I am one of those mamas who cry on the first day of school. And, the night before the first day of school. I can’t help it. Today, I’d like to share my special 1st day of school traditions. The kids love it. Their daddy and I love it. And, I love having a way to commemorate and celebrate their new year in school.
The week before school starts, the kids and I pick up large (basic) poster boards (they pick the colors!) and stickers (whatever they are into at the moment).
We come home, and I “interview” them – and I ask the same questions every year. I’ve seen friends do this on chalkboards…and although this is SUPER adorable…my kids like to see their answers and decorations year-round. So I write their kid “interview” questions and answers on their poster board, we decorate it, and I tape it to their bedroom doors. They LOVE this.
Here’s how I make the poster:
– My child’s name goes at the top of the poster board.
– Underneath their name, I write the full name of their school (including city and state) and the date of the first day of school.
– Then, I write down their interview questions and answers. You can ask them anything! Here’s what I ask my kiddies about…
1. My favorite color is
2. My favorite song is
3. My favorite activity is
4. My favorite food is
5. My favorite toy is
6. When I grow up, I want to be
7. I am most excited about [insert grade] because
– Once the kids get their classroom assignments, I finish the poster with their new classroom and teacher.
“I am in [classroom number] with [insert teacher’s name].
– Once I get my “first day of school” pictures printed, I’ll choose my favorite and tape it to their poster.
It is so fun to see what your kiddo loves, what is important to them…and to capture this special snapshot in time.
“The Kissing Hand” – The Night Before School
With their first day of school outfits all laid out, we snuggle up in bed and read “The Kissing Hand,” by Audrey Penn. (affiliate link)
This is a super sweet, super cute book about a little raccoon named Chester, and his mama…and the little raccoon is scared to start school.
The story goes on to share that the mama raccoon teaches her son about the “kissing hand.” She opens the palm of his hand, kisses it, and tells him that if he gets frightened at school, to open his palm and lay his hand on his cheek. And mama’s kiss will be right there.
(I’m tearing up as I think about this.) It’s such a wonderful little story, and each of my kids have a copy. It’s our tradition to read it the night before every new school year.
Pictures, Pictures (and More Pictures)
Not only do I take pictures of the kids on their first day…like every other parent in every country….I make note to take them in a specific place (it could be anywhere!). Just pick a place, take their picture…and then on the last day of school, take a picture in that same spot. It is so special to see how much your child has grown in a year. Love.
I also make sure to take a picture in front of their “interview” poster.
My kids are still little, so I still get to walk them into their new classrooms. After I get all of my pictures of my child (who am I kidding – I am lucky to get one picture of my kid in their classroom – they are too excited to stand still), I take pictures around their new room (without my kids in it!). This way I have some great classroom pictures to put in their photo book at the end of the year.
I send little love notes in their snack bags, decorated with stickers and hearts (cheesy, but they love it!). Just something simple like, “Mama and daddy love you!” The kids always get so excited to find these notes, and I’d like to think that it helps them feel encouraged, especially on their first day.
After School Treat (and De-brief)
My older child is notorious for one word answers. No matter how many “leading” questions I ask, I usually get “Yes.” “No.” Oh, and my favorite….”I don’t remember.”
Here’s my strategy.
After the first day of school, I take my kids for a milkshake at Ruby’s, and while they are inhaling their yummy treat, I ask all of my questions. She seems to be much more excited and happy while guzzling ice cream (go figure), and I get more information from her. It’s a tradition that the kids love in our house (okay, okay, I love it too).
I’ve also been searching on Pinterest for new traditions, and there are countless adorable ideas. I could literally spend hours planning!! What are your special 1st day of school traditions? Please share below – I’d love to get some new ideas!