Continuing on from Part I
, the focus is now on neighborhood block back to school bashes and get-togethers; a great way to reconnect with everyone, celebrate with new neighbors and ease the jitters of Kindergartners. Here are some fun ways to create a new tradition, or incorporate into your neighborhood's existing function, especially if you are planning a Labor Day celebration.
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? This lovely party on Lil Luna
has more great tips like these skewered mini cinnamon rolls, perfect for on-the-go eating.
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. This lovely set up from Lia Griffith
comes with free printables.
Show and Tell
A great way to end 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 scrapbooking 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.