Skip to main content

10 Back to School Traditions to Start With Your Family Now

Gone are the days of back-to-school dread! Make new family memories starting this season.
Back to school traditions to start now
Updated: December 1, 2022

Going back to school doesn’t have to be a drag! Make it fun by incorporating fun memory-making ideas and traditions that you’ll want to carry on for years to come when the first day of school rolls around. 

Aside from just snapping a photo on the first day, there are a few ways that you can ensure your kids will actually look forward to going back to school for years to come with these traditions that they could one day pass on to their own children. 

More: How to Create a Learning Space for Your Child

While you may have to alter some as they age out of pre-school, elementary school, and middle school, the sentiment always remains the same and will give kids of all ages something to get excited about. 

Back to School Traditions for the Summer

Count It Down

In the days or weeks leading up until the first day back at school, make a special countdown  with your kids, writing down something different every few notches on the chain of paper rings. For instance, a week ahead confirm they have everything ready to go in their backpack, two weeks before that they have all of their school supplies, etc. This old-school interactive countdown is the perfect way to keep them in check about what’s to come in the upcoming school year.

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt in the time leading up until the big day is a fun and interactive way for your kids to get excited about hunting down glue, pencils, notebooks, and more in their own home before school actually gets started.

Special Shopping

Part of the excitement of back-to-school season comes from the new releases in stores of items geared towards the kick-off of a new academic year. Make a special day of shopping for the back-to-school season, and knock out everything from classroom supplies to new clothes.

Traditions for the Night Before the First Day of School

Special Dinner

Enjoy a special family dinner the night before your life inevitably gets more hectic by preparing and eating dinner together as a family featuring everyone’s favorite dishes. Don’t forget to end it with a special dessert!

Make A Time Capsule

Making a DIY time capsule to look back on one the last day of school rolls around several months down the road is a great way for kids to track their progress they’ve made throughout the school year.

Plan Healthy Lunches

Instead of scrambling to prep breakfast and lunch at the same time, prepare lunch together the night before and discuss what else they’d like to see in their lunch boxes throughout the week. For ideas, check out these 7 Healthy Back-to-School Lunch Ideas Your Kids Will Love.

Traditions for the Morning of the First Day of School

Hearty Breakfast

While you may not have time to whip up pancakes on every weekday morning, prepare a special breakfast for your kiddos as they head off for their big day.


Of course, no new school year is complete without a stellar first day of school photo op before heading off in the car or onto the bus. Whether you’re using balloons or a letterboard, these are the photos you’ll look back on when the last day rolls around and you snap the same photo. These are our top ideas for the ultimate back-to-school photoshoot. 

T-Shirt Tradition

Once you’ve got a few photos of your little one in their back to school best, throw this t-shirt over it their outfit with their name and expected high school graduation year. Over the years, snap a photo every first day of school and watch them grow up before your eyes.

Traditions for After School

Post-School Snacks

Get caught up on everything that went down during the first day over an assortment of special snacks that will have them excited to chat with you about their day. For tips on getting your kids talking about school and other things, check out these 50+ Questions to Ask Your Kids.

Jacqueline Weiss

About Jacqueline

Based in Los Angeles, Jacqueline is a freelance writer and social media strategist. She… Read more

Subscribe to Family Education

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.