Set the scene.
A party is just a gathering of people without decorations to make it festive. Incorporate school supplies, apples, chalkboards and backpacks to set the school-time scene. Here are just a few ideas:
- Create centerpieces using clear vases filled with apples, number 2 pencils and rulers.
- Paint poster board with chalkboard paint and post these "chalkboards" around your house with "Welcome back!" and "Aa Bb Cc..." written on them.
- Create placecards by writing each child's name on a small box of crayons or a mini-container of Elmer's Glue.
- Set up a card table with construction paper, glue, glitter and other craft supplies.
- Pick up gold stars and other teacher supplies from an office supply store to decorate and use as prizes.
Play schoolyard games.
Warm up the kids' bodies, brains and appetites by playing active schoolyard games . Old favorites such as Red Rover, Simon Says and Four Square never go out of style, but you may want to consider a Good Morning Relay as well. Have each child run through a series of schoolday activities, such as putting on shoes, packing a backpack, collecting a brown bag lunch and running to the bus stop to see which child can complete the tasks the fastest. The fastest child receives a gold star.
Plan school-like snacks.
Keep the kids in a school-loving mood by offering their favorite school lunch options as your party snacks. Turkey and peanut butter sandwiches cut into squares, juice boxes, string cheese, pudding packs, bags of Goldfish and carrot chips all make great options.
Give away goodies.
School supplies aren't always cheap, but you may want to consider sending each child away with a small goodie bag filled with inexpensive items such as pencils, erasers and mini-notebooks. A school-related gift might be just what they need to start the year off right.
For the older kids
Once kids hit adolescence, you may have to get a little more creative in planning cool first day of school parties. If your child needs to cover her school books, see if she wants to invite all her friends over for a book-covering party. Provide brown paper bags, craft supplies and a wide variety of wrapping paper so all the kids can personalize their books. Put on music or play classic school movies like The Breakfast Club, Clueless, Mean Girls or Ferris Beuller's Day Off.