It feels as though summer is just getting started but already the stores are filling up with fall decor and school supplies. Soon vacations will be coming to an end and the back to school season will be upon us.
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This list of 12 cute back to school traditions will help ease the transition from the lazy days of summer to the classroom. Whether it is your child’s very first day of kindergarten or their last year before heading to college, it’s fun to mark the occasion and freeze the moment in a photo or other memento.
Back to school traditions your kids will love
1. Photograph Their First Steps Into School
Take a photo as they walk into the building or onto the bus on the first day back. It will amaze you to see how much they grow. Continue each year to include their first day at college too.
2. Have A Special Back to School Breakfast
Get up a little earlier on the first day and set the table with flowers and the fancy plates for a festive breakfast to start the day off on a good note. Cook their favorite breakfast to start the day off right.
3. Choose An Inspiring Bedtime Story
You can get the kids in the mood for the return to school with some of these cute books about the first day back.
This book is perfect to prepare kids for kindergarten . It’s a cute adaptation of The 12 Days of Christmas
This is the first book in the Amelia Bedelia series and is a great intro to the bestselling series.
Mouse decides to hide inside a bright red backpack…and ends up at school! Read about the fun things he discovers in the classroom.
On the first day of school, a teacher gathers her students into a circle to share their wishes for the coming year. Some are funny, some are negative but there is a happy ending.
This is another Christmas adaptation – this time the classic “night before Christmas” poem. It’s a really fun take on all the things children will learn at school.
Learn about children in other countries with these accounts of the first day back at school around the World.
A Fairy’s account of her first day at school including circle times, meeting a new teacher and all the other first day adventures humans have too.
Children’s favorite Daniel Tiger is excited to go to school—but he is worried when his dad can’t stay with him.
4. Make A Back To School Time Capsule
You could include a handprint, their answers to a Back-to-school questionnaire and some photos from the summer vacation. Make sure to note down their height and shoe size so you can compare each year. You could even take a photo next to a wall ruler.
5. Plan A School Year Bucket list
Brainstorm a list of all the things your child wants to do this school year, from joining the science club to having at least one snow day and create an academic year must-do list to put on the fridge.
6. Send Them Off Dressed in Style
Get a cute outfit for the first day back to make it a fun occasion.
7. Pack a Special Lunch
Send them to school with a lunch pail full of their favorite foods. I love bento boxes for little kids as you can pack different options for them. My favorite lunch box is the YUMBOX because it is leakproof and not too heavy for them to carry.
It also has compartments that show the right portion sizes for each type of food.
If you want to create your own bento lunches, you can also get really cute animal shaped Bento picks to put on fruit and sandwiches.
8. Plan An Afternoon Surprise
Have a fun activity planned when they get home on the first day. It will help ease the end of summer blues and give your kids something to look forward to if they are a bit nervous for the first day.
You could take a trip to the park or bake cookies. Hosting a play date can be a nice way to ease into the school year and make them excited to spend time with their friends.
9. Take The Classic “First Day of School” Photo
Check out this post for 10 great options for free printable first day of school signs
10. Make A Schultüte
This is a back to school tradition straight from Germany. On the first day of each grade, each child is given a large cone called a schultüte with supplies such as crayons, books, pencils, socks. It’s such a cute tradition!
See here for a full tutorial on how to make a Schultüte.
11. Watch A Back-To-School Themed DVD
Start a new back to school tradition this year with a special show to get you ready for the first day back.
This scholastic DVD includes the following stories:
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen
Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton
The Wheels on the Bus
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
Crazy Hair Day by Barney Salzburg
The Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash by Steven Kellogg
The Librarian from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
Miss Nelson Has a Field Day by Harry Alllard
Miss Nelson is Back by Harry Allard
Shrinking Violet by Cari Best
Open Wide: Tooth Inside by Laurie Keller
Otto Runs for President by Rosemary Wells
Owen by Kevin Henkes
The Scrambled States of America Talent Show by Laurie Keller
Will I Have a Friend by Miriam Cohen
Monty by James Stevenson
Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds
Emily’s first 100 days of school by Rosemary Wells
The Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
12. Give Them A Conversation Starter
This is one is from my grandma – Shop for a fun pencil case or stationary to help break the ice and get other children talking to you. She recommended this when I started a new school at age 10 and it definitely helped those first day nerves.
This is the exact one I got twenty years ago and it is available on Amazon now! Everyone at school was just wowed by all the compartments!
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