Back to School: Celebrating the First Day

Happy New (School) Year!

I imagine some parents are reading “Back to School” celebrations and might be thinking of how they will celebrate their children returning to school; however, it IS a celebration. Whether your kids attend school or you homeschool, the beginning of a new school year is like new year’s day. It is the celebration of opportunity, learning and growth. New friendships, partnerships and the possibility to acquire a new skill all come along with a new school year. Going back to school should be celebrated but this excitement doesn’t need huge fanfare or balloons but rather simple pleasures that remind us how cool the idea of learning is for our kids just as it is for ourselves.

There are simple ways to celebrate this moment. We compiled a list of ideas that can easily be done. Also remember to talk to your children about their experiences and thoughts as well as encourage them to do so even when the conversation may not be that exciting.

Mommy University Presents

Back to School Celebrations

Indulge in After School Ice Cream

I cherish the memories of my dad taking me to Carvel’s for ice cream. It was always unexpected and lead to some wonderful conversations. Visit a local ice cream parlor for an after school ice cream treat. This is an easy tradition to have with your kids.

Celebrate with a New Book

For young children, reading books becomes a treasured time. A little book or notebook can help promote the importance of reading. For my children, they would love to receive a book to honor an occasion.

Back to School Books

Take a Nature Walk

There is so much excitement to the beginning of the school year that taking a calming walk through the woods can give everyone in the family room to breathe. The noise of school and excitement can be overwhelming for some kids but appreciating nature can help give them some tranquility.

On our last nature walk we found this orange lizard!

Cook a Special Meal/Dessert

Our favorite meals have a smell that we remember throughout the years thus cooking your child’s favorite meal can give them comfort before or after the first day of school. Whether it is a stack of pancakes or eggplant parmesan, these small gestures create memories that are treasured. Another option would be to put the effort into a special dessert like a sundae or favorite brownies.

Finished Eggplant with Ragu Sauce

Leave Special Notes in the Lunchbox

There are plenty of free printables on Pinterest or just hand write a special note for their lunchbox. This doesn’t have to be a letter but a note which includes a family motto or message you say to each other. It can be a post it or a photo or even a sheet of stickers!

Interview on the First Day of School

You can interview your child on the first day of school asking the same questions each year. You can save these answers for years to see how your child changes over time.  Here are some sample questions:

  • When you grow up, what do you want to do?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • By the end of the year, I want to….
  • What are you excited about this year?
Snap a Back to School Photo

I think this might be a larger celebration for the parents but let’s be honest everyone loves to see those first day of school photos. You can buy a chalkboard or print a sign you find online but it’s the photo that captures all that emotion on the first day!

Back to School

What is your first day of school celebration?

You may also enjoy:

Back to School Guide for Kids

10 Awesome Back to School Books

5 Tips for a Successful School Year (and more Healthy Back to School Tips)


  1. All good ideas. My daughter won’t be going to pre-school until next year, but I did snap a back to school picture of my husband who is returning to grad school lol

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