Back to school time looks really different this year. There are so many decisions to make, and none of them are easy. Even with all the uncertainty and heaviness of this school year, I think it’s important to celebrate the beginning of the school year. If you already have a back to school tradition, do it this year…the best you can. And if you don’t already have one, start one. The beginning of the school year can be really hectic. Lots of filling out forms, last minute appointments and getting supplies ready. I think it is so important to pick a way to intentionally celebrate the beginning of the new school year. A back to school tradition is a great way to take a moment to slow down and connect with your kids before sending them off, or starting a new routine for home. This year we are dealing with a lot of extra stress, but I think that means that it’s extra important to focus on the positive and check in with our kids and how they are feeling. Make the most of the situation and show your kiddos that this school year can still be great. Here are 5 fun and simple ways to celebrate the new school year. Pick one or combine a couple to make a meaningful tradition for your family.
- Go on a Back to School Date. In past years I’ve taken my oldest on a little date to buy his school supplies and then a special lunch or treat. My kids always enjoy one on one time with a parent, and I am amazed how fun it can be to have just one kid on an outing. If you have multiple kids going to school find a little time to spend with each child. Go for a walk, grab some ice cream or do a special art project together. It can be hard to find one on one time, but I think it is so beneficial. Spend a little time on the date talking about the upcoming school year. Check in to see what they are most excited about, and if they have any worries.
- Have an End of Summer Party. Set a side a night to say farewell to summer. In non-pandemic years (Let’s hope that next year is one of those!!!) you could invite friends or neighbors over to enjoy one last summer night of fun. Maybe an ice cream sundae night or a big water fight. Or keep it simple and just celebrate as a summer. Make a special treat, or knock one last item off your summer joy list. Take a little time to share your favorite memories of the summer, and set some goals for the upcoming school year.
- Have a back to school themed breakfast or dinner. We always have a little back to school breakfast on the first day of school. I decorate the table and make pancakes, a meal that is usually reserved for weekends. We get extra festive with sprinkles and whipped cream. If trying to do something the morning of the first day of school sounds like a nightmare, then do a back to school dinner the night before. Decorate, pick a menu everyone enjoys and through in a dessert. This is a great time to discuss the upcoming school year; what everyone is looking forward to and what they might be nervous about. It’s also a great time to pray over your children and for their teachers and classmates.
- Back to school books. School themed books can be a great way to build excitement for the upcoming school year and also cover themes such as kindness, making friends and being worried. Here is a list of back to school books that we really enjoy.
- First day of school treats. You can also celebrate the completion of the first day of school with a slightly fancier after school snack. If you have the time, maybe a batch of homemade cookies. If that doesn’t fit the schedule a fun snack mix of letter crackers, gummy worms (book worms) and cheez its would be fun. Taking an extra few minutes to connect and discuss how the first day went.