Back-To-School Traditions And A $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Kindergarten First Week

Miss C, August 2007, first week of kindergarten.

We have a winner! Daleen from Smiling Mama of Two, who commented “We go through all of last years school supplies. just to make sure that I can be more frugal by not “doubling” up on things. My son is going to “Middle School” this year. We are all really excited. Lots of pictures to be taken that 1st day!” is the winner of the $100 Visa Gift Card.

 “I find it incredibly hard to believe Miss C starts second grade next month. One day she was a chubby cheeked, wispy headed toddler learning her colors at daycare and the next day she was telling me she wanted a leopard print backpack and lunchbox and pierced ears.

I must admit I get excited about the notion of shopping for school supplies. It takes me back to the days when my mom would take me to Eckles just off the square in my small hometown. This was before WalMart and Target became prevalent and when Grease, not High School Musical, was all the rage. We’d stroll through aisles of neatly stacked workbooks and the whole place smelled of paper and pencil shavings and pristine erasers and held the promise of new beginnings, new friends to make, new things to learn, and new ways to avoid eating cafeteria green beans.

Back to school shopping is just not that simple any more. Last year we hit every super store and office supply chain in two counties to track down the supplies on Miss C’s first grade list. By the time we made it to the checkout line at each store I was bedraggled and cursing the shortage of Fiskars scissors in girl friendly colors and solid-colored pronged folders. We won’t talk about the run on 10 cent glue sticks at WalMart that nearly caused a stampede. Catfights are already a given there, especially in the heat of August.

After getting completely burned out on shopping for school supplies last year, somehow I managed to miss the end-of-the year sign up for pre-packaged school supply packs. Seriously, is there a worse time to send out announcements than May when you’ve already OD’d on field trip forms, permission slips, and other announcements related to end of school year festivities?

Take it from me all you elementary school newbies. Shopping for school supplies is not as romantic as you recall from your own childhood. It’s best to leave that memory unmarred, like a shiny new Trapper Keeper notebook, and fork over the extra bucks so someone else can shop for you.

p.s. I have a tradition of taking Miss C’s picture on the first day of school out on the front walk by our house. It’s a great way to gauge how much she’s changed from year to year and something I hope she’ll enjoy looking back on some day.

Lots of us are gearing up for school – an exciting, fun and sometimes, hectic time. Hallmark has put together this great resource to help you calm the butterflies and build your kids’ confidence. Just for joining the conversation you’ll be entered to win $500. Check it out.

One lucky BlondeMomBlog reader will also win a $100 Visa gift card to help out with their back-to-school shopping! Simply leave a comment on this post by midnight August 8 about your family’s back-to-school tradition or any advice you have for parents sending their child to school for the first time this fall. A random winner will be chosen from all eligible comments.

Disclosure: This post and giveaway sponsored by Hallmark.

546 comments

  1. Mary says:

    I’m kinda bummed that we don’t get to shop for school supplies. My kids school provides everything. We can’t bring any of our own pencils, crayons, etc.

  2. Kellie K says:

    Our back to school tradition is just starting this year as my daughter gets ready to start 4K 🙂 However, my mom and I did this tradition every year when I was in school 🙂 My daughter loves to go to MOA (Mall of America), so my mom and I have decided that in order to get all of her “fashion clothes” for school we will make a weekend of it each August before school starts. So we plan on shopping til we drop to get all of the “fashion clothes” for a very fashion concious little girl 🙂

  3. Luann says:

    We always have breakfast at McDonald’s. This year my son starts high school. He won’t want to be seen with me much longer.

  4. Emily says:

    We don’t have any back to school traditions – yet – but I hope to take Jackson’s pic before his first day of kindergarten and continue that, as you have done with Miss C.

    We went ahead and shopped for school supplies, since we’ve had the list since April registration and I saw the display at Walmart and thought “if I don’t do this now, I will regret it”. I have memories of school supply shopping at (no-longer) Hills in Decatur, AL, and always loved it – picking out folders, etc…. For Jackson, everything on the list is specific (only could buy one orange and one blue folder, for instance) and to be shared, so it wasn’t quite as fun. Sigh.
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..Tic Tac Toe =-.

  5. Lynn says:

    Of course since Catie is only 2, we don’t have any family back to school traditions yet. BUT, being a kindergarten teacher, I am met each year with new kiddos and their parents who are just as excited about their supplies as they are about anything else! Picking out school supplies is all the fun!! Even though pre-packaged supplies are convenient for hurried, stressed out parents, kids miss out on the strawberry shortcake and spiderman folders! I can’t wait for Catie to pick out her school supplies…in 3 years! LOL!

  6. EG says:

    I’m sure my mom took our picture on the first day, but what stands out the most in my mind is picking out the oh-so-important first day of school outfit. It always seemed wrong that they had the new fall clothes in the stores but it was still 90 degrees out when we started in August.
    .-= EG´s last blog ..Two Weeks =-.

  7. Flossip says:

    COUNT ME IN!!! This would be so helpful. I always try to get a picture on the first day of school, but sometimes it is just too stressful. Last year I did a fun thing the week before and had a bunch of friends meet for breakfast at 8 am, to get used to going back to school. Going to try to do that again, but wow time is running short!
    .-= Flossip´s last blog ..Business and Professional Women in the Pee Dee =-.

  8. Stephanie Reed says:

    We always took a picture on the first day back. One year we took it on the back deck as hundreds of red-winged blackbirds took flight. One has graduated from college, so now the only one I have left going back to school is a college junior this year. And if you think trying to find pink Fiskars is hard, wait until you’re decorating an apartment and buying $150 beat-up textbooks.
    .-= Stephanie Reed´s last blog ..Visit with me at Frugal Femina! =-.

  9. Jami says:

    We will have to start our traditions with preschool. I hope to take a picture every year of course (or maybe 100)! I think it is special to get new clothes and a new backpack and lunchbox for the year. I have fond memories of school supply shopping and I hope to have that with my little ones!

  10. Stefany says:

    We really have no traditions other than the kids getting to pick out their new lunch boxes before school starts. My piece of advice is this… safety pin your name, phone number and address somewhere on your child. If you don’t want it out in plain view, pin it inside their pocket. Make sure they know where it is so they can tell someone if (God forbid) they get off the wrong bus stop or get confused or scared.
    .-= Stefany´s last blog ..WW: A baby gets what a baby wants =-.

  11. Mari Ickes says:

    I don’t have any traditions-but I want the gift card!

    My son will be in 1st grade this year, so I guess anything we repeat from last year will be a tradition!! Unfortunately, being a teacher at a different school system than my son, I don’t get to be home on the first day of school. My husband isn’t too good at the whole traditions thing, so….

    I make muffins for birthday breakfasts. There is a tradition, but it doesn’t have anything to do with school!
    .-= Mari Ickes´s last blog ..Tagged =-.

  12. Kelly Sego says:

    Our tradition is thanks, in part, to a good friend. My daughter has been best buddies with two girls since preschool. Each year, one of their moms (who lives close to the elementary school) hosts a back-to-school breakfast for the girls and a few other close friends and their moms. After fruit smoothies and waffles, the group poses for a picture under the same tree in the front yard — and then we all walk to school together and give a big send off at the school door. It helps with those “first day back at school” jitters and gives the kids a chance to reconnect before hitting the classroom. This year my daughter enters 5th grade. We already have our “breakfast date with friends” on the calendar!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I don’t have a back to schooler yet, just another day at preschool/daycarer (if that makes sense), but my favorite thing about back to school when I was a kid was the new clothes. I loved going through all of my new duds and picking out just the right outfit for the first day of school. I guess uniforms have kind of ruined that for kids now.
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Walking Away, Wordless Wednesday =-.

  14. Jill says:

    Been awhile since I’ve visited your blog (or most any blog) – summer is kicking my booty. Never the less, glad I checked back in to read about SCHOOL SUPPLIES. I know it’s not the same shopping for them now as it was when we were a kid and that’s just so sad. I was so much more concered about my supplies than my clothes – and that’s saying a lot for a pre-teen girl, even in the 70’s – ha! I always miss the pre-packaged sign-up too, but the first day the supply list comes out I high-tail it to the store to get it all (usually at 9pm) because I just cannot deal with school supply crowds any time after Aug 1. Can’t believe Miss C is going to be a 2nd grader!
    .-= Jill´s last blog ..One * Two * Three * Fore! =-.

  15. Kel says:

    I was just telling the hubs how *old* I felt that our two oldest were going into 3rd/2nd respectively. It was not but a moment ago I was dreaming of the first day of school and how big she was getting and now….now its here. School shopping – on the other hand – ruins all romantic notions I have and I try to shop as early as possible to beat the rush.

  16. Mimi says:

    It can be traumatic to send your child to spend time with other unknown adults and children in their new world of school. If the child picks up on your anxiety, he/she will also be apprehensive. So fake it until they are out of sight. Then cry your heart out!

  17. Shari says:

    We just found out this week that Hannah gets to start Kindergarten early (she is 4). So we have not started any *back to school* traditions yet. I will definitely be taking the traditional first day of school photo.

  18. Carmen says:

    I also do the first day of school photo tradition. 🙂

    I LOVE back to school shopping BUT my kids’ shopping isn’t super complicated yet. My oldest is just going to preschool and my youngest is starting MDO. To get my school supply fix, I’ve been donating a backpack full of school supplies to the YMCA Operation Backpack for the past 3 years. 🙂
    .-= Carmen´s last blog ..Its been forever… =-.

  19. Jenna Z says:

    Unless your kids are in DIRE need of clothing, wait until after school starts and scope out sales and clearance racks for great deals on basics.

    Be sure your kids know the timeline of the morning routine BEFORE the first day of school. Be sure they know when they need to up by, dressed by, down to breakfast by and out the door by! Practice a few weeks ahead of time makes perfect!
    .-= Jenna Z´s last blog ..Monday =-.

  20. Amy says:

    My baby is starting second grade. I am so sad. I love to go back to school shopping for clothes, but I prefer to take one kid at a time or do it without them. It is too hectic taking all 3 at once. And I have only ever had pre-packaged school supplies one year. A local office supply store that has since closed down. It gets frustrating with all teachers wanting all different things. Just wait.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Cupcakes =-.

