Three Things : Back to School

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. ]


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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).

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43 thoughts

  1. Jan Connair says…
    08/19/2008

    I don't know if I posted this last year, but I generally make a celebratory/consolation dinner for the kids. Favorite foods and cake for dessert. I figure it shows that I think school is good and worthy of celebration. If they are sad about summer vacation ending, they can just choose to be cheered up by the cake, lol!

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  2. Heather says…
    08/19/2008

    First of all, what on Earth are you doing up at 5am to post products for??
    I love fall so I completely understand your excitement for this time of year! (I'm also obsessed with office supplies so *yay!* for school shopping!) I can't wait to see some of Simon's school pages :)

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  3. tami says…
    08/19/2008

    i did read the old post, but i think a special breakfast, treats and a card and photo in her lunch bag and a special dinner with dessert of her choice. this is our first year celebrating going off to school

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  4. Shaun Paddock says…
    08/19/2008

    Ali,
    Well, we started back to school today and my house is much to quiet. Our tradition starts the day before school starts. We spend the day in the pool and we take a photo of my three kids jumping into the pool together. This is only the 2nd year I have done this since we have only lived in SC for a year. Then we have encilladas for dinner, home made ice-gream, then roast marshmellows and make smores. After the kids are bathed we shoot a game of pool.
    I always write the kids a note that I put into their backpacks to find when the get to school. I also make them a bookmark that is hidden as well. The morning of the first day we take photos of each child holding up their fingers for the grade they are starting. My middie son was excited to be able to use two hands this year (6th grade) even though he was soooo nervous about starting middle school. My daughter was excited to have her school all to herself. It is the first year that she has not had at least one brother at the same school. We had fun with my oldest since this year he needed three hands (11th grade). My daughter stood behind him and held up a finger. When they get home today they will be greeted with brownies.
    Well, I have blabbered on enough. If you get bored this week you can check out photos from our traditions tonight and tomorrow.
    Congratulations on your new blessing!
    Have a groovy week!
    Love and God bless,
    Shaun

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  5. [email protected] says…
    08/19/2008

    I have the kids write their name & decorate a piece of paper on the 1st day of school, then we take a picture by the door. They do this again on the last day of school so we can see how much they've grown, how their writing/drawing style changed. Great for the scrapbook.
    Something new I'm thinking of -- having popsicles for all the kids at the bus stop the Friday after the 1st day (we start on the 2nd). A fun way to celebrate the end of the 1st week.

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  6. Amy Dow says…
    08/19/2008

    I used to be a teacher so I really make buying school supplies fun. We hit all the local stores (Target, Wal-Mart, and Staples) and take our time picking out just the right supplies. I will also take the kiddos out for breakfast this week...just the three of us...to celebrate the end of summer and beginning of school. This year my youngest is starting kindergarten so it's very exciting for them. I, however, have a huge lump in my stomach because I love the lazy days of summer and having them home with me. I am startled at how FAST they are growing up and I wish I had a remote control for them so I could pause and rewind whenever I wished! (Ali, soak up each moment with both your little ones...you will turn around and be putting both of them on the bus in a wink!) Yes, I get tired of the arguing and the messy house but the lack of schedule and being able to snuggle with them when ever we want is just too nice!!! (But I will keep this to myself and put on my happy face and be excited for them...it does mean extra time in my scrapbook room...I would love that!) As Tom Hanks said in "You've Got Mail"...I would give you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils!

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  7. Jenna says…
    08/19/2008

    Because the weather usually doesn't turn cool for a few more months, we hold off on buying fall clothes & just let the kids get a few new t-shirts & a pair of new shoes to supplement their summer wardrobe.
    On the first day of school I take pictures of the boys & their backpacks standing at the front door & then go into the classroom & take their pictures with their teachers. This year only one boy was young enough to still have that happen. After school I try to have brownies or cookies for them or take them for a Sonic slushie during happy hour.

