Today is officially Mac's first day back at preschool! If you ask him, he'll tell you that he's not excited...however, he's been talking about going back to school since the last day of school and he tells me all the time about who he wants to play with and what he's going to tell his teachers he did this summer. He's in three-day a week (half-day) preschool at a really great play-based preschool that we love. His teachers are absolutely amazing and he's really taken to some of the kids there. We've been talking to him for a couple weeks about going back to school and all the fun stuff he's going to get to do when he's there, so I think he's going to handle it really well this year (fingers crossed, knock on wood). But just to sweeten the deal, I thought it'd be fun if he was visited by the "Backpack Fairy" before his first day back and received some little goodies to help him get excited about school. Here's what the Backpack Fairy brought him:
1. A new backpack
Duh. Obviously this was a critical part of this whole scheme, so I wanted to make sure he got a backpack that would really excite him. This one is Dusty, from Disney's Planes, which Mac is crazy about. There's even a real 3D propeller on the front that spins. Every 3-year old's dream come true, right?
2. Back-to-school books
I made sure the Backpack Fairy visited Mac two nights before school started (so he received the backpack the day before the first day of school). That way I could make sure that the night before the first day we could read a few back-to-school books before bedtime. I chose these three: Does a Panda Go To School? Lenny Goes to Nursery School and Mouse's First Day of School. Believe me, there is nothing spectacular about these books - if you have a preschooler, any book will probably do. These just gave us the opportunity to talk about going back to school, his teachers, the routine, mommy leaving, etc. There are so many back-to-school or first day of school books out there - here's a great list of back-to-school books by grade from Edventures with Kids. We also already had The Kissing Hand and Llama Llama Misses Mama, so I read those too.
3. Back-to-school tags and labels*
Because of Mac's obsession with the Dusty the Plane backpack, I was slightly worried that perhaps every other 3-year old boy in school would have a Dusty backpack too, so I wanted to put a tag on his backpack so he knows it's his. Mabel's Labels makes these super cute metal keychain tags that you can personalize with your child's name, favorite things, colors, etc. Mac chose a digger (surprise surprise) and we ordered the Ultimate Back-To-School Combo Pack of Mabel's Labels, which included 40 name stickers, 50 clothing labels, 16 shoe stickers and 2 mini metal tags (108 labels total). These should last us quite a while (years?!) and will come in handy for all kind of things.
4. Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies*
Mac's school does snack time on a volunteer basis, where parents sign up for certain days and are responsible for taking a snack for the entire class. However, sometimes snacks get overlooked or kids get sick on their snack day and the classroom ends up with no snack. Therefore, each semester the school asks that each child donate a snack that the class can have on hand, just in case. Our choice is Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies. We are huge Cheddar Bunny fans (Mac is obsessed with them and Mim once ate an entire box for breakfast). Plus, I've yet to meet a kid that doesn't like them, so we know they go over well at school.
5. First day of school photo prop
My child absolutely despises getting his photo taken these days. I don't know if it's a 3-year old thing or because I stalk him with my camera nonstop and am always trying to get him to let me take his picture (oh, the perils of being the child of a blogger). He doesn't handle it well. But, being me (over-sharer extraordinaire), I knew that getting a good first day of school photo was important (to me, not him), so I included this framed printable to prep him for the mini photo shoot that would be happening the next day. I think all kids do better with things they don't like when they are prepared for it and know that they will get rewarded (5 Skittles!) when it's over. I used this adorable chalkboard printable from Yellow Bliss Road and in available in preschool through high school.
6. New pajamas
Call me crazy, but my kids get a new pair of pajamas for nearly every single occasion I can possibly think of. First day of school...new pajamas. First day of spring...new pajamas. First Tuesday this month...new pajamas!! Ok, so maybe this is all just another excuse to buy more Kickee Pants. Yes, it's an obsession.
7. First day of school interview
I thought it would be cute to start the tradition of doing an interview with the kids on their first day back to school. I didn't want anything too deep, so this printable from Giggles Galore is perfect. It has super cute prompts that I think will lead to some really adorable answers. I'll make sure to let you all know what Mac says...I'm sure it'll be a hoot!
I like the idea of making the Backpack Fairy a tradition every year. Here are some other ideas of what you could add to your child's backpack (for older kids):
- hair ties
- personalized water bottle
- washi tape
- nail polish
- lunch box
- day planner
- alarm clock
- gift certificates
Do you have any fun back-to-school traditions?
*I received this product as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts program. All opinions are my own. As always, this post does NOT contain any affiliate links - just products that I love and use myself.