  21. BroccoliCupcake says:

    My kids go to Mother’s Day out two days a week, but after the long summer break it’s always an adjustment. I pick out their school supplies (backpacks, nap mats, lunch boxes, new shoes, etc) in advance and we play school in the weeks leading up to the first day. They get excited about their new stuff, we talk about what they’ll do at school and “play school”. It really helps them get used to the idea and by the time school starts they can’t wait to show off their new Cars backpack or their dumptruck nap mat to their friends and teachers. I also let them pickout their own lunch (from a selection of choices I offer) and then I include a treat (a sticker, a note, a picture, etc.) My oldest gets excited for what surprise he’ll find in his lunch box.
    .-= BroccoliCupcake´s last blog ..Tasty Tuesday =-.

  22. Angel S. says:

    We always take height measurements and mark them on the closet wall in my oldest son’s bedroom on the first and last day of school. We also have taken the traditional first day of school picture in front of our house in front of the same tree. It’s fun to see how they have grown each year.

  23. Cheryl says:

    My advice for parents is to lay out your child’s clothes the night before, also have their bookpack ready to go by the door. That way in the morning, those 2 things are already taken care of.

  24. Nohell says:

    Remember those cardboard pencil boxes that fit in the basket under your desk? Well, I never got one of those fancy, store-bought versions. My Dad worked at a drug store and he would bring home cigar boxes for us to use. I was only slightly embarrassed to drag a Tampa Nuggets box out of my desk at the Church of Christ school. Heaven forbid my classmates think someone in my house smoked! Or that we were too poor to buy real pencil boxes! Oh, the horror.

  25. Deena says:

    I must be a “Mom nerd” because I still have difficulty getting to sleep the night before the First Day of School (do you hear the theme music playing when I type those words). The sad part is that my son only started school last year and I’ve been doing this since I graduated from college. I peruse the ads for the best deals and stock up. Now I purchase what the teacher has requested, a supply of craft and writing stock for “homework”, and my own personal stash (kids hands off). I keep composition books, spirals, pens, pencils, notecards….you name it I try to purchase at least one. I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t get a raincheck on Dry Erase Markers at Walgreens for $1.99 last week – even though my son doesn’t need them and I don’t have a dry erase board. I just feel that this is one way my children keep me young. I can make sure my children always have the supplies that I never seemed to have enough of as a child. Now all three of my children (even the baby) have a “thing” about a fresh new pad of paper and pens.

  26. AmyLauren says:

    My back-to-school tradition as a kid was to go shopping for school clothes when I stayed with my aunt Lynda for a week in the summer. She lived down in Charleston, and each summer, I’d stay with her for a week near the end of summer and we would go shopping at the nice malls and stores down there for my clothes and shoes. We usually went to Limited Too, Old Navy, JC Penney, Claire’s, all the usual stores that sell kid-friendly clothes and shoes. We’d also go out to Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream after shopping as well =). Going shopping with her was different than going shopping with my mom because my aunt Lynda had different tastes and always wanted me to try something new (my mom, on the other hand, wanted to make sure I got the most bang for my buck, buying clothes that would match a lot of other clothes, etc).

    When I was approaching my senior year of high school, my aunt Lynda passed away… but I still remember her, especially this time of the year because it was always late July when I stayed with her and we went shopping for clothes & shoes for school.
    .-= AmyLauren´s last blog ..4th of July =-.

  27. Jennilea6 says:

    1) We take a photo every year of the first day.
    2) They go shopping with me, pick out their school lunch boxes and we go for some treat (McDonald’s or ice cream) after shopping. It’s a great time (for them).
    3) I write a note and put it in their lunchbox telling them I miss them and I know they are going to be great. If they can’t read, a smilie face, a heart and a sticker lets them know I am thinking of them.
    4) I cry when they aren’t looking. This year, especially tough: the last one to enter Kindergarten!!!

  28. FaithJ says:

    What we did growing up was pose for a photo at the front door, with our hand on the doorknob like we were about to leave.

  29. Amy2boys says:

    I love this post (sponsored or no!)! My experience of both childhood supply shopping and nowadays supply shopping match this exactly.

    I also take a picture on the first day of school. I wish supply shopping could be part of the fun – me and him – tradition each year, but it ain’t no kinda fun!
    .-= Amy2boys´s last blog ..Margarit-Her and Project Night Night =-.

  30. Bluegrass Mama says:

    My youngest is starting high school this year (I must be your oldest reader!). They don’t give out supply lists till the first day of school. Fortunately, the teachers aren’t as anal-retentive as the elementary and middle school ones, and don’t require folders of a certain color for each class. Good thing, since the supplies are pretty well picked over by then!

    My first day tradition: breakfast with my girlfriends! Oh, wait. Was the tradition supposed to include my kid?
    .-= Bluegrass Mama´s last blog ..That Giant Leap =-.

  31. Southern jezeBelle says:

    BB is going to be a junior in HS. He refuses to look at school supplies (BUT I STILL DO!) until school actually starts and his teachers tell him what to get. So the first day of school we head to target and get all the leftovers of stuff he needs. thankfully he’s not that picky…..but high school sure is expensive!
    .-= Southern jezeBelle´s last blog ..An Extra $100 =-.

  32. tammy b says:

    ah, the smell of new paper! i’ll have 2 kindergarteners and a 3rd grader this year, the supplies are gonna be spendy! i always make a special breakfast (usually baked french toast) they get to pick what is in their lunch box and i take LOTS of pictures. the ones that really matter are the yearly on the deck, the one of them walking into school, and the one w/the teacher (we do one w/the teacher on the last day too, it’s always so fun to see how much they’ve grown!)

  33. Amber says:

    i work at Staples and I suggest looking in the ad every sunday starting at the beginning of July. You can end up getting everything for pennies for your kids if you plan a trip to staples every sunday to buy what’s on sale that week. Might be tedious, but saves you a lot of money!

    Amber
    Crystalclearbc@aol.com

  34. Stephanie says:

    My son just started preschool last year; and the week before school started we started practicing our new morning routine so we’d get out the door on time. He loved “pretending” he was going to school and it also eased some of his anxieties about the transition. Plus, when school started, we had our routine down pat!

  35. Deana says:

    I remember shopping for an outfit that we would wear the first day of school. And then there was the picture infront of our front door each year. It is great to look back at those pictures!

  36. Mary says:

    I homeschool my sons year-round so there is no “back to school” tradition, but I can tell you about traditions I had growing up. I would always get dressed up for the 1st day of school, and often have my picture taken with my bookbag on before I left the house.

    mfalcon13@hotmail.com

  37. Amy says:

    When I was growing up, my mother took our picture on the first day of school–when we first woke up! Bed head and all. Excited during the early years, grumpy as the years went on 🙂 She also took the “stand on the porch holding your lunchbox” photo, but my favorites are the bed ones. My sister and I shared a bed when I was in elementary school, so those pictures are the best. 🙂
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..The old "I’m shaving my head that night" excuse =-.

  38. Kari Campbell says:

    I have LOTS of experience (in years) of back to school shopping (won’t mention how many as not to reveal any PERSONAL information:) but I can tell you since I started couponing six months ago this has been my best year ever! Between Staples, CVS, Wags and Target (oh, can’t forget Walmart), I have paid only pennies OOP for ALL my four childrens’ school supplies! Even the $40 backpack which I will be getting $ back for! Thank you, Staples! Each week CVS and Wags have FREE school supplies and I have quite the stock pile and the freebies are still coming! I almost felt guilty leaving CVS with all the free stuff last week (almost….)! Thanks to all the wonderful bloggie saving moms out there who have shown me the way!
    .-= Kari Campbell´s last blog ..If you have questions….please ask! =-.

  39. Sharon R says:

    When my daughter went to school for the first time she had to take the school bus.
    My husband and I both took off from work and walked her to the bus stop, took pictures of her getting on the bus and while she was on the bus. We then jumped in the car and drove to the school and met her when she got off the bus and walked her to the door for when the bell rang and her first day was to begin.
    To be honest with you this was many years ago and when we see the pictures they still make us smile remembering that first day.

  40. Danetta says:

    We don’t really have any traditions. We just buy the school supplies from the school. The school sends out flyers at the end of each school year with all the information for when, where, how much, etc. to buy a package that has everything the student will need to start the new school year. After you purchase the package, the package is delivered directly to the school and the VIPs, staff and PTA members make sure the packages get to the right student’s classroom, where they are waiting neatly on the student’s desk the first day of school. It really is nice. No shopping or carrying it all to school. So the only thing we have to go shopping for is the backpack and clothes. The first day of school, we take our son to school and go and see his room and meet his teacher.
    .-= Danetta´s last blog ..Luna Lullaby The Soothing Blanket giveaway =-.

  41. Mari says:

    The first day around here is a minimum day, but they eat lunch at school, so we follow up by getting ice cream. Of course, there’s the obligatory photo with backpacks and lunch boxes that is promptly e-mailed to every relative. We also take a photo with the kids in my husband’s cap, gown, and hood from his M.A. program. Big clothes on little kids = cuteness. Also, the brainwashing is key.

    My advice is to start transitioning bedtime earlier about 1-2 weeks before school starts, and if you can, try bringing your child to the campus for little strolls (but don’t barge in on teachers setting up their rooms…they weren’t planning on guests) and attend any back-to-school socials or events. Our school library is open once a week for two hours, so I’m bringing my youngest, the soon-to-be-Kindergartener, just to get her feeling it’s “her” school, too — not just her brother’s.

    Like many families, we do the note in the lunchbox. For the older one, the notes are getting sillier to balance the sappy…though he still appreciates the sappy. A silly joke, a Pokemon card, something cute and fun. Also, with my oldest, we make it a point to visit his previous teachers because it’s nice to connect with old “family” members.

  42. Stefanie Hartman says:

    My family’s back to school traditions – This year all 4 of my kids will be going to school!!!! Not quite sure I can part with my youngest going – I love having him at home with me. We have just started reviewing math, keeping summer writing journals to get in the groove. We will start shopping for clothes, shoes, and supplies in August. We let our kids pick their own clothes, colors, supplies – makes it so fun for them. We always get a few extra fun supplies that they want so much. I always always walk my youngest to their classrooms, attend the morning programs, and take lots and lots of pictures. Blessings
    .-= Stefanie Hartman´s last blog ..Summer Fun =-.

