Posted on behalf of Zayaan Schroeder who is a mother to two kids and is passionate about making their childhood memorable and happy. She has been a parenting journalist for 10 years and also runs a parenting blog called Surviving the Madness dedicated to making things easier for moms. You can follow her on Instagram www.instagram.com/survivingmadness
The festive season has passed, the New Year has been rung in and parents across the country are turning their focus to the new school year. For many this will be their first year at Big School and for others entering their matric year, it’s the beginning of the end. But whether your kids find themselves at the beginning of their journey, nearing the end or somewhere in the middle the first day of school is always an exciting time.
I like to start the new school year with some fun traditions. And because the first day is usually a mad rush to get back into the routine of things, they tend to be simple things. Here are some ideas you can implement for your own family.
First day of school posters
A great way to document the start of the school year is to have your kids pose with first day of school signs. These can be very simply, a small chalkboard with their grade or you can get one of these printables from How Does She.
Planes and Balloons has editable first day of school signs that include few details about your kids and their upcoming school year.
First and last day of school interviews
I like the idea of first and last day of school interviews, it shows just how much kids change and grow during a year. And once they matriculate it will be a nice way to look back over their school years to see how they’ve grown up if you put them in a binder or flip file.
Positively Splendid has some free printables for preschool all the way through to Grade 12. If you don’t mind spending a bit there are some beautiful ones on Etsy, my favourite being this one from Kimberful Designs.
Back to school breakfast
All too soon you will be throwing your teen with a piece of toast as they run out the door because they’re inevitably late. Or pouring a bowl of cereal for your younger ones because you’re running late. But I like to take some extra time on the first day to make a really special breakfast that we all sit down for together. Usually some of the kids’ favourites like flapjacks, scrambled eggs, toast and fruit. It doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as everyone sits and takes some time together.
Create a bucket list
Creating goals is a great way for your kids to work on improving a skill. It can be anything from improving their reading, trying a new sport or making new friends. You can make a checklist poster for their rooms so that they have a visual of the goals they’ve set for themselves.
Grow into the t-shirt
I really like this idea and it’s super cute. Buy an adult sized t-shirt and have the year they’re meant to matriculate on it. Then take a picture of them in it every year from Grade 1 to Grade 12 and watch how they grow into the t-shirt. It’s silly, but it’s so cute to watch them literally grow into the t-shirt.
The Backpack Fairy
Now this will only really work for the little ones because by the time they’ve gotten to Grade 4 or 5 they will realise that fairies are not real and it’s all you. Nonetheless it’s a nice idea. After your kids have gone to sleep, sneak some new school supplies, a new book or lunchbox into it. It doesn’t have to be big things. Novelty erasers, pens or notepads are great little ideas.