Back-to-School Party Ideas

Start the school year off right with a party!

Its that time of year again. The days are getting a bit shorter, the humidity is falling, and the smell of brand new shoes and freshly sharpened pencils fills the air. After two months of swimming, sleeping in, and perhaps going to summer camp, its time to go back to school! One way to help kids reunite with their friends and gear up mentally for starting the new academic year is to host a back to school party.

The best time to throw a back-to-school bash is one or two weeks before school starts. This is close enough to the end of the summer but not so close as to take up the days immediately before school begins, when many families are busy shopping for supplies and taking one last long weekend away before saying goodbye to the lazy days spent together. Due to the busy schedules that many kids have, invitations should go out around mid-July, or 3-4 weeks before the party.

Depending on the ages of the children, back to school party ideas can run the gamut from simple to requiring quite a bit of thought and preparation. Younger children might like decorating cloth lunch bags or backpacks with fabric markers, or, if you dont mind the potential mess, fabric paint. They could also use self-adhesive foam pieces to personalize plastic pencil boxes. Older students would probably enjoy a scavenger hunt for hidden school supplies. With some preparation beforehand, they might even make a summer time capsule by filling a large coffee can with photos taken over the summer, a camp T-shirt, vacation souvenirs, and other memorabilia of the season. Pre-teens might like a laid-back time of togetherness with their friends where they eat pizza and enjoy school-themed movies such as Mean Girls, Ferris Buellers Day Off, or The Breakfast Club.

Party favors and prizes should be school supplies such as pencils, glue sticks, crayons, or rulers. Other supplies that are just as necessary, but perhaps more likely to be overlooked, are small assignment books, packs of tissues, hand sanitizer, or change purses for lunch money. Stickers or gel pens for decorating notebooks are also a nice touch.

Back-to-school time can evoke groans, stress, and even apprehension for some children. A well thought out end-of-the-summer party can help turn those feelings into excitement and appreciation for the new things to come. With luck, your party will be remembered through the school year. Perhaps it could even become a tradition!