are already doing? We’d love to hear about them!