The first day of school, whether it's preschool or the senior year of high school, is always a bittersweet day in any parent's life. You're proud to see your babies growing up, wistful at seeing them one step closer to independence, excited for all the new things they'll learn and the friends they'll make -- and, let's be honest here, looking forward to getting back some time to yourself.
In terms of back-to-school traditions, the snapshot is a no-brainer. On any given Monday morning in early September (or August, depending on where you live), thousands of kids in spiffy outfits are dutifully posing for photos while holding new backpacks and lunchboxes. For a twist, have your kids hold signs with their age and grade, and get a full family picture, too.
Of course, back-to-school traditions can start way before the actual first day. It's always fun to make a big deal out of the school supply shopping trip, whether it's for clothes or paper and pencils. Pull out bows, glitter and sequins and invite friends to a backpack makeover party. You can also create a countdown calendar or chain, where you rip off a paper link every day. Some kids get pretty nervous about the first day of school, so anything you can do to make it fun will make your life easier when the day comes!
Making a special breakfast on the big day can also go a long way toward calming jitters. Have your kids request their favorite meals, or surprise them with their names spelled out in pancake letters.
Test a few of these out this year and see what sticks! And if any of them are a hit, you could have a longstanding family tradition on your hands.