Activities to Ease First Day Jitters

Whether the kids are heading off for the first day of a completely new school or are just starting a new grade, they're bound to have a few first-day jitters.


The ideas below are great suggestions for ways to help kids who are starting new schools get to know their new neighbors, classmates, and school in a fun way.

Bus-Stop Breakfast Buffet

Congregate about 15 minutes before bus arrival with treats for all! Set up a fun buffet of doughnuts, muffins, yogurt tubes, apples and bananas.

Keep it simple and portable with milk boxes or small plastic bottles of orange juice and apple juice. Avoid red juices and grape juice; who needs stained clothes on the first day of school?

First-day jitters too much for breakfast? How about an after-school bus-stop bash instead?

Set up a snack table with icy drinks and fruit to greet bus-riders as they arrive at the neighborhood stop. After recharging with a bite to eat, the kids can turn to sidewalk chalk and lawn games, while parents exchange notes on the new school year.

The Sweetest Thing

Nothing brings people together like sweets! Invite neighbors out for a cupcake or cookie-decorating buffet.

Participating families can bring a tray of cookies, unfrosted cupcakes, and fun toppings. Set out bowls of frosting and popsicle sticks, set up folding and card tables and let the fun begin.

I scream, you scream...how about a ice-cream sundae buffet? Families can bring a quart of their favorite ice-cream, brownies, cookies, whipped cream, the works! Make sure to have lots of ice-filled coolers to keep everything cool, unless ice-cream soup is one of your creations.

Show and Tell

A great way to end the summer is to take a walk down memory lane.

Invite your guests to bring pictures of their favorite summertime activities, a recent family vacation, etc. Set aside time for "Show and Tell," so everyone can learn what one another did over the summer!

Take it a step further with scrap booking supplies, glue, stickers, etc. and let each family scrapbook their photos into mini albums. Chipboard sheets for covers and tied together with ribbons make quick and easy family projects.

School Supply Scavenger Hunt

Create simple maps for younger guests and question clues for older kids; have them use their backpacks to gather up much needed school supplies.

Have baskets set up at each check point with a large item like a box of markers or a pad of paper, or smaller bundles of supplies like pencils or glue sticks for each participant.

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