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Back-to-School Traditions

Just about every family has a few back-to-school traditions that help ease the transition from the carefree days of summer to the routines of the school year. The parents who work here at Pottery Barn Kids are full of creative, fun, sweet and sentimental ways to help mark the start of a whole new school season. We asked them to share a few of their best.

  • Make lunch on the first day a special treat.

    I like to surprise them on the first day with a special lunch – something that they have to come to the school office to pick up (usually it's take-out food from one of their favorite restaurants). Usually if they are called to the office it's not a good thing, but in this case, it makes them happy. My mom used to write little notes on my napkin, saying I love you or something really cool. I do that now with my boys and they love it! Traditions like that are fun to carry on.

    Terese Truex - Associate Sourcing Manager
    Mother of Cole, 10; Leo, 7; and Carlo, 4

  • Take a family photo on the first day.

    We ride together as a family and take a picture in front of school so we can see over time how big they are growing.

    Leigh Oshirak - Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing Communications
    Mother of Jack, 6

  • Make it a tradition to have an end-of-summer party.

    What is becoming a tradition in my house, weather permitting, is the Back to School Barbecue and Swim Party! We like to get one last summer swim in before the serious learning begins, so we take one last dive in the pool.

    Drew Jaya - Associate Website Manager
    Father of Hope, age 8

  • Plan a special day of bonding activities with your kids before school starts.

    My back-to-school tradition is that late in the summer, when all the stores have their fall sales going on, I take a day off work and my girls and I go clothes shopping. Then maybe we see a movie together, too. It's special because I take the day off work and they get some new clothes to start the year off (since nothing from the previous year fits). We've been doing it since they were in kindergarten!

    Cindy V - Vice President Brand Direct Marketing
    Mother of Jamie, 13, and Kelsey, 10

  • Give them a special treat to look forward to at the end of the first day of school.

    At the end of the first day, I pick them up from school (they normally ride the bus) so we can go out for ice cream, and they tell me all about their day. I also put something unexpected in their lunch. Usually it's all healthy stuff in their lunches, so it's a fun surprise to get a little chocolate or something else special.

    Deb White - Training and Development
    Mother of Grace, 9, and Markus, 6