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10 sweet back-to-school traditions to do with your kids

Fun ways to remember your child's first day back at school

school traditions
Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
Updated: August 24, 2022
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After the long and very sunny summer break, children across the UK are finally preparing to return to school in September.

MORE: Back to school anxiety? Top child psychologist shares expert advice – for both kids and parents

One way of making your child's transition from home-to-school run smoothly is by starting some fun back-to-school traditions to make the day extra special. Try out some of the ideas below…

WATCH: Stacey Solomon's back-to-school essentials

Make a memorable breakfast

Come back to school morning, most of us are probably running around like headless chickens, shocked at the early start and trying to find shoes and bags. But why not get up a little earlier and treat your kids to a special breakfast to make the day start with a bang?

Cook their favourite like pancakes or arrange fruit pieces into funny faces in their cereal – it will become a sweet yearly tradition.


Make 'that photo' fun

Who's guilty of making their kids pose for a 'first day at school' photo and then no one wants to smile? So take the pressure off and make the moment fun.

Ask the cherubs to jump in the air or throw their bag up high, or maybe do the silliest faces they can. You never know, when they relax, you might just get a cute, smiley snap!

MORE: 8 ultimate tips to slash school uniform costs

Give a new 'good luck' keyring every year

Aw, we love this idea. Children love keyrings and receiving a surprise new one to accessorise their backpack with will go down super well. How about wrapping it up and putting it in their shoe to find before leaving the house?


Melissa & Doug Key Chain Scratch Art Pack, £6.49, Amazon


Create a message jar

Such a cute idea! Get a large jar and write loads of positive, inspirational messages for your children on different coloured paper, then fold each piece and pop in the jar. Keep it in the hallway and just before they leave for school, ask them to take a note. Do this on day one, week one, or all year round!

Put a note in their lunch box


My parents used to do this for me and I loved it. Come midday on day one, your child may be feeling a little homesick so finding a loving message from mum and dad amongst their sandwiches will surely put a smile on their face. If your child likes a laugh, you could write a joke on the note instead.

Summer holiday scrapbook

A lovely memento of the holidays is to create a good old-fashioned scrapbook with your children. Print out a load of photos, gather up any tickets, postcards, leaflets – or even shells from the beach - and give the kids an art project for the last day of summer.

MORE: Back to school: 9 most durable kids’ shoes for children of all ages

Good luck chalk messages

Surprise your kids with some confidence-boosting messages written in chalk on your front path or driveway. Write words of encouragement like 'Good luck on your first day', 'Have the best time at school' or 'You got this!" – they'll love it.


Then, for their return, wash it off and write new messages such as, "Well done for your first day back" and "Welcome home, time to chill."

Set some school year goals

We love the idea of getting everyone in a positive mindset before school starts. How about asking each child to set themselves three goals for the year – it could be anything from 'make some new friends' to 'try a new sport'.

Take a photo of their shoes and bags

This may sound a little odd, but it's a nice way to remember your children's school years and see how they grew in both shoe size and fashion tastes.

Line up the bags and shoes altogether for an arty snap; they can even photobomb and stick their faces in the side of the shot if they fancy!

school bag shoes

Celebrate with a special dinner

The first day of school is unnerving for most children, so why not make it a happy memory by planning a special celebratory dinner when they come home? 

Whether that means treating them to their favourite dinner or taking them out for a post-school treat (ice cream, anyone?), turn the nerves into a positive experience. 

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