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16 Back-to-School Traditions to Start the Year Off Right

The hard part: Picking one

Pam Molnar

Published on: July 31, 2017

Apple on books

The years seem to pick up speed as your child gets older. One minute they are getting on the bus for kindergarten and in the blink of an eye, they're walking across the stage at their high school graduation. Don’t let those years go by in a blur. Capture the first day of school with a tradition the kids will look forward to every year.

Drive to your local high school a few days before school starts. Capture a picture of your child standing by the marquee or in front of the building near the front door. You can also catch picture of your child gazing up at the school while wearing his back pack. Taken every year, this makes a great collage of photos to display at that high school graduation party.

Every year before school starts, purchase a Time and a People. Have your child pose with the magazines to show what was in the news that year.

Buy a t-shirt from the high school spirit store in an adult size. Take a picture of your child wearing the shirt with their backpack on the ground next to them. It's a great way to show how their choice in backpacks changes over the years.

Pose your student standing next to you in front of your house. Bring enough books for your child to stand on until their as tall as you. As the years go by and your child grows, they'll will need fewer and fewer books to stand on. Maybe you'll be the one standing on the books someday!

Don’t forget to get a picture of yourself on the first day of school!

The night before school starts, bake a round loaf of bread and place a clean penny in the dough before it bakes. Before dinner, have all the kids hold on to a piece of the bread and break it off. The one who gets the penny will have extra good luck this year at school.

Start the day off right with a special breakfast. Choose a traditional breakfast of eggs and toast, whip up a smoothie for a light and healthy meal or lighten the mood with something silly like cookie-cutter pancakes with whipped cream.

Shop with your child before school starts and let them choose a special back-to-school lunch. Go beyond the sandwich to find yogurt parfaits, fruit pizza or ham-and-cheese kabobs. Don’t forget a note and a Hershey’s kiss!

When you child comes home from school, they'll want to tell you all about their teacher, classes and day. Prepare a special after-school snack like an ice cream sundae bar or colorful fruit trifle.

On the first day of school, measure your child from head to toe with a piece of string cut to their height. Put the string in an envelope and mark it with the date. At the end of the year, measure them again and see how much they grew.

Plant a tree in celebration of your child starting kindergarten. Every year, take a picture of your child in front of the tree and watch them both grow.

Make a back-to-school flag out of white cloth to hang in front of the house. Every year, add your children’s hand prints using different color paints. Include the date and their age to create a treasure that you look forward to showing off every year.

Make concrete stepping stones with your child’s footprint and the date. Let you child decorate and add the stones to your yard to create a wonderful memory garden.

Have a back-to-school bash. This is a great way to reconnect with all the kids you did not get to see over the summer. Rent a large slip 'n slide or a bounce castle, cook up some hot dogs and pass out the popsicles. Enjoy one last hoorah before school starts.

Your teens and tweens will be happy with an evening bonfire to mourn the end of summer. Bring out the speakers and let them plug in their own music. Provide a fire, plenty of snacks and enough seating for everyone.

Don’t forget a party for the moms. A first day of school potluck breakfast is a great opportunity for the moms to celebrate the return to routine.

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