  43. Bunny says:

    I think providing a little reminder of home is one of the best things you can do for a child going to school for the very first time. Let them carry a small toy in their pocket, pack their favorite foods in their lunch, or write a little note to slip into their lunch bag. It’ll help them feel more secure in a strange new place!

    And I totally agree about shopping for school supplies – I think it’s so much fun!

    Thank you for offering this wonderful giveaway!

  44. Tonya says:

    My traditions have been taking a picture of my child with his new bookbag every year since he has been in Kindergarten. He is now in the 6th grade. I let him pick all his notebooks and pens. I also get some of the on sale supplies. I make sure he gets what he needs to feel comfortable.

    Pack your child lunch, with a sweet note of encouragement. Kiss them on the forhead and assure them, they will make it!

  45. Malia says:

    We have a similar tradition of taking pictures on the front porch on the first day of school. It is fun to look back at those pictures to see how much they’ve grown and changed over the years. And last year, since we go back to school in August when summer is still in full swing, I took the kids to the pool for the afternoon once the 1st day half day was over. I think that’ll be a good one to keep repeating as well!

    My advice for parents is to take cues from your child. My kids trend toward being more independent but I’m more inclined to try and stick around a little longer on that first morning “to make sure they’re OK”. I’ve already gotten that, “MOM, please just leave” look from my daughter! Better to walk them to their class, meet/greet the teacher, give a little wave and walk away.
    .-= Malia´s last blog ..I Found My Thrill On Blueberry {Pie} Hill =-.

  46. Cheryl says:

    My kiddos are 3 and 4; the four-year-old will be starting pre-K this fall. I plan to take a picture of him on the first day, just as my folks did with us growing up.

    As far as advice, since I’ve not been through a first-day-of-school with my own kids, I fear I’ll likely fall short in anything I could give; the best I can offer is from the other side of the desk (from 10 years in education) – if they’re nervous, remind them that the teachers likely are a little as well. Excited? Yep, that too. Wishing there were another week of summer break? You betcha. “But I wanted to wear my Thomas shirt today!” (cue meltdown). Yep – okay, perhaps not over a Thomas shirt, but guaranteed, there are those of us who will get makeup on their shirt, put a hole through that brand-new pair of hosiery, etc., and have to suddenly find something else FAST. Teachers really are just like the kids, in many, many ways, and the good ones out there WILL understand and sympathize with what the kiddos are going through (including “But we have to wear uniforms! You get to wear whatever you want!” “No, we don’t. I’d rather be in jeans and a t-shirt….”).
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..We Choose the Moon… =-.

  47. Carol says:

    We do have a tradition. On the first day of school, my husband takes command of the kitchen and cooks a huge breakfast. The kids always looked forward to it, and though we don’t have as many home as we once did, it’s a tradition that has stuck. The kids are already coming up with ideas for what they want to eat the first day. I will be drinking a cup of tea and enjoying the quiet about 1 minute after I get them all off to school!

  48. Christi says:

    Things are gonna be a little different for back to school for our family this year. In previous years, I’ve just been down the hall from my boys when we went back to school as I was teaching in the same building. This year will be different, as I will be teaching at two different elementary schools in our county! So even though traditions change, we’re still the same family and love each other just as much–if not more!
    .-= Christi´s last blog ..Flashback Friday–How Will I Know =-.

  49. K. C. says:

    Growing up, we got to go out to ice cream on the first and last day of school. It was at these ice cream shops where we shared all about our day and our hopes for the year to come. As my first is going to Kindergarten this year, it is tradition I hope to continue.

  50. BusyJulie says:

    My best advice would be to just relax. Your kid will be fine and school will be a positive experience. Get to know your child’s teacher as soon as school starts. The more you show you are interested in what’s going on and are an active participant, the better off your child will be!
    .-= BusyJulie´s last blog ..Blog Hop ’09 =-.

  51. Beth says:

    GIve the girls a hug from Aunt Beth! I can’t believe the summer is almost over. I remember how excited I would get at the beginning of a new school year. I would wonder if I would like my teacher, hope old friends would be back and that I would make new ones. I loved going shopping for clothes, books and school supplies. I would go through my supplies again and again. I loved getting new pencils, paper, crayons… good times-great childhood memories 🙂

  52. Doreen says:

    I loved as a tradition going back to school getting ready with all of my supplies! A fresh new binder, paper, pencils and pens, a backpack, etc. It was great memories!

  53. denise says:

    Wow, what a great giveaway. I LOVED getting ready for back-to-school with my mother. Our tradition was to shop, go out to lunch, and shop some more. It was great. I hope my boys enjoy it too.

    denise_22315(at)yahoo(dot)com

  54. Christine says:

    The tradition that we started last year and I plan to continue is taking a picture of our son on the playground before the first day of school! Thanks for the chance!

  55. DarcyO says:

    On the first day of school, I always take a picture of my daughter in her new school clothes on the front deck. Then when she gets home, I try to have brownies made for an after-school treat.

  56. Shelly T. says:

    One tradition that is a must is the “first day of school photo”. I also take one on the last day of school, just so I can see how much my children have grown over the school year. Another fun thing I did for my daughter is to leave little notes and jokes in her lunch box. It always helped ease the transition from home to school, and gave her something to smile about.

  57. Sheila says:

    This is my daughters first year of school, so we don’t have a tradition yet. But I’m sure I will do with her what my mom did with me. When we went shopping for school clothes, we made a fun date day. Movies, lunch, then shopping. As for the first day of school, well until I hit middle school, she took a picture in the morning before I left! Im definately going to be doing that. I like all the things I’ve read here! I’m sure her starting school will be harder on me than her! She is totally ready, I’m not! Great giveaway, and great post!

  58. Andrea H says:

    We always let the kids go and pick out their supplies about two weeks before school starts. I usually take a picture of them on the first day right by out front door. Thanks!

  59. Sharon Seneker says:

    Tempting as it may be let the child pick out his/her own school supplies with a little help from Mom. Kids always like their taste in notebooks, markers etc. better than what I would pick for them. (Cute back to school picture!) Thanks! senekers@comcast.net

  60. kathy pease says:

    i have already done the back to school clothes shopping. now all i need is the school supplies i like getting everything done so we are ready..the only advice i have for sending a young one off to school for the first time is give them a huge hug and kiss and try not to let them see you cry 🙁 i was so lonely when mine went it broke my heart

  61. Steph says:

    This will be my sons first year of school. He is going into Kindergarten. No traditions yet, but we picked him up a few back to school supplies and stuff. I am not sure who is more excited about his new school adventure, him or me.:)

  62. Marilyn Wons says:

    The day before school starts my grandsons pick out their clothes that want to wear for their first day of class!

  63. Denise says:

    My oldest one is homeschooled and the younger haven’t started yet, so we don’t have a tradition other than buying new supplies.

  64. Linda White says:

    I never took my kids to school! I always let them ride the school bus even on their very first day! We always had neighbor ladies who drove the bus when they were little so I knew they would be okay! Besides they wanted to be “BIG” like the big kids! I always scouted out the bargains on school supplies and got all the good deals! But there was always one item that I could never find and had to go to the local expensive office supply store to get! Usually handwriting tablets!!!!!!!

  65. jenny says:

    my little guy hasn’t had his first day of school yet, but i remember being so excited to go to school! it’s fun to get your clothes ready for the next day, and get your snacks packed in your lunch box.
    .-= jenny´s last blog ..whole foods: kids club =-.

  66. Kimberly Ripley says:

    My best back to school tip is to avoid buying all the fancy & flashy supplies and just stick to the basics to save $$$!~

  67. amy ormsby says:

    We also have a tradition of taking the kids pictures on the first day back to school. When they were younger I’d take it as they were standing on the steps of the bus, but now that they’ve gotten older they told me that is too embarraing, so I have to take them either on the front porch (before any of the other kids come out to catch the bus), or in the house by the front door.

  68. vanessa f says:

    Our tradition is having on last little hurrah before back to school. It can be something simple like a cook out or a move. Just something fun!

  69. ky2here says:

    Secretly use stores like Dollar Tree for some of the essentials and make sure to use the money saved for something splashy and special. ALWAYS go out to dinner at their favorite restaurant to ‘celebrate’ the first day of school.

  70. Vicky H. says:

    My sister is great at planning and searching for awesome sales. Last year, she got three packs of paper for free and several items for less than $1. She used to do this for our younger sister, who is in elementary school, but she’s now doing it for my God-daughter, who will be going to school for the very first time! The supply lists these days, though, are kind of weird and amusing, and everything seems to be community supplies. Way different from my elementary days.

  71. Pat says:

    As a mom & a first grade teacher for 20 years I think the most thoughtful act you can do for your child is to take her/him to meet the teacher before the school year begins. Teachers are in their classrooms preparing for the coming year and they expect and appreciate those visits.

    Thank you for the contest.

  72. brenda helgeson says:

    one of the most amusing is my children always want to wear their new clothes the first day. most of them are for autumn and the temps are usually still in the 80’s, needless to say the come home roasting after school and are back in summer gear by the next day

  73. adrienne Gordon says:

    encourage your child to enjoy the experience and praise them for getting big to alleviate anxiety

  74. Sherri B. says:

    Our tradition is to do it all in one day. My kids have to wear school uniforms so we all pile in the car and shop all day. Most of the time we can’t find everything we need at one store, but I tell them all first thing in the morning that we will not come home until we have everything we know we need. Of course, there is always extra stuff that isn’t on the teachers lists at the store but we get 95% of it done in one trip!

    sherri419 at gmail dot com

  75. Ron says:

    I got a newbie this year, but as long as Spiderman, Indiana Jones or Transformers is on the school supplies he’s happy. 1st day on the new school bus though I don’t know who’s more nervous us or him!

  76. Diane Baum says:

    My “kids” are college age now, but a tradition that we started was collecting their unused school supplies from the each previous year . and saved them. We. would then purchase 2 new backbacks each year in addition to my kids school supplies. We would fill the packs with the “saved” supplies We gave the filled – backpacks to my friend Bonnie, who was a teacher in Detroit for some of her students-who might be having a rough time.

