Throwing This Back to School Party Will Make You The Talk of The Town

Karen Patten

After I got all the back to school ideas, hacks, and essentials under my belt, I knew I wanted to throw the kids a party they would never forget! I started doing this several years ago and it was so much fun we decided that the back to school party was a favorite new family tradition.

The weekend before school starts, we host our back to school party. It’s not a big or fancy affair, but it is a genuine gathering of our neighbors and a few of our favorite friends that we don’t get to see often enough. Right now, all the children range from preschool to fourth grade.

After you’ve slogged through all the back to school ideas, hacks, and essentials, it’s time to throw the kids a party they will never forget! Go shopping, grab some quick snacks, and invite all their friends over to celebrate going back to school in style. And don’t forget the pictures!!! #backtoschool #party

 

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I’ve been thinking about family traditions a lot lately. Just knowing that our traditions are creating warm memories of a fun and loving family for our boys makes me feel like I’m getting something right as a mother. So here are some of our more successful back to school party ideas.

First rule: no tech.

I set up lots of fun things for the kids to play with outdoors:

Food is super simple – we make an insane amount of hotdogs and hamburgers for the children – who usually eat at least twice because they are so busy. And then for the adults, we grill chicken or pork chops and ask that everyone bring a side dish. Adults can bring whatever they like to drink – but we always try to provide at least one adult beverage that’s special or particularly fun. This year I found one that fit the bill perfectly: Sangria. I giggled when I called it “So Long Summer” Sangria!

After you’ve slogged through all the back to school ideas, hacks, and essentials, it’s time to throw the kids a party they will never forget! Go shopping, grab some quick snacks, and invite all their friends over to celebrate going back to school in style. And don’t forget the pictures!!! #backtoschool #party

We finish off the back to school party with sparklers, glow sticks, watermelon and homemade popsicles (this book even has a chapter for “boozy popsicles“) in fun molds for children and adults alike. We also always make sure to snap photos of the children grouped by upcoming grade.

I’ve started only throwing parties that don’t stress me out. As a natural introvert, throwing parties can be tough – but I follow my rules for how to be the hostess with the mostest, even as an introvert. I don’t do too much of the hostess thing for our back to school party and I encourage our friends to easily mingle and help themselves to whatever they need.

With close friends, I find that we all feel more relaxed if we just settle in and enjoy each other’s company. It’s an easy transition to say goodbye to summer and hello to a new school year. If you don’t do anything else before your children go back to school, do this. Even if school has already started for you, celebrate the first weeks of school with neighbors and good friends. Each new school year is such a milestone – and our children will cherish the memories of their accomplishments being celebrated.

On the first day of school, we get the usual pictures of each boy holding a sign showing which year of school he is starting. But I also love taking photos of new shoes at the beginning of the year and then the same shoes at the end of the year. It”s a fun way to document the changes over the year. It’s also an annual ritual to get each boy a new backpack each year.

Back to school shoes every year. www.themidlifemamas.com

New Shoes each year for back to school – I’m not sure why, but little boy feet seem to grow each year right before school starts. Coincidence?

Another thing I do – both at birthdays and the beginning of school is an “interview.” Each boys gets asked the same questions each year – favorite tv show? best friend? favorite color? favorite toy? favorite thing to do with mommy? favorite thing mommy does for you? – you get the gist. It’s already been so much fun to look back over the last couple of years of interview answers. Right now, they are just on scraps of paper; I need to pull them together to hold onto.

My older son’s school always starts with a half day. So when I pick him up, he chooses where he wants to go for lunch to celebrate. It’s usually a family owned hotdog diner where he loves the corndogs and always gets a milkshake as a special treat. My younger son’s school is always a half day so we do the same for him when his school starts. He usually chooses pizza (although he likes our homemade pizzas better)!

Finally, at pickup, the car is filled with chatter about all the great things that happened at school and which friends they were happy to reunite with. Dinner the night of their first day is their choice. We all come together to listen to stories and ask lots of questions. I always ask each boy one thing that they want to accomplish during the school year and they set their personal goals. My boys are still young, but we’re lucky – they really enjoy school. Once they are settled, they seem quite content to be back into the more rigid school year routine.

Each new school year brings with it more maturity and independence for each of my boys. It tugs at my heartstrings just a little bit. But I continue to be impressed with who I see them growing up to be. And I’m thankful that their school and our family traditions play a role in teaching them to grow into good men.

12 Comments

  1. Michelle @ Sunshine and Hurricanes.com on August 31, 2015 at 11:53 am

    These are such fun and memorable ideas to do with your family! I love them all! I just started taking pics of my kiddo’s shoes this year!



  2. Janae on August 31, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    What a sweet way to make amazing memories !



    • Karen Patten on September 1, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      We’ve really enjoyed this each year! And I love that “ya’ll” is in your blog name!



  3. lauren on August 31, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    LOVE the idea of back to school shoes!!! I am kind of awful at traditions, but some of these I could TOTALLY do! So fun! 😀



    • Karen Patten on September 1, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      I’m still learning about creating traditions! I’m learning that sometimes simple, but consistent, is terrific! I don’t have to go all out and make it crazy complicated. Kids can have fun just being together!



  4. Leigh Powell Hines on September 1, 2015 at 7:17 am

    I love these ideas. So fun. This would be also good for when they are school, too and have new classmates, and you can invite parents over. Great sangria recipe, too.



    • Karen Patten on September 1, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      I love that idea! When the boys were in preschool, I did host several playdates for the little ones to get together before school started. But doing this as they are a little older is a great idea, too!



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Welcome!

Hi, I’m Karen, the Atlanta mama, writer, and creator at Intentional Family Life. I’m a passionate advocate for intentional living so that you can experience all that you deserve for yourself and your family. Here, I inspire moms to chose what matters most and then to only do the things that move them closer to what matters most. Read More About Karen…

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