5 Easy Ways to Celebrate the First Day of School

I don’t remember being super excited for school to start. Maybe I was early on – I hope so! I remember being nervous about getting to my classes on time and getting my locker open. I remember not being thrilled about the piles of homework.

Since then, I have learned the power of the motto: “Fake it til you make it!”

So while my kids are still young and take their cues from me, I want them to have the attitude that school is an AWESOME place to go. Where learning is fun and new experiences are to be embraced. And, thankfully, we’ve had really good school experience so far that have reinforced this attitude. Knock on wood for many, many more good experiences.

That’s a drawn out way of saying, I like to make a a big deal about the first day of school. (Also, my “fake it til you make it” motto seems to be working.)



This year I added a few things to our list of first day of school traditions and my daughter loved it. The best part? These were not big elaborate gestures. Nope. They were simple and for the most part, free.

1) MAKE A BREAKFAST SURPRISE with pancakes shaped as their grade level.

Tip: Make these pancakes the night before! I did! The first morning of school is hectic enough without throwing time at the griddle into the mix.  I put her plate of 2-shaped pancakes in the fridge overnight. I froze the rest of the pancakes to eat later on.



2) MAKE LUNCH SPECIAL with number shaped sandwiches

Are you noticing a theme here? Yep. The first day of school was definitely brought to us by the number two for my big 2nd grader!

TIP: It is much easier to free-hand cutting a shape into a piece of bread if the bread is frozen. Also, if you are free-handing it, you have to stack the slices and cut both at the same time.




TIP: Don’t worry about making it perfect – it’s going to get jelly on it and then be thrown away! Just have fun with it! See, this note is not going to win any awards, but it did make my daughter smile. That’s what counts!




My daughter’s school requests that we pack a snack for our child. It took me just a second to write a note on her snack napkin. Again, this isn’t anything fancy, just one more way to connect and reinforce how excited you are about your child’s first day of school.



Some families celebrate the first day of school with ice cream or dinner out. We celebrate with a giant cookie! To make it super easy, I used a sugar cookie mix and a can of pre-made frosting.

TIP: Use the biggest pan you have to make the cookie – a pizza pan works well.


So, how did the first day go? I think this thumb’s up says it all!


My heart just wanted to explode with happiness when I saw her face light up when she told me all about her first day of second grade. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that she loves school and embraces all that is new with genuine curiosity and a sense of wonderment. I hope those feelings will remain a part of her DNA. I wish all of your kiddos an incredible first day of school too!

Thanks for being here! Thanks for reading! Here are some other posts you might enjoy. 

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