I always had a love/hate relationship with back-to-school time. Part of me loved getting all the new school supplies (Trapper Keepers anyone?!) and some new clothes. But another part of me was anxious about school starting up again. I had a little bit of fear of the unknown for the coming school year.
Back-to-school time is different for every kid, but there are ways to make it memorable in a good way for each of them. And you don’t have to squeeze it all into the first day. Some simple first week of school activities can help calm nerves and create family traditions. Here are 10 memorable ways to celebrate the first 10 days of school.
1. Pose for a not-so-typical first day of school picture.
Instead of posing in front of a cute chalkboard with creative lettering, let your kiddo decide what the first-day-of-school picture is going to be like. Maybe it won’t be perfectly posed, but it’s a great way to capture your child’s personality each year.
2. Make dessert for breakfast.
Who doesn’t love eating dessert first? I know, I know—it’s not a great idea to send off your kiddos loaded up on sugar, but one day isn’t going to hurt. And can you imagine their faces when they see a banana split awaiting them when they get to the breakfast table? It will be epic!
All kids love getting surprises of their favorite treats or tiny gifts! Tuck your kids’ favorite candy bar, a new water bottle, or a fun pen or keychain into their bags. They’ll feel extra special knowing you went out of your way with a surprise. Be sure to include one of iMOM’s adorable lunchbox notes!
4. Make a paper chain.
Some first week of school activities can be extended throughout the entire year. Create a paper chain link for each day of school and have a standing ovation every time a link is ripped off. If the full year seems like too much, create a chain for each month or until the next school break. It helps to have a physical reminder of something to look forward to.
5. Go out for ice cream!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! And we scream even louder when it’s right after school on a hot August day. On the first Friday of the year, instead of heading straight home, hit up your favorite ice cream spot and opt for extra sprinkles.
6. Have a fast-food picnic dinner.
Drive through everyone’s favorite fast food joint and then head to a park for an early picnic dinner. Creating special moments throughout the first few days of school will make the start of the year a tradition-filled time that everyone looks forward to.
Creating special moments throughout the first few days of school will make the start of the year a tradition-filled time that everyone looks forward to.
7. Give your kiddo some money.
Stick with me for a moment. I’m not telling you to hand over a wad of cash without reason. Give your child some decision-making authority on how he or she wants to spend a bit of back-to-school cash. Maybe a new backpack is a low priority if it means that new pair of shoes is within reach.
8. Come up with a slogan for the year.
Ask everyone in the family to create a slogan for the year and then take a vote. Consider having it framed and displayed somewhere that everybody sees it every day. Tell your children it will serve as a slogan and a goal for everyone in the family.
9. Make a video.
Grab your phone and hit record. Ask your child why he or she is excited to start the school year. If he or she has a hard time coming up with a reason, have some prompts ready to answer. Even if you don’t start until fifth or sixth grade, it will be neat to have a montage of videos to show your child come senior year.
10. Make a “Class of” t-shirt.
Every year, take a picture of your child in his or her “Class of” t-shirt, featuring the year your child will graduate from high school, on the first day of school. Make sure you purchase a shirt that’s plenty big so he or she can grow into it as the school years progress. You could even have teachers sign the back!
What are some fun first week of school activities you do with your family?