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Every year, I ask our kids to gather for a back-to-school picture.  It’s always on their first day (either in the morning or after school, depending on how busy we were!)… that I think about how much they have changed when I compare the picture to the previous year.

Back to school traditions are so much fun, and back-to-school prepping seems to start as soon as school lets out, doesn’t it?   From buying what you need before starting Kindergarten to planning their favorite outfit.

A text beside a picture of a cup of pencils and a monkey backpack.

1-  Take a picture of ALL of your kids this year.
We always take pictures of just the “back to school kid,” but remember to take pictures of all the kids so you can see their growth.

This was taken years ago, but it’s still a favorite photo/memory of mine because it shows just how much she loves her big brothers! Allie was crying because her brothers were leaving for school (First grade & preschool), and she already missed them.

Her big brothers are going to school ... and she will miss them!

2- Get your homework station ready.

Mickey built this great homework station for the kids several years ago.  He bought the desktop for about $10 and built it into the wall himself.  We use it EVERY day (during the school year & in the summer).

DIY idea homework station

3- Go “Back to school shopping”!
The kids love running to the store, finding their teacher’s name, and buying what is on the list.  I usually add something extra, too.  


Beau picked out these tool pens years ago.  (How perfect for him, right?!)


4-  Back to school party
These crayon cupcakes are adorable!   I love them for a little back-to-school party.
We’ve even adapted them to muffins – Our kids LOVE muffins!   Several years ago, I made them a banana muffin with cream cheese frosting (more cream cheese than actual frosting) and a crayon in the middle.  They thought it was funny and laughed at the table that morning, another great way to start the day.   You can find their favorite peanut butter banana muffin recipe here.


5- Pancake Breakfast
This special pancake breakfast is perfect!  Our kids love pancakes, so make the grade (number or K for Kindergarten) out of pancake mix!  We make them special birthday pancakes each year, so it’s just piggybacking off of that idea. The kids will LOVE it!

birthday pancakes

6- Get them ready with a back to school binder. 
It has everything you will need for the school year and each child will have their own.

catch all planner school

7.  Back to school Snack Mix.
This is adorable and I love the poem that goes with it!   Make a little bag of trail mix with cereal, pretzels, and marshmallows (mini).  Tie them with a pretty ribbon and attach this poem.  Give it to your kids after dinner as a special “pre-first day” snack:

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 8.15.30 PM

8. Chalk Favorites:
My friend Jodi at Meaningful Mama had an adorable idea to have her daughter lay beside a chalk-ruler.
She wrote what she wanted to be, her favorite food, her favorite show, her favorite activity, and she picked out her first day of school outfit for the picture.  What a great idea!


9. This first day of school printable is so sweet.
Remember this day for years to come with a picture of your child holding this “First Day of School” Poster.   It’s free, too!
The printable asks a lot of fun questions!  Be sure to include this in their personal school memories binder!

organize school work

10.  Get these “Art Work” binders ready when they bring home art work, school work, grades, etc…
I have mine organized and I have a special way that I figure out what gets sent to family members, what gets put into the binder, and what gets recycled.   This has been such a time-saver for me!   You can read about it here:

preschool teacher gift ideas

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. You could also scan or take a pic of the art work and save it in Evernote in their own note book so you will always have them. You could then email them from there to family and friends.

  2. It such an innovative way of boosting our kids enthusiasm to attend school. An oh, I like the DIY homework station. 🙂

  3. Hi Becky,

    I wish we had traditions such as these when I was in elementary school. I especially like the back to school party tradition. BTW those crayon cupcakes looked so delicious..!!