November 20, 2017

Back to School Ideas and Traditions


back to school traditions


Simple traditions weave together one’s family tapestry into magical memories. By establishing a few Back to School traditions, your children will look forward to this special day with a renewed sense of excitement. This is especially important for those children who may have a few nervous tummy flutters about the upcoming week.

If your children already started school, it’s not too late to still throw one of these impromptu activities. Just give your celebration a new name to mark the special time together. I shared these ideas a few years ago and they are just as fun today. Enjoy them all.


Be sure to make a special breakfast to start the school year off right. Make an elaborate feast, maybe waffles with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, or eggs Benedict – anything but the usual scrambled eggs and toast. Let your kids select the menu and do the grocery shopping together to prepare this special meal. Wake up early and set the table with your best dishes, turn on background music and really make this meal special. Don’t be afraid to serve them something wonderfully wild and memorable – yes, mom, for breakfast. 🙂

Bless them as they start their new year. I pray for wisdom, character, individuality, honestly and the strength to stand up to peer pressure in difficult circumstances. Do the same to celebrate the last day of school. Prepare a unique desert like my strawberry cheesecake trifle or one of your family favorites so that it’s something special to be repeated year after year. When you serve your children this ceremonial dessert, present them with a small gift. (This is a great time to introduce or contribute to a collection that your child may have, or want to start). This gift is not a reward for their performance, but a mark of accomplishment.


Organize a neighborhood breakfast bash on the first day of school. Bring doughnuts, bagels, hot chocolate, juice and milk for the young students and their parents to enjoy as they wait for the bus. This is a perfect way for your children to get to know their classmates, and a great opportunity for you to meet their parents. My friends have made this an annual event, and the kids plan and look forward to it all summer long. This photo moment can be collaged into your “Back to School” book. (Since we home school, we haven’t been able to enjoy the Bus Stop Bash tradition, but memories of my own time at the bus stop are still strong.)

Bus Stop or Car Pool Wishes

Make bus-stop time fun! Ask each person to share morning wishes for himself and others in the car or at the bus stop. Watch how this simple tradition strengthens friendships and helps children be in tune to the important things in their friends’ lives.

This is just an introduction to all the amazing Back to School Tradition ideas.

How do you mark the first day or the first week of Back To School?

Have you established any neat traditions?

I’d love to hear them in the comments and so would my readers.


  1. Tearra Leger says:

    We do the kids favorite donuts on the 1st day of school. Daddy leaves for work late so he can wake them up. I let them pick what they want for their lunch boxes the 1st day. Of course we go outside early so we can get pictures of backpacks, with their friends & I started this yr making them hold up their fingers to show me what grade they are in.


  2. Kendra Hoy says:

    Since I homeschool, a friend of mine gave me this idea. Decorate the “classroom” along with a big Welcome to the _ grade sign, and take first day of school pictures under it. Have a packed lunch ready along with a back pack filled with new supplies for the new year with an encouraging note for the new school year.


  3. For our sons it was homemade chocolate chip cookies when they arrived home on the first day of school. This could work for home school as well with the kids helping to make the “first day of school” cookies.


  4. As crazy as this sounds I’m not sure if we are homeschooling full or part time this year! We are looking at a private school that has a homeschool program, which would be the best of both worlds to me. Back to school is always a VERY stressful time of year for me being a mom of a child that doesn’t quite fit the mainstream but most of the time too high functioning for a contained classroom. Which is why I started homeschooling to begin with. I think my back to school traditions should be LOTS of prayer instead of my usual worrying! Remind me of this every September! 🙂
    Also, I read your other post on lighting. Be sure to check out for lighting, great prices! And also graveyard mall, as you probably already know! 🙂


  5. Hi Jen – I haven’t seen you mention Flea Markets as a source for second hand goodies and having just discovered it a few weeks ago I wanted to share!!

    Our local flea market (and I imagine many others around the U.S.!) has a man that buys surplus jewelry by the pound and then sells it for a few dollars a piece – all brand new pieces with original store tags – for about 90% off regular price!

    It is now my go-to place for gifts for my friends 😉
    Thought you might enjoy checking out your flea market (cough, in all your free time!) to see if you have a similar seller!


  6. this is such a special post. FULL of wonderful ideas. love the idea of the neighborhood getting involved around the bus stop.



  7. Julia Vestal Denton says:

    our system starts next Aug 27… where are you? lol


  8. Julia Vestal Denton 1/2 mile past the Guilford/Rockingham border, unfortunately. 😉


  9. These are such great ideas!! Will be keeping them in my back pocket for when the day arrives – thank you!


  10. Jennifer says:

    My daughter has a tradition on the end of her first day of school she ran to the pool and jumps in fully dressed….gives her something to look forward to!


    Jen Reply:

    I LOVE THAT!! What a fun one. Do you get pics of her soaking wet every year? It would be fun to compare how she’s changed.


    Jennifer Reply:

    @Jen, it’s great to get an action photo! Also, one dripping wet! It’s a fun tradition!


  11. First day of school pictures each year with a sign. One year (16yrold) it was standing next to the car getting ready to drive to school!

    Love the pool idea. My DH was a pool manager a couple of years and said the first day of school was like the first day after school was out!


    Jen Reply:

    I love that. Such a great idea and that is so funny that you husband mentioned that about the pool. I would never have thought that but it sure makes sense. 🙂



  1. […] back to school traditions to get your kids excited for learning, says Jen at Balancing Beauty and […]

  2. […] Organize a bus stop breakfast bash. […]

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