Back to School Fun, Family Traditions

shutterstock_282686744-1024x683.jpg

This year, our school is starting ten days earlier than before.  I guess we will be thankful at the end of the school year when we are starting our summer break in May.  To most kids, outside of winter break, summer is the most exciting time of the year.  No waking up early, no uniforms and lots of splashing around at the pool or beach!  But like all good things, summer comes to an end and we as parents are left with the responsibility of helping our children embrace a new school year. 

My daughter Madison is nine years old and she is over-the-moon excited about seeing her friends again, starting fourth grade and enjoying our back to school traditions.  Although she’s had an amazing summer, she truly is looking forward to the things we do to make going back to school fun.

Family traditions are special and not just for Christmas morning.  In our home, we make a big deal about going back to school.  I strongly believe that if you keep it fun, exciting and with a bit of suspense, your children tend to be more engaged and enthusiastic about returning to school. 

I’m thrilled to share with you five tips that we implement each year.  Some may say, “It’s over the top.” You have to know what will work for your child.  I can assure you that my daughter looks forward to all of these elements as summer comes to a close.  In fact, she often checks in with me to ensure I have all the ingredients needed to make our back to school traditions a blast!

Five Tips to Implement FUN Back to School Family Traditions:

  1. Back to School Shopping.  Spending time with our children, means the world to them!  If it’s possible, going shopping for school supplies together and allowing your child to take the lead can be exhilarating.  You can use this opportunity to teach valuable lessons in budgeting, using coupons and saving money.  After we’ve spent the day checking off the school supply list, Madison looks forward to organizing her school supplies in a colorful new container, and writing her name on everything with a Sharpie.
  2. Back to School Party.  Now this can be as big or as small as you’d like it; it’s totally up to you.  Inviting friends over to celebrate together takes the responsibility off of just one family; and it provides a fun environment for kids to gather, get reacquainted and have fun together before heading back to school.  Having a theme with interesting and educational takeaways makes for an enjoyable party.
  3. New Pajamas, a New Book and Hot Cocoa. This is one of our most favorite and longstanding back to school traditions!  The night before the first day of school, we as a household (which also includes daddy and grandma) gather in Madison’s room for the unveiling of a new nightgown and a new book to be enjoyed with hot cocoa!  The excitement is too much to bear!  I have to admit, it’s my favorite part.  I love shopping for the new nightgown.  It usually reflects my daughter’s personality, her favorite things and how she’s grown.  If you look back, we’ve gone from pink and purple nightgowns of Disney Princesses to black and pink Emoji’s.  I love to see the reaction on her face when she sees the pajamas for the first time! 
  4. Breakfast for a Champion.  Go all out and create a beautiful tablescape for breakfast!  That’s right, take out your best china and make their favorite meal, centerpiece, sequin table cover and all.  I absolutely LOVE surprises so I tend to show love the way I love to be loved and that’s ok, because as it relates to this particular tip, Madison is all in. 
  5. Take Pictures and Capture Your Memories. As one who loves and respects the art of photography, I implore you to capture the memories you are creating! You will enjoy looking back over the years at the back to school memories you’ve made.

I hope that you’ve found these tips to create fun back to school family traditions helpful!  As you collaborate with your children to form and implement your own traditions, I leave you with the best piece of parenting advice I’ve ever received: Enjoy Every Moment!  Today you are buying book bags and pencils, tomorrow you’ll be packing bags and decorating a college dorm.  Enjoy these precious years and make the best of life’s milestones.  Until next time, celebrate & decorate!