Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back To School Celebration 2011

(more about the wreath here)

A few years ago, while reading NieNie, I was so inspired by the annual Back to School Feast she holds for her family. I immediately knew I wanted to adopt this tradition for my family. I got to work, scheming about how our first Celebration would be. I've literally been dreaming about this moment for years. Last night, we prepared our oldest daughter to begin kindergarten with our first annual "Back to School Celebration." I am so pleased with how our evening turned out. Stephanie Nielson is a beautiful, inspiring person.

The Celebration doesn't have to be anything over-the-top. I made a few decorations, and added a few traditions of my own, in order to complete the evening. Here's our list of events:

Back to School Celebration
Royal Feast
Unveiling of the Family Theme
Father's Blessings
Roll Out the Red Carpet: Fashion Show
Special Story Time
Magic School Bus Surprise

In more detail....

We started by welcoming everyone to the dinner table. We recognized our oldest daughter, by placing a crown on her head. The crown is just a burger king crown that I spray painted pink, and let her decorate. She had a great time!

We then had a Royal Feast of Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs with French Bread. A new tradition was started was going around the table asking each person what their High and Low for the day was. We figured if we start the tradition early, then by the time they're teenagers, we hope they'll be used to it and not afraid to tell us about their day!

I had a fun time making the centerpiece, nametags, and placemats for our feast.

For dessert, we feasted upon these apple rice krispie treats.

Then it was time for the unveiling of our Family Theme for the year, Kindness Begins With Me. We choose a theme each year, based upon what we think our family needs to focus on, or would benefit from. We display the theme and talk about it.

{Still working on a picture for this one}

Next we had a special moment where special blessings of encouragement and love are given to each child from their daddy.

Time to roll out the red carpet and model a few new school outfits, compliments of the grandparents! The "red carpet" is 2 yards of red felt that I bought at Walmart for about $5.

Last, we had a special story time, reading the books, "Kindergarten, Here I Come," and "The Kissing Hand."

That wrapped up the evening... it was off to bed.

Next year, I'd like to adopt this tradition from Mique at 30 Handmade Days. I plan to have the Magic School Bus come visit overnight, leaving a special treat for the kids in the morning. I didn't do it this year, for lack of time and planning. 
Then of course, there's a special breakfast, pictures of your new student, and a gift for the teacher!

We picked a hydrangea from our yard to give to her teacher.

 Class of 2024. I can't believe the sound of that! (I was the class of 2000)! I am so happy and excited for my sweet little girl to start a new journey in her life. I was surprised that neither of us were sad or cried. Last year, when all her friends started school, I was all choked up from just the thought of her going to school the next year. Since we chose not to put her in pre-school, (mainly to save money, but also because I LOVE having her home with me), today she was ready. Ready for a new challenge, a new chapter. She (and I) embraced it. It was a special day... (especially for my 3 year old who loved having one on one time with me). I think we'll get used to this new routine real fast!

Our Back to School Celebration is a work in progress, but for our first one, we had a marvelous time!

What else? Is there anything I'm missing? What are some of your favorite traditions or favorite back to school breakfasts? 

linked here 
Entered in this contest! 


  1. So cute! Great job, Rach! I am trying to plan ours as well... boys aren't as into it I am finding! I am so impressed you didn't cry, I am going to be a blubbering mess.... for weeks! Can you believe they are going to kindergarten??? When did we get so old?

  2. What cute ideas! I really like the idea of having a theme for the year. We have banana splits the night before the kids go back to school, right after father's blessings.

  3. I love that everything went well for you and Reese that first day! What a sweet little girl!
    I love the back to school feast--I just happened to read that on neine yesterday and thought it was so great! Something that I would love to start with my family. I love what you did--you really are amazing--how lucky for your adorable kids(who I miss) to have you as their mom (someone else who I miss). Love ya!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing and for linking up to Show and Share #2. I hope you are having fun at the party :)

    A mommy's life...with a touch of YELLOW

  5. I adore all of this! What a great way to make your little girl feel SO special! You are a great mom!

    Ps--we LOVE The Kissing Hand book!

  6. I can’t wait to start this type of tradition when my little one gets older! The red carpet is particularly fun!

  7. Such a sweet idea to have a back to school celebration! I especially love your apple rice krispie treats!

  8. I have been SOOO sad that my oldest daughters are starting kindergarten in a week. And after seeing this fun celebration - I'm inspired and encouraged that I can make this fun... for me! They're stoked, but I'm still working on getting excited for the change. A party will help!!

  9. I love how you embraced back to school and made it a joyous celebration! :)

    I was a mess over the whole thing for weeks and so was my daughter (she did great the day of though) and something like this might have put it all in a much more positive light! I will be trying this next year - it's a big year with my youngest going to K and me going back to work so a celebration will definitely be in order!

    Thanks for sharing on the Sunday Showcase - sharing this on FB & Twitter as well


  10. Awww what a great post! I love the new and awesome twist on rice krispie treats! Also, I used to be a teacher and I have to say the Kissing Hand is a GREAT book for Back to School time!!

    Please feel free to link up to my new Make Yourself Blog Hop!

    For Love of Cupcakes

  11. this is an awesome post! So much good stuff! Thanks for sharing!

    I would love it if you would share this and/or any other projects you have been up to at Tuesday Talent Show at Chef In Training Tomorrow! Plus there is going to be a fun giveaway too! Thanks so much and I hope to see you there!

  12. Must have been fun. You did the preparations well.

    We have a link-up party going on - Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner. I would really appreciate if you'd link up some of your awesome posts there. Hope to see you at the party.

  13. I love that idea! I am trying to do theme dinners more often over here and I just LOVE the idea!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Cristi from

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Thanks for your comment. Have a great day!
♥Rach H