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The Ultimate Guide to Back To School Traditions

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This school year was very different, to say the least! It was so impressive to see all the kids take on the changes to their daily live with grace. This year my kids are looking forward to going back to school even more than ever before because they have renowned respect for the little things that once took for granted. We still don’t exactly know for sure what the school year is going to look like quite yet but we still plan on bringing back all of our back to school traditions.

If you are a long time reader of The Inspired Holiday you know I love sharing fun ways to start family traditions for every type of celebration and holiday. Today it’s all about the best back to school traditions. There was a time my family dreaded going back to school so these traditions were put in place to get them excited about a new chapter beginning. What kid wants Summer to end? None that I’ve met. Instead, it’s important to help them focus on the excitement of starting a new school year {even with all of the unknown aspects}.

Here’s The Ultimate Guide To Back TO School Traditions

Before School Starts Traditions

Start a Back To School Countdown – You can start a month before but I find it easier to wait until you get closer to the start of school the better so 10 days is good. There are many ways you can create a fun countdown activity. This year I’m pulling out all the stops and creating a back to school advent calendar of sorts. Every day for 10 days they will open a box filled with a new school supply. They need the school supplies so why not give them in a fun way. 

COUNTDOWN IDEAS: Letterboards, chain links and you can simply x off days on a calendar

The Back To School Fairy: Personally, this is my family’s favorite back to school tradition. For years my daughter would cry for the first weeks of school, it was utterly heartbreaking. We were desperate to find an easier way for her to transition to school. The introduction of The Back To School Fairy literally solved all of our back to school blues OVERNIGHT! You can read exactly how we came up with the idea, introduce it to our children, and how it can help your child have the best school year ever right HERE!


Interview – Before school starts have your child sit down for a few minutes to fill out a back to school interview. You can use a cute keepsake interview template. Ask them fun questions about their upcoming year. You can use this as a way for them to set goals and figure out what they want out of their year. 

Host a Back To School Bash – There really is every excuse to throw a party and back to school is no exception! The start of the school year is a monumental moment in a child’s life and should be celebrated. 

Amazon has some of the cutest back to school party supplies. You could even play some back to school charades or another fun back to school themed game

Countdown to School Stories – Each night before bed we read a school-themed story to get your kids excited for school to start again. 

Some of my favorites include:

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Back To School Fairy

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Go Shopping – So many children love getting new school supplies. Why not make it a tradition to go shopping for supplies together. I can still remember the excitement of getting to pick out my new backpack for the new year!

Back To School Crafts – One great idea to get your child excited to start school and easily my favorite back to school tradition – make a craft! There are tons of school themed crafts you can do together. 


First Day Traditions

Class of Shirt – This is easily the most adorable idea on this list. There are so many fun “Class of…” Shirt options and you take a picture of your child wearing them every year. This could double as some seriously cute graduation decor when senior year rolls around.

First Day Breakfast –  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, on the first day of school why not make it a bit special. You could create a fun school themed breakfast you know you’ll kids will love. One personal touch you can add is a handwritten note telling them how proud you are of them and most importantly how you know they are going to rock their school year. A little confidence boost is what the doctor ordered for the first day of school. 

First Day Photo – What’s the first day of school without a photo to commemorate the occasion? First-day pictures are the most recognizable back to school tradition. These photos are something you will look back on for years to come. Fancy signs are great, personalized shirts are an adorable touch but a simple picture before they head off is wonderful too. This doesn’t need to be elaborate something simple you can have as part of your memories is more than enough!

After School Snack – Something my kids look forward to on the first day of school each year is stopping on the way home for a special treat. This is something I learned helps calm the first day anxiety for my kids because they know as soon as I come to get them we will be on our way to one of our favorite places. It’s something they can think about to help bring a smile to their face during their first day. 

Additional Back To School Traditions

Start a Scrap Book – Scrapbooking is a great family tradition to do together. There are so many fun scrapbooking kits and supplies you can find on Amazon. If scrapbooking isn’t your speed, creating a memory book is a wonderful way to keep track of your kids school memories. 



School Bucket List – Bucket Lists reign supreme over here. This is one back to school tradition I try to do after my kids have been in school for a little bit. This helps them get adjusted to their teachers, new friends, and their surroundings. At the end of the first month of school, we sit down as a family to create a school bucket list for the year. 

Mix it up! Have your kids set some fun goals for the school year such as learning their times tables or reading 10 chapter books but also include things like going to the fall festival or joining the dance team. Let them control it as much as possible.  

Back to school is such an exciting time for kids and using any of these back to school traditions can help you make memories to last a lifetime.


Happy Celebrating!




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