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Hosting a back-to-school party for your child’s classmates is a great way to say goodbye to summer while welcoming the coming school year. Be sure to inquire among the other parents about new arrivals to the neighborhood so no one is left out. Decorate with numbers and letters cut from construction paper or poster board, some brightly colored streamers and balloons and settle in for one last blast of summer fun!
Make a Craft
Give children apples cut from construction paper and ask them to draw a picture or write a note or poem for their new teacher. Designate a parent to put all of the apples into a manila envelope and deliver them on the first day of school. Provide art supplies like stickers and pictures cut from magazines or foam shapes in summer themes along with glitter, crayons and a glue stick and let children build a “summer memories” collage. Have a marker on hand for signing and dating the masterpieces.
Break out last year’s schoolbooks and copy vocabulary words, math problems or chapter questions onto flashcards. Help refresh their memories by having a Spelling Bee, Math Marathon or Trivia Tournament. Make losing sweeter by giving the children a pencil or eraser for their goodie bags as they drop out. The winner gets a school-themed prize like a fun character notebook or lunch box.
Get Some Exercise
Head outdoors for a few fun summer games like a water balloon toss or sack race. Have a bubble blowing contest or try to keep beach balls aloft. Assign teams to encourage children to make new friends. Reward every player with a small box of crayons or a sheet of stickers. Fill a pinata with school supplies and let the children swing away.
Have a Healthy Snack
Build a “Food Pyramid Salad Bar.” Place veggies like shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes and diced carrot and cucumber into large bowls at the bottom of the pyramid. Move up to smaller bowls filled with proteins like chopped egg, sliced turkey, diced chicken or tuna salad. Place small bowls containing toppings like olives, shredded cheese and reduced calorie Ranch dressing at the top. Give the children a whole-wheat tortilla or wrap and let them build their own snack. Serve with apples and raisins in yogurt or a bowl of fresh fruit. Instead of baking a cake, make cupcakes and pipe each child’s initials on the top with icing. Everyone gets a cupcake – when they find it! Keep a few blank cupcakes and some extra icing on hand in case of unexpected arrivals.
Book Exchange Get into the back-to-school spirit by asking guests to bring an inexpensive storybookwrapped in construction or notebook paper and printed with their names. You may want to suggest a line such as “I Can Read It Myself” or “Little Golden Books” to guarantee equal gifting. When they leave at the end of the day, give each child a book to take with them. See you in school!