  77. mrs.mommyy says:

    no huge traditions- just having a backtoschool sleepover a week before school so they can stay up all night and get reaquainted with friends who have been far away- they can laugh and dream- yep I know you say end of summer but some live across town and only get together a few times or at the pool or library- this is wild time to have a blast- movies, music and talking about school , etc.

    On the day we takepictures but take natural pics- of them getting ready eating breakfast

  78. Nora SP says:

    Our tradition since I am a working mom is to take the first week of school off so I can meet their teachers with them, and make sure they have a good breakfast, are in bed early and we fill up their backpacks together.

  79. Amber G says:

    My advice for parents sending their kids to school for the first time is to act calm and reassuring. Whatever you do, do not cry or act like you are nervous. This will just make your kid nervous! If they are happy to go, you should be happy for them. If they are hesitant, tell them how much fun they will have and how much they will learn.

  80. Sarah Woodard says:

    When I was still at home, my mom would always take a picture of me and my sister in front of our house on the morning of the first day of school. Now that I am in college, I really miss that family tradition, and others. I will definitely carry on the tradition with my own kids.

    Thanks!

    swoodar@clemson.edu

  81. Anne Taylor says:

    For both of our daughters we took photos the first day of the school year! They are now 27, 25, 22, and 17!

    One of my daughters will be sending her child off to Kindergarten for the first time. She is worried about her child making a fuss when she leaves; but I assured her that she would probably be the emotional one!

    I remember almost being in tears when my kids started school!

    Thanks

    nancyrobster@gmail.com
    (in Canada)

  82. Kathleen says:

    I actually am a teacher – though I teach 4th grade, not the little ones. My advice, from what I hear kindergarten teachers say, is to leave – I know that may sound harsh, but it’s much, much easier for the teachers to get all the little ones under control and calm them down without parents still there.

  83. Margaret Smith says:

    Our back to school tradition consists of my taking each of our kids out for a day of back to school shopping. I take them out one at a time and afterwards, we go out for a special one to one lunch. Makes the kids keep thier patience longer.
    Also, every year on the first day of school, I bake a special cake for the kids. I surprise them with it for desert. I try to make something school related. I’ve made a crayon box, school bus and this year I’m going to try to make a book or backpack. This special cake has now become a tradition that the kids look forward too.

  84. David Leavitt says:

    Make sure that there is a picture of you in your kids backpack in case your kid starts to miss you.

    Could definately put that gift card to good use

  85. Cindy Merrill says:

    Coloring books/pages are the best way to teach restless little ones to sit still- and it develops critical hand and eye coordination! Start now, have your kindegarden age child color a page or two every day.

  86. Stephanie V. says:

    We make sure all of our checklists for supplies are in order, clothes out, back to school bed times and yes, a picture too. We also talk about what each child’s expectations are of the grade ahead.
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  87. Kelly Ann T. says:

    We make special cookies for lunches the first week. We decorate sugar cookies in the shapes of buses, apples and A. The kids look forward to making these each fall.

  88. Meredith says:

    My advice would be to have a “drop off routine.” Children seem to depend on the predictability of having routines, such as a bedtime routine helps them to recognize its time to calm down and go to sleep. A consistent drop- off routine should help them understand its time to be away from them for a few hrs. The goal is not to delay the inevitable, but to ritualize the goodbye. The predictability may help your child remain calm as the “goodbye” approaches.

    Thanks!

  89. Kiley Smith says:

    We usually do a tour of the school and meet the teachers ahead of time so that our kids feel as comfortable as they can! We also help them pick out a new outfit for the first day of school.

  90. Antonia Rouse says:

    Our tradition is to walk them to school the first day of school. THen when they come home we have a celebration dinner with all the family with a homemade cake. This year is extra special since the youngest starts school too!

  91. bina edwards says:

    we have no tradition here, we’re a working family , so the kids go off to school while the parents try to make enough money to pay for all the stuff they need for school (including fees and costs associated with the trips and the sports)

  92. Debbie B says:

    I can remember my daughter’s first day of kindergarten – i did so good walking her into class the first day but when i left the classroom – tears begin to flow –
    then i got over it – it’s okay to cry-

  93. Jenn H says:

    My girls haven’t started school yet but I plan on doing what my Mom did. For the first week of school she would put little notes in my lunch box every day. Some times encouragement, or praise and some times just a little I love you. I kept some of the notes and they mean so much to me. My Mom is the best and I hope my girls will think the same of me.

  94. Rebecca Graham says:

    Our back to school tradition after buying school clothes is to take a short vacation before school starts.

  95. Cynthia McCoy says:

    Our back to school tradition is to round everyone up and take a trip to Walmart, followed by ice cream. Everyone’s happy!

  96. Brian D. says:

    My wife works at the school and she says the best thing the parents can do is leave. The kids are around other kids and do just fine once the parents are out of sight. It’s the parents that freak out once the kid is out of sight.

  97. Meredith Rogen says:

    I recommend writing little encouraging notes for your child and slipping them in their lunches. It gives them a smile and a boost of confidence!

  98. merle says:

    one of the other mothers walked me around and introduced me to all the others. till this day, i’ll introduce myself to the new person in a room.

  99. Angela in Ohio says:

    The first day of school and the last day of school we all eat at the greasy spoon restaurant in town. I don’t know why, but it’s what we do!

  100. cathiem says:

    My back -to-school tradition was to take a photo of my children and the neighborhood kids on the first day of school. It is great to look at them years later.

  101. Stephanie says:

    My kids are starting preschool this year, so we don’t have any traditions yet, but I remember my mom would always have a special snack waiting for us when we got home from our first day of school.

  102. Cynthia C says:

    As a retired kindergarten teacher, I speak from experience. Kids do best if they are familiar with the school and personnel ahead of time. Talk to them about where they will go, who they will see and what they will do. Answer all their questions in a matter of fact manner. On the big day, it helps to have a bus buddy – maybe an older neighbor – to help them along the ride. If you take them to school, leave promptly even if there are tears. I’ve found the crying usually stops as soon as the parent is out of sight. Above all, enjoy! This is a special time.

  103. Heather S says:

    Lay out their clothes the night before and make their lunch the night before that way all of that is handled and less stress for everyone. Try to make it fun in the morning so they are excited about going (especially the little ones).

  104. thinkingbrain135 says:

    My advice for mommies and daddies sending their little ones off to school for the first time this Fall would be as follows:

    -Get your little one up early enough to enjoy their favorite breakfast.
    -Allow them to dress in their favorite new(or not) outfit.
    -Tell them how proud you are of him/her and how much of a big boy/girl they are.
    -Take pictures BEFORE the bus comes(if your little guy/girl will be riding the bus) My little guys did not want the embarrassment of daddy and I taking their pics while a bus full of other kids had the opportunity to see. Oh, the horror!
    -Try not to cry if you can help it(riiight-like that will happen)
    -Give your little guy/girl something meaningful to hold on to while they are away from you. It may lessen their anxiety of being away from you all day and in a strange place. Our oldest was a Scooby Doo fan so we gave him a Scooby figurine to hold. Our youngest was a SpongeBob fan. You get the point.

    thinkingbrain135 at gmail dot com

  105. Marilouise says:

    My parent alway bought me an entire new outfit for the first day of school. Everything had to be never worn or used until that day. I started out doing the same for my children but with the economy they way it is I think I will need to alter that tradition this year.

  106. Jana says:

    I always packed a special lunch the first day of school. In addition to sandwich and fruit, I included their favorite snack food. After school is over on the first day, we always go to the toy store and they get to pick out a prize!

  107. Karen says:

    I had a tradition every year where I took my boy’s picture as they stood in their new clothes on the first day of school at the bus stop.

  108. sarah d. says:

    We have a big breakfast and take pictures at the bus stop. I think they are probably getting to old for the picture thing, but I will keep taking pictures as long as I can get away with it.

  109. DeeAnn S says:

    My suggestion is to get your back-to-school shopping done early. That way, if you forget anything you have time to go back to the store and pick it up.

  110. Grad School Mommy says:

    We have a tradition that was started when I was a kid — and have continued for our little boys. We take a family photo on our door steps for the first 3 days of each school year. They dress in some of their new school clothes, so it’s exciting — and we get to chronicle how sweet they look as they embark on their new school adventure. We also make sure that they each have our cell numbers in their backpacks, just in case they forget how to contact us if the day gets rugged.
    🙂

    tworboy(at)hotmail(dot)com

  111. patricia g. says:

    Well my first day back to school is a very fun day. I wake up and make pancake people for the kids, i let them wear whatever they want… they are usually great at this, i take them to school and take a picture of them at the front of school, both of my kids will be at the same school this year so exciting, then i take another picture of them at their desk. I then come home and make my famous lasguange for the dinner and a special treat of homemade ice cream for dessert.

  112. Marlene says:

    One of our back to school traditions is the same as yours, a photo of them dressed and ready for school on the first day. They do grow up so fast!

  113. Suzanne Denys says:

    We take pics with the new backpack and outfit for the first day of school in front of the school sign.

  114. Steve Rupp says:

    I guess this is a modern day equivalent to making the mark indicating their height every year behind the bathroom door? 🙂 Like it.

    BTW I seem to be in a group of about 3 male readers of this blog lol. Having my girls has made me a big ‘ol softie haha.

  115. Vanderbilt Wife says:

    I loved shopping for back-to-school clothes with my mom. She usually took my sister and me shopping separately, so it was a fun time with just her.

    And picking out just the right Trapper Keeper, of course!

    Jessie
    .-= Vanderbilt Wife´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday =-.

  116. Patrice P says:

    Make it a fun day of back to school shopping. Even small children can help to make the decision on what clothes to buy and the supplies that are needed. After the shopping is finished, go to lunch at a favorite place.

  117. paige chandler says:

    I take my back to schooler to his new school and his room. We talk about what to expect and accentuate the fun he’s going to have and the frieinds he will make.

  118. Rita M says:

    If your school has a kindergarten in-service… take advantage! After attending her in-service my daughter had no problem on her first day of school — she was already familiar with the classroom, the teachers and even made friends with a few future classmates.

