After a fun-filled summer, it’s reasonable for many kids to feel anxious about going back to school. Sometimes these negative feelings can be overbearing.
To turn those negative feelings into something positive, it’s worth hosting a back-to-school party that your child and all of their friends can enjoy. Not only will it allow them to make fond memories, but it’ll also get them pumped about school.
Are you stumped about how to throw something exciting and special? Keep reading to learn all about 7 proven back-to-school party ideas that will have your kids anticipating the school year instead of dreading it.
How Do You Do a Back-to-School Party?
Before we get into specific ideas, it’s a good idea to create a general plan. That way, you won’t feel overwhelmed by all of the tasks that lay ahead.
The biggest thing you should decide on is the venue. With really large parties, it might be necessary to rent out a venue, such as a party room at Chuck E. Cheese or a bowling alley. However, you can end up having just as much fun in your living room if you plan things with care and pay attention to the details.
After the venue has been decided on, it’s worth figuring out how many people you’d like to invite. Even if you don’t have a specific number, a ballpark estimate can go a long way toward helping with the party preparations.
Once you have a roster, you can send out exciting invitations to get your guests pumped up about the party. Asking for RSVPs from the parents can ensure you don’t order too much food and other supplies, for instance.
1. Create School-Themed Treats
When it comes to school-themed treats, the possibilities are almost endless. Apples are a delicious icon associated with teachers, but you can take that concept and turn it on its head by baking apple cupcakes. With red and green frosting, you can mimic the color of the apple’s skin and add a green leaf on top of it.
For an even bigger surprise, it’s possible to add a sweet apple filling inside your cupcakes for an amazing taste bud experience with each bite.
If your kids are old enough to know the difference, you can put mayonnaise or another white condiment into a cleaned and repurposed glue container. You’re sure to get lots of laughs as your guests squirt mayonnaise on their hamburgers and think of the time they used to try glue early on in school. Now they can eat as much as they want without worrying about getting in trouble with the teacher.
If you want some school-themed treats that don’t take too much energy, then you should stock up on Smarties and Nerds. Don’t forget to serve the food on lunch trays for an extra dose of fun.
2. Make it a Backyard Retreat
While schools have recess or physical education classes, students spend most of their time in classrooms. Instead of spending even more time indoors, you can encourage your kids to connect with nature and enjoy lots of fresh air by having a backyard retreat. If your backyard is a bit on the crowded side or doesn’t offer enough nature to satisfy every kid’s wild side, you could even move the festivities to a park or a camping site in the woods.
Since this will be one of the last times the kids can stay up without having to worry about waking up for school on a weekday, you can set some time aside for stargazing. To make things even more exciting, it’s worth pulling up a constellation app on your phone so that the kids can try to identify as many constellations as possible. You could even make it into a friendly competition.
Don’t forget some camping gear even if it’s just a big tent that can hold everyone inside. If you turn the back-to-school event into a slumber party, then it’s worth mentioning in your invitations the importance of bringing sleeping bags. Be sure to have at least a couple of extra sleeping bags in case someone forgets or doesn’t have access to one.
Whether you’re in your backyard or at a campsite, you could heighten the festivities by roasting marshmallows. Just be sure to supervise the activity at all times so that no accidents happen. If you get long marshmallow sticks, for example, then the kids won’t have to get too close to the fire when roasting their sweet treats.
3. Custom Lunchboxes
If you need a low-energy activity for the kids as they wind down, then consider getting them plain lunch boxes that they can decorate with whatever pops into their imagination. There are so many things they can use to change the lunch box into something that reflects their unique personality, including water-resistant stickers in the shape of letters and animals, permanent markers, and much more.
Be sure to include a range of markers so they can draw directly on the lunchbox. For children who are quite young, you should provide them with sticker sheets that feature some of their favorite things, such as superheroes, rainbows, animals, cartoon characters, and so much more.
With such awesome lunchboxes, your kids will be itching to get back to school so they can show it off to everyone in the cafeteria and elsewhere. Plus, an item that they customized will make eating lunch feel like an extra-special experience.
4. Transform Your Venue With the Best Decor
Are you stumped about how you’ll decorate your party? Don’t worry because there are many options that can have your guests feel like they’re a part of something truly special.
The most obvious types of decorations are similar to those you’d find in a classroom, such as cardboard school buses, apples, pencils, and more. One way you can put a spin on the regular types of decorations is by thinking in terms of a nightclub. Few classrooms in school could ever be so cool as to have a disco ball, flashing lights, and other awesome decorations.
