First Day of School Memories

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children on playground on the first day of schoolHow do you memorialize the first day of school?

Any parent who has ever been on Pinterest has seen the many ways you can memorialize the first day of school. Some are simple; some are elaborate. If you choose to do one of these things, remember why you are doing it.

In our family, we went with the very simple approach. It could have been because the year Cassidy started Kindergarten I was home with four week old Amelia. At that point in life we were lucky I remembered to get a picture, which didn’t even turn out well. I forgot to change the camera settings so only a couple of the pictures turned out anyway.

First day of Kindergarten

On the first day of school I take a picture on our front steps of both girls, then of Cassidy alone from the front and back (always fun to see what backpack they are using). I figure if we ever move it will be neat to see which house we lived in when they went to school that year. It’s also neat to see Amelia getting bigger sitting next to her sister every year, especially since that first year she was just a newborn.

Before school Kindergarten

On the last day of school, I take a picture too, but I can’t guarantee it’s always on the front steps, but I try to remember that. I’m glad we went with the simple approach because all I have to remember is the camera.

Plus this last year it was pouring down rain so those great ideas with chalk on the sidewalk-they wouldn’t have worked.

First day of second grade

I think some of those other ideas are very cute, especially the one that has the child say what they want to be when they grow up. It’s neat to see how that changes over the years.

There is one Pinterest idea I did start for both of my girls. I saw it on Pinterest many years ago. You buy a hard copy of the book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. At the end of the school year you have your child’s teacher sign it. Then repeat year after year.

Oh, the Places You'll Go book

As a person who cherishes the written word, I LOVED this idea. It’s like a yearbook for your child signed by all their teachers throughout the years. For Cassidy, I started hers when she was three and was starting at a day care center. For Amelia, we just started hers at birth with her very first-day care provider.

At the end of the year or as they transiton into a new class (in Amelia’s case), I explain what I’m doing and give the book to the teacher. They usually keep it for a few days and then give it back signed. Then I put the books in their special hidden spot until the next year. My daughter’s don’t know the books exist and I intend to give them their books at their high school graduation.

There is a chance they may not appreciate them as much as I do, but I’m okay with that. This past year when I gave Cassidy’s 1st-grade teacher her book, she said she had two other parents in her classroom that were doing the same thing. I imagine there are many parents across the country doing this because the idea spread years ago. So far we have not had a teacher who minded writing in the book at all. Seriously, it only takes them a few minutes to do. As a parent, I have cherished the words that the teachers have written because their perspective of our children is so different than ours.

I know some parents that go out to dinner the night before school starts or after the first day of school. There are some that have a special breakfast on the first day of school. Amanda and her colored pancakes come to mind- she’s more ambitious than I am. Some have a special date day the day before school starts.

first day of first grade

I also know some moms have traditions of going out to eat and celebrating with other moms after they drop their kids off at school. I think I could get behind that tradition. If you’ve been home with your kids all summer, you deserve a break. You have been running kids around everywhere and entertaining the forever “I’m bored” that come from children the minute the last school bell rings.


Do you do anything special for the first day of school? Or going back to school in general? Or did you as a child? If so what?


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5 thoughts on “First Day of School Memories”

  1. Super cute! I also go simple. I have the boys get a piece of printer paper and write out (in their handwriting) the grade they’re starting. We do a single pic on the front steps and one together. At the end of the year I do a simple side by side:)

  2. I’ve always done a side by side picture in the same spot in the kitchen (since we’ve been in this house). It’s great to show how they grow. We even continued this when Ellie was in college and Isaac in school. The picture only has one body now. I guess that shows a different level of growing.
    Great post!!

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