Here We Go! It’s the First Day of School!
If you haven’t listened to Part 1 of the podcast Back to School series, go back and listen to Episode 49: Back to School Transitions and Routines! It’s all about setting yourself up for success when it comes to transitioning your head, heart and home into the back to school routine.
Now that we are all ready to go and prepared for the new routine and grind of school, let’s talk about all those fun traditions and memory making that comes with this big milestone in your child’s life! Back to school time can be super exciting but also bring up some big feelings for a lot of kiddos (and mamas!) so this episode is all about celebrating back to school and making this cherished memories we will look back on and smile.
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Back to School Fairy
Think tooth fairy rules, but back to school fairy. A week or so before school starts, write a note with encouraging words and best wishes to your little one starting school. Place it in their room with a sprinkle of confetti for them to wake up to in the morning. You can also include a small present…or have their backpack packed with all new school supplies, new lunch box, their favorite character water bottle, or a new board game that will be waiting for you to play with them when they get home from their first day.
Something special I’m going to do this year is give Evie a little necklace for her first day. I found one that comes with a necklace for mom and one for daughter and it’s a keepsake and meant to be a reminder for her during the day that I love her, am thinking about her and am cheering her on!
School Year’s Eve Party
A fun, easy way to gear up and boost excitement for what’s to come tomorrow. Have some treats (maybe an ice cream sundae bar!), noise makers, poppers and celebrate saying goodbye to summer, and hello to the school year! Fun dinners we’ve done in the past include snacks for dinner, appetizers and fun frozen foods we NEVER eat at Trader Joes (think fried mac and cheese balls and egg rolls!), burger bar or make your own pizzas!
This past year at our School Year’s Eve party, we were very intentional about the conversations we had with our daughter, Evie. We talked about hopes, goals, and dreams for the school year. We also talked about things she may be worried or nervous about. We frontloaded a lot of issues that may come up for her, practiced being a good friend, asking questions, etc. I wrote all these ideas and goals on a kraft paper covered table where we could dump all our thinking and helped us guide our conversations that centered around school. We use that night to celebrate, but to also set intentions, goals, and visualize the upcoming school year.
I also love the idea of a theme for the school year too! This year we will probably focus on frienship as our theme, maybe bravery also. Friendship is important to her because she’s starting a new school with new friends and teachers. Using that theme to draw back on and lead conversations throughout the year also are really helpful for family check-ins and dinner time talks.
You can do whatever you want when it comes to the first day of school’s breakfast, but decide on something and then repeat it. That’s how traditions work! For my family it’s donut holes, strawberries and bacon. Thats been my back to school breakfast since I was in Kindergarten and that’s what I’ve passed on to my kiddos as well! Some other ideas for you may be a baked French toast, yogurt dip with fruit dipper, or special pancakes. Pick one and stick with it so your kids know to look forward to that special breakfast each year!
Other options are having a special lunch or after school snack that they have each year!
First Day Pictures
The first day picture is a classic. Everyone loves their front door pictures on the first day of school. I love them SO much. They are so nostalgic! Take these pics and print the dang things off! Don’t just let them live on your phone. Make a small little album with some milestone next to the pic- what they want to be when they grow up, who their teacher is, their school name, etc. Then at the end of their school careers, you can gift them this special book full of their first day pictures, school memories and all their big milestones. You can also add last day pictures to the album. Make it however you want it to look like! I love the idea of having all of those memories represented in one tangible item to have when they graduate!
The last thing I want to say about picture taking is to take a step back and soak in the memory of your kiddos on the first day of school. Step back and take a couple candid pics of your kids brushing their hair, teeth, putting their shoes on, walking down the driveway, etc. The moments that you want to remember- the moments like their face that’s a little nervous, their little body walking down with the giant backpack on her, the little things that make this special. These are the photos you will LOVE looking back to years from now.
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