Three Things : Back to School


Two more weeks of summer here.

The last couple of days here have included rain + thunder + lightning - all very exciting for a six-year-old fascinated by storms and weather (not to mention a mama who loves, loves, loves the changing of the seasons, most especially summer to fall).

Today, in honor of back to school season, I am highlighting some of favorite school-related products:

Maya Road School Daze Black Rub Ons : a fun combination of lines, letters, and numbers (especially love the rulers and alphabet).

KI Memories Composition School Days Paper : this is a classic favorite that was re-released with their new School Days collection.

7gypsies 97% Complete School Stickers : my favorite part of this sticker sheet are the strips of words (white on black) - tons of great ones specific to the school year.

[ Three Things is a weekly product series : check out the archives here. ]


Last year around this time I did a post about back to school traditions. There were tons of unique ideas and reminders about ways in which we can all celebrate the back to school season. I would love to hear about anything you are planning to do this year or special things you do for your children (or things you did that you loved as a kid).

43 thoughts

  1. Jennifer

    2008-08-19 05:38:56 -0400

    I just bought some of that KI paper, it's awesome!
    I love the transition from Summer to Fall as well. My favorite season of the year.

  2. Laura H.

    2008-08-19 05:41:33 -0400

    Years ago a friend of mine shared her idea of "before school dates." I have continued that tradition with all of my kids, and they look forward to it. Sometime over the summer, usually in August since we start school after Labor Day, I take each child on a before school date (just one child at a time). We go out to eat, to a movie or do some other activity they enjoy, and do a little shopping. We don't get a lot of school clothes right away but on their date they are allowed to get a couple of new shirts. It is really good quality time together. I also like to have a homemade batch of cookies or bars waiting for them when they come home the first day of school. I also have them write the abcs, numbers, their name, etc. on a sheet of paper each year so we can compare their handwriting. Very fun idea. Thanks for sharing these ideas on here for us!

  3. Christi O.

    2008-08-19 05:47:54 -0400

    Mmmm...LOVE fall and the coming of hoodie weather! Our *new* tradition is to celebrate the last day of summer vacation. Our kids started school last week (already!) so the day before, we went to the park, out for ice cream, baked cookies, and just had a wonderfully special day....with lots of pictures, of course! Another tradition we've had is to take our kids' pictures in front of our house on the first day of school. Then, not only do we have a way to look back on THEM as children, we can also see where we were living at that time. :)
    Is Simon looking forward to school?

  4. SpankMe

    2008-08-19 06:14:52 -0400

    Gosh, I wish I could get back to those days and have one more 'back to school' action... ;)

  5. Emilyt

    2008-08-19 06:16:58 -0400

    Oh, I just loved starting a new school year as a kid. :) Not much has changed with preparation - new supplies, clothes, shoes - the works! Only now I take pictures (Mom never did) and I take my daughters to school on their first day. It's more fun to say good luck in person and ease the jitters. I especially love all the talk around the table at dinner. Who is in their class, how was the teacher, did anything funny happen, on & on. Love it.
    Thanks for the three things. I think I have the letter paper in a red...

  6. tammy g

    2008-08-19 06:45:57 -0400

    We make a Back to School cake the day before and eat some for snack after the first day. I take my son's pic in front of the house. We also have a special dinner with more of our special cake!

  7. michellejeanne

    2008-08-19 06:56:45 -0400

    I have always loved buying new school supplies and new clothes, and my girls are the same. This year we celebrated my eldest entering Middle School by purchasing her a COOL desk for her room - she is so excited she can't wait for homework! I also splurged on a beautiful Haiku messenger bag as the pink backpack she'd had since kindergarten fell aspart the week before school ended last year. (I really need to do a LO on that!).
    We will continue the annual 1st Day chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, photos by the front door, and walking into the school, waving goodbye to me or hello to old friends. After school will be spent on a blanket in the backyard, eating cookies and talking over the day. My youngest who is not yet in school, will be treated to a special lunch out with Mommy.

  8. Jenny

    2008-08-19 07:13:28 -0400

    I am a special education teacher and I work with children in kindergarten through second grade who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. One of the traditions we have in our classroom at the beginning of the school year is making a scrapbook of our daily activities and the people and places at our school. It really helps my new students become more familiar with our school and my returning students enjoy putting it together and showing it to their families.

  9. Michelle

    2008-08-19 07:21:54 -0400

    We have already been in school for two weeks, but our favorite back to school tradition is the school supply shopping. Not as much for my own kids, but they love getting school supplies for other kids who will need them more. I watch the papers and then we all go out and stock up and drop them off at donation sites for our in need school districts.
    Clothes shopping hasn't been a big part of our back to school tradition because it will be at least December before we start wearing jeans and if I bought them now, they are sure to grow out of them. School supplies are so much fun...

  10. All Moments Remembered

    2008-08-19 07:44:56 -0400

    Notes in the lunch box for my kids. One day while helping my 16 yr old son get his room cleaned up to my standards I found a shoe box in his closet filled with all the note I wrote him since he started school. I was blown away and knew then that those notes were important!! Sometimes they just had a funny joke on them but I did something every day.
    I also get pictures of my kids in the same spot in front of their school the first and last day of school each year. Really fun to see how they grew!

  11. Jaclyn Venter

    2008-08-19 07:45:55 -0400

    BABIES!!! Congrats to you and your family as well on Jessica's pregnancy! Its magical that you are both pregnant! God is blessing you abundantly!!

