The Kissing Hand, and Other Fun Back to School Ideas

By: Kris Berry

This week my boys started Preschool.  I spent the better part of my life going “back to school,” but this is the first time I’m experiencing it as a parent.  I can tell you, the butterflies don’t go away.  I tried, I really did, not to get too emotional about my boys starting preschool.  My husband keeps reminding me that they are only gone for 3 hours two days a week, plus by the time I drop them off and drive away it’s not even 3 hours.  But it’s still hard to let them go.

Instead of dwelling on my sadness that my little boys are growing up, I decided to come up with some back to school traditions to make it fun and special for them.  I want this to be a fun time for them (and I don’t want to cue them into my sadness!).

One of my boys is a bit nervous about going to school.  I found the book The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn to be really helpful in easing the transition.  It is a very sweet book about a little raccoon who is nervous about leaving his mom and going to school.  His mom kisses the inside of his hand and tells him that she’s never far away.  The book even comes with stickers to put on your child’s palm so they can remember you are thinking of them.

My favorite magazine, Family Fun, has a ton of back to school craft ideas on their website.  I am going to attempt to make these lunch containers for them.  While I really can’t draw, I’m thinking I’ll try something with the first letter of their names since that will be a focus for them in school this year.

Another really great idea is to create a yearbook for your child for each year of school.  I consider myself one of the world’s worst mommies, because I never did baby books for any of my kids.  I started them, but I think only wrote in them once.  So, if I am able to make these yearbooks with them I will redeem myself!  I thought it was really great that you focus on one activity per month and the child helps design their own book.  It would be a really special keepsake and I think children will enjoy looking back at their books from over the years.

One last craft idea I found focused on the “firsts” of that first day of school.  Children are able to document the actual date of their first day of school, what they ate for lunch on that day, their teacher’s name, or any other “firsts” you feel are important.  I will probably tuck this idea away for Kindergarten, but I thought it was a great one!

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