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Back to School Dinner~Be a Builder

I loved the idea I saw a while ago on NieNie Dialogues to have a family back to school dinner with a theme. This year, I decided to get myself together and do just that. Most of the ideas are grabbed from resources on the web–not my own, but I just wanted to share our end result, and our family theme.  (Many can be found on my back to school pinterest board). Even if you started school a few weeks ago, the first month of school is still a great time to hold a dinner. It’s never too late!

(I made no bake oreo truffles from Chef in Training, and dipped them in Red Wilton melting chocolates. For the first time ever, I added vegetable oil to the chocolate, and they came out smooth! Thanks to Our Best Bites for that tip.)

I thought about a few different themes, and I wanted it to be something that we could focus on all of the school year. Not just for school, but in our home, and individually work on. I liked the idea of Being a Builder that I saw here. My husband did a little visual with lego’s that we want to build on a strong foundation. We touched on one of my favorite scriptures: Helaman 5:12 that emphasizes just that.  He built two buildings: one solid and strong, the other not so stable. My daughter noted that the “other” looked cooler, which gave a great opportunity to say that, yes, sometimes there will be things that look cool, but won’t help build a solid foundation. We talked about being a builder/leader in the classroom.  Looking for opportunities for service, showing kindness to others, and helping the teacher. Build themselves by strengthening their spiritual strength daily and keeping their minds sharp. At home, we can be builders by having peace and kindness with our words and actions towards our family members.

Before the actual dinner/lesson, I told the kids when we got home from church that I had a fun surprise for them, but that they would have to wait upstairs for an hour or so.  Well, that turned into 2 hours, and just that small build up of suspense was almost like Christmas morning! They kept asking if it was ready yet, daughter squeeled with delight, and that element alone made it rather fun.


The You’re So Sharp printable is from my friends at Eighteen25 last year (I just changed the colors for my theme).  I made the kids most favorite meal, homemade macaronni and cheese. I’ll share that recipe soon. I found the giant crazy crayons at Target. I didn’t do TOO much to prepare for the decoration, just a bunch of scrapbook paper as placemats, extra crayons and pencils, and the fun apple treats. It was well worth the effort to see their excitement, even if they grumbled a little bit to hear there was a lesson built into it.  We did that lesson while they ate. Did you do something fun for back to school that you’d like to share? I always need new ideas!

Also, if you’d like, I made a ton of school lunch jokes last year, I printed them again for this year.

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  1. How fun! My kids’ school had a “kids at work” and construction theme last year, so I like this idea too!

  2. Cute!


    Great Idea- i saw this on the tom kat studio for potential other ideas —but for school do “Bee Yourself”.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Oooo, I like that as a theme, thanks for the link! It’s fun to think of how to spin it for back to school.

  4. So cute!! I really like the theme. And I love the red apples on a stick! What did you use for the green part?

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Thanks, Heather! Good question, I completely forgot to cover that in the post…the green “leaf” on th apple is actually an oversized Christmas tree sprinkle. I was going to use a green starburst, and when I realized I forgot it, I looked in my pantry and found the sprinkles!

  5. Such a cute idea, Kristen!

  6. How fun! My kids start school next week so I should do this!
    Tonia @TheGunnySack recently posted..Leather iPad Case TutorialMy Profile

  7. You are amazing Kristen! What I love is the idea that you (I) can still do this even though my kids have gone back to school… I can’t get anything like this accomlished during summer! :)

  8. What a fun dinner! I bet they loved it!
    Jess from Cox’s Corner recently posted..Witches Hat Bow Guest PostMy Profile

  9. This is great idea! You can tell the kids loved it!
    Kristy Life-n-Reflection recently posted..The Inspired NotebookMy Profile

  10. What a cute table! I searching for ideas for our back to school dinner party for next year. I like the idea of a theme/concept for the school year.
    Here’s what we did:


  1. [...] but meaningful! Thanks, Kierste for having me a part of this fun series! If you'd like to see the Back to School Dinner and theme we did for our kids this year, click on the [...]

  2. [...] 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 [...]