Going back to school … brings back memories of when I was young and the thrill I felt in deciding which of my new clothes I would wear the first day, organizing my new school supplies, and the anxiousness and excitement I felt in meeting my new teacher and classmates.
As grandmothers we can help build traditions with our grandchildren that will make their first days of school special and memorable.
Here is a list of 10 traditions you might like to start…
1. Do a back to school interview (click for a printable form) with your grandchild.
As you do one each year together, you will document their growth and maturity (and young kids always give adorable answers!). They can keep the interviews in their scrapbook … it will become a sweet memento of their school years.
This is something you could do on Facetime with them, if you live far away.
2. Have a special first day breakfast with the whole family.
You can buy a large number birthday candle (to match the grade they are going in to) to put on top of a muffin or stack of waffles. You can tell jokes around the table as you eat. Click here for some science jokes you could try.
3. Celebrate “School Year’s Eve”!
Of course you have heard of New Year’s Eve, but you can also celebrate School Year’s Eve! Turn the evening before the first day of school into a party and everyone can celebrate together (maybe invite some of their classmates, too).
Put up some decorations, have a special treat, play some silly games and dance your hearts out and to get the kids excited about the new school year.
4. Give their parents a lunch- letter to put in their lunch box from you.
Write a positive, encouraging short letter to your grandchild and they will read it and know you are thinking of them on their special first day of school. This is a good idea to do if you live far away from them and cannot be there as they begin a new school year.
5. Help your grandchild write a note to their new teacher.
They can tell him/her a little about themselves and what they are looking forward to learning this school year. They can attach it to a little gift that you buy together for their teacher (like school supplies, chocolates, or something your grandchild has made for them).
I was a teacher for 17 years and always appreciated my students being thoughtful.
6. Have a Family Back-to-School Fashion Show.
Getting new school clothes was the highlight for me every new school tyear. Let the grandkids show off their new outfits with a family “Back to School Fashion Show.” You can create a little runway in your house and let each of the kiddos take turns showing off their new outfits on the catwalk (to some great music playing in the background). Have someone do the commentary as they walk … “Here is Quinn wearing a great tshirt and skirt combination in bright pink and blue. Notice how the blue skirt brings out her eyes and the new pink runners put a spring in her step.!”
Maybe you can watch some real models walking down runways on Youtube and then come up with some great model poses the grandchildren can do as they strut their stuff!
7. If you are a bit of a photographer (like I am) take some special back-to-school photos of your grandchild to capture how they looked starting their new grade.
You do not have to take the photos at 7:00 am on the first day of school (there is already tons of things happening and their parents will probably take some pictures before they take them to school). Maybe take the photos a few days before or after the school year starts, on a weekend or after they come home from school.
I love looking at interesting photos that other photographers have taken, to get my creative ideas flowing. Here is a great site to get ideas for taking memorable back-to-school photos … https://blog.togally.com/10-best-ideas-for-2014-back-to-school-photos/
8. Become the “Back-to-School Fairy”!
All grandkids love the tooth fairy, so they are sure to love having the Back-to-School Fairy visit them! Have their parents leave the windows unlocked, and then the Back-to-School Fairy can drop off fun school supplies, a treat, and a little note of encouragement for the first day of school under their pillow.
If you live far away you can still send the items to the parents and have them do it for you on a night of the first week of school. What a fun way to make the first day a little more magical for your grandchildren!
9. Bake them their very own school bus cake, cupcakes or cookies.
If you are a gung ho grandma that loves to bake, then have a great time baking a back-to-school treat for your grandkids.
I found these great ideas on how to create the cake in the photo and also cupcakes and cookies at the Sizzle and Spice site (click to see how). A way to a grandchild’s heart can be through their stomach!!
10. Back-to-School balloons!
Your grandchild will love waking up to balloons all over their bedroom floor on the first day of school! Nothing says “important day” like some streamers and balloons. You could also form the grade number in balloons on their door.
If you live far away you can send some balloons to the parents (that you have drawn x’s and o’s on them with a felt pen) and tell the mom and dad what you would like them to do with balloons. When your grandchild asked who did this for them, they can tell her it was her grandma who wished she could be there to witness the first day of school excitement, but who sends hugs and kisses (x’s and 0’s) for them!
By using some of these fun back to school traditions, you can help ease first-day-of-school jitters, create some great memories, and get your grandkids’ school year off to a great start!
What back-to-school traditions do you do with your grandchildren? Let me know if you try any of the ideas on my list and how it goes. Leave a comment below and share your experiences with us!
And if you like the idea of making going back to school memorable for your grandchildren, please share it with other grandmas!