It’s almost time to send the kids back to school – can you believe it? Kids often have mixed feelings about returning to the classroom; sadness that the summer fun is over, excitement at the thought of new school supplies, clothes, and seeing their friends again. To make your kids’ back-to-school transition a little easier and more fun, why not start some back-to-school traditions with them?
“Night Before School” Interview
Channel your inner journalist – each year on the night before your child goes to school, sit down and interview them using a specific set of questions. You can choose a template online or design something fun yourself – customize the questions to best fit your little one’s personality. “What is your favorite food?”, “What are you most excited about for the new school year?”, and “What is your favorite song?” are some good examples of questions to ask. Asking the same questions each year will show you just how much your child is growing and changing!
You’re going to be snapping a ton of photos anyway, so why not commemorate the moment with something special? On the first day of school, take a picture of your child holding a sign with their name, date, the grade they’re in, and any other kind of information you want to add. On the last day of school, take their picture with the same sign but change the date to reflect the last day of school (a chalkboard or dry erase board will work best – check out this tutorial for easy step-by-step instructions). The sign will be a cute prop for pictures, not to mention when the photos are put side-by-side, you’ll be amazed at how much they’ve grown over the course of the school year!
Back-to-School Fashion Show
One of the most exciting things about going back to school (especially for older children) is getting to wear their new clothes. Tap into that excitement by hosting a back-to-school fashion show! Let them try on their new duds and pose for photos in your living room. Encourage them to get silly, serious – whatever tickles their fancy! Add the photos to a scrapbook or put them all together in a cute collage in PicMonkey.
Have you ever heard of a “Schultüte”? We hadn’t either until we poked around on Pinterest a little bit. A Schultüte – or “school cone” – is a German tradition that dates back to the early 1800s. Before sending your child to school, you create a large cone and fill it with goodies. In the past it was generally filled with sweets, but as the years passed parents became more health-conscious and now they are usually filled with more practical things like pencils, rulers, glue, and other small school supplies. You can either create one large cone for your child, or several smaller ones to share with your child’s class. Have your child pick out the theme and help decorate their Schultüte for a fun and unique back-to-school tradition!
Children may get the first-day jitters, especially if it’s their first day ever of school. Separation anxiety is common for young children, so send them to school with something they can keep in their pocket and feel anytime they feel sad or lonely. Sew them a small, felt heart in their favorite color (no worries if you aren’t crafty; check out Etsy). Before you send them off to school, give the heart lots of kisses and love and let them know to just reach in their pocket and give it a squeeze anytime they feel scared. The heart is a tangible, tactile reminder that you love them and are thinking of them, and they’ll feel better in no time.
Nip those jitters and back-to-school blues in the bud by starting some of these fun traditions. When kids have something special to look forward to – something that they only get to do right before school starts – you might just find that they actually can’t wait for school to begin. Traditions are a great way to get everyone pumped for the new school year, and they will create amazing memories that your children will cherish for years to come!