When I was a kid, back-to-school thoughts were met with a sense of dread, as my summer days were pure magic. No matter how ominous the impending end of summer was, however, my parents would somehow manage to get me excited.
Sure, back-to school preparations are important for the kids, but we shouldn’t neglect parents and the teachers as well. So, let’s have a little fun looking at ways to make those first few days of school truly amazing for everyone.
Going back to school marks the end of summer freedom, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of fun. Here are a few good ideas to get your kids excited about going back to school.
- The obligatory back to school shopping for clothes and school supplies is crucial, but let’s expand that category. Are your kids into specific hobbies? Take them out for a treat to support their interests outside of school. If they ride their bike to school, consider a cool new accessory. If they are really into music, consider an iTunes gift card. A back-to-school gift can make that transition into the school year even more fun!
- Consider starting a school year tradition that picks up each September. For younger kids, you may want to leave fun notes or a tasty treat in their backpacks every so often. With older kids, you could slip in a few bucks for after school treats, the occasional gift card, or some trendy thing that will make them grin from ear to ear.
- For that first day (or two), organize an extra special breakfast before school. Consider taking the family out for a great breakfast at a favorite local restaurant. If the morning is too hectic, set aside some special time in the evening for an out-of-the-ordinary dinner of their choice.
- Have a back-to-school party! Get some burgers, cake, ice cream, and a bunch of your kids friends and family over for a shindig that will get everyone excited!
- For the little ones, join them for lunch at school for the first few days to help them ease into the new routine. It can be just as fulfilling for the parent as it will be for their kiddo. Please note: if you tell your little one that you’ll be there for lunch, show up.
It’s easy to focus on the kids when it comes to back-to-school preparations, but the transition from summertime to school year is a big one for parents as well, especially for the stay-at-home parent. Here are a few ideas for the grownups.
- Take a day or two off from work and live it up. During the summer and on holidays, parenting ramps back up to 24/7. So while you have a few hours of time to yourself, plan a fun date with your spouse, significant other, or close friends doing something fun – whether it’s outrageous or laid-back. Consider a day at an amusement park, a movie rated something over PG, a grownups-only BBQ, or even a spa day. Whatever you plan, live it up a little!
- Knowing that your evening will soon be consumed by homework help, sporting events, and piano recitals, get on board with a monthly subscription to help ease those late nights of algebra tutoring and science experiment building. Options include shipments of adult beverages, wine, chocolate, books, hobby crafts, and just about any other thing your heart desires.
We often forget these dedicated individuals, so let’s show them a little love. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Teachers spend many hours working to give your kids a quality education while earning a less than adequate salary. A first-day-of-school gift is a wonderful way to show your kid’s teacher(s) how much you care. Chances are good that it will make your little student eager to get in on the first day in order to give it to them! While these gifts don’t need to be expensive, they should be something thoughtful.
- Given the budgets of many public schools in our country, many teachers personally fund supplies for the classroom in order to make sure your child’s educational experience is the best it can be. We recommend asking the teacher ahead of time what things their classes need and pitch in some school supplies in order to take some of the burden off of their back. It’s a great way to show that you care and a great way to maintain close ties to the school.
- Sometimes, a Thank You card will do. Before the school year kicks off, send a thank you note or a letter of encouragement to your children’s teachers. You’re bound to raise spirits with this simple little gesture.
With a little planning, you can make the transition back to school fun and exciting!