Back To School Traditions

Oh yes, back to school time is around the corner! Let’s talk back-to-school traditions. Experts say that family traditions create a sense of rhythm to our lives that connects us to one another and to our past. How do you mark the end of summer + the beginning of a new academic year? I’ll start with my families –

Every year the night before school started my family would go out for ice cream (typically Dairy Queen), and then drive by our school building(s) and peer through the windows. (…kind of like burglars?!) Over the course of my childhood, I can remember doing this in 3 different states, once even leaving a group of my sister’s high school friends to hang out at our house alone while our family ran out to DQ to squeeze the tradition into our busy teenage schedules. Now my siblings and I are grown, but my sister (who worked as a teacher and now an administrator) hasn’t missed a year. In fact, she’s turned the tradition into a big gathering. Last year (her 33rd year of back-to-school ice cream!) about 30 friends + family took over an Ohio Dairy Queen. And while my kids are preschoolers, but we are keeping the tradition. Here we are last year at Glacier

Here are some other great back-to-school tradition ideas I’ve come across:

  • First Day of School pictures – This is the most popular tradition that fills your Facebook feed each August. But there’s nothing like looking back at the end of the year to see how much they’ve changed right before your eyes.
  • First Day of School questionnaire – A slightly more recent addition to the first day of school photo is the questionnaire that asks kids things like what they want to be when they grow up, their favorite foods, who their teacher is and similar questions.
  • First Day of School time capsule – An upgraded take on the questionnaire, a time capsule can include a questionnaire as well as personal treasures from the summer (that the child is willing to provide) to remember their favorite things. Think: photos, nature items, brochures from vacations, keepsake trinkets, arts + crafts projects.
  • First Day of School fairy – The morning of the first day can be nerve-wracking, so a visit from a fairy that delivers a cute notebook, fun set of pencils, locker mirro or other simple item will be a fun diversion from the stress of the day. (As a stationery junkie, this is definitely something I look forward to doing for my kiddos!)
  • First Day of School after-school snack – The first day of anything is *exhausiting*, so why not welcome your kids home on the first day with a special snack (or dinner, if they don’t get home until then). Choose a snack or meal you know they’ll enjoy and just maybe you’ll get them to sit down long enough to tell you a bit about their day 😉
  • First Day of School mom’s brunch – Gather a group of moms (or dads!) and get together for a brunch celebration after the kids are safely on the bus. Hooray! Mimosas recommended.

If you have a back-to-school tradition, we’d love to hear what it is! And if you’re looking for something to fill those last couple of weeks of summer, check Campanizer for camps still happening this summer.