The start of a new school year is an exciting time for both parents and children. Traditions for a new school year can help ease the transition between summer and school and your encouragement can help your child start the school year with a positive attitude towards learning.
Here are ten traditions that you may want to share together:
1. Take a first day of school photo of your child in the same place each year. Have your child hold a sign with their new grade on it.
2. Conduct a back to school interview with your child. Ask questions such as “What are you looking forward to this school year?”, “What is your favourite thing to do?”, “What makes you happy?”, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and “What is your favourite book?”. This is a great way to chart the changes in your child each year.
3. Create rituals around back-to-school shopping. Take each child out separately, buy a first day of school outfit and have a special dinner or lunch together.
4. Have a welcome home tradition for the first day of school. Bake cupcakes together or take your children out for ice-cream.
5. Pack a special lunch box treat along with a love note or encouraging letter on the first day of school.
6. Have a special dinner the night before school starts. Choose a meal that the whole family loves. To make it extra special, buy each child a new book, wrap it up and place it at their place at the dinner table.
7. The weekend before school starts, choose a special activity to do together as a family. This could be going to the movies, taking a trip to the zoo, swimming, bowling or having a breakfast date at your favourite restaurant.
8. Read a special book the night before school begins. A couple of books we enjoy are The Kissing Hand and The Berenstain Bears Go To School. You could even go to the bookstore and choose one together.
9. Celebrate the end of the first day of school with a big welcome home banner and balloons.
10. Send your child to school with a reminder of home. Ask them to choose a special photo or cuddly toy to take with them. They can then look at the photo or hug the toy when they feel scared or just in need of some comfort.
Traditions are a great way to prepare for back-to-school, to create strong family bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.
What does your family do to celebrate the start of the new school year?