From Our Blog: 21 Creative First Day of School Ideas for Parents

first day of school ideas graphic||21 ideas to make the first day of school special for kids

Back to school season is here, and if your child is heading off to Kindergarten, you may be thinking about ways to make their first day special. Or you may need ideas to help ease the transition for younger siblings.

We’re sharing our favorite first day of school traditions, activities, and ideas to make the Kindergarten send-off a memorable one.

First Day of School Traditions & Kindergarten Kick-off Ideas

  1. Make a batch of Kissing Hand Cookies (hand-shaped cookie cutters, Hershey’s kiss in the center) and of course read The Kissing Hand while you eat them!
  2. Serve an apple-themed breakfast and/or lunch: red, apple-shaped pancakes, apple-shaped sandwich, apple slices, etc.
  3. Take a picture of your child holding a sign with the grade level and year (in their first day of school outfit, of course!). Even more ideal is to take the picture in front of the school.
  4. Have a “Back to School” fairy that leaves a special surprise the night before school starts.
  5. Plan a special outing after school…like a trip to the ice cream stand.
  6. Buy a new first day of school outfit.
  7. Do a special hairdo (braids will result in wavy hair the next day).
  8. Put a special treat in your child’s lunchbox (like a cookie).
  9. Decorate the breakfast table with balloons.
  10. Bake a special cupcake and serve it for breakfast.
  11. Take a photo in the same place every year starting with the first day of Kindergarten.
  12. Plan a school-themed lunch or dinner (alphabet soup etc.).
  13. Give your child a clip-on for their backpack. It helps keep them distracted on the bus ride. Some clip-on’s we’ve seen have included a compass, a soccer ball, a mini flashlight, and Legos.
  14. As a first day of school tradition, serenade your child in the morning with a funny song you and your spouse made up about going back to school, complete with a goofy dance.
  15. Write a note to your child and put it in their lunch box. Make it something they look forward to each day for the first week. You could even start a story that you made up and your child gets to read a new paragraph each day for the first week. It might make that first week easier for everyone (these are some cute and free printable lunch note cards).
  16. Jazz up the school supply list…Teachers typically request school supplies – like crayons—so you can get ordinary crayons or get the twist crayons with multiple colors (same thing for erasers or pencil sharpeners).
  17. Buy some fun (and inexpensive) stickers or temporary tattoos that the child can wear on the first day of school.
  18. Get the child interested in something you know that they’ll be studying/working on in the new year. For example, if you know your son is going to be studying Japan this year, start looking up information about the country in advance and reinforce how interesting it is to learn about different cultures.
  19. Laminate a photograph with your child and their sibling if they are close or perhaps a picture of the family or family pet. Put it in their lunchbox.
  20. Write a surprise positive message or love note in chalk at the bus stop
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
first day of school ideas graphic||21 ideas to make the first day of school special for kids