The majority of us are doing distance learning. I know experiencing transitional kindergarten last year and now kinder this year, that shopping for a backpack, easy to open lunch bag, or drawstring pants isn’t a priority now. Kinder specific play dates aren’t happening for many of us. So how do we make the day special despite staying at home? I compiled a list of five ideas that can help our First Day Back to School feel special. Most of them are things we already were doing, but going a little extra doesn’t hurt.
- Deliver a Back-to-School basket to your friends and family. I have collected school supplies or items that will help ease our distance learning and I am ding dong dropping them on our friend’s porch. My nephew and niece started this week so they already have their basket! It was so nice to see their happy faces. This is one way to make their first week special. One of my favorite items for distance learning is a caddy (Target has them for $2, smaller ones at Dollar Tree). I personalized them so they can grab their caddy to use for the day. If you want to also include headphones, its an essential must-have for this year! You don’t need to spent a ton on this supply bin, Dollar Tree and the dollar section at Target have amazing options.
- Create a chalkboard sign for the morning of and have a photo shoot. This is something I have done every year and it is so much fun. Grab a chalkboard and pens and create a board for your kiddo! This is a great way to document memories for that year and compare their growth during the first day to last. Take it an extra step and have a photo shoot for them. And as a reminder, you don’t necessarily have to do it the morning of, the day before works just as well.
- Create a fun activity the eve before school begins. My friend, Melissa, did an amazing job setting up her littles for a successful first day back (see picture below). She gifted them a peg board with some school supply goodies, read a couple of going back to school books and talked about the changes happening. I think I will use the eve of our first day to give my boys their school supply baskets, read The Kissing Hand story, decorate our journal, and play a free game of School Supply Bingo! And if you are already stressing about technical difficulties on the first day, I suggest doing something the eve before to help easy anxiety.
- Wake up to balloons and create a special breakfast. I have another friend, also named Melissa (Mamahood.IE), who is the queen of balloons and special breakfasts. I thought about her when I was thinking of this idea because I knew she would rock this for sure! Her daughter just started school and she made her a special breakfast and a theme school wall. I am thinking of having my kid wake up to a ton of balloons in his school colors and kicking them around to get pumped up for the first day back. I also want to make a fun breakfast for them. That is as far as I got. Maybe its pencil waffles with a tiny chocolate chip as the pencil tip, apple muffins, or a piece of college-ruled paper as a place mat. But I went to Target and Dollar Tree and found a couple of items to help get my creativity rolling.
- Make the end of the first day extra special. I remember taking my oldest out for ice cream after a successful first day of pre-school and Transitional Kinder. And I realized we can still do that now. I’ll ask him what special after-school-treat he will like and we can go to celebrate the first day of distance learning. We won’t be able to dine in, but the act of going and picking it up is just as special. If you aren’t into treats or driving, a Back-to School dance party mix can help make the evening fun.
As I write this list, I have the same feelings of excitement I get when it is a holiday since I like to go all out. And now with distance learning, I feel like I need to make his first day back to school extra special. If there is anything else you are doing and not on the list, I would love to know! Message me so I can add it to this ongoing list.