  119. Paula Patterson says:

    The last week of summer vacation we go the a fun water park that is about 3 hours away. We spend the night then get up the next morning to play all day. It is our tradition now for about 5 years.

  120. Theresa Shafer says:

    Children grow fast so have always have a recent photo taken every 4 to 6 months, The best time is before school starts, before you go on vacation, and any time they outgrow their cloths., just in case.

  121. Sharon Harmon says:

    Our back-to-school tradition involves making special little cards for the teacher and all the other kids in the classroom, telling them my daughter is happy to meet them and hopes they can be friends this year. She will be in 3rd grade this year! Thank you for the contest!

  122. Karen says:

    We do a back to school dinner. Make a menu and everyone gets to choose a favorite dish. Then at dinner we discuss what goals the kids want to achieve for the coming school year.

  123. Linda J. says:

    My biggest back-to-school tradition is sighing heavily at 2:30 when the library fills with unsupervised kids.

  124. denyse says:

    If this is your child’s first day or they’re starting a new school be sure to walk them to their classrooms, it’ll take so much stress of you child.

  125. Chris G. says:

    My advice for parents sending their child to school for the first time is to stick to a routine, like glue! Thanks for the giveaway!

  126. hminnesota says:

    Let them pick their own outfit for the day and also take thier help in planning the morning..starting with breakfast. They would feel much comfortable with making decisions on their own.

  127. damon says:

    A great way to knock outthe nerves is to bring your child to any open house the school may have so they cam see the school and meet their teacher.

  128. Michael Kuntz says:

    Wait till Target puts it’s back to school stuff on clearance. They will do 30% off one week, 50% off the next, and 75% off the following week!

  129. Heidi Gail says:

    I always took a picture of my kindergardeners leaving home on their first day of school. Now we look back and marvel at how tiny and excited they were.

  130. barbara wright says:

    My advice is to remind yourself that this is probably a lot harder on YOU than it is on your child. Act excited for your child and your child will have a great day. Act worried and you’ll give your child the impression that there’s something to be worried about.

  131. Cathie F. says:

    I’m a grandma now and I like to help out when I can. Every sunday just before the start of school many of our stores have super specials on back to school supplies. I go to these sales and start a bag of “goodies” for my 2 grandchildren. Just before school starts they get their full bags and their moms can then check off any of the items on the school list that they now already have and buy only the things I haven’t already gotten.
    .-= Cathie F.´s last blog ..Claiming my Blog =-.

  132. Linda Lansford says:

    My advice for first time school children is to visit the school before it opens so it won’t seem so strange.

  133. Autumn B. says:

    my dad wrote me a note & put it in my pencil box each year that i was in school..i really looked forward to finding the notes – a great tradition!

    autumn398 @ yahoo.com

  134. Jacqueline Matuza says:

    My advice is to prepare any lunch food the night before, anything that can be cut, or put in the bag beforehand will save you time during the crazy morning!

  135. Holly says:

    We go shopping together after we get our supply list at “meet the teacher night” and we hit the food sore also and let them pick some special items for their lunches. The night before, they make their lunch and lay our their first outfit to wear to school the first day!

  136. ALLYSON AYALA says:

    i have been writing cards for them since the first day they started kindegarden all the way to graduate school for my oldest….as they got older they always carried them in their notebooks and glanced at them when they had a bad day

  137. Rita Sheppard says:

    Every year when I started to school, I got everything new — new lunchbox, composition books, pencils, paper, etc. It was something to look forward to because there wasn’t a lot of money with 6 kids in the house.

  138. Shilo Beedy says:

    If your child is going to school the first time get them excited about going. Let them pick out there own back pack and other supplies. Visit there school and show them around so they know what it will be like. Let them pick out a outfit and make them there favorite breakfast.
    .-= Shilo Beedy´s last blog ..Whats going on =-.

  139. Sue says:

    We don’t have any traditions yet! My son is starting kindergarten in the fall. Thanks for the giveaway!

  140. Sharon Franks-Rivard says:

    I’m a grammy now, but our tradition has been (and is now for the grandsons) to give them their own ‘spending’ money (depending on what kind of financial year it’s been for us) and let them choose their own favorite school clothes. It makes it a little easier for them to ‘go back’ knowing that they have at least one or two things that are ‘in style’. That’s important for kids, who really just want to ‘fit in’. God’s Blessings to all…
    grammyrivard@live.com

  141. Carol V. says:

    As a preschool teacher, the advice I would like to give moms of preschoolers and kindergartners is don’t worry about tears (the kids – not yours). Just give them a kiss and a hug, and tell them you will be back to pick them up after school (at whatever time that may be). The kids that cry will calm down pretty quickly.

  142. Brent Dotson says:

    I like to meet with the teacher and see if they need any help with supplies or in the classroom.

  143. Joannie says:

    My advice as a kindergarten teacher is to stop by the classroom with your child before school starts and meet the teacher, look around, find the restrooms, cafeteria, office, bus stop or car pick-up, gym, playground, etc. Talk positively to your child about school, don’t talk about how you will miss him or her. Read books about first days of school – there are lots of them out there!

  144. Elaine says:

    Sending my son to school his first day was to encourage him that it was going to be a wonderful experience and that he was going to meet lots and lots of new friends for which for him to play with.

  145. linda a says:

    The only tradition we have is that I make the kids home made cookies their first day of school. Gives them something to look forward too. I also make sure that we are ready and prepared the first day. I hate running around last second picking up school supplies.

  146. Ashley says:

    the first day of school you always get some little gift. in the younger years it could have been a something bright and colorful school related (something lisa frank usually) and as she got older it was a new shirt or jewelry or somethign that i picked out for her that she didn’t know about and always a note.. sometimes put in a backpack, sometimes waiting by the bathroom sink etc it makes the first day of a new school year special

  147. Renee C. says:

    We prepare a lot ahead of time. We pack our school supplies about a week ahead, pick out our outfits (a lot more important for my Middle School girl than 4th grade boy), we check out the lunch menu, look at the websites of their teachers, and even call classmates to find out who is in the same class or on the same team. Our first morning we get up about 15 minutes earlier, we take pictures together and separately and we have a few extra minutes to breathe so we are not RUSHING quite so much.

    Advice… I will never forget bringing my oldest to school, after less than 10 minutes of getting her settled in she looked at us and said… “you can go now” , I had expected some tears or nerves. I was a little hurt, but eventually realized that she did so well because she was so well-adjusted and mature… Basically with your own, if they sense nerves in you they will pick up on it… you can be happy, proud and excited but try not to show your internal feelings of worry or stress.

  148. Ashley W. says:

    We always go out for dinner or have a special treat like ice cream after the first day of school.

  149. shawn Mckim says:

    I always take their pictures in the same place each year so I can see how much they have grown and changed.

  150. Mia J. says:

    We also do the photo on the first day of school and also walk her to her classroom to meet the teacher.

  151. Pamela S says:

    I joined the conversation on the link that says “great resource”. My advice is to always be as positive as you can about what a wonderful experience they will have. I find that parents that have a lot of anxiety and complaints end up with kids who also have a lot of anxiety. We have always stressed how wonderful school is and my kids both LOVE IT! Thanks.

  152. Momznite says:

    If you are dropping your child off at preschool or Kindergarten for the first time, I suggest you try to act calm and optimistic, give a quick hug, and high tail it out of there….lingering tends to make it harder for everyone. If you feel worried it is okay to make a phone call later to check on your child’s adjustment.

  153. Beverly says:

    I always fix my daughter her favorite meal
    before the first day of school. And remind
    her this is a new year, new friends and
    new teachers. Have fun and learn
    something and come home and tell
    us about it.

    littlebevi@aol.com

  154. Carol G says:

    We are finished with the back to school situation, at least for a few years. That does not include the granddaughter who is starting college this year though–that shopping is in a whole other category! Next one up is a 6 month old great-grandson, so at least there will be a small break in the madness. I have seen the displays up in the stores, and the ads in the Sunday paper, but haven’t really noticed any crowds as yet, which is a little surprising since school starts here in just a couple of weeks. No real insights–I usually pick up the type of things that are needed just to have available, and most of the time at least one of the lists required them. There was one memorable year when the only thing we had to get was new backpacks!

  155. Katharine says:

    Well, this will be our first time sending my oldest to preschool so no traditions yet. Just butterflies in my stomach thinking about leaving him at school for the first time

  156. jon mayer says:

    our family’s back to school tradition has always been to take a picture the morning of the first day of school!

  157. Mary M says:

    My advice to parents is DO NOT PANIC. The more freaked out you are, the more freaked out your kid will be. It’s school, not the wilds of Borneo.

  158. Laura Baareman says:

    I work for a Sleep Clinic and we are trying to increase awareness about the importance of regular sleep schedules for children- especially when they are transitioning from a summer schedule to an earlier school schedule. I would really appreciate any moms from this blog emailing me what they do to help transition their kids to an earlier schedule before school starts. My email is laura.baareman@atlantasleep.com. And don’t worry- I won’t quote you without your full permission.

    Thanks so much!

  159. Courtney S says:

    We always get the kids back in their “sleep” and “wake” routine 2 weeks before school starts. That way they have readjusted and are not exhausted because of getting up early.

  160. EPMaxwell says:

    This year is our FIRST year to big-girl school. My daugther starts her 3 yr old preschool class next week. Uniforms, back-packs, and everything. She is so excited, so we’ll be starting brand new traditions this year. As cliche’ as it is, I just can’t believe how fast my baby has grown on me. But pictures the first day are definitely a MUST.

  161. Barbara J says:

    We also have a tradition of taking a picture on the first day of school. And in those pictures, the kids are in new clothes. My tradition is that you must wear new clothes on the first day of school, Christmas, and Easter. Why that’s my tradition, I have no idea!

  162. Anne D says:

    The best advice I can give is stay calm at all times even if something goes wrong that first morning and usually it does.
    If we get upset your child always knows it.

  163. Jacob says:

    The tradition is to make the same lunch every new year of PB & J (comfort food). Don’t seem upset. If you are calm your child will be calm and not worry

  164. Elena says:

    We’re a homeschooling family so the kids always know that school will be starting soon when the box of school books comes in the mail! Thanks for the contest!

