Making Back to School Special Without All the Shopping

Kelly Caiazzo

Every year I embroider something new on my children’s backpacks before they start school. They pick the patterns and the colors, and it adds a “newness” and specialness to back to school without having to buy something new.

Back to school shopping can be a necessity when you’ve got growing kids, but often I find that my kids are still wearing their summer t-shirts and shorts when school starts. If I shop for Fall outfits in August, I’ll invest in the wrong size (or the wrong style).

Besides, my kids love wearing their favorite shirts they already own; they’re comfortable and familiar and maybe on the first day of school when everything feels new that’s not such a bad thing.

But I like the emotions behind the tradition of back to school shopping. It can make back to school feel special and send a message to our kids that they’re supported and we’re behind them.

Embroidering things on their backpacks fulfills those objectives without causing me to buy things my kids don’t need.

Here are some other ways to make back to school special that don’t require buying new things:

  • Have a special back-to-school breakfast
  • Help your kids pick out their back to school outfits from their “favorites” and make sure they’re clean
  • Sit down together and look at their back-to-school photos from previous years
  • Write a letter with them about who they are entering this grade and save it to read at the end of the year
  • Stick a funny family photo in their backpack for them to find
  • Plan a playdate for them with a friend from last year who isn’t in their class this year
  • Go shopping for special back to school snacks
  • Plan afamily lunch or dinner for after the first day of school to really sit down and hear about their day
  • Let them come up with ideas for their back to school photo

All these things get to the same objective; making your child feel special, and cared for in a way that lessens their apprehensions about the first day of school. Which is good, because I’m not sure this embroidery thing will work when my kids get to high school.

About Author

Kelly Caiazzo
Kelly Caiazzo

Kelly is a plant-based runner living in Wellesley, MA.

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