As hard as it is to believe, the summer is already starting to wind to a close, which means children all over the country are preparing to head back to school for another year. Each year brings the promise of new things to learn, new friends to connect with and new memories to make, so why not document those exciting new changes with some fun and memorable family traditions? If you don't have any specific back to school traditions in your house, here are five ideas to get you started.
Back To School Countdown
As school looms on the horizon, it may help to get your kids excited about the upcoming year. Make a fun countdown to display in your home to help build the growing excitement and promise of a new grade level. You can make it a fun family project with just construction paper, some markers and a little creativity, try making the countdown in your child's school colors or using stickers he or she loves. Make at least a one-week countdown, or go for a month — whatever works best for you and your family. Then, every day, you can make some new memories as you change the countdown together and say "four more days!"
Sure, you probably purchase your child's school photos every year, but those are almost always pretty terrible and you have little control over the image itself. Take the photos into your own hands and start a tradition of photos in the same spot (or even wearing similar outfits) ever year. Find a place in your home or in a nearby park, or really any place that means something special to your family. Then plan a fun annual photo to document the occasion and your child's graduation to the next grade level. When graduation rolls around, you can put all those photos into a beautiful album as a particularly special graduation present.
There's still time to plan that last minute family trip before school schedules kick in and you have no more free time. Even if it's a weekend camping trip, there are lots of simple and affordable ways to make some more memories before the school year. To keep the tradition going, make sure to take the whole family along and be sure to document everything with tons of family photos. Then just be sure to keep the end-of-summer-vacation-trip going every year so the family has a fun annual tradition to look forward to every year.
Back To School Breakfast
Once your usual routine kicks in, most of your breakfasts will consist of simple things like cereal and toast. However, the first day back to school is the perfect time to break out all your favorite recipes for one last family breakfast. Let your kids pick whatever they want for the big day. After all, it comes just once a year, so why not treat them to something special? If you like to ensure healthier breakfasts, this may be the one time to allow your kiddos to have that sugary cereal or even donuts for breakfast.
School Supplies Gifts
You'll probably have to do some back to school shopping once the school year starts and those long lists are handed out. However, you can get a head start on the supplies you know you'll need while also making a fun gift for your kiddo as a back to school present. Wrap up some crayons, pencils, pens, paper, stickers, a coloring book or two, some fun toys or treats and anything else that says "have a fun school year!" Put it all in a new lunchbox or backpack and surprise your child with before the school year begins. It's a great way to help build the excitement because everyone loves the promise that new school supplies can bring.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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