  12. Mary Jo

    2008-08-19 09:41:46 -0400

    My six year old son is starting first grade this year and also has a one year old sister who gets a lot of attention! This past weekend, Evan (my son) and I stayed "went away" for the weekend to a local hotel. We went back to school shopping, swimming in the hotel pool, to a movie and more!
    We both had a great time, and it was nice to have some special time together before he goes back to school full time.
    I would love to make this a tradition :0)

  13. scrapalicious

    2008-08-19 09:57:02 -0400

    Hi Ali, first of all I wish you a 'happy' pregnancy :)
    As my husband and I are both teachers, we count years in schoolyears, so next Sunday we will actually 'celebrate' New Year!!!
    We tell each other our goals and new intentions we never seem to manage to hold onto, but hey, that's part of the tradition too, not? We buy a new (school)agenda and start with fresh lines. The house gets its Big Makeover the last two weeks: the dust of the summersun (or should I say this year: the tears of all the summerrain?)gets cleaned away, new schoolstuff's bought and lots of planning is done. I like the idea of a fresh start, it's like a second chance in that same official year we get. This year's extra special: my little sixyear old girl goes to the 'big school'!!!

  14. Leeann

    2008-08-19 09:57:08 -0400

    I take the last couple of days just before the first day of school off to spend with my daughter. While we do all kinds of special things through the Summer (year long really), I let her pick how we spend these two days....the whole day mind you (must be reasonable - grin).
    The morning of the 1st day, I always take a picture of her by the staircase and opening the front door. It is a great way, using the banister and the door handle, to see how much taller she has gotten over the years.

  15. Michelle D Oregon

    2008-08-19 10:26:36 -0400

    As part of my on-going "organization" (my word for 2008), I am finding extras of everything art related (paper, stamps, ink, paint, tools, etc.) Since so many schools are cutting out art programs, I am donating my extras to a local school and an after-school art program. It just feels like the right thing to do.

  16. cheryl

    2008-08-19 11:14:15 -0400

    I take a picture of my son on the first and last day of school and write a note to him for his lunch box. It's always fun to see how he has changed throughout the year and he loves looking at the layouts of those pics.
    Goodness Ali, what are you doing up so early????

  17. PAM

    2008-08-19 13:00:45 -0400

    Like Amber, we homeschool our sons so "back to school" is a little different. We follow a traditional school schedule, and I like the freedom of summer, too!
    My sons loved getting to see their new books. So they have new things to get excited about on the first day back, I keep some of the new books hidden so they see them for the first time on the first day. I also make a big banner, take the usual pictures, and this year I purchased new shirts for them to wear.
    Something we started when my oldest was in preschool, we go to the same bakery on the first day back, in the morning, and get a special treat.
    We do go shopping for school supplies together (it's fun for them) but I always purchase a few special supplies that I keep hidden until they come downstairs on that first day. Again, I have to make it extra special for them since their classrooms and teachers don't change! :-)
    I like them coming downstairs to a big banner, special books and supplies on the table, and a special breakfast. This starts the year off right and we have a great day!

  18. Lily

    2008-08-19 14:37:10 -0400

    I bought like 8 packs of those maya road them

  19. kimber quadling

    2008-08-19 16:14:59 -0400

    It's a simple tradition at our place. It's pictures on the frontsteps, drive to the bus stop(seriously, to many bears) and watch them get on.Grab a coffee and enjoy that sense of "free" time.

  20. Tina Guerrero

    2008-08-19 18:32:18 -0400

    Wow...time really does fly as you see your kids head off the school. My middle daughter will be going into high school, and my youngest will be starting her last year at middle school. I can't help but think that in a blink of any eye, they will be off doing their own thing. It makes me sad thinking about it, so for the next five years, I am going to start a new tradition. Rent a house in Lincoln City, Oregon, shop at the outlets before every school year. Stay up all night and watch chic flics. Just me and my girls!!

  21. Kathleen

    2008-08-20 01:45:02 -0400

    We always do the picture with the backpack on. The kids turn sideways so we can see how HUGE they are (and they don't even have their books yet!) Then after school we enjoy Chocolate Chip cookies and talk about the day. It's a good time for them to share how it went. It's a fun tradition and gets them talking!

  22. Angela Urbano

    2008-08-20 01:49:27 -0400

    With my daughter going into grade one this year, it will be a huge adjustment eating lunch in a cafeteria. I started a tradition my friend Rozanne does for her girls...LUNCH BOX LOVE NOTES. Mini envelopes pre-cut and unfolded with a secret message inside. "Happy Monday", "be sure to help a friend today", "tell a joke to your reading buddy"...that kind of thing. It was a great way for my daughter to practice reading the days of the week. Sometimes I would slip in a mini chocolate bar. I've kept some of them and will eventually add them to her scrapbook. Hopefully she'll remember and treasure this "mom" tradition.

  23. Stacey from Two Writing Teachers

    2008-08-20 14:39:32 -0400

    I am creating name tags for my students that include inspirational quotes about education along with fancy letters for their names. They're going to be on 4x6 card stock pieces. I'm going to laminate them so they last awhile. :)

  24. Julie Johnson

    2008-08-20 16:11:53 -0400

    I use fun napkins with breakfast, take their pic by the front door...same spot each year. I'm going to use one of the cosmo cricket little chipboard albums for these special for each of my 4 kids. I put pics of our Summer on our wall photo display, notes in the lunchbox, and send them off. Right after drop off, I invite as many mommies as I can find to come over for coffee. Today I called it "Kazoo and Kleenex day." I put out some kazoos for little siblings, and kleenex for the mommies who needed it. We had a fun morning with 20 some moms catching up and eating yummy stuff. :)

  25. PaperCutting Kind of Day

    2008-08-20 16:27:16 -0400

    I so love that KI paper so to hear they are re-releasing it just makes me happy!!! It seems to just go with everything.

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