July is half over, which means we’ve got a few short weeks left before the kids head back to school. Are you breathing a sign of relief? Not me! The summer break just gets shorter and shorter! I remember when July 31 was the apex of summer vacation because school didn’t start back until September 1. I nearly choked when my sister said her kids go back to school on July 31. (Thanks, Cobb County School District!)
While I enjoy having a set schedule during the school year, I’ll miss the freedom of summer and the long lazy days of vacation. Establishing a few special back-to-school traditions will start things off on a positive note for your kids (and you!) and create lasting memories for your family.
Whether your child is proudly entering kindergarten or a seasoned school vet, here are a few family traditions to kick off your school year.
Take a Back to school photo
Capturing photographs of all the special moments from the first day of school is a must! Take a photograph of each child holding a chalkboard, with the grade they are entering written on it in chalk. These photos will become a time stamp for each grade.
Celebrate with food
Send your kids off to school on their first day with the breakfast of their dreams! Cereal of choice, donuts, chocolate milk and juice. If you have the time, decorate the dinner table with a back-to-school theme—use colorful pencils in place of a floral centerpiece; construction paper place mats, etc.
Buy personalized pencils
If your kids are fond of school supplies, buy them a set of personalized pencils. This will motivate them to start off the year with a fresh batch of pencils with their names on them.
Plan a date night with your child
Before school starts, take each child on a special date night, just the two of you. Let them decide where to eat and what activities you’ll do together. Enjoy some one-on-one time with each other before the busyness of a new school year kicks in!
Create matching “tattoos” for you and your child
The first day of school can be especially scary for little ones. Read the book “The Kissing Hand” together, then use a skin-safe ink stamp to create matching heart-shaped “tattoos” for you and your child. It will give you both some courage throughout the day.
Plan a last hurrah
Take your kids to an amusement park or on an overnight trip the weekend before school starts back. This is my favorite back-to-school tradition. I guarantee it will be a wonderful and fun way to celebrate the end of summer and the start of a new school year.
See how they’ve grown
Back-to-school season is a good time to capture a snapshot of your child’s growth. Stats such as height and weight are good barometers for how quickly they are changing, but take time to document personality changes too.