The backpacks have been bought, the clothes are all laid out for the first day of school and you already met the new teachers…but something is still missing. If you’re like I was when I was a little one, as exciting as the first few weeks of school are, there is also something that is just overwhelming and anxious about heading back. My suggestion is to not just drop them at the curb and screech off in search of the nearest Starbucks (as tempting as that is…), instead opt to make heading back-to-school a celebration with lots of fun added in.
To get you started, here’s a few of the things we’ve added to the back-to-school fun list that not only put a smile on my face but also a smile on theirs!
Decorate for back-to-school like a true holiday — since we’ve been dying to decorate for a holiday since the 4th of July, going back-to-school was the perfect excuse to redecorate as if it was annual holiday. We filled jars with mini erasers as centerpieces, made a wreath out of crayons and rulers and found scraps of material to make hair bows out of the school colors. It really got her in the mood to head back to the classroom and we spent so good quality time together making the crafts before she’s gone everyday, all day. For back-to-school craft ideas, visit Kaboose.com.
Make the lunchbox fun — how about some mini ABC cookies or perhaps some homemade granola bars? In fact, who wouldn’t want to go to school to eat those treats?! Baking and making some lunchtime treats together is a great way to add some fun to the everyday lunch menu. Another great idea is to get into the habit of making lunch into fun shapes so they’ll actually eat those cucumber slices. Try the Kotobuki Vegetable Cutters, $10 for a set of 6, at amazon.com or if they like crustless sandwiches the Evrilholder Crustless Sandwich Cutters, $11.99 for a set of 3, at amazon.com, is enough to make them school or at the very least…eating lunch at school!
Send a love note — the hottest trend right now is to send a little “love” note in their lunchbox to let them know that you’re not only thinking of them but also give them a boost of encouragement. The Lunch Box Love Notes, $3.99, at potterybarnkids.com, are great with their positive messages like “Do your best today” and “I loooove your stories” and on the flip side is a fun fact that will make them smile and laugh. If you prefer to DIY, just tuck-in a handwritten note that simply says “I love you” or “I miss you — see you after school!” My personal favorite is the Talkatoo, $11.96, at amazon.com, which attaches to their backpack and you can leave a voice recorded message for your child. It’s great for the first few weeks to send encouraging messages but also helpful for reminding them of after school activities or who’s picking them up!
Make it a BIG deal — I’m not sure about your kids but when I get the urge to talk something up, it makes them really super excited. We’ve been talking about heading back-to-school for over a month and by now — she’s pumped and ready to go. Since she’s starting kindergarten this year, it is a big deal and we’ve already started the school memory book so that we can capture every big moment this year. I highly recommend the School Years Memory Keeper from MomAgenda, $32, it keeps everything in one place like artwork samples, report cards, certificates and also includes space to interview your child each year and include photographs. It’s a great way to get them excited for the year and also keeps you organized.
So here we go…today is the first day of kindergarten and she’s excited, I’m excited (anxious and teary-eyed too) and I think even the dog is excited — what’s your best back-to-school fun tip?