You’ve bought the backpacks, sharpened the pencils and laid out those all-important first-day-of-school clothes. Now for some fun…five ways to welcome a new school year for kids K-12.
1. Host a neighborhood back-to-school party. For years, our neighborhood hosted back-to-back parties for kindergartners, first graders and so on, a different group every hour. Some years it was a back-to-school carnival (with a cupcake walk set to the Beach Boys’ “Be True to Your School”), other years featured scavenger hunts, art parties, barbecues and ice cream socials.
2. There’s nothing like a big sister (or brother) to ease the way. One of Campolindo High School’s most beloved traditions…
…is its senior-freshman luncheon. Senior girls pick up their freshman “little sisters” and take them out for a group lunch, then drop them off at school in time for freshman orientation.
3. The first day of school is intimidating enough without getting lost. Lafayette Elementary School does a lemonade party to introduce its new kindergartners to the school, but we always thought new middle and high school students needed a little TLC too. So rally the troops and do donuts in the quad, pass out school maps, then go scout classroom routes or hold a school scavenger hunt – bring back photographic evidence (camera phones are perfect) of the milk vending machine, the PE locker room, some obscure classroom, and various goofy but practical school sites.
4. Alphabet soup and apple pie – or a school bus cake on the night before the big day.
5. And finally, don’t forget to get out the camera and take that ceremonial first-day-of-school picture. Easy to remember through grade school, not so easy by 8th grade, but by senior year, you’ll have preserved the entire journey.
- Jackie Burrell