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Helpful Tips and Ideas for a Kid's Back to School Party

Well come the end of August it is that time of the year when we need to take a deep breadth, put our flip flops back into the closet and brace ourselves for another school year.  It is often bitter sweet for our kids when they have to return to school so why not make it fun for them.  Help them adjust to the new school year and get reacquainted with friends. How is that?  Organize and host a "Back to School Party".  There are lots of things that you can plan to have a great deal of fun on a low budget.  You can create a memorable event for your children by just using a little imagination.

Party Details

First thing you need to decide is the best day and time to have the party.  I would suggest a Friday Evening.  This way you will not interfere with sports activities that the kids may have on the weekend.

Plan the party in advance so that you give your guests plenty of notice.  You should send out your invitations at least 2 weeks in advance.  Be creative with your invitations to get your guests excited about the event.  Make sure you include the  date, start and end time, location, special instructions, whether food will be served and an RSVP date with your phone number or email address.  If you know that your guests check emails regularly you can send the invitation via the internet.  When parents RSVP be sure to find out if they plan on staying at the party and also if their child has any allergies or is lactose intolerant. 

When selecting who to invite to a party you must consider the number of guests that you want to accommodate.   Remember that when children are young parents will normally stay at the party.  So make sure you  accommodate all of the people. Once this is determined work with your child to select a list.  You can always go with the traditional formula of the number of guests is based on your child's age.  For this type of party you will need volunteers to keep things organized and more importantly to keep all children safe. Consider having teenage siblings, neighbors, or friends give you a helping hand.  The young ones will love the attention of the older kids and it will be a big help for you.

Food Ideas for kids back to school party

Keep the food to finger foods that the kids can put into their mouth quickly but create a school lunch themed menu. 

Menu Ideas:

  • Chicken fingers (Chick-fil-A party trays are always a big hit).

  • Sandwich tray - Peanut butter and/or jelly, turkey, or cheese.

  • Pizza

  • Soft pretzels

  • Applesauce cups

  • String Cheese

  • Grapes, Strawberries, Apples

  • Baby carrots with ranch dressing

  • Juice or milk boxes


Dessert Ideas:

Pencil Cake Recipe:

Compliments of

Box cake mix

White frosting

Yellow food color

Tube of Black decorator icing

Using your favorite cake mix, bake according to box instructions in a 9" x 13" pan.  When cake is cool cut it in half lengthwise and place the two pieces end to end on a serving plate.  Cut the edge into a triangle on one end to resemble a pencil tip.  Add yellow dye to frosting to get desired color and then generously cover the cake.  Use the tube of black decorator icing to draw the details.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream
Hot Fudge Syrup
Chocolate Chips
Mini M&Ms
Mini marshmallows
Whipped Cream

Make a batch of sugar cookies

Purchase frosting, and a variety of sprinkles and have the kids decorate their own cookies.

  Party favor ideas for kids back to school party

Option One...

Create a table similar to a candy buffet.  Instead of filling the jars with candy load them with practical back-to-school items.  Colored markers, rulers, pencils, erasers, scissors, highlighters, glue, crayons, book covers, stickers, construction paper and index cards.  Place your school item buffet in an area that is visible to your guests and will allow it to be a decorative feature for your event.  At the end of the party let the kids to a little back to school shopping.  Be sure to have someone on hand to let them know that they can take only one of each item.

Fill vases, glasses and serving trays in clear glass or plastic in various sizes, shapes and heights with the school items. Be creative with the way you display the items.  Remember you want to get the attention of the kids. 

Use brown lunch bags as the favor bags.  Decorating the lunch bag can be a party craft.

Cloth Table Covers - (yards of material work well for table covers).

Phone books can be used under the table covers to give height

Decorative items like twinkle lights, ribbons, and bows can be used to make the table look unique.

Option Two...

Give each child a pencil case filled with back-to-school items and a few pieces of wrapped candy. Pencil cases can be decorated with sharpies and stickers as a party craft.  Names can be added to each with puffed paint prior to the party.

Decorating ideas for kids back to school party

Keep your decorations simple and theme oriented. 

Hang a chalk board and chalk or a large sheet of white paper with markers and allow the kids to create their masterpiece. 

Using a large map and stickers locate all of the places that the kids have visited.

Make a centerpiece out of favorite books.  Stack the haphazardly and tie them together with a pretty ribbon.

Add clusters of balloons in the corners.  Be sure you have one for each child so that they can take them home with them.

Use crepe paper streamers to add to the festivities.

Cardboard  pencils, books and rulers can be hung from the walls and ceilings.

Cover your table with rolls of brown paper.  Make a table runner for the center out of white cardboard or paper to look like a ruler.

Create apple plates by simply purchasing red paper plates and cutting out leaves from green felt.  Hot glue the leaves to the top of the plate and you have yourself an apple plate.

Purchase small brown envelopes to house the utensils and a red napkin.  Wrap a ribbon around the outside or add some stickers to decorate it.

 Game ideas for kids back to school party

Backpack Relay

Divide kids into even groups and have teams set up on opposite sides about 15 feet apart.  Have a backpack and supplies available for each team.  Dump the backpack and supplies in front of one member from each team.  The race starts with the member filling the backpack with the supplies and running to their teammate opposite them.  They dump the supplies, hand them the backpack and go to the end of the line.  It is now that persons turn to fill the backpack with the supplies and run to their teammate opposite them.  This is repeated until all team members have completed the task.  The team to finish first is the winner and gets to pick prizes from the content of the backpack.

Traditional Games

Tag, Dodgeball, Kickball and Duck, Duck, Goose are always fun games.

Shoe Scatter Game

Have all players remove their shoes and line up in a straight line next to each other.  Place the shoes into a large pile about 15 feet from the line of players and mix them all up. The object of the game is for the players to race to the pile find their shoes, put them on and run back to the starting line. They have to wait for the whistle to start. This can also be done as a relay if desired.

Name Tags

Have the kids make name tags for their backpack.  Cut rectangle shapes out of cardboard prior to arrival.  Make a hole in the top of the name tag with a hole puncher.  Place a decorative ribbon through the hole and tie in a knot to be used to attach to the backpack. Give them stickers, stencils and markers and have them create their masterpiece. 

Apple Stamp Bags

Purchase a few large red stamp ink pads.  Slice an apple in half, press it on the stamp pad and then make a design on a brown or white paper lunch bag.  Once design is try embellish with markers to create leaves and stems on each apple.  Use these creations as goodie bags.

Rollo Pencil Craft

Compliments of

3 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch yellow cardstock
Pinking shears to trip top edge of yellow cardstock
3 1/2 x 1/2 inch pink cardstock
1" circles pink cardstock
3 1/2 x 3/8 inch aluminum foil
Hershey kisses