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Why you should create ‘first day of school’ traditions

11 January, 2022

Ahhh, the first day of school. A pivotal moment not only for a child, but for their parents, too. The question is: how do you memorialise it? Here, we share the reasons you should establish a first day of school tradition, and five fun ways to do it.

Way-too-big-backpacks, new faces and classrooms, and jittery nerves all characterise the first day of school – but what if your family came up with their own way to commemorate it, too?

When you think about it, establishing a ‘first day of school’ tradition isn’t such a bad idea. It helps make the day special and exciting for your children, rather than nerve-wracking or unfamiliar. It also gives your younger children something to look forward to as they watch their older siblings go through it.

Perhaps most importantly, it creates cherished memories for your children – and cherished photos or videos to look back on – and gives them something to pass on to their own children one day.

But still, the question remains: what ‘first day of school’ tradition will your family create? If you’re stuck, we’ve come up with a few ideas…

Recreate the same photo year after year

We love this one because it gives you a time capsule of photos to look back on, and compare from year to year. You’ll see the annual progression of your child’s schooling life, from the little preppy with the oversized uniform to the grown-up Year 12 young adult all those years later. Perhaps you could even create a small photo album for each child as a graduation present? We’re not crying, you are.

Make a back-to-school bucket list

This isn’t a list of things you need to experience on your school holidays before the children head back – rather, it’s a list of fun and exciting things they can do throughout the school year. Have them write down their goals for the year, whether it’s to make new friends, try a new activity, volunteer or do their homework within the first hour of arriving home from school.

Cook a first day of school breakfast

Your children should start every day with a good breakfast, but it’s especially important on their first day. In fact, why not create a special first day of school breakfast tradition with a specific dish? You could make a big fry up, French toast, pancakes… you name it. The less often you have it (and the more your children love it) the better.

Create a ‘Back to School’ playlist

Whether you drive your children to school or not, the first day of school (or the first day back) can always be made better with a great playlist. Spend the school holidays narrowing down your collective favourite songs, allowing each child to have an equal contribution. Then, on the first morning of school, while you all get ready or while you drop them off, blast it while you all sing along together.

Throw a ‘first day back’ party

The first day of school is officially over – now, it’s time to party! This could mean cooking an extra special dinner (or ordering it from your favourite local restaurant), watching a movie you all love, doing a fun after-school activity or letting your children do Show and Tell to tell you all about their first day. The more you hype it up on the morning of their first day, the better.

Looking for lunchbox inspiration? Here are ten of our fool-proof lunch box recipes.

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