Back To School Bashes Part I

Back To School Cupcakes/CakeHaving a Back To School party is a great way to get elementary kids ready to mark the end of summer and the beginning of a new routine. Here are a few ideas to help get you started creating your own fun!

Select a party theme that says going back-to-school is cool, plus it will help you focus your decor, activities and food. A High School Musical theme or sports and activities themes are great for your pre-teen or teenager, while school bus and apple themes are ideal for elementary and preschool kids.

Get The Party Started
Make your own invitations by cutting out apple shapes from construction paper. Hand-deliver apples with party info on green tags and tied to the stems. Print party info on labels and attach to small boxes of crayons, or pencil boxes, even small bottles of glue!

Setting The Scene
Many stores are already getting ready for the BTS onslaught, especially for classroom decor. Check out retailers like Target's Dollar Spot and Dollar Tree for inspiration. Adorn your walls with die-cuts shapes and instructional posters. Hang foam or cardboard letters and numbers from the ceiling with clear fishing line, along with streamers in red, yellow and black.

The ubiquitous apple is the perfect prop. In tall vases, they double as design elements and take-home favors; pass them out as guests leave.

paper plane centerpieceHow clever is this paper plane centerpiece from Rachel Ray? Make the planes out of primary colors to match your decor.

A fun photo op: make a cutout of the front of a school bus out of yellow poster board or butcher paper, where guests can pose with for silly pictures.

The Munchies
•Make or purchase alphabet and number cookies and serve with juice for "snack time".
•Provide a lunch sack for each child using brown paper lunch bags. Fill with an apple or fruit cup, juice box, bag of chips and a sandwich.
•Serve cafeteria classics like tater tots and mac and cheese on melamine lunch trays.
•For a fun treat, check out these cake and cupcake creations from FamilyFun.

What To Do
The possibilities are really endless! For the preschool and elementary set, schedule the party like a school day and ring a bell between sessions. Or have different centers like Reading, Art, etc. and have everyone rotate through them all.

Personalize lunch bags or pencil boxes with stickers and permanent markers. Favors like pencils, crayons, etc. can be passed out at the end of the party to add to their bags or boxes.

For the middle and high-school set, decorate mini blackboards or mirrors for lockers; hot glue a magnet on the back. Show a classic school-themed movie like Grease, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, or The Breakfast Club.

Check out the Back-To-School, Woo-Hoo! playdate we had last year for more fun ideas....and join us next time for neighborhood Back To School ideas.

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