Host a back-to-school party

Aug 1, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. ET

Summer will soon be a distant memory and the school rush will begin. Before you plunge back into the routine, create a tradition to mark the end of summer vacation and kick off an exciting new school year. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for hosting a back-to-school party the whole family will love.

Chalk it up

back to school party chalkboard trays

Photo credit: Just call me Martha

Chalkboards or blackboards are a simple way to add instant schoolhouse style. Put up a chalkboard easel with a welcome message to greet guests at the door, use mini-chalkboard signs to label treats, and display snacks on chalkboard “trays” of various sizes like you see above in this gorgeous back-to-school party put together by Leoni of Just call me Martha and featured on the Sweet Designs blog by Amy Atlas.


Blackboards of all sizes, like this Slate Chalkboard (Amazon, $6), can be found online.

Lunch period

back to school party lunch sacks

Photo credit: Jar of Vintage Buttons

Serve the kids a special lunch — old-school style. We love the sack lunches from this adorable vintage schoolhouse party from the Jar of Vintage Buttons blog, each labeled with a chalkboard tag.

back to school party lunch boxes

Photo credit: Crissy's Crafts as featured on Hostess With the Mostess

You could also fill metal lunch boxes with munchies, as seen above in the party hosted by Crissy from Crissy's Crafts, or go all out with cafeteria-style lunches served on these biodegradable divided trays. (The Webstaurant Store, $20)

Back to school party biodegradable tray

School supply table

school supply table

Photo credit: Nicole Hill Gerulat. Graphic design copyright One Charming Party

Instead of filling goodie bags with sugary snacks or dollar store trinkets, take a page from this back-to-school party from Brittany Egbert of One Charming Party. Brittany cleverly staged a table loaded with practical back-to-school items. Who wouldn't love to help themselves to an extra pair of scissors, a ruler or a few rainbow-colored erasers?

back to school party: notebook bag

Set out bags and let guests do a little back-to-school “shopping.” These lined notebook paper goodie bags (Etsy, $6) would be perfect vessel to load up with fresh new supplies.

Back-to-school feast

Back to School Feast

Photo credit: NieNie Dialogues

If you'd prefer to celebrate the start of school with a more personal celebration, you may want to adopt some ideas from blogger NieNie of the NieNie Dialogues. Every year, the Nielson family hosts a special back-to-school feast where each child unwraps and wears a special crown and receives a keepsake stained-glass star. While the theme of the feast may change from year to year, the event is a way to come together, enjoy a homemade meal (shh... we won't tell if you order in) and appreciate this special time before jumping back into the school-year rush .

Back to school party: shimmer star

Photo credit: Kurt Knudsen

Shop Kurt Knudsen's Etsy store and choose from a variety of stained-glass stars like this 5-inch Shimmer Star (Etsy, $12).

Quick tip:

Download this fun Back-to-school printable party collection from The TomKat Studio. It includes matching notecards, labels, name tags and more.

More party tips:

Top 10 tips for a flawless party
Budget-friendly party decorations
Kids' birthday party budgets