How to Make the First Day of School Special During These Crazy Times

This is an odd start, but we can make it special.

By: Amanda Mushro

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Four year old girl with plaits and blue check dress holds a handwritten chalkboard sign that says, "First Day of School".


Four year old girl with plaits and blue check dress holds a handwritten chalkboard sign that says, "First Day of School".

Photo by: Denise Balyoz Photography

Denise Balyoz Photography

The first day of school is a rite of passage for kids and parents. However, this school year looks different for everyone. From remote learning or having to wear a mask, to all of the uncertainty, we may feel less enthusiastic about the start of the semester. Still, this is a new year and it’s an exciting time for our kids. So, let’s break out the first day of school outfit–even if it’s pajamas–because we are looking for all the ways to make this year a great one.

Make a Vision Board for the Year


Photo by: Justin Lewis

Justin Lewis

Let’s focus on the positive and help our kids make goals for this school year. Vision boards are a great exercise for kids of all ages, and it’s one that mom and dad can enjoy as well. Start with a poster board and glue and fill it with pictures, drawings and notes that represent the goals and actions that you want to achieve this school year. This can include books you and your kids want to read, subjects they want to improve in, friends they want to hang out with and even clubs or sports they want to try–even if it’s online. Let their vision board be exactly what they want it to be. Finish by hanging the vision boards and check on progress during the school year.

Plan a Special Breakfast

Happy family of three enjoying breakfast at table in domestic kitchen


Happy family of three enjoying breakfast at table in domestic kitchen

Photo by: Morsa Images

Morsa Images

Mornings can get crazy, especially school mornings but, for the first day of school, plan on making your child’s favorite breakfast. Skip the cereal and the usual grab-and-go foods and whip up something you know they will love. You can even let your kids plan the menu with you. A fun breakfast is a great way to start the day. Worried you won’t have enough time? Prep food the night before and your job will be easier in the morning.

Jazz Up Their Space


Photo by: Rebecca Nelson

Rebecca Nelson

For remote learning, give your kids a space that is all their own. Start with a desk or table. Repurpose one from your home, grab a desk second hand or shop the back to school sales for a new one. Get inspiration from their teachers when it comes to supplies and decorating. Bright colors, flexible seating and a place to store their supplies is needed. Let your kids help you create the space to help build excitement.

An Apple for the Teacher

If your kids are feeling crafty, help them make a small gift for their teacher. It can be as simple as a snack or school supplies presented in a fun way. Here’s a few ideas for inspiration. If you won’t be meeting your child’s teacher face to face on the first day, send a fun card that your kids make online.

Sweet Treat

Young boys with cake frosting on faces at party


Young boys with cake frosting on faces at party

Photo by: MoMo Productions

MoMo Productions

The first day of school deserves to end on a high note–or a sweet note. End the day with your kiddo’s favorite dessert and give them a chance to tell you all about their first day.

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