  165. Gena says:

    Every year we talk about the friends they are going to see again and how much fun that will be. I think it is good to give them independence and they won’t be needy or scared so often

  166. Kate says:

    Our tradition is a photo in the same spot, fall and summer, year after year. It’s great to see how much they grow in a year, and then compare to the next. I love seeing fresh haircuts in the fall, crisp clothes, excitement… and then relief and celebration on the last day of school!

  167. Alicia G says:

    I alway make sure to go over what to expect with my girls in detail and answer any question they may have this hopefully helps them to feel more prepared.

  168. cwaltz says:

    I have two older teens and each year I give them a $50 alottment and set them loose. Any money not spent on shirts and pants they get to pocket. It means they loooove the thrift store and are careful with their clothing so that it lasts into the following year. I let the younger ones choose folders and pencil cases.

  169. Karen says:

    If your children are starting a new school, make sure you go and visit several times during the summer and talk about where their classroom is, let them get really familiar with the playground, and make it all as familiar as possible in order to minimize butterflies on the first day.

  170. Julie says:

    This is only our second year of preschool. I’m still looking for some traditions. Last year was all about preventing the inevitable separation screaming. I’m hoping that isn’t a tradition.

  171. Uncommonblonde says:

    My little one won’t be starting school for a few years but I definitely will be using some of the ideas shared here. I also want to fix her favorite foods for dinner and have a celebration each year on that first day.
    .-= Uncommonblonde´s last blog ..Announcements =-.

  172. Lisa says:

    This is my first year with a kiddo in school (sob, sob), but for the first day of preschool & the last day I took her picture standing in front of the front door of our house with the sign that says the date. Hard to believe they grow up so stinking fast!

  173. Deborah R says:

    I have a tradition of doing the “school bus dance” on the first day of school. I was going to stop because I thought my son was getting old enough that it might embarass him, but he insists that it’s not the first day of school without the “school bus dance.”

  174. Marie says:

    My family always takes the 1st picture by the school sign and we always buy the kids a brand new outfit from head to toe.

  175. Nichole says:

    Pictures are a must!! Also helpful to have everything ready the night before (i.e. table set for breakfast, clothes out, lunches packed, gas in the car, etc). Thanks for the chance to win.

  176. Kim Deal says:

    On the first day of school we ALWAYS take pictures. This year my triplets are starting first grade and my baby (sniff sniff) is starting four year old preschool. I can hardly believe how the time has flown. Let me tell you that shopping for school supplies is not fun, with three! We always try to get different colors, well that doesn’t always work! We also try to re-use whatever we can!

  177. eunice b says:

    take a picture of the first day of school each year for each child’s scrapbook. you’ll be so surprised how nervous they were on that first day! 🙂

  178. Rashpal says:

    My two older ones are going into grades 2 and 1. I get a small scrapbook or photo album for each of them that they start in September. The look forward to filling it with pictures of their new and old friends, teachers, field trips, school concerts and their own work. (This gets them super excited to start the new school year!)

    I’ve been giving them disposable cameras since they were in preschool, but now my older one has his own digital camera that he loves.

    Well, that’s our tradition!

  179. Amanda R says:

    I have 5 boys’ one 6th grader, one 3rd grader, and one starting kindergarten this year. The other 2 are still too little for school. Our tradition is on the first day of school, they get dressed and ready and I take their picture in front of the front door just before they leave. It is amazing to go back through all the pictures and see how much they have grown and changed.
    .-= Amanda R´s last blog .. =-.

  180. Janice Wright says:

    My advice is to have a routine for getting the kids off for school. Make sure to pick out the clothing the night before. That way you know everything is clean & ready to wear. Also have the backpack ready before you go to bed. That way there’s no searching at the last minute for something. Also get in the school routine hours a few weeks before school actually starts. Start going to bed at a decent hour & getting up at a decent hour.

  181. Sandy says:

    Our first day of school is always a new outfit for each of the 2 girls and a picture just before they get on the bus.

  182. Angela says:

    This is the first year my son will be heading to school. Kindergarten *sniff*. We have just started our traditions, so I’m looking forward to reading others.

    What we’ve done so far…head out to get school supplies. Rummage through drawers and make a list for school clothes “must haves”.

    We are going to lay out all the things we need for school the night before the first day, and have a big breakfast that morning. Then it’s off to school, where my daughter and I wil wait anxiously for him to return in the afternoon. Thanks for the chance to win!
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..Free Baby Board Book from LeapFrog =-.

  183. Stacy says:

    My kids aren’t school-age yet but when I was in elementary school my mom would always make my first day of school dress or outfit.

  184. Susan C says:

    Our back to school traditions have always been taking lots of photos of the kids in their new school clothes!
    smchester at gmail dot com

  185. Rosey says:

    We pick up the school list at open house, which is just prior to school beginning and we head on out to the stores the next day to get what’s needed, and one or two fun extras. When I was a kid Trapper Keepers were all the rage, these days, they’re not even permitted in the classroom. After we purchase our supplies we head on over to the local ice cream shoppe and celebrate with cones or sundaes. We all like to go out this day, even the teen!

  186. Melinda says:

    We always do pancakes for the first day of school…its a good tradition 🙂
    mjf926 at gmail dot com

  187. shel says:

    My daughter starts junior high this year. Her biggest fear? No one will sit with her at lunch. We’ve talked about it and she knows everyone else is in the same boat. Our plan is to smile a lot and say hello to everyone and pass out lots of compliments to open conversations. She’s also going to bring a book with her at lunch to read while she eats until she makes friends to eat with. I’m betting that book won’t even get cracked open.

    Her 2nd greatest fear? Forgetting her locker combination. We’ve been practicing it all summer and she has it written down on a scrap of paper in her purse and in her Trapper Keeper.
    .-= shel´s last blog ..Debt Diva-Making Christmas in July Frugal & Fabulous =-.

  188. star says:

    Our tradition seems to be forgetting until 3 days before school starts and then rushing to get ready, it’s one that I think we ought to change.

  189. Sheila P says:

    Don’t be clingy! Let them know it’s O.K. to be a little afraid, but that it will be fine and they’ll make plenty of friends!

  190. mitchell says:

    my advice, especially for a brand new or frightened young student is to go to the school before classes start to get familiar with the setting, where the classrooms are, where the buses are, etc. that helps to allay a lot of the unknowns running through their minds. thanks! (freaaa@gmail.com)

  191. Susan Kramer says:

    Before my son started kindergarten, we started what is now a tradition called Mommy & Adam Day. I let him pick the restaurant of his choosing and just the two of us go out for a special lunch. We do a little bit of school shopping and pick out his first day outfit and a special toy. When my girls get old enough to go to school, we’ll have Mommy & Riah Day and Mommy & Mara Day as well! Now my son is going into 4th grade this fall and we’re already planning on special day out.

  192. Julie says:

    We always loved going back to school as kids. We would pick out our outfit for the first day and gets our backpacks packed full of notebooks and folders up to a week before the school year started again.

  193. Shawna says:

    I can hardly believe my baby is going to be a freshman this year, and my daughter is going to be a Senior! This year we started something new, it’s called “start school shopping in July!” I have already saved TONS of $$$$ and am almost done with a whole month to go!! Why did it take me till my kids were in HS to figure this out? LOL

  194. Selene M. says:

    My children are grown and I must say I don’t miss the daily “get-out-the-door” routine.

    Two things that make things a lot easier is getting the kids to bed early on school nights, and have everything ready before YOU go to bed.

  195. PAULA says:

    I’m a working mom, so every year the first day of school, I take the kids to school. Usually my mom takes them, because I’m already at work.

  196. Keathe says:

    We have a big old tree in our backyard that the kids have to pose in front of, and then I have to get pictures of them stepping onto the school bus at the end of our driveway. 🙂

  197. Betty says:

    I have five nieces and nephew that I get ready for school in the morning. We always have a good breakfast….with donuts!

  198. Joanie says:

    We take a photo during the first week of school and I have a sign that my son holds, “saying what grade he is in”. Then, on the last day of school, we take a photo and he holds a sign that says the last day of school and his grade.

    For back to school supplies, I usually stock up when all the supplies are on sale/clearance with the help of different coupon websites or blogs. I will go to Walmart and Target or even Staples. I buy the basics and keep them for the following year. I also print the next grade’s list from our school’s website. It usually does not differ that much. I usually save a lot of money this way.

  199. Ali Hammons says:

    My tip for back to school shopping is to buy in bulk. The dollar stores, walmart, and Kmart are the best for back to school deals. Buy a HUGE stack of spirals, folders, pencils, pens, etc. That way when they come to need more you just have to reach into the closet (or the craft cabnit for us) and toss it in their backbag before they head off to school. When it comes to shopping for clothes make sure you shop the deals. Also, make sure that you shop for the upcoming season and not the current season. Remember that it’s going to only get colder (unless of course you’re in a year-’round warm climate).

  200. shannon flora says:

    we always look for winter time clothes sales at the end of winter when everything is on clerance.it saves alot of money.plus your more ready for back to school! thanks.
    shannon shannpf1977@yahoo.com

  201. Lyna says:

    This is my daughter’s 1st grade year. I believe that it is the first time I’ve seen her excited about starting school. She is looking forward to buying school supplies and clothes. I can’t believe how fast the years are going by. Just yesterday I was giving my child her first bath and now she is getting to be so independent. “I can do it, Mom!” are her favorite words nowadays. I am at the same time so proud and so sad!! 🙁

  202. Pat says:

    The first day of school we like to take a picture. It will be wonderful looking back over the years.

  203. Telisha says:

    We always go through old school uniforms and donate whats too small to the school for people who cannot seem to get their children uniforms. We then go shopping for new ones. And the kids get new shoes…their favs.

  204. Rose says:

    Our back to school tradition is taking a photo outside by the tree in the front yard on the first day of school. Looking back through the pictures we can see our daughters growing up! It”s something they look forward to as well.

  205. Lisa says:

    Instead of the kids taking the bus the first day of school, we drive them to school and walk them to their classrooms. The goal is not to cry! Each year I’m amazed at how time fast the time goes. I’m dreading the day, they don’t want us to take them!

  206. Jeannette Ragan says:

    What I did for the first day of school was to leave a little early for school and go in with my kids and get them used to the classroom. I would then explain to them that they had to stay and have fun in class. I would go and come back later to get them.

