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18 Creative Back-to-School Celebration Ideas

 

Can you believe summer is winding to a close?

I know some kids are going back to school this week, and others have another good three weeks at home, but we’re now officially switching gears from sprinklers to school supplies.

Whether you want to throw a party to get the kids psyched about the upcoming year, or maybe just plan a special Back-to-School family breakfast, here are 18 creative ideas to celebrate — and maybe even start a new family tradition:

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  • Make it an intimate affair 1 of 18
    Make it an intimate affair
    You don't have to invite the entire neighborhood — just a few of you kid's closest friends.

    See the full party (including an incredible dessert spread) at Just Call Me Martha
  • Make it a dinner-time tradition 2 of 18
    Make it a dinner-time tradition
    Or don't invite any friends at all. This family made a special dinner to celebrate, for which they made a loose-leaf tablecloth, "school supply" centerpiece," and a paper airplane mobile hanging from the dining room's chandelier.

    See the full party at Modern Renaissance
  • Make it a breakfast tradition 3 of 18
    Make it a breakfast tradition
    Start each First Day with an extra special breakfast "party."

    See the full party at Giggles Galore
  • Make it a birthday party 4 of 18
    Make it a birthday party
    If your child has an end-of-summer birthday, a back-to-school birthday theme has so many possibilities. This family made a colorful Crayola party, which is a fun twist on the back-to-school party idea.

    See the full party at Love The Day
  • First Day of Kindergarten/Preschool 5 of 18
    First Day of Kindergarten/Preschool
    While older kids might roll their eyes at a back-to-school party (What? They're not excited summer's over? Just you?), it's those early "firsts" that are worth celebrating.

    This playgroup put together a Back-to-School party for their little ones heading off to Kindergarten and Pre-K, full of primary colors, dollar-store finds, and plenty of free printables.

    See the full party at Dukes and Dutchesses
  • Make a Kindergarten Time Capsule 6 of 18
    Make a Kindergarten Time Capsule
    This mom wrote a letter to her kindergartener to be included in a Kindergarten Time Capsule that she'll build throughout the year — including the first school photo, report card, award, etc. And then she'll give it to her daughter when she graduates high school.

    See the full party at Giggles Galore
  • Go crazy with the chalkboards 7 of 18
    Go crazy with the chalkboards
    If you've ever wanted an excuse to use chalkboard paint, here's your shot.

    See the full party at Peas & Thank Yous
  • Go Crazy with the School Supplies 8 of 18
    Go Crazy with the School Supplies
    School supplies make great affordable, simple, relevant decorations — glue, rulers, crayons, paints, etc. Another inexpensive yet pretty idea: apples! Lots and lots of apples!

    See the full party at Merry B Events
  • Get crafty 9 of 18
    Get crafty
    These little apples are made from gumballs and pipe cleaners.

    See the full party at Amanda's Parties TO GO
  • Get creative (with table settings) 10 of 18
    Get creative (with table settings)
    When it comes to table settings, a "school" theme means that anything to do with books, numbers, letters, apples, crayons — the list goes on — will work perfectly.

    See more Back-to-School party ideas at One Charming Party
  • Make a School Supply Cake 11 of 18
    Make a School Supply Cake
    We all know about the diaper cake, but did you ever see a School Supply Cake? This is a cute idea for any size party — whether it's a small family get-together or a full-blown birthday party.

    See the full party at The Write-Stuff
  • …Or a Pencil Cake 12 of 18
    …Or a Pencil Cake
    This is, clearly, the superior cake option. Although not edible, this brilliant centerpiece is simply made with Styrofoam cake rounds, classic yellow pencils, and some rubber bands.

    See the Pencil Cake tutorial (+ more party details) at One Charming Party
  • Choose a library theme 13 of 18
    Choose a library theme
    This party was actually a charity event for early education, but the ideas carry over for a more simple back-to-school party — especially the small details, like the library cards that described each food item.

    See the full party at Sweets Indeed
  • Do an art project 14 of 18
    Do an art project
    Get each kid a little canvas, a bunch of crayons, and a hair dryer. It's that easy.

    See more from Whatever…
  • Make a pop quiz 15 of 18
    Make a pop quiz
    This mom had a Back-to-School breakfast for her daughters and a bunch of their friends, and it included this fun Pop Quiz to get kids back into the test-taking groove.

    See the full party at Marci Coombs
  • Choose classic lunch foods 16 of 18
    Choose classic lunch foods
    Preferably in a brown paper lunch sack.

    See the full party at One Charming Party
  • But be creative with dessert 17 of 18
    But be creative with dessert
    Like these adorable Chalkboard Cookies.

    See the cookie recipe at The Sugar Turntable
  • And don’t forget to use party printables 18 of 18
    And don't forget to use party printables
    Free or not, printable decorations and party elements make party planning that much easier. And nobody does party printables like Anders Ruff.

    See all Back-to-School printables at Anders Ruff

 

Read more of Michelle’s writing at Early Mama.

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