Summer is winding down. The back-to-school supplies are looming. The smell of fresh, new pencils is in the air.
I’m not sure if you’re like me, but I feel like summer just got started. It flew by way too fast. While shifting gears from summer to the start of a new school year isn’t easy for me, I do love the excitement of getting into a routine and knowing that I’m sending my kids to a school that nurtures them and that they love. With all of that said, the moms of Wichita have weighed in on how they celebrate the first day back and make it special.
6 First Day of School Traditions to Start This Year
The night before the first day of school, record your kids answering some questions you’ve come up with – it’s like a video time capsule. Ask them about their favorite things to do, who their friends are, what they want to be when they grow up, what their favorite school lunch might be, what they’re most excited about or nervous about. Do this at the end of each school year too! Then then this way you can watch them grow and change.
Make school shopping fun
Take them shopping to get all of their supplies. Then let them pick the fun stuff like their lunchbox and backpack. After all of the supplies are bought, let them choose a new outfit to wear on the first day. This creates excitement and confidence when they get ready to go that morning. We make a day date out of it. Once we’ve gotten everything they need, we go out to lunch or for ice cream. It fills their attention bucket and gives mom some time to savor and remember before the kids are gone all day.
Celebrate with food
Food is a whole love language in our household. Our culture uses food to celebrate everything and the first day back to school is no different. The morning of the first day, let the kids choose what they want for breakfast. French toast? Pancakes? Eggs and sausage? You got it! Most mornings can get pretty rushed so when we spend that extra time making a big breakfast for their first day, the kids love it. Carry that idea into dinner and let them choose what they want. Sometimes we make a family favorite like meatloaf and other times we go out to their favorite restaurant. Then we top off our celebration with ice cream!
School Year’s Eve
Every year on the last day of summer vacation, we let the kids choose one or two things that we didn’t get to do from our summer bucket list. Whether it’s summing at our favorite pool or catching a movie, it always creates special memories. Then we do a fun lunch or dinner afterwards.
All the pictures
No first day of school really happens unless we have the pictures to prove it, right? I love seeing them on social media that first week. Some ideas for pictures are:
1. Getting a t-shirt with their graduation year on it and each year they’ll grow into it. On their first day of senior year it will be fun to look back and see them in the same shirt when they were in kindergarten.
2. Get or make and all about me sign. You could include age, height, favorite food/book/movie, teacher, school and what they want to be when they grow up. Just be sure to keep these for yourself or censor the personal info that lets people know where your child goes to school if you’re uncomfortable with that being online.
3. Snap a pic of your child in front of their school sign.
4. Don’t miss the bus! If your kiddos ride the bus, get a picture of them getting on the bus.
For the kiddos or mamas that are feeling some separation anxiety
Get matching bracelets. One for you to wear and one for your child to wear. There are so many ideas on pinterest that have letters to go with the bracelets that can provide comfort to you and your kiddo. Another thing you can do for comfort is to put notes in their lunchbox. Even when my son couldn’t read, he could recognize I and U and a heart shape so I could still say “I love you”. I also drew him a fun picture of a tractor or airplane that I knew would make him smile.
There are so many ways to make the first day of school special. I promise you as long as you keep it fun and happy, your kiddo(s) is sure to love and remember it!