By Pam Molnar
The years seem to pick up speed as your child gets older. One minute they are getting on the bus for Kindergarten and in the blink of an eye, they are walking across the stage at their high school graduation. Don’t let those years go by in a blur. Capture the first day of school with a tradition the kids will look forward to every year.
Freeze a Memory
1. Drive to your local high school a few days before school starts. Capture a picture of your child standing by the marquee or in front of the building near the front door. You can also catch picture of your child gazing up at the school while wearing his backpack. Taken every year, this makes a great collage of photos to display at their high school graduation party.
2. Every year before school starts, purchase a Time magazine and a People magazine. Have him pose with the covers to show what was in the news that year.
3. Buy a t-shirt from the high school spirit store in an adult size. Take a picture of the child wearing the shirt with her backpack on the ground next to her. It is a great way to show how she and her choice of backpacks change over the years.
4. Pose your student standing next to mom or dad in front of the house. Bring enough books for your child to stand on until he is as tall as his parent. As the years go by and your child grows, the child will need less and less books to stand on. In his high school pictures, mom might be the one standing on the books.
5. Don’t forget to get a picture of mom and dad on the first day of school. Capture mom’s tears as the bus drives away and don’t miss mom and dad high fiving as the last child leaves the house.
Watch them grow
1. On the first day of school, measure your child from head to toe with a piece of string cut to his height. Put the string in an envelope and mark it with the date. At the end of the year, measure him again and see how much he grew this year.
2. Plant a tree in celebration of your child starting kindergarten. Every year, take a picture of your child in front of the tree and watch them both grow.
3. Make a back to school flag out of white cloth to hang in front of the house. Every year, add your children’s hand prints using different color paints. Include the date and their age to create a treasure that you look forward to showing off every year.
4. Make concrete stepping stones with your child’s footprint and the date. Let your child decorate and add the stones to your yard to create a wonderful memory garden.
1. Have a back to school bash. This is a great way to reconnect with all the kids you did not get to see over the summer. Rent a large slip and slide or a bounce castle, cook up some hot dogs and pass out the popsicles. Enjoy one last hoorah before school starts.
2. Your teens and tweens will be happy with an evening bonfire to mourn the end of summer. Bring out the speakers and let them plug in their own music. Provide a fire, plenty of snacks and enough seating for everyone.
3. Don’t forget a party for the moms. A first day of school potluck breakfast is a great opportunity for the moms to celebrate the return to routine.
Make a Time Capsule
It’s never too late to make a time capsule. Decorate a box with a lid and store it away with the other special items in the basement or attic. Here are a few things you can add to the capsule each year.
1. A picture of your child
2. A sample of their handwriting with the date
3. A family letter written by mom or the child
4. A questionnaire about their favorites – food, friends, activities, etc.
5. A trending item like a squishy squad or PopSocket
6. A weekly news or entertainment magazine
7. A letter from their new teacher welcoming them to school
8. A favorite book that you read over the summer
9. A penny from the current year
10. A small favorite item
Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. This is her 15th new school year as a parent.