Going back to school is such a big deal every year in every family, between all the preparations, getting organised and then the anticipation (and maybe nerves). We asked parents to share their own traditions for marking the first day of school. Here are some brilliant back to school traditions to delight your child:
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Marking the occasion of going back to school can help with making your child feel special, as they move up a year or start school or change school.
Most families take the back to school photo on the front door step but maybe you want to add some more pzazz to your first day of school plans, so these ideas should help!
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Brilliant Back to School Traditions
Back to School Scavenger Hunt
Hold a Scavenger Hunt for school items for the day before where your kids have to hunt out the new bits that you have bought over the holidays for their back to school bags.
Hangman’s Dinner The Night Before
Our editor Emily says her daughter gets to pick her “hangman’s dinner” i.e. her choice of her favourite meal for the night before back to school. This year it was cheesy chicken nachos followed by an ice cream sundae.
Emily says, “My grandmother used to do it for my dad and his siblings, then for me and now I do it for my daughter. It always made back to school a little less daunting, and we used to see how ridiculous we could make our dinner choice!”
Read a Special Story
The night before going back to school, snuggle up and read a special story together. Here are a couple of nice ones to try:
- The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems is a hilarious story perfect for those about to start school or nursery.
- Charlie and Lola – I am too absolutely small for school by Lauren Child is a classic first-day-at-school tale addressing children’s fears with warmth, humour, and a lot of fun.
School Fairy Visit
The School Fairy might plan a visit to bring some new bits e.g. lunchbox, notepad, pens that your child can enjoy.
Make a Special Breakfast
A few parents said they like to make pancakes for back to school first day of school. Or maybe your child has a favourite breakfast that they get at weekends that you could make.
A Little Back to School Gift
Mum Sarah said she gives her daughter a new backpack charm or key ring each year to mark the occasion.
Elf on the Shelf Postcard
If you have Elf on the Shelf in your house, maybe Elf would like to write a little Good Luck for School message!
First Day Photo
Of course there has to be a first day of school photo taken, but if you run out of time then you can always do it the day before or the day after.
You could add a little gift like a mini notepad or toy car or a surprise food item that your child wasn’t expecting in their lunch.
Note in the Lunchbox
Put a little note or print something fun to put in your child’s lunchbox to make them smile when they open it.
Good Luck Message
You might like to write a good luck message in chalk on the driveway. Then when your child steps out in the morning they see it.
Either using chalk or if you have a light box why not make a Welcome Home message? Something to make them smile when they get back from school.
Favourite Snack For After School
If your child has a favourite snack, then you can prepare that for after school, my eldest daughter always loved cheese quesadillas.
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First Day of School Interview
A nice tradition is to get your child to do a little First Day of School Interview. They write down some facts about themselves and their feelings for this school year.
Download our free printable First Day of School Interview.
First Day of School Movie
Your child could pick their choice of a movie to watch with you after school.
After School Treats
We always buy doughnuts for a special after school treat. Mum Clio says “We usually go for cupcakes after school. This year it will be a take out order of cupcakes to enjoy at the house”.
You could make a special lunch or tea / dinner to cheer them up after 1st day back. Or maybe you could bake something together when they get back from school.
Create a School Year Bucket List
Your child might like to put together a school year bucket list. This could include things they would like to achieve school wise but also other things like after school activities or new things they want to learn.
Have your say! What fun back to school traditions do you do in your house? Tell us in the comments below.