By the end of summer, or even before, many kids are missing their classroom friends. Although seeing friends is a big plus for starting school, some kids may be feeling a little apprehensive about school in general. Others may wonder if the friends they haven’t seen in a while will still like them or have the same interests they did before.
To take away some of this anxiety, it’s a great idea to throw a back-to-school party a day or two before school starts. This way, kids can get reacquainted with old friends without the pressures that going back to school brings. A relaxed atmosphere and fun party theme will make those new introductions easier. Plus, if you know you have new kids in the neighborhood who don’t know anyone yet, make sure to invite them as well.
Now to the part of making your back-to-school party cool and amazing! To ensure a successful party for all the attendees, you will want to come up with a plan that takes into account the ages and common interests of the group. These clever back-to-school party ideas will go a long way in helping you to have a successful party.
Back-to-School Party Ideas
First, think about the types of things that your own child enjoys. Chances are that other kids of the same age will have similar interests. For example, if your child is really into dinosaurs, plan a party around that theme. The games, decorations and even the food can be based on your theme. Here are some ideas for fun themes.
1. Book Theme – For kids that love to read, you could base your decorations on popular books for the age group.
2. Backyard Games -Set up a variety of outdoor games in your backyard—you could even rent a bounce house!
3. Pajama Theme – Have a pajama party at any time of the day. Who doesn’t want to hang out in jammies all day?
4. Back-to-School Ice Cream Party – Create an ice cream bar with all the toppings.
5. Craft Party To get Ready For Back To School – Let the kids sharpen their craft skills in a fun way by cutting, drawing, coloring or painting before school even starts.
6. Superhero Theme – Most kids aspire to be a superhero at some time or another. Choose some popular superheroes to attend the party in the form of decorations or games.
7. Crazy Sock Party – Make sure kids add crazy socks to their school shopping list for this party. They will have fun showing off their unique styles to their friends.
8. Back-to-School T-Shirt Party – With the variety of unique t-shirts out there, kids will have fun picking out a special one to wear to the party. You could even tie-dye together if you wanted to go that route!
Related: Back-to-School Inspired Fun DIY Projects
Consider Co-Hosting With Other Parents
Ideally, a back-to-school party would be all inclusive with all classmates invited. However, this isn’t always feasible. Depending on the size of the class, it could be more children than you can manage. Think about inviting just the girls or just the boys to make the party smaller. You could also ask several of the parents to help you host a larger party at a park or other venue.
Back-to-School Party Venue Ideas
9. A Local Park – One with nature trails is especially nice for a fun group walk.
10. Public Pool – If you have your own pool, it’s perfect to host a pool party in your own backyard. However, there are other options that could be rented like high school pools or a local gym.
11. Beach – Like a pool, a beach is a fun location when the weather is right.
12. School Gymnasium – Hosting a back-to-school party at your child’s school gymnasium is a great idea for active play.
13. Backyard Campout – It’s best to do an overnight campout at least a couple of days before school starts since there won’t be much sleeping done! This idea is also more feasible for a small group.
Back-to-School Party Menu Ideas
A menu for kids is usually pretty easy to come up with. Things like hotdogs, chicken nuggets, pizza, potato chips and cupcakes are all good ideas. It will be important to know about food allergies though. Maybe when parents RSVP for their child, you could have them let you know about any allergies. If there are any, eliminate that food from the menu or make sure to have other options available. Here are some popular food choices.
14. Cupcakes – Cupcakes are easy to hold and fun to decorate. Decorate them with colored frosting and school-related garnishes like alphabet candies.
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15. Apples – The perfect food for school. To make it more fun, serve caramel apples or apple slices with caramel dip.
16. Chicken Nuggets – You will be surprised at all the variety of nugget shapes you can find from dinosaurs to the alphabet—there are a lot to choose from to go with your theme.
17. Cookies – Any kind of cookie would do but sugar cookies in the shape of letters or an apple would be good for a school theme.
18. Sandwich Cut Outs – Even a simple bologna and cheese sandwich will look cool when it is formed into a fun shape with a cookie cutter or crimper.
19. Rice Krispie Treats – Shape Rice Krispies into a pencil shape. Add pink frosting at one end for the eraser and a little black icing at the tip for lead.
20. Decorate a Cake – A full cake decorated like a chalkboard is a fun idea. Frost the cake in black frosting and create “chalk words” with white icing.
Related: 20+ Back To School Bake Sale Recipes
Back-to-School Party Game Ideas
21. School Supply Scavenger Hunt – Make a scavenger list of school supplies to find that are hidden around the party space.
22. Get To Know You Beach Ball – This game is fun for a beach theme party. Write questions on a ball. One person tosses it to another and each person answers a question about themselves when they have the ball.
23. Hide the Eraser – Someone hides a large eraser and the rest of the group tries to find it. For younger kids, the hider can tell them when they are hot (close) or cold (far away) from the hidden eraser.
24. Backyard Track and Field – Set up competitive games like long jump, hurdles and relay races. Give out ribbons to winners in each area.
25. Pool Volleyball – Perfect for a pool party.
26. Water Balloon Toss – Fill up balloons with water and have kids toss them to each, trying not to break any.
Related: 35 Fun Outdoor Games For Kids
Back-to-School Party Decoration Ideas
27. Lots of Balloons or Confetti – Not only are they colorful and festive for any party but they are also fun to play with.
28. Colorful Streamers – Any party can be given a festive feel just by hanging streamers about the space.
29. Chalkboard Signs – Display fun signs using mini chalkboards.
30. Themed Paper Plates and Napkins – Whatever theme you decide on, you should be able to find coordinating plates and napkins. With a generic theme, choose plates with school motifs like crayons or apples.
31. Colorful Pennants – Like streamers, colorful pennants make a fun party atmosphere.
32. School Supply Giveaways – Decorate with party favors. For instance, place pink erasers in a bowl to give out at the end of the party. Rulers in a clear glass vase make another school-themed decoration that could also be given out.
Next up? Check out the best back-to-school quotes!