Start off the school year with a fun back-to-school celebration dinner! Spend time together, plan, and make goals for the upcoming year.
At the start of each school year, we have a back-to-school celebration dinner. It’s our kickoff to the year, and it’s become a really fun tradition. As parents, we like to also talk with our kids about their goals for the year, and introduce a theme that we can work on as a family and individuals. I try and do it the night before school starts, but sometimes it needs to be done a few days before, or even after the first day of school.
Back-to-school Celebration Dinner
Decorating the table is part of the fun, and this year I used my favorite red gingham plates on top of simple white plates, wicker chargers, mason jars, and polka dot straws. I have a super cute apple bunting that I found at Target a few years ago, and it was the perfect thing for the center of the table.
As place cards, I used alphabet flashcards, and put each person’s initial on their plate. Then I scattered a few others around the table as part of the decor. Super cute, and so easy!
I like to make it special, and a little different than our normal dinners. Fancier dinnerware, candles, balloons, sparking cider, place cards…all of these are ideas that you can use to set this night apart from others. It doesn’t have to be all of them! I like to utilize what I have, then get a couple things to add to it.
For dinner, I either make family favorite meal, or sometimes we’ll do takeout. Sometimes it’s fancy, other times it’s more simple. I’ve found that my kids like it either way! Dessert is an important part of the night, and an ice cream sundae bar is tradition. I make hot fudge (easiest and best recipe ever) , and all the favorite toppings, and it’s definitely a highlight.
Setting goals for the school year
We change it up from year to year, depending on what we feel our family needs most. Sometimes that means choosing a theme that we can focus on as a family and as individuals. This year we had each child decide on something that they really wanted or needed to work on. Then throughout the year we can touch base, and see where we’re at.
Going to school is a big deal–academics are important, and we’re lucky to have access to an education. Learning social skills, making friends, balancing school & activities, time management–so many life skills and challenges are also happening at school. Setting goals is one of the ways we try and help our kids succeed. Having a fun dinner to go with it just makes it even better!