Back to school dinner


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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that we may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase something from a link we post (including links to amazon.com because we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.) Don’t worry, it won’t. It costs you nothing. The lazy days of summer are coming to an end for most (if not already) and backpacks are crammed with supplies. Back to school is a fun time for kids (and moms) and in our home we try to make it something to look forward to, alleviating fears and insecurities that lurk beneath the surface. One of our favorite traditions this time of year is the special back-to-school dinner. We keep it the night before the first day of school. (However, it may work best for you the first day or even two weeks later.) Here are three easy steps to making this dinner memorable for your family. 1. The menu: Let the children choose the menu. Their choices never make the “special dinner options” list but theirs because they chose them. With so many kids, you may need to break it down and let one choose the main course and the other choose the dessert. This made for some fun dinner groups in our house, but they’re all walking happy. And yes, it usually includes some kind of Jello – kids are funny that way! We pull out the “fancy glasses” where my kids refer to them as and we always make sure to grab the sparkling cider. 2. Decorations: You probably won’t have to spend a cent on decorating. Open the desk drawers and use the children’s school supplies before taking them on the first day. Throw a fun tablecloth (or use wrapping paper like I did) on the table Use a roll of paper to create a runner they can color and write on during dinner We used placemats and clips to hold name cards. Through the locker I found ABC and Math flashcards that worked great. You can make a banner out of an old book – tear off a few pages and use a permanent marker or cut the letters you’re printing from the printer. Get some books from your bookshelf. And you have a festive table 3. Program: Our dinner serves an important purpose; We introduce our family topic for the school year and review important information. The topic can be as simple or as complex as you like. It can be a quote, a Bible, or a word. Last year our word was “gratitude” and we had text printed in our kitchen all year long, “In Everything Give Thanks.” My husband and I are really thinking about something our family can work on to be our topic. This year we hit “Be Nice and Stand Up”. We always want our children to be kind to others, but most importantly we wanted to instill in them the motivation to stand up for those who struggle to stand alone. We discussed ways to stand up and opportunities we can work on. We’ll spend one day a month during a family night throughout the school year to repeat the different points of the topic and the back to school dinner is also a great time to go over important family/safety information. Where do you go if you get off the bus and no one is home? Who lives nearby that you can contact for help? Do you know the phone number? How do you deal with a mean person at school? We always open it up to questions from our kids and sometimes it’s comical about the worst-case scenarios they want you to walk them in. It was also that night I realized I had failed as a mother when my new kindergarten kid didn’t know the phone number! Excuse me! That is why this dinner is so beneficial. To get some very important information, you can wrap a small card (with important phone numbers and the child’s address) and put it in the front pocket of the backpack. In the end, you can toast an exciting new school year and send them to their beds dreaming of pencils and lunch boxes. It will be a dinner they will not soon forget. See more of my adventures and projects at www.lifewithfingerprints.com


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