  207. E.B. says:

    Growing up my dad always took first day of school photos – aaahhh, cat-eye glasses in black and white! I love Joanie’s (?) tradition of holding a sign showing what year of school it is – I’m suggesting that to my sister for her kids!

  208. Susan says:

    When I was young, my mom always had treats waiting for us when we got home from our first day of school. We’d sit around eating them and just talking about my day. I loved that!

  209. rachel says:

    This will be our 1st year to experiance with taking the kids to school. My son starts pre-K. He turned 4 just 2 days ago and I can’t believe where the time has gone. We plan on going shopping for his new clothes and backpack. He told me that he is a big boy now and wants a grown-up backpack.

  210. Lorraine says:

    Back to school is so fun!!! We start with little one’s favorite breakfast (pancakes) and pictures. I always go in late to work and stand with them at the bus stop…this will work until I start to embarass them too much!!… LOL!!1

  211. Laura says:

    We’ve always bought back to school supplies when they’re cheap and have everything ready the night before! We also get up extra early so we won’t be rushed!!

  212. Jena Hillman says:

    There are such great buys on school supplies now. I buy all those I can and rarely need more during the school year, especially if I buy a few more things during the after school sale (love those).

  213. Kimmy says:

    The best advice I have for back to school is shopping at the Childrens Place outlets and Monster Sales. My daughter is starting 1st grade..and I had all her shopping done before the year started. We just need to buy shoes 🙂

  214. jeanine says:

    we homeschool and before the start of the school year, all the homeschool families at church have a “goodbye summer” cook out. we have food, games and a camp fire.

  215. coleen wade says:

    i have pic of me in my first day of school when i was a kid and now i do the same for my kids just love it

  216. DeeDee Hunt says:

    My advice is to start waking the kids up early about a week before school starts..also try to get them in bed a little earlier as well to prepare them for the new school year.

  217. Christine says:

    Our tradition was always to buy clothes at the end of season sales and that way we got them on sale and always had a good portion of what we needed when school started and ended. Thank you!

  218. Jessica says:

    We’ve always made a really fun day out of school shopping-I take each one of the girls out separately so we can spend one on one time together and we spend the whole day shopping, then go out to lunch for whatever they’re in the mood for. They love to help check things off the list and browse the shops, my oldest wants to go to the outlet all the time now. I love showing them that you can have a good time without breaking the bank, and it’s made back to school shopping about more than just collecting as many name brand labels as possible.

  219. Ana Suri says:

    The night before: set the table and decide what you’ll make for breakfast and fix lunch boxes, also get clothes ready for everyone, including your own. I assure you everyone will be happier and done in a jiffy. Thx!

  220. Robyn says:

    I’m my mother’s child (absolute bargain hunter!) I do the back to school shopping for my niece and nephew (2 more yrs before I do it for my girl!) and I have so much fun doing it. My sister in law put me in charge b/c I manage to make $100 for school clothes and shoes stretch. My advice is if you find clothing at an amazing price, buy not only for this yr but for next yr too! Jeans, tees and other basic clothing don’t really change much yr to yr and as long as you have the space why not stock up? I’ve always shopped this way for my daughter and have saved hundreds over the past almost 4 yrs. I bought a nice stack of shorts from Target one summer for 99 cents each (reg $4.99).
    The same applies to school supplies, after the B2S rush is over stores will put so many things on clearance to get inventory back down to normal limits. Just make a small box strictly for them and stock up on the basics. Check out the lists for the next grade level too.

  221. Kati says:

    This will be our first year of school. We plan on taking pictures of our daughter on the first day. Also she will be going to a fundamental school so on the first day we are going to park and walk her into school. From then on we’ll just drop her off. We went and bought new school supplies early and let her pick out some new clothes. I am so excited for her to begin school but so sad as well. My baby is getting so big.

  222. scottsgal says:

    Don’t let them see you cry because of the emotions of them going to school. Make it a fun adventure for them

  223. Leslie M. says:

    My Girls always started school with new shoes and some new clothes and fresh supplies! I feel that the First day of school is like wiping the slate clean. (My girls were great students….) It is a NEW Beginning.. it is the one time when you get to start fresh and new! YOU get all new Pencils, all new Teachers and this is the first time to make a NEW first impression!!
    I LOVE it!!
    So New shoes, new Dress, new school Supplies!
    My girls are now 23 and 19, the youngest is starting her second year of college in a week!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Leslie
    .-= Leslie M.´s last blog ..Win a Mixed 12 Pack of Jones GABA Drinks! =-.

  224. shawna Lewis says:

    Well we always go the first of August
    that way there won’t be so many shoppers and we always go out of town to shop better selection.Thanks for the chance to win ;o)

    Shawna Lewis
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

  225. Tracy says:

    sorry but sometimes parents forget to make the kiddos a part of the process! aside from back to school shopping have a mom/child kid day out before school, ask them about stuff they are into, if they are nervous, go see a movie, soon they will be over booked again and you’ll have less quality time with them, so take it now while you can, even if it means skipping an errand!
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..Saturday, August 1, 2009 – Today’s Words of Inspiration and a giveaway! =-.

  226. Danielle L says:

    A tip for going back to school is to sneak in notes or drawings into your child’s backpack, lunchbox, notebooks, folders, etc. It will put a huge smile on their face if they are feeling homesick and it will definitely cheer them up if they are having a hard day!

  227. Erin Walsh says:

    For those sending your children off to school for the first time, the most important advice I have is to always be positive, calm and cheerful when talking about it, or on the actual first day. Even if inside you’re quivering in anxiety. They pick up on all of your signals, and you want them to be happy, calm and relaxed.

  228. Angie says:

    My advice is like a lot of others: have a great breakfast, take a 1st day pic, and send them off with a big hug and kiss. This day only happens once!

  229. crystal says:

    I think taking your child to the school before school starts is a good idea. That way the child can find their classrooms before the first day and feel more comfortable about not getting lost or walking in late;)

  230. Tonya Williams says:

    I am new to traditions. i thought I actually had a few years to go before I dealt with “school”. But my 2 year old has a school list! pencils, crayons, etc. So stay tuned for our starting traditions! haha

  231. Marcia Goss says:

    The night before, my kids and I would put all new school supples in their new backpacks and decide on an outfit to wear on the first day.

  232. Dana says:

    I take each of the kids back to school shopping separately, and we make a fun time of it. Usually stop mid-morining to re-fuel at SBUX is always a treat that they look forward to.

  233. patricia says:

    Remain calm, remember you set the Tone for how your childs day will go. If you are upset when he or she is going off to school then they might remain upset all day.

  234. Jaque says:

    The week before school starts, we invite all their friends for a pool party….then the first morning of school I make their favorite chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.

    Thank you.:-)

  235. Mary says:

    We make a day of shopping, and end with eating out or a special treat. Then we always take a picture on the first day of school.

  236. Cindy C says:

    When my son first started school, he looked forward to ordering breakfast from the special menu I made especially for him. He would rush out of bed, get ready for school and run downstairs to check out the menu for breakfast.

  237. chrissy says:

    Our favorite tradition is Nana brining over donuts the first day of school! And then pictures on the porch as the girls head out to school! I LOVE Hallmark- what a great company!

  238. Patricia Riley says:

    school comes so quick, kids can use alot to go back to school, with clothes, shoes, supplys for class. god already they go back.

  239. katelyn says:

    I leave a note in my kids lunchboxes to remind them i’m thinking of them for the first week of school.

  240. Sonya says:

    During the last month of summer, when everyone is letting their kids stay up late, I put mine back on their school sleep schedule, to make the first weeks of school better later!

  241. Rachel Newman says:

    My favorite thing about back-to-school shopping was the color coordination;seriously, I loved coordinating my notebooks and folders and pencils according to subject. I was kind of OCD that way.

  242. Linda says:

    It is amazing how nothing fits and so it is time to be off for clothes shopping and then on to school supply shopping. By the time the first day of school arrives, mom and kids are tired! Fix breakfast, take pictures, and then mom can go home and collapse as the kids are having fun!
    Lindad4 at cox dot net

  243. mickeyfan says:

    We always took pix of the kids on the front porch. They still enjoy looking back at the old ones and remembering “when”. For the 1st timers: Remember, it’s going to be a LOT tougher on you than them!!! 🙂

  244. joanmurraycefalu says:

    My daughters and I always go out for lunch or dinner after the first day of school. It gives them my uninterruped attention so they can tell me about their special day 🙂

  245. Onolee R says:

    My youngest son will start school this year I always drop them off on the fist day never make them take the bus help make the feel comfortable.

  246. she says:

    although i do not have kids of my own, my mom is retired after 35 years of teaching both 2nd grade & kindergarten. from listening to her, i’ve learned that a lot of times, mothers will drop off their little one on the 1st day of kindergarten, then linger. it’s best if you bring him/her in, then leave. even if your child is crying and afraid, it is better to let the teacher establish a rapor with your child right away and establish that they are in charge when your child is in the classroom. you are in charge at home.

    also, as much as i hated 1st day of school pics, it is fun to go back & look through them as an adult. oh, the haircuts i had! lol.
    .-= she´s last blog ..Protected: Letters Unsent =-.

  247. Jennifer M says:

    My daughter was adopted in September of 2004. Every year on the same day, I visit her school to read a book and talk about it a little. It lets her celebrate her special day, and know that there won’t be awkward questions later on.

  248. Renski says:

    My firstborn starts Kindergarten this year. I plan to take lots of picture on that first day and hope to continue that tradition so I can see him grow.

  249. Cujo says:

    My son starts Kindergarten this fall. After his first 1/2 day, I’m taking him out for ice cream. My dad did this for me and it was fun!

  250. Deb K says:

    Make sure that you take pictures of before and after~as they looks so cute in the morning but in the afternoon that is another story… 🙂

  251. beth shepherd says:

    We always take the kids to a local ice cream farm to relax the night before school starts. It gets the kids minds off of the anticipation of school. We also stay very involved with the teachers and school.
    Thank you for the chance
    tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

  252. artistic baker says:

    My parents always took our picture with the other kids on our street waiting for the bus…first school day tradition I’d like to start with my kids 🙂

  253. Melissa D says:

    We all go shopping for school supplies together, which gets everyone excited for the first day of school! This shopping trip has become a favorite tradition for us.
    Thanks!

