One of my favorite times of year is the last couple of weeks in August, the ones that signify it’s the end of summer and back to school. Even though it’s been a couple of years since I’ve gotten to act on my love for this “season,” I can’t help but still revel in some of the traditions that come along with it, particularly school supply shopping.
Obviously when I was in school, less things were digital, and I experienced pure joy in picking out color-coordinated pens, notebooks, highlighters and more. I’m smiling at the memory. I’m a firm believer in penmanship and pen-to-paper creativity, even if that’s not the norm these days. Still, I think that this could lead to a great socializing transition back into the classroom for your kids!
After a summer of camps, activities, probably less structure and less socializing (let’s face it: school is one big lesson in human interaction), why not give the kids a chance to come together in a controlled, yet still laid-back environment? The focus would be that school is restarting, and what better way than to talk about that than to creatively plan for it?
Many school districts offer school supply lists ahead of the first day of school. If yours doesn’t, no big deal! Think about the basics: even with computers, your child is still going to need notebooks, pens, and all that fun stuff. Take them with you to either the drug or craft store to pick out some additional, more creative accessories, and then have their classmates/friends over with their supplies.
Together, the kids can decorate their notebooks with fun pens and markers (remember Milky Pens?!), glitter, pieces of fabric or whatever else they may be interested in. I remember one year, I collaged a Composition notebook with my favorite cutouts from magazines, and then covered it in packaging tape so it wouldn’t tear. That was fun.
At first, you can lead the kids in the conversation, directing it towards what they’re most excited for when school begins, who they can’t wait to see, teachers they hope they have…and after a question or two and once the creative juices are flowing, they’ll be able to carry on without you.
For this school supply decorating get together, snacks are a must. I recommend finger foods that aren’t messy, such as carrot sticks, apple sticks and string cheese. These will also remind the kids of after-school snacks, which would be a fun way to also connect the theme.
And of course, what’s a party without a sweet? I wouldn’t go with a cake for this type of gathering, but cupcakes and cookies are never off-limits in my opinion. I may keep it simple, just baking chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies.
The most important thing about this get together is to express excitement in the upcoming school year! Lots of kids fall somewhere in between excited and nervous leading up to the first day of school, and giving them a chance to hang out with friends and prepare for the day in a fun way can be very helpful for them, you and their new teachers.
Happy school year, everyone!
Jessica Sorentino is from Yonkers, New York. She lives and works in New York City, as the prepress coordinator at the international publishing house, Simon & Schuster. In her free time, Jessica plans and hosts many social events for friends and family and likes to make each one creative and unique. She is also an avid reader, city traveler and professional dancer with DanceWorks NYC. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with minors in journalism and dance education from the University of Delaware, and a master’s degree in dance therapy/education from Lesley University. Stay up-to-date with Jessica by following her on social media and by subscribing to her city lifestyle blog,