Fun Ideas for Back-to-School Celebrations

5 min to read
Young boys and girls playing in confetti and having a celebration

After a fun-filled summer, the idea of going back to school may not generate many smiles around your house. But, with fun back-to-school celebration ideas, you can turn those frowns upside down. 

If you’re not sure what to do for a fun back-to-school celebration, we have you covered. You’re bound to find some crowd-pleasers for kids of all grade levels as everyone heads back to school.

When you’re looking at ideas for celebrating the first of school, you want to keep your audience in mind. The things that a first grader would be interested in are not necessarily going to be winners for your seventh grader. That’s why we’ve selected several back-to-school party ideas and celebrations by age group so that you can find the perfect fit for your students. 

Back-to-School Celebration Ideas: Kindergarten – 2nd Grade

Host a Back-to-school scavenger hunt

Hide inexpensive school supplies such as fancy pencils, individual markers, cute erasers, crayons, treats, and fun dollar-store items throughout your home or yard for a fun back-to-school scavenger hunt. (Team up with a neighbor for more territory and greater challenge!)  

Give each kid a brown bag for collecting their school supply loot. If the hunters get stumped, be prepared with some clues. To extend the fun, try playing nature scavenger hunt bingo, too! Finish up your back-to-school celebration with a snack and some silly prizes for all! 

Create a back-to-school photo booth

Raid your kids’ dress-ups and old Halloween costumes and have a back-to-school “photo booth.” Add some funny hats, wild accessories, oversized sunglasses, and other easy-to-wear items. Hang colorful fabric or sheets as a backdrop or use your at-home classroom as the setting. Make some photo booth signs for kids to hold up: perhaps a “teacher’s pet” label for your dog, or maybe your kids want to hold up a “Straight A Students” banner. Grade-level signs are also popular. Use a smartphone or digital camera to take pictures, and you will be ready to share them in a digital yearbook at the end of the school year! 

Back-to-School Celebration Ideas: 3rd – 5th Grade

Find items for a summertime capsule

Get the neighborhood kids together to create a summer time capsule to keep all of your memories together. It’s a perfect way to wrap up all your activities over the summer and look ahead to the new school year. Include photos, drawings, and anything else that would help your student to remember their summer. Put it in a safe location and be sure to leave yourself information as to where you hid it, so you’ll be able to find it down the road. 

Hold a mini-golf championship

Let the kids putter around in a mini-golf championship. This can be part of a back-to-school party you throw in honor of a bright new school year, or it can be a stand-alone event. Be sure to have a prize for the big winner! 

Throw your own talent show

When you’re looking for back-to-school party ideas, a talent show is a fantastic addition. Whether people are dancing, singing, or showing off another talent, it’s a great idea for everyone to have some fun as they prepare to get back to school. 

Organize a back-to-school ice cream social

An ice cream social is at the top of the list when you’re looking for back-to-school celebration ideas. Include a sundae bar with all the toppings and be sure to have plenty of tasty flavors for everyone to enjoy. You can even have a little contest to see who can come up with the most unique ice cream dishes.

Create colorful back-to-school T-shirts

What kid wouldn’t enjoy making cool new back-to-school T-shirts? You don’t have to be a Picasso to make this work. There are many inexpensive, easy options. Tye dye, iron transfers, or using stencils and easy-to-use washable textile paint requires some planning and adult supervision, but the results can be awesome! 

A family of online school students throw a back-to-school party.

Back-to-School Celebration Ideas: 6th – 8th Grade

Try out tasty new school lunch menus

Get the children involved in finding some new recipes for healthy lunches at home. (Did you know that adding seedless grapes and sliced almonds makes an ordinary chicken salad special?) You might enjoy making homemade chips, cookies, or other snacks to include.

You can also make healthy school lunches fun and delicious by creating your own roll-up sandwiches using flavored tortillas, plus your favorite cheeses or meats. Add a salad dressing or spread and something crunchy, like nuts, pickles, or chopped apples. Be sure to give your new creation a memorable name!

Celebrate “School Year’s Eve”

There’s New Year’s Eve, so why not School Year’s Eve? This can become one of your back-to-school traditions. Get noisemakers, treats, and have a dance party to send off the summer and ring in the first day of school. Of course, no staying up too late! So be sure to have the party early enough in the day.

Back-to-School Celebration Ideas: 9th – 12th Grade

Host a back-to-school bonfire

When it comes to planning back-to-school celebrations, this age group can be the most difficult. But a back-to-school bonfire can be one way to get your student and their friends and family together for one last summer party. Invite family and friends to just come and hang out. Leave them space to relax and share their favorite memories from summer as well as what they are looking forward to most in their next semester. 

Throw a back-to-school block party

A block party can become a back-to-school party with the right music and food. Ask guests to bring a dish as everyone takes a break and gets together. Block parties are typically good for this age group because they are laid-back events that don’t involve much. You can throw in a game of cornhole or other games and contests since that’s usually a winner for the high school crowd.  

If you have multiple children, mix and match these ideas to create new back-to-school traditions for the entire family. By making this time of year more of a celebration, you can reduce those back-to-school blues and get your student excited for the new school year ahead! 

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