11 Adorable Ideas to Make Your Child’s First Day of School Extra Special

New school year, new opportunity to be a model parent—right? We rounded up some of the most adorable ways to send your little one back to school full of love this year.

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Funny child's sandwich
Photo: Shutterstock

Turn their lunch into art

You’re going to be making school lunches five days a week for 10 months, so it may be unrealistic to cut animal-shaped sandwiches each and every time. That’s why doing it the first day is just the right level of excitement to set a positive tone for the entire new school year. Talia Klein Perez has been making ultra-cute first day bento boxes for her daughter, Sophie, since she was just two-years-old and starting a nursery program. Her bento boxes were such a hit she actually started making them for other families near where she lives too.

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Mother taking photos of child
Photo: Oleg Malyshev/Shutterstock

Make special signs and take lots of pictures

“For every first day of school or camp we make or have someone make signs,” shares mom of four, Felissa Benjamin Allard. Make sure to include noteworthy points like dates, ages, the grade your child is entering, and all their most current favourites like foods, sports, toys, and hobbies.

Plus: 7 Science-Backed Ways Exercise Improves Students’ Grades

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Handmade bracelets
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Go for matching, inexpensive accessories

“I opted for matching bracelets as a first day surprise,” shares veteran mom, Kara Black. “A little part of home that can go to school with them—and we bought extra for backup in case one gets lost.” This adorable fashionable idea reminds kids all day that there is love waiting for them at home.

Here are 8 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping.

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Multi-coloured balloons
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Balloons are always a fun idea

“After the success of filling Barnaby’s room with his favourite coloured balloons for starting a fun new camp, I am going to do it for first day of Kindergarten,” tells Cassin Donn Duncan, a New York City mom to a bright, balloon-loving little boy.

Help your kids start the school year off strong with these easy tips for stress management.

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Writing on chalkboard
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Get a chalkboard and use it year after year

If the idea of buying a new printed sign for each life event is overwhelming or too expensive, grab yourself a chalkboard and some colourful chalk. One creative mom, Dana Tretola, updates hers to reflect the current year and life goals for her family. Chalkboards can also get kids drawing, and it turns out that doodling makes you smarter!

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First day of school
Photo: Stuart Monk/Shutterstock

Or you can just watch them grow, little by little

That chalkboard idea wasn’t quite enough for Dana Tretola, so she decided to take her first-day-of-school parenting to the next level and buy shirts that displayed the anticipated high school graduation year. Every first day her son wears his, and little by little he makes his way into actually fitting the shirt appropriately. This idea is not only cost-effective, but perennially adorable, and worthy of unlimited photos for grandparents and Facebook.

Plus: 17 Forgotten Manners Every Parent Should Teach Their Child

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Pepperoni pizza
Photo: Anatoly Vartanov/Shutterstock

Make a pizza party

Kids love pizza, and that’s exactly why mom blogger Esti Berkowitz makes the whole first day of school experience a pizza party. “We go out for pizza and whoever keeps their fresh, new school shirts clean will get pizza again that Friday.” What a brilliant way to get kids excited for their first day and encourage neat-eating habits.

Check out 11 Healthy Ways to Top Pizza—That Still Taste Amazing.

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Mother and child cooking
Photo: Ditty About Summer/Shutterstock

Try a back-to-school dinner party

Instead of the same old hum-drum meal you normally have planned, have your kids choose and help prepare their special pre-first day meal. Get them excited about fractions, adding, subtracting, and reading by working through recipes with you. They’ll be excited about their meals, brush up on much-needed school year skills, and actually eat without complaining for a change. Win, win, win!

Check out 10 Secrets of Working Moms Who Cook Dinner Every Night.

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Kids playing dress-up
Photo: Kanashkin Evgeniy/Shutterstock

Make a runway in your hallway

Create a fun, back-to-school fashion show with all the new outfits you purchased for the upcoming year. Do hair, accessorize, and get excited for the week ahead by creating chic, age-appropriate ensembles with your child’s approval and help.

Plus: 6 Back-To-School Study Solutions for Parents

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Young child drawing
Photo: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Be a magical fairy

We all know how the Tooth Fairy works, but there’s no reason that very same fairy (you) can’t become a magical first-day-of-school fairy too. Encourage your kids to write kind, generous notes to the First Day Fairy and tuck them under their pillows before heading to sleep. When they wake up on the first day of school they may find a new set of colored pencils, a fun-shaped eraser, or some other academically oriented fun gift to set the day off right.

Get your kids feeling their best for the back-to-school season with these healthy ideas.

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Love notes
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Write love notes

Leave little “I love you” post it notes in their lunch boxes, in their pencil cases, and at the bottom of their backpacks. Gentle, thoughtful reassurance during the day is always welcome, and even if your child can’t read yet, a note that simply has a heart drawn on it will go a long way.

Plus: How to Navigate Classroom Anxieties

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest