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5 Back to School Ideas

August has arrived, and that pretty much means that summer is almost over. I took these fun pictures of my schoolgirl last year as her “Back to School” shots, and she had fun playing with the props with me.

Back to School Ideas

I’m working on something fun with Target that I’ll share soon enough, but I wanted to chat about my Back to School thoughts.

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We do have 3 solid weeks left of summer, and we will play hard, but I think we are all ready for a bit more of a schedule. I fight the schedule, I tell you. I love days where we don’t have to be anywhere unless we want to. We’ve been practicing a “penny pinching” strategy over here, and my kids have been very understanding that we won’t fulfill all of the expensive outings on our summer checklist. It’s challenged us to get more creative!  At the beginning of the summer, I enforced a “no electronics rule” before 3pm, and it’s helped them wake up and read books…and play games…which has been amazing! They’ve gotten creative and figured it out for themselves instead of expecting me to entertain them at all times.

In the week before school starts, we have a Back to School dinner where we talk about the upcoming year, and discuss a theme for the year. Last year our theme was Be a Builder, and I made the dinner fun for the kids! They were encouraged and reminded the importance of building other people up with kindness.

I make their lunches several days a week, and include lunch jokes so they can have a little laugh and think of how much I love and miss them. I do miss them. I wish I could do a half day at home and half at school because I see such value in them being in school, but I love them being home, too. I feel I am raising independent kids by sending them to school….and that’s what I want when they grow up, though it stinks now.

Our school does a Welcome Walk, where the elementary teachers just show up on your doorstep, and that’s how we know who their teacher will be for the year. There is always a bunch of nervous excitement, as the kids stare out the window and speculate who their teacher may be. There are also lots of calls/texts between friends to see if our kids are in the same class as each other. We decorate the front door, and one year I made this fun pencil wreath to greet the teachers.

I’ll have kids in 7th, 5th, & 3rd, and continue to teach my  youngest pre-school on a rotation with a few other moms. Just one more year with her as my sidekick, then she’ll head off to kinder. Oh, be still my heart!

I’m going to be taking my kids school shopping soon, as well. It’s a great time to start fresh after summertime has taken it’s toll on their wardrobe. Target is my “go-to” spot for affordable and cute kids clothes for all 4 of my kids, so we will be headed there (stay posted, I’ll share our faves). My older daughter has great style, and her own opinion now, so it’s a little tricky for me to step by and just let her be, but that’s what I’ll aim to do…with occasional nudges on my behalf. I’m happy that she is embracing the NEON trend like me, so hopefully we’ll find some of that on our hunt. This picture was taken of her at then end of her first day of school last year–I’d say it was a good day.

back to school

5 Back to School Ideas:

  1. Have a back to school dinner with theme for the year
  2. Take Back to school themed pictures
  3. Create something fun (like the pencil wreath) to get excited
  4. Print lunch jokes to slip into your kids lunches
  5. Go School shopping and find something fun to wear!


Target. Expect more. Pay less.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Target via Glam Media. The opinions

expressed herein are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or

positions of Target.

Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

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Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
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  1. We just did our school supply shopping over the weekend, of course, at Target. I can’t believe it’s back-to-school time already! I’m just not ready! Clothes shopping (except for undergarments and socks that we bought at Target on Saturday) has to wait until I pull all of the hand-me-downs out to do an inventory of what to buy.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Oh, the dreaded hand-me-down inventory! With two boys and two girls, I know that drill all too well!!! I just did it for the girls, so the younger won’t need new stuff, but the older does;)

  2. I LOVE all these ideas!! We just had a tax free back to school shopping weekend here and it was kinda sad… I haven’t had to shop for back to school in several years and it’s been way longer since I was truly excited about it like your daughter!! I hope all of your kids get teachers that they all love and that inspire them. Happy back to school!!
    Emily {Pink Tiger in the Kitchen} recently posted..root beer cookie sandwichesMy Profile

    • Kristen Duke says:

      So happy to hear that the ideas are helpful! Tax free shopping weekend is coming up for us, and it’s SO crazy out there during that time!!! Trying to decide if I’ll venture out just before or put my head down and forge through for it!

  3. I loved your Back to School Dinner; how fun is that!? I’ve been a teacher for years and never heard of anything like your teacher walk; that is such an awesome idea! Is it a neighborhood school?
    Mackenzie @ Cheerios and Lattes recently posted..Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Bundt CakeMy Profile

    • Kristen Duke says:

      It’s been catching on in our area. At our other elementary school, they didn’t do it, now I hear they do. It’s how the teachers announce they will be teaching your child, it’s pretty cool. They all go out on one evening (week before school starts) and we are asked to wait home during a 2 hour time slot, They go to each house (3 or 4 neighborhoods pretty close to each other) and bring an info letter and introduce themselves to kids/parents. It’s pretty fun. We often have a little teacher gift prepared to give them, too.

  4. Such cute ideas, and love the pics!!!
    Melissa @ no. 2 pencil recently posted..Oreo Pudding Poke CakeMy Profile

  5. Great ideas!! I love that tables for back to school dinner. I’ll have to do that!
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  6. So many cute and creative ideas here, Kristin! Pinning for sure!!
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  7. Oh that back-to-school dinner is awesome, Kristen!! Such awesome ideas! :)


  1. […] 5 Back-to-School Ideas By using educational or learning themed props you can create a unique photo of your child. […]