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First Day of School Celebration Ideas

how to make the first day of school special

Here are some wonderful ideas and traditions for how parents can make the first day of school special.

For many parents the first day of school can be a time of mixed emotion. There's a feeling of immense pride and excitement, but also an overwhelming sadness at watching our children grow up so fast.

We've put together five fabulously fun ideas to help you celebrate your child's first day of school and mark it as a truly memorable occasion.

1. ‘First Day of School Breakfast’

For a very simple and traditional first day of school idea, what better way to mark the occasion than with an extra special breakfast?

Chances are your child has already watched you celebrate fun family occasions like birthdays or Mother's Day with a special breakfast in the morning. A great way to let them know how special they are on their first day of school is by whipping up a surprise 'First Day of School Breakfast' filled with all of their favourites!

2. Say cheese!

Images are a powerful way to evoke special family memories, and every parent wants to capture a great shot of their child's first day of school.

Keep the mood light and playful when you do your first day of school photo shoot, and don't hesitate to get creative!

You can capture your child stepping onto the school bus for the very first time or have them holding a sign written with all of their favourite foods, toys, books and activities that year.

Another popular idea is to have them posing by the same tree, swing or mantel each year to put together a beautiful series of them growing up, all the way from primary school to their last day of high school. Download your special 'First Day of School' picture frame here.

3. Launch your brand new homework station

Your child's new homework station should be prepared in advance. You can even unveil it as a special surprise when they come home from their first day.

Set aside a quiet space in the house, or in your child's room, for their homework station. You want a place with few distractions, and include a desk, some shelves, pencils, highlighters, folders, books and a comfortable chair. The most important thing is to let your child feel as comfortable as possible in that space. Invite them to get involved in setting up by having them choose how they would like to decorate it and what supplies to put there.

When they come home from school, arrange an official 'Homework Station Launch' by decorating their chair with balloons and tying a ribbon over their desk for them to cut (with their new pair of safety scissors of course!).

You can download your First Day of School activity sheets and use them to help your child recognise and write the names of their new school supplies.

4. Create a time capsule

A time capsule creates a fun and very special opportunity to record your child's feelings and thoughts about their first day of school experience, from the months or weeks leading up to the day, to their very first few weeks.

Ask your child to help you decorate an old shoebox or used jar and label it with their name and date. Then have them draw a picture about what they're feeling or what they enjoy doing most.

You can include a recording of them talking about what they want to be when they grow up or how they've met their new friends at school.

Now for the tricky part – pop everything into the time capsule and try to forget all about it! You can choose to keep it hidden until the new school year or give it to your child when they finish high school.

5. Make a Schultüte (“School Cone”)

make a first day of school shultüte school cone

This is a long‑running German tradition where parents or grandparents give their child a large cardboard cone decorated and filled with toys, chocolates, sweets and school supplies. The purpose of the tradition is to make the anxiously awaited first day of school just a little bit sweeter!

To make your very own Schultüte, take a large sheet of poster board and hold the shorter end facing you. Roll the paper into a cone shape (ensuring the bottom is nice and pointy) and tape it closed with heavy duty tape.

Trim the edge with scissors to straighten it and once your cone is ready, pack it with your child's favourite treat and toys, plus some handy school supplies.

Close the Schultüte by gluing or stapling a cloth or coloured tissue paper to the outer rim of the cone and tying it together with a ribbon.

However you choose to celebrate your child's first day of school, we hope it's filled with excitement and joy (and maybe just a few happy tears!) for the brand new journey ahead.

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