The first day of school can be filled with many emotions for both kids and parents! Ease those school jitters with these meaningful Back to School Traditions. Start one or all of these family traditions this year!

Back to school traditions for your family #1stdayofschool #schooldays #kids

Back to School Traditions

Are you and your kids ready for the start of school? Summer is coming to an end and it is time to get ready for the first day of school. You can build excitement with these 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 which for our family is a breakfast for dinner!

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.

Throw a back to school dinner for your kids #1stdayofschool #backtoschool #traditions #kids

This year we had eggs, bacon and cinnamon rolls…always a favorite meal!

Mini Chalkboard Clips Target // Similar Option
Ruler Chalkboard (similar) HERE
Buffalo Check Placemats (on sale HERE)


2. Pick out the first day of school 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.

Back to School Organization #closetorganization #mudroom #tips


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.

 Special Pancakes for the 1st Day of School Tradition

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! 

Back to School Dinner Tradition #1stdayofschool #dinner #traditions


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!!

1st Day of School with Card My Yard

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. There 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!

Make cookies for kids' first day of school #traditions #backtoschool #kids #family

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
  • Oatmeal
  • Soup
  • Cold Cereal (Buy or bring a container of milk)
  • Pasta
  • 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.

Favorite Bento Box


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.

Thermos Water Bottles


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!


Favorite Ice Packs

Reusable Snack Bags

Save money on plastic bags and use these reusable snack bags instead! We have had these exact bags since the kids were babies and they have held up so well.

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.

School Lunch Supply Essentials


What are some of your family’s back to school traditions? You don’t need anything grand to make school memories for your kids! Start a few fun things to make the transition back to school a little easier!


If you are looking for more family traditions and activities, check out these posts:

Five Traditions to Start with Your Family Today

How to Connect with Your Big Kids and Tweens

How to Promote the Love of Reading with Your Kids

Kids Gratitude Journaling


  1. Katie on August 22, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Love these traditions! We have a few of our own also. I love the after school cookie idea! We will have to try that one.

  2. Tami Sullivan on August 22, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    These are really cute ideas. My kids go to school online, but I think the traditional morning breakfast or afterschool treats are a great idea and maybe even a little motivating or them!

  3. Andrea on August 22, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    I love your organization center for their backpacks! Our backpacks usually end up in the floor. Eeek!

  4. ShootingStarsMag on August 22, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Aw, I love all your traditions. I hope your kids all had a good first day back. I’ve never heard of Card My Yard, but how fun is that?!


  5. Jessica Moore on August 22, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    My daughter LOVES the process of labeling all of her supplies. We usually do cinnamon rolls for breakfast before the first day of school and we have t-shirts with their graduation year that we take a picture in each year. They grow up so fast! Love the card my yard sign!

  6. Tanya on August 22, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    We have many of the same traditions. Back to school time is seriously one of my favorite “holidays.”

  7. Dara on August 27, 2018 at 8:19 am

    That display is awesome! Makes for some great pictures too. I hope the first day went great for all of your kids and for you!

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