- Decorations. Decorate for your celebration with a school related theme. An easy and fun way to do this while involving your child in the preparations is to use some school themed printables. It’s easy to find printables of things like school buses, apples for the teacher, crayons, and chalkboards. Print some out and have your kids color and decorate them, and use them both as invitations, as well as to adorn the walls for a classroom-like feel. Other decorations could include globes, chalkboards, rulers, and stacks of textbooks.
- Food. Why not brown bag it? Serve sandwiches, fruit, and cartons of milk or juice boxes in a brown paper sack. Use cookie cutters to serve cookies in alphabet or number shapes. Incorporate apples into the treats you serve… fall is apple season, and who says that they’re only for the teacher? This is a great time of year for caramel apples or apple cake.
- Games. Since this is a celebration, make sure to have an extra-long “recess” and have some games planned for the kids to play. Schoolyard games include hopscotch, jump rope, tag, kickball, tetherball, and dodgeball. If you need indoor games, try Bingo, hangman, musical chairs, or duck, duck, goose. You could also set up a corner with brain-exercising games, such as word searches, Monopoly, Yahtzee, Scrabble Jr., Sudoku and others.
- Do a good deed. You could give out school supplies as party favors. But if everybody is more or less stocked for school supplies already and you’re in a place where you can help others, consider using this as an opportunity for your children and guests to do something good for someone less fortunate. Have a backpack stuffing segment of your celebration. Each guest gets a backpack and a stack of school supplies. You can make a contest out of it — who can fill the backpack the fastest? When the party is over, donate the backpacks to a charity that assists low-income students with school supplies, or directly to your local school. This way you’ll have a fun celebration while also supporting a good cause.
These are just a few ideas to help you and your children celebrate going back to school. The important part is to help your child celebrate, and reinforce for her that this is a fun, exciting time full of promise and possibility. That will get her in the mood for her first day, get her back into contact with friends that she might not have seen for a couple of months, and hopefully assuage any back to school jitters.