  254. dianne says:

    Our tradition is to make a big fuss after the first day of school. We go out to eat and discuss all that happened in the day. I look so forward to it and so do the kids.

  255. dorothy l says:

    I say wait till after the first week of school to do the shopping that way you will know what you need con5459(at)gmail(dot)com

  256. livingbytheloa says:

    My children normally ride the bus, but the first day of school we always get up extra early so we can have breakfast together and then i take them to school. My daughter no longer wants me to go in with her, but my son is okay with me walking him to his room to meet his teacher and help get his supplies unpacked and desk set up. School results in a lot of work and long days for all of us, but the years fly by so fast I try to enjoy each moment as much as I can.

  257. Kristi P says:

    Just put on your big girl face, mommy….if you are gun shy, pardon the expression, they will be too! Cry after you put them on the bus or watch them go through the door….and it WILL get better!

  258. Kristina Marie says:

    School is what you make it! Make it exciting for your kids…especially going into kindergarten…throw a “school time” party, host a sleep over…anything to make it seem like going to school is exciting, what better way to start your child off right with a good attitude about school!

    And remember to be involved all year long, letting your kids know you care will help them to care even more! 🙂

  259. Charlene Haley says:

    Even though my youngest is in the fourth grade now. I has become my personal tradition to always follow the school bus on the first day of school to make sure that there are no first day mishaps.

  260. Jill Myrick says:

    We always try to shop early as not to have to fight the crowds.
    That way we can take our time and make a full day of it including breakfast,shopping,lunch,shopping and ice cream to finish up.
    I love the time that we spend together and will dearly miss it when there is no more back to school.
    Thank you so much for the chance to win.

  261. Phi says:

    A good night sleep, a healthy breakfast, new bag and supplies, and of course a big hug and a kiss from mom and dad!

  262. Allison Wilson says:

    The tradition in my family has always been to wake up early on the first day of school and have a big breakfast together as a family before everyone goes off to school.

  263. Kimmie F says:

    I like to take a picture of them the morning that school starts with one of their new back to school outfits.

  264. Courtney says:

    Our family tradition would be rushing early in the mornings to wal-mart. Every year. We’d grab the school list at the store and make our way down aisles before the big rush. We live in a small town, so they actually post the lists in wal-mart. It was quite exciting to be on the lookout for sales while dodging people at the same time.

  265. Gabriel J. says:

    I try to have as much things done the night before so we don’t waste precious time in the morning.

  266. AmandaK says:

    I try to get everything done a week before. I buy school supplies and clothing a week before school starts so I am no t running around like a mad woman!

  267. Stephanie says:

    My advice is to buy school supplies and clothes throughout the year when you find good deals. Those big purchases can be so overwhelming all at once, so spreading it out over the course of the year can really help when you’re on a tight budget.
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Free Scope Sample Kit =-.

  268. Mimi the kitten says:

    Advice: pray and entrust your beloved little people to the faithful, loving hands of God. He knows what is best for them every moment of the school day, and will hold them in His warm embrace.

  269. Sandra says:

    Like you, I take a picture of my grand-daughter the first day of school, and I always put it in a frame with a picture of her Mommy’s first day in that same grade.

  270. Christie says:

    We do the picture thing too and I always take one of them walking away as well. It’s like a “they’re they go” pic.

  271. Lindsay says:

    Our back to school tradition was always mcdonalds breakfast. Eating out for breakfast was a luxury mostly because time was always crunched majorly in the morning so when we got to get breakfast it was always really special. So first day of school would be extra special! I recommend letting her pick out a really pretty notebook and a great first day outfit. I remember that making me feel so excited for school and it made the transition from summer to school a little less traumatic because I was excited!

  272. LindaD says:

    Letting your child make most of the decisions about what color and kind of school supplies to buy and what special meals to have the first week of school can make it fun. It’s also a good idea to do a “dry run” of how they’ll get to school and back and to give them some of idea of how long the day away will be and some of the things that may happen at school, thereby eleviating some of the unknown.

  273. Jay F says:

    We take pictures at the bus stop. There are a lot of kids there, so it ends up being a funny group photo.

  274. Amanda Brown says:

    Every year I make my three stand in front of the front door with their school uniforms on and their backpacks on so we can see every year how they changed. This is really special to me.

  275. Leslie S. says:

    Normally we have to go shopping for all the gea and clothes.This year however,I will be homeschooling so no need to buy the new clothes.I still need to get supplies but I get some relief this year.

  276. brenda says:

    Sending your child off to school for the first time can be a heartbreaker. Remember you can call or go by and check on them at any time. However, it is best if they don’t see you during the “checking”. We always start a week before school starts with bed times, having school supplies and clothing bought and laid out the first day….this is a time saver for sure. Good luck to all.

    bkpittman1(at)gmail(dot)com

  277. Jeanine B. says:

    For parents with preschoolers or kindergarteners going to school for the first time — if they are the anxious type, they almost always do better after their parents are gone. In my daughter’s class, there were a few kids who cried almost every morning the first week or so. But as soon as their parents left, they were fine and happy. The teacher will let you know if there are any real problems, so just give them a hug and leave quickly. Drawing it out only makes it worse. Most kids love school and will adjust really fast.

  278. chris s says:

    I love to take a picture of the kids on the first day of school with their brand new shiny clothes. Then on the last day of school I take another picture of them wearing the same clothes they wore on the first day. It’s fun to see how much they grew.

  279. Kimberly says:

    We always go out of town to visit my dad the weekend before school starts. The country air is a great way to end the summer!

  280. TOMASINA says:

    i dont really have a family tradition for back to school shopping. We move around a lot so depending on the area the experience changes. This year im going to college so back to school shopping is lasting longer than usual

  281. stacey says:

    The night before we say a prayer with our kiddos. On the first day, I always take their picture on the front door step with the back pack on, a nervous smile and a new outfit. We go out for dinner-kids choice-to sit back and hear about the exciting first day stories and new friends. My advice to new first day parents…..relax! The kids will pick up on whatever vibe you put out, so make it an excited & happy one.

  282. Greg says:

    We always do a quick picture on the first day. It used to be Polaroids but now it’s a digital photo! It’s just important to document the wonderful first day outfits especially when you can look back at what we used think was a fabulous first day outfit! (and the hair)

  283. susan p says:

    We don’t have any traditions yet as my son hasn’t started school but I am sure it will involve pictures.

  284. Felicia King says:

    I don’t have any kids in school yet, but as the oldest I grew up with a lot of siblings. I saw how hectic it was on my mom and got this out of it all: Figure out your routine, stick to it, and make sure your children understand the importance of it.

  285. Danny says:

    We do a last of the summer bbq and pool party. Family and friends come over and we do a party to say goodbye to late summer nights and no school days.

  286. Justine says:

    My advice for moms (and dads!) would be to always ask your children about their days and really really listen! You are your child’s protector and sometimes you might need to stand up for them, do not be afraid of authorities cause only you will really look out for your child 😀

    justine417@comcast.net

  287. Kristy Wright says:

    To avoid headaches in the mornings, try to have clothing picked out and backpacks ready the night before.

  288. Brenda Park says:

    Our family’s ‘back to school tradition’ is a trip to the local ice-cream shop directly after the first day. It kind of ruins dinner for awhile, but we all connect over the different ice cream dishes we share. Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway!

  289. Claire says:

    We always try to pack in a lot of fun things the day before so they’re tired enough to get to sleep that night 😉

  290. Jere says:

    Well this is our first year but I have been having them practice our new morning routine to get us out the door on time when school starts soon. Plus I try to get as much done the night before as possible.

  291. Patty Smith says:

    My main back to school tradition with my kids- we have a party the night before to build the excitement 🙂 They each get a little gift, always school related, special cupcakes with candles showing what grade they are going to be in, we talk about past years night before party and they each write one goal they want for the year to bring.

  292. Colleen C says:

    Our family’s tradition has always been to head out the the office supply store and stock up on all our supplies. To this day, I still love cracking open those new packages of pencils – and who doesn’t look forward to the fresh pack of markers! What joy!

  293. Mary says:

    My advise is not to get your all your childs school clothing before school starts. Your child may see the other childrens outfits and may want the new ‘trend’. So save some of your back to school clothes budget for a few weeks into the school year.

  294. mary ellen s says:

    We always put a note of encourgement and love in their notebook, bookbag, lunch box, some place different every year, they look forward to finding them and knowing that we are thinking of them

  295. Kimberly Mann says:

    We lay out the clothes the night before and always take the obligatory photo in the driveway.

  296. Sherry E. says:

    My advice would be to keep a look out all year long for great deals on school supplies…I love clearance isles! Stock up! This way you are not spending it all at once. Also, be prepared the night before to make mornings a little easier!!

  297. Kimberly says:

    On the first day of school we have a big family breakfast and then get everybody ready to go and we take the traditional “first day of school” photos. Nobody likes it right now but I think they’ll enjoy seeing them when they are grown.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  298. Linz says:

    We would go and get new backpacks every year. It was a fun thing to get to pick out a new bag to have for the year and the shopping trip with my mom, brother and I would be a fun day for everyone.

  299. Jan says:

    The weekend before school starts we always go camping. It’s kind of a last hurrah for the kids to enjoy some free time before the school year starts. It’s been a tradition since the kids were really little.

  300. Jackie says:

    The weekend before school starts is my birthday, so we always go up to our cottage and have a big family get together with all our relatives… It’s a great party and we have lots of fun! My advice for first-timer parents is to just believe that your son/daughter is going to be just fine, dont get so worried. Then at the end of the day when you pick them up, your child will be overjoyed to see you.

  301. susan smoaks says:

    My advice to parents who are about to send thier kids to school for the first time would be to relax. Don’t get anxious and nervous. Your child will pick up on those feelings.

  302. Gloria says:

    My advice for parent is to go shopping now for deals on clothes, school supples, etc. Don’t wait till the week before so you are not stressed out when school starts!

  303. Christa says:

    Start early! Shop clearance for school clothes. It is still hot when school starts around here, so my kids don’t want new sweaters.

  304. gina snow says: