How to Make Going Back to School Feel Like a Celebration

Back-to-school season is upon us again! No matter how much your child enjoys school, it can be a stressful time for kids. Not to mention that leaving lazy summer days behind and getting back to a routine can be a sad transition. The solution? Turn the first day of a new school year into a milestone worth celebrating! By getting creative and organizing some fun activities (or even turning them into traditions), you can make this a positive time that your kids look forward to each year. Here are five ways to make going back to school feel like a celebration for your family.

First Day Countdown Calendar. Advent calendars are a great way to build anticipation at Christmas, so why not apply the same principle to the first day of school? Make a countdown calendar with small, numbered boxes or bags and fill them with treats that the kids can open each day. For example, candy, toys, school supplies, or even tickets to an activity that you can enjoy as a family. It’s a fun way to turn the feeling of time running out on the summer on its head.

Back-to-School Scavenger Hunt. Shopping for new school supplies is exciting. Hunting for them is even better! This is a great way to get your children excited to use all their new pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Hide them around the house and garden and provide a series of clues for them to follow to find their loot. Don’t forget to also include some surprise items to make it extra special.

Make a summertime capsule. Have your kids had a particularly special summer? It can be hard to let go of this happy time. A summertime capsule can help them relive and preserve those memories and then look ahead to the next chapter. Gather special items, photos, and memories into a box or jar and then put it away until next summer. Another way to do this is in the form of a video time capsule, where you ask your child questions and record them to watch together in a year or two. As you do this activity, be sure to also ask your child about what they’re looking forward to about school, and what they want to achieve and learn.

First Day Photoshoot. Be sure to allow enough time for some pictures on their first day! You can make these extra fun with props, such as chalkboards. Or you can keep it simple and just let them show off those brand new outfits and haircuts! Make it a tradition by recreating the picture at the end of the school year or every first day, so they form a visual timeline of your child’s school career that will be a special keepsake for them one day.

Family Dinner. Whatever else you do to celebrate your child going back to school, make their first night a special one. Go out to a favorite restaurant or serve their favorite foods at a family dinner. Give each child the opportunity to tell you everything about their first day. You could even finish off with an extra special treat. For example, a sundae-making station or a hot cocoa bar.

With a little creativity and a lot of love, back-to-school season can be a great experience for the whole family!