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30 Awesome Back-to-School Traditions for Moms & Kids

30 Awesome Back-to-School Traditions for Moms & Kids

It’s back to school time! Most likely you have a mixed bag of emotions and your children are in the same boat. Kids want to extend their vacation but can’t wait to see their friends from last year and make new ones. Parents can’t wait to have their kids mentally stimulated and physically exerted, someplace else and get back on their own routines. This is a very bittersweet time of year.
Regardless of how you feel, back-to-school time brings families together with much-needed preparation and bonding time. Preparation and bonding sounds like it’s time for a first day of school tradition! What are some of the traditions you have with your little ones that are going back to school?
We’ve put together 30 of our favorite back to school and first day of school traditions you can start with your kids. Get inspired with new ideas you can adopt as staples in your farewell for that first day. We would love to hear what you come up with to add to the list. Just leave a comment below with your favorite tradition.
    1. Bittersweet Goodbye.
      Now, we all want to start out on a positive note, why not make it a sweet organic vegan note too. We love this idea. Pick your little one’s favorite candy and add it to a jar with a sweet note attached. This tradition is so sweet and can never get old.
      2. Lunchbox Notes.
        Lunchbox notes on your kids first day back. How special will your little one feel when you write a loving, encouraging note and put it in their note box to find later. The cutest paper or fancy card in their favorite colors will help with any first-day jitters they might have.
          3. Sunday Funday with Mom.
            Take your little one for a Sunday lunch date, just the two of you, the Sunday before the new school week starts. The restaurant of their choice and the meal of their choice with their favorite person in the world, MOM. Such a classy tradition.
              4. Back to School Partayy!
                Are you feeling adventurous? How about you have your kid(s) pick 5 of their closest friends and you let them have a “say goodbye to Summer” sleepover with pizza, party toys, throw in a piñata because... why not? And add fun trivia games to see who's ready to go back to school. What will this tradition look like when they get to their senior year?! Did someone say “cool mom”?
                  5. Inspiring Bucket List.
                    It’s never too early to teach your “mini-me’s” the value of positive thinking. Let them pick a list of goals they would like to reach this year. Make a section for academics, socializing, extracurricular activities, and best of all chores. It will make you all feel so good to revisit this list in 3 months and cross off the many accomplishments. This one is possibly a lifelong annual bonding tradition.
                      6. Wake up to a Party!
                        How warm and motivated will your child feel when they wake up to confetti, a homemade decorated sign, streamers and party favors to welcome them into the new school year. How could their day get any better than that?!
                          7. First Day After School Water Fight- Hose em’ down!
                            Let’s face it, with rising temps it’s likely still scorching hot out when the kids go back to school. If the end of the first day of school was a bit of a downer, a surprise water fight will quickly turn their frowns upside down. And cool them down. FUN! By ending their first day on a fun note they will look forward to their first day back to school again and again.
                              8. Annual Summer Memory Box.
                                Capture those Summer memories for good. On the last week of Summer, it’s fun to go through all the adventurous pictures and relive those memories with family and friends. Take a trip to your local reuse store and make a special crafty memory box you and the kiddos can decorate to add all of those summer memories to, including inside jokes and torn out diary moments as a keepsake. You can make one box and grow this end of summer tradition as the years go on.
                                  9. Say it with a Sign.
                                    Whether you’re a stay-at-home or workaholic sorta Mom, taking a few minutes to secretly make a “welcome home” sign and putting it up for their return from day 1 of school, will capture their hearts and memories forever.
                                      10. Say it in Sidewalk Chalk Instead.
                                        Here’s another creative tradition that will melt the hearts of your little loves. Create a sidewalk message saying ‘welcome home from your first day of school’ so the whole neighborhood sees how special your bond is. Makes a great Instagram photo.
                                        11. Book it! Together...
                                          How about surprising your kid with a new book that you read together. Up the ante and start a monthly book club together where you get to dress up like your favorite character and talk about the book. Way to kick off the new school year with some reading fun to get back into the swing of reading comprehension.
                                            12. The Final Countdown Calendar.
                                              Now, we know teachers begin counting the days on the first day of school. How about making a fun homemade calendar as a family project that takes a different turn? Make a countdown calendar of accomplishments instead of a dreadful countdown until schools out. Add accomplishments to the calendar with stickers and notes that read as milestones accomplished, until the end of that school year.