With that in mind, you can turn your school-themed party into a jazzy classroom. An easy way to heighten the atmosphere is by investing in one or more black lights. By switching off the normal lights and switching on the black ones, you can make all kinds of cool colors and designs pop.
You could even provide the kids with face paint so that they can draw animals and other neat designs on each other. Once the black lights are turned on, it’ll look like their creations have come to life. Be sure to include a big blackboard with lots of colored chalk. Your child and their friends can work together to create an awesome mural that will look even more wonderful under a black light.
Aside from the black light, another decoration staple involves making a centerpiece for the table. If you combine pens or markers of different colors into the right pattern, you can mimic the look of a beautiful flower or another eye-catching design.
A photo booth is a great way to enhance the decorative atmosphere while having a place to take all kinds of silly pictures together. Be generous with the number of props you give them. Some things that can cause a ton of giggles include glittery sunglasses, foam fingers, and helicopter caps. Once you print these photos and send them to your guests, they’ll have happy memories they can look back on far into the future, such as when they’re graduating from college and beyond.
5. A Carnival Mix of Games
No back-to-school party is complete without a medley of exciting games. Some games that are great for all ages include a lunch money bean bag toss, glue-stick Jenga, and a puzzle station.
Younger kids tend to have a shorter attention span, so it could be worthwhile to set up these games around the living room or backyard like a carnival. This will allow them to dash and bounce from game to game as they see fit.
Yet another game that’s perfect for all ages involves drawing on a piece of paper against someone’s back. The other person must copy the movements of the drawing on their back and draw what they feel on a piece of paper hung on the wall. The team that produces the two most similar drawings wins.
To encourage some friendly competition, you should get some trophies you can hand out to the winner. Don’t forget to fill the trophy cup with a handful of delicious candy.
6. Host a Fashion Show
One thing that is often ignored during back-to-school events is clothing. However, kids can become self-conscious about their clothes with each new school year. Depending on their age, they may feel embarrassed about wearing old clothes or wearing the same new outfits each day of the week.
You can instill a sense of self-worth and pride in your kids when you host a fashion show as part of your back-to-school shindig. While some people can have a fashion instinct, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can go a long way toward feeling confident enough to take on the school year.
Plus, the right mindset can allow your child to create a wide range of outfits by using strategic combinations of the same articles of clothing. If it’s in your budget, you can buy a bunch of new clothes and hang them on racks within a guest room or elsewhere. That can be where each fashion show contestant goes to unleash their creativity through clothes.
If your budget is a bit tight, don’t worry. You can still find a wealth of clothing at affordable places like thrift stores and the clearance racks at your favorite stores. As long as they’re washed and in good condition, used clothes can have much more charm and style than something new. That’s something you can demonstrate to your child during the fashion show.
Aside from the main types of clothes, don’t forget to include a wide variety of fun accessories, such as hats, scarves, purses, bracelets, and much more. You can have the other kids act as judges or the adults can hand out awards in various categories, such as “most whimsical,” “most casual,” “most formal,” and “most matching.”
7. Party Favors
Since getting enough school supplies is one of the biggest tasks of the new school year, you can provide your guests with things they’ll use in class. Some easy gifts include personalized pens and pencils, custom notebooks, or even a fancy nameplate they can put on their desks.
To boost everyone’s feeling of friendship and togetherness, it’d be a nice idea to hand out matching shirts that everyone can wear on the first day of school and later on through the year. There are tons of different phrases you could brainstorm to include on the shirt, such as “I Partied Hard, Now I’ll Study Hard!”
You could even use photos from the party and put them on shirts that you can prepare for your guests later on. If the friendships between guests have been going on for a while, then you can make the shirts ahead of time by using fond photos from the past.
If your budget has plenty of wiggle room, you could even stuff backpacks with as many scholastic goodies as possible. That way, they can take on the school year feeling more prepared and confident than ever.
Ready to Shine With These Proven Back-to-School Party Ideas?
Now that you’ve learned all about 7 proven back-to-school party ideas, you’ll be able to end your child’s summer vacation on one of the highest notes ever. By turning it into a tradition, your kid and their schoolmates will always have something to look forward to each and every year.
All parties need a fun set of invitations to match the theme and mood. Greetings Island specializes in eye-catching invitations for just about any occasion. You’re sure to fall in love with many of our artistic designs, so free to browse for as long as you’d like and don’t forget to send them out soon.