Getting ready for another school year can be exhausting and stressful. As parents we are consumed with back to school shopping, filling out endless forms, and creating new schedules. Our kids worry about new teachers, new friends, and new routines. Offset the stress with a few fun traditions to start the year off on a positive note. Here are six traditions I do with my family.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL EVE: In our house, the night before the big day is a little like New Year’s Eve – except we go to bed at 8 instead of midnight. The kids bathe and get into pajamas early while I make finger foods and spread a blanket on the living room floor for a dinner picnic. We set some school year resolutions and share what we are looking forward to the most. We play some games and end the night watching a movie together.
DECORATE: After the kids are asleep, I hang some homemade signs and balloons around the house. They wake up to a festive atmosphere that immediately puts them in a good mood.
BREAKFAST: I like to make the kids an extra special breakfast on the first day. I model it after a hotel breakfast with mini boxes of cereal, yogurt with fruit and granola, and an assortment of doughnuts (it’s only once a year). They look forward to this every year.
PICTURES: This is probably the most common back to school tradition. I take pictures every year with the kids in their new outfits and backpacks. It’s fun to look back on past pictures and see how much they have changed over the years.
LUNCH NOTES: I leave a small note in their lunch. In fact, I try to do this often throughout the school year. I jot a few words on a napkin, snack bag, or slip of paper. I will wish them luck on something, tell them I love them, remind them how proud I am of them, and anything else that comes to mind. The kids love receiving these notes, and my oldest has even saved her favorites.
SNACK: A big first day requires a big snack to celebrate. Every year I bake each kid a giant cookie. I decorate the cookies with the first letter of their name in frosting. When the kids get home, they tell me all about their day while enjoying their super snack. I love it!