                                                13. Scavenger Hunt.
                                                  It’s just a love note but your kids can never hear enough about how much you love them. So when you are not around, finding a note in their brand new folder or a secret pocket of their new backpack will make them feel so special and extra loved. In fact, they will look forward to the scavenger love note hunting next year.
                                                    14. Back to School Dinner.
                                                      After a long first day back, your children will love to have their most favorite dinner served. After a day full of new things, having dinner as a family with a meal that is so familiar will make them feel safe. What a great way to bring comfort to recap and get ready for day 2.
                                                        15. Family Night with a Comedy.
                                                          Netflix and laugh! What can set you more at ease than a good laugh? Consider watching a comedy together as a family the night before the first day of school. This is a wonderful tradition. If you find a family favorite, maybe you could watch the same movie every year.
                                                            16. Back to School Shopping.
                                                              Family back to school shopping day will get any kid excited if they get to pick out an outfit of their choice.
                                                              17. Back to School Accessories.
                                                                How fun is it to accessorize?! Your kids will have so much fun picking out a special headband, watch, ring, bracelet, or necklace they get to wear on their first day back to school.
                                                                18. Pets Care Too.
                                                                  Your kids have been spending quality time with their pups, cats, and other pets. How cute would it be to pick a picture of their animal friends and write a sweet “happy first day back,  we’ll miss you” note in their backpack from their pet pals?!
                                                                    19. A Special Back to School Breakfast.
                                                                      Every year your kids will feel comforted with an extra special breakfast on their first day of school. Let them pick their favorite fruit and freshly squeezed juice to go along with their omelet or homemade waffles.
                                                                      20. First Day (more than lunch) Pack.
                                                                        Top their homemade first day of lunch with fun stickers, toys, or homemade cookies with fun shapes.
                                                                          21. Everyone Loves Ice Cream.
                                                                            How can your first day get any better than stop for ice cream or froyo date with mom after school? Rehash your day and cool down with yummy frozen dessert.
                                                                            22. Write a Family Motto.
                                                                              Ask your little ones what they would like their school year to be like. Make it into a motto and have them write it down so they can repeat it when they wake up and before bed. They will carry this tradition into their entire life.
                                                                                23. It’s Picture Time.
                                                                                  We couldn’t skip this one! These are one of the best times to take pictures and document your child’s growth. Get your kids excited by letting them freestyle pose in their favorite new outfit and shoes. That way they will love these pictures and look forward to their cool pics every year.
                                                                                  24. Gift the Teacher.
                                                                                    Make an impression by bringing a gift or an apple to your kids’ teacher on the first day. Your child will feel so happy to start their first day with a gift to their teacher. Have a new principal? Bring the principal a gift too.
                                                                                    25. The Fashion Show the Night Before.
                                                                                      Make getting ready fun for the school day ahead by having a fashion show the night before. Spend time packing their lunch, backpack and setting out their clothes. Let your little ones try on their clothes with their new backpack and lunchbox and take pictures. Have a pre-first day photo shoot.
                                                                                      26. Pick a Backpack.
                                                                                        Take a special trip with your children to have them pick out their backpack, folders, pencils, pens, and all of their school supplies. Get them excited about their first day back to learning.
                                                                                        27. Back to School Interview with your Kids.
                                                                                          This is a fun way to find out how your kids are feeling about the new school year. Make believe you are filming a documentary and record their back to school interview. Ask questions that spark their curiosity and gain some insight into their likes and dislikes, dreams and goals. These fun videos will be shared with your kids’ kids.
                                                                                            28. Meditate with your Tikes Before School.
                                                                                              Queue up a kids yoga meditation early in the morning before your family starts getting ready. This will set a relaxing tone for everyone’s day ahead, bringing positivity and peace to the day’s journey. What a great way to bond.
                                                                                              29. Back to School Self-Portrait.
                                                                                                Be an artist and instead of taking the same back to school picture everyone else stages, have your kids draw a self-portrait every year. The best refrigerator art and later you can make it into a book.
                                                                                                30. Back to School Snacks.
                                                                                                  Let your child pick out their favorite snacks for the first day of school and give them some they can share to make new friends. Don’t forget to throw in that sweet loving note of support.
                                                                                                  There are so many different ways that moms can turn extra special moments into traditions. It’s also a good practice to make back-to-school time a bit less stressful and actually prep for a fabulous new school year.
                                                                                                  We would love to see your back to school photos and hear about your back to school traditions. Tag @kidsdreamus on Instagram to share your back to school snapshots!
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