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  8. Lisbet says…
    08/19/2008

    Hi!
    I´m Lisbet from Sweden. I just surfed into your blog and I have never been here before – I think. I really enjoy design, colour and how people make stuff. If you want me to link you, just visit my linkblog, grab the blinkie too if you want.
    at:
    http://digiscraplinks.blogspot.com/
    Grab the blinkie too if you want.
    Welcome

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  9. AnnieM says…
    08/19/2008

    With 3 older children (22, 18, 16) the biggest back to school issue is related to changing our schedules from a teenage one to a school one...ugh. I LOVE the unstructured days of summer. But reality hits, and what we do is the 3 days before school starts, I wake up the teens, and we all go out to breakfast...each day getting earlier and earlier. They get to pick the breakfast spot, and they love having the quiet time and relaxed way to wean back to the ungodly time of 7am start for high school. This year 2 of mine are headed to college and my baby and I (16 years old) will do the 3 breakfast tradition.

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  10. katrin says…
    08/19/2008

    I have three kids (14, 12 and 9) and back to school time is a huge change in their mindset. So to make our need to talk, plan and strategize throughout the school year less of a drag, we go out together every Friday night or Saturday morning. Each week we let one of them pick a place to go, whether for breakfast or dinner. When we are together, away from home and all the distractions, we talk about the week that just passed and what was good, bad and what we learned. Then on Sunday nights, we have a family dinner at home and talk about what is ahead of us the coming week!
    We forgo spouse date nights and invest in these family dinners instead!
    Katrin
    co-author, Mothers Need Time Outs Too
    www.momstimeouts.com

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  11. kris says…
    08/19/2008

    Our back to school tradition involves pictures in front of a big old oak tree in their "back to school" outfits.
    True, they're just pacifying me now by doing that (boyes: ages 16 & 11)but I just love those pics.!!
    This is the 3rd year that we've gone on vacation the week before school starts. They like that there's something to look forward to all summer & it's a signal that summer vacation is "officially" over. Our family recharges & is ready for the new year.
    Time does indeed fly & our oldest will be a Sr. next year & so these moments are so special to me/us.
    This is my all time favorite time of year along with the first snow!

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  12. sue Treiber says…
    08/19/2008

    good stuff!

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  13. Linn says…
    08/19/2008

    I love back to school time, even though my boys are too young still. Enjoy yourself!

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  14. Tanya says…
    08/19/2008

    I take a photo in front of each school sign where the different kids are going that year - one on the first day and one on the last. It shows where they go, how they've grown, and who goes there. My kids know that tradition and even remind me :) ~Tanya

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  15. Kayla says…
    08/19/2008

    The first day of school is so crazy busy I have found it difficult to get relaxed first-day portrait photos of my five kids (yes five) before they go to school. So this year the week before school starts I am going to have them all dress up with their "first day" outfits and take them to their schools and do photos with the school signs, etc. That way the first day of school I can just sit by and capture natural and candid shots, instead of asking them to pose. The hope is that it will be less stressful and more fun.

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  16. kellyv says…
    08/19/2008

    Hi Ali,
    My little guy is 4 and we thought about sending him to JK this September but he is really resistant to the idea of starting school...I don't know why. Anyway, we decided we would keep him home until SK. I would love to read about some ideas for building that excitement around school. I love school (I would still go back if I could) and this is my favourite time of the year as well.
    Thanks, Ali.
    Kelly

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  17. Amber Osburn says…
    08/19/2008

    Hey Ali,
    Well, to put a different spin on it I homeschool my daughters, so we don't need to buy backpacks or new clothes. But yesterday a huge box of curriculum arrived on our doorstep. We opened it with great excitement..NEW BOOKS! Today I will take them to get all the fun stuff, notebooks, pencils, erasers, glue, construction paper...all the good stuff! I am looking forward to starting back, getting back on a schedule and the weather changing.
    Amber Osburn
    California

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  18. Michele says…
    08/19/2008

    We like to do traditions that aren't necessarily expensive or over-the-top, but something that the kids will remember for years to come.
    So far, I only have one school-aged child and I let him pick what he wants to eat for dinner the first day of school. I also make him my special homemade chocolate cake! I have a red, German "celebrate plate" that we use for special occasions and he will eat his dinner on this plate.

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  19. Jennifer says…
    08/19/2008

    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.

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  20. Laura H. says…
    08/19/2008

    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!

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  21. Christi O. says…
    08/19/2008

    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?

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  22. SpankMe says…
    08/19/2008

    Gosh, I wish I could get back to those days and have one more 'back to school' action... ;)
    --
    http://gabilgathol.amu.edu.pl/

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  23. Emilyt says…
    08/19/2008

    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...

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  24. tammy g says…
    08/19/2008

    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!

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  25. michellejeanne says…
    08/19/2008

    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.

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