It’s back to school season! Whether it’s your little one’s first year at school or not, the first day of school is always exciting. A new year, a new class, new teachers—there’s a lot happening! Celebrating the first day of school can be a great way to make the day special and memorable for kids. Here are some fun and creative ideas to celebrate the start of a new school year.

Back-to-School Breakfast

Prepare a special breakfast for the whole family or just the kiddos before heading off to school. It could be a themed breakfast with pancakes shaped like pencils, apple slices, and a glass of orange juice. Alternatively, you could make special smoothies, or a special breakfast that you don’t typically have. Maybe you pick up bagels from your favorite bagel shop the day before, or grab donuts on your way to school!

You could also make breakfast special by having a fun drink like chocolate milk, strawberry milk, or a new kind of juice you haven’t tried before. There are so many ways to make breakfast a special occasion! 

First Day Photos

You can’t forget about the obligatory first-day-of-school photos, no matter how old your child is. There’s nothing like these yearly photos to remind us parents just how fast our little ones are growing up. You can create a fun and creative backdrop or use a chalkboard to write down the grade level and other details. Just be sure not to share any personal details, like school, class name, etc. on social media.

Decorate the Front Door

Decorate the front door of your house with a “Welcome Back to School” theme. Use streamers, balloons, or chalk to create a festive atmosphere for your child. If you don’t want to decorate the front door, you could decorate your child’s bedroom door, or an area of the house. Helping them get excited about the day is a good way to ease any nerves they might be feeling.

Create a Time Capsule

Freeze time with a homemade time capsule! Help your child create a time capsule with items that represent their interests and aspirations at the beginning of the school year. Open it at the end of the year, or at the beginning of the next school year, to see how they’ve grown and changed over the course of a year.

First Day Journal

Go to the store and let your child pick out a journal, and turn it into a first-day-of-school journal using markers, stickers, or by leaving it as is. On the first day of school, encourage them to write about how they’re feeling before school, as well as about how the first day went. They can write about their experiences, new friends, and things they are looking forward to during the school year.

Story Time

Does your child love books? Read a special book about going back to school together. This can help ease any nervousness or anxiety your child might be feeling. If you’re not sure what books to read, head to your local library for recommendations. Or check out these 15 books to read on the first day of school.

Welcome Home Surprise

Who doesn’t love a surprise? Prepare a surprise for your child when they come home from school. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It could be their favorite snack or drink, a framed photo, or even a special note of encouragement.

After-School Treats

The first day of school can be exhausting! And all that learning and meeting new friends can work up an appetite in our little ones. Another way to keep the first day of school fun going is to prepare special after-school treats like cookies, cupcakes, fruit kabobs, or ice cream sundaes to celebrate the end of the first day. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to an after-school treat, as long as it’s something your child enjoys!

Try one of these chocolate pudding recipes!

Ask Questions

Get curious with your child! Take the time to really sit with them and ask them about their first day of school. Ask them about their favorite part, their least favorite part, something funny that happened, the other students in their class, what they did for activities, what their classroom is like, etc. Do your best to really tune into the conversation and tune out distractions. This is the perfect opportunity to put your phone away, turn the TV off, and have an intentional conversation to connect with your child.

Remember that the most important thing is to create an atmosphere of excitement and positivity around the first day of school. Whether it’s through small surprises, special activities, or thoughtful gestures, celebrating the start of a new school year can help set a positive tone for the days to come. And for those of you coming to CHLC again or for the first time, we can’t wait to see you!