Hi there! Today’s the day…my kids head out on their first days of school! My kindergartner gets to ease into things as today he and I will go to his school together. Send tissues–this mama is going to be sad tomorrow when he gets on the bus for the first time! Last night we had our annual back to school dinner and I wanted to share all of our back to school traditions with you. If you’ve had kids in school at all, I’m sure you have created some of your own traditions. I’d love to hear what you do too!
Back to School Traditions
1. Back to School Dinner
My favorite tradition is our back to school dinner! I try to pick something everyone likes–typically breakfast foods.
We keep it simple but it’s a special time to connect about the upcoming year. We encourage them to talk about things they are excited about and any fears or anxieties.
This year we had eggs, bacon and cinnamon rolls…always a favorite meal!
2. Night Before Organization + Pick Out Outfits
There is something about new backpacks and 1st Day of School outfits that is so EXCITING! Gathering up these things for the kids almost makes me want to go back to school:) The night before the first day, we make sure that our backpacks are ready to go.
We pick out our first day of school outfits before going to bed, so that there are no decisions to make in the morning. It is also a good idea to pack school lunches ahead of time.
Mini Globe Balls HERE
Ruler Chalkboard (similar) HERE
Wicker Baskets HERE
Gray and White Chevron Baskets HERE
The first day of school morning is busy enough with breakfast and pictures that you want to make the morning as smooth as possible!
3. 1st Day of School Pancake Breakfast
We make chocolate chip pancakes on two occasions–birthdays and the first day of school:) This is another fun tradition that gets the kids excited to get out of bed (sometimes!). After the 1st day, it’s typically oatmeal or cereal for breakfast, so everyone appreciates the special breakfast.
4. 1st Day of School Pictures
It goes without saying much that 1st day of school pictures are a must! Mom Tip: Print out your 1st day of school pictures right away and then save them in your child’s school memory box/file!
There are so many cute back to school signs and plaques but guess what? We usually make our signs about 5 minutes before we take the pictures and call it a day!
Speaking of fun 1st Day of School of school pictures! This year, the kids had a BIG SURPRISE waiting for them when they woke up on their first day! Card My Yard Cleveland put the CUTEST display in our yard!! Talk about a festive way to start the school year!
The kids were so excited and surprised that I honestly think the surprise took away the typical 1st day of school jitters! The display also made for great photo opportunities. Although I sure wish we didn’t have a rainy day!!
Local friends, be sure to check out Card My Yard Cleveland! Card My Yard has locations throughout the country so be sure to check if there is one in our area!
They can work with you on any holiday or special event all year round! These displays would be great for birthdays, welcome home baby, graduation, homecoming…so many possibilities! It is a festive and cheerful surprise that really makes you smile!
Thank you to Card My Yard for providing us with this fun display in exchange for my honest review. As always, I only share products and services that my family truly loves!
5. After School Cookies + Conversations
Last year, I shared a post on how we transition back to school and I mentioned our after school cookie tradition. On the first day of school, I make sure to have warm cookies waiting for the kids. This is a little bit of a bribery to this tradition. I ask the kids to sit with me and share their day while they eat cookies! It is a win-win. Honestly, as the school year progresses, I can barely get any info out of my kids after school (am I the only one?) But the kids are on board with this 1st day of school tradition!
This year I made these Soft Baked Snickerdoodle cookies and they are amazing! We may have had to do a test run on them earlier in the week. I made the recipe exactly as stated including the recommended bake time. PERFECTION!!
Well, we sure seem to have a thing with food and back to school traditions. But for our family, good food leads to conversation and togetherness…so I’ll take it! The kids really count on these traditions and my husband and I hope they will always remember them!
Besides these day before and day of school traditions, we have a few other ones leading up to the first day. As I mentioned last week, my mom, daughter and I have an annual back to school shopping tradition too. The boys get some new clothes too–they just don’t request the actual shopping part:)
Plus, we always enjoy organizing and labeling all of our school supplies! There is something exciting about starting the year with brand new school supplies.
Do you have all of your back to school lunch supplies? These are our FAVORITE SCHOOL LUNCH essentials.
With a combined 11 years of school lunches under our belt, these products are our tried and true favorites. (You can see my kitchen cabinet dedicated to school lunches over HERE!)
A Thermos is not just for soup! There are so many things you can put in a Thermos. This is one of our containers we use all the time.
School Lunch Ideas for the Thermos include:
- Grilled Cheese (cut in small squares)
- Mac and Cheese
- Cold Cereal (Buy or bring a container of milk)
- Chicken or Ground Turkey (Include the fixings for tacos including tortilla chips or taco shells, cheese and veggies)
- Chicken Nuggets
We absolutely LOVE BENTO Boxes. We have 2 for each of the kids–one small and one large. You have so many food options when you use Bento Boxes. You can put small snack size servings in each compartment for a lunch with a lot of variety!
These large Bento boxes are our absolute favorite. We have had no leak issues. They are super easy to clean-I just wash by hand each night. Way easier to wash one container than a bunch of little containers.
You can’t forget water bottles! These water bottles have been a favorite for years! No leak issues and they keep water cold all day! There are so many patterns and styles to choose from which allows for it kid to pick one that fits their personality.
It is important to make sure school lunches stay at their ideal temperature. We also start the year off we a fresh set of ice packs.
These hard shell ones are great because they do not leak. We have had softer (cute) looking ice packs that have exploded in the kids’ lunches! So, look for functional over cute when purchasing ice packs!
Reusable Snack Bags
These bags are great for snack time! There are a ton of styles and colors, so this is another chance for the kids to pick one that fits their style.