How to Host a Back to School Party

Cure the back to school blues with this end of summer party!

Lauren Miolene

Contributor

Before you know it, back to school time is right around the corner! Summer is slowly drifting away and we’ll officially be trading in sunny days by the pool for fun days in school. Saying goodbye to summer doesn’t need to be sad—host the ultimate kick-off to the new year with a back to school party.

You can download this back to school printable party checklist and find even more back to school party ideas below.

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Here are our tips and ideas for a fun back to school party:

altPhoto: Photographee.eu/shutterstock.com

Pick a back-to-school friendly date

With the hustle and bustle of preparing for the new year, picking the right date is very important for your back to school party. Since school typically starts again in late August or September, confirm the start date and set the party date for a couple weeks before then. This will give everyone enough time to plan their back to school shopping and get back into the swing of things.

altPhoto: Robert Kneschke/shutterstock.com

Invite new friends

When planning the guest list, send invitations to all your kid’s friends, including: best friends, last year’s class, new classmates, and kids from the neighborhood. Include parents on the invitations to get to know your child’s community. With parents invited, you can talk about upcoming events for the school year, coordinate carpooling and playdates, and exchange contact information for emergency pick-ups.

Book kids party entertainment

Keep the energy high and everyone having fun with exciting entertainment. Here are some of our favorite kids party vendors that would be perfect for your back to school party:

Face Painter

It’s safe to say that kids love getting their face painted. Invite a professional face painter to turn the rising students into their favorite animal, character, or whatever else they imagine during the party!

Find a Face Painter

Mobile Petting Zoo

Invite a few extra special guests to the end of summer party with the help of a mobile petting zoo. The animal handlers are trained and knowledgeable about a wide variety of animals including ponies, lizards, goats, and more.

Find a Petting Zoo

DJ

Every successful party needs music! Book a DJ to play some kid friendly tunes that will make everyone want to get up and dance. Hiring an interactive DJ or karaoke DJ is a great idea and way to get everyone involved in the fun.

Find a DJ

Balloon Twister

Watch a show and get a souvenir with a professional balloon twister for your back to school party. Whether someone wants a flower, their favorite animal, or fun hat, a talented balloon twister will be able to create it all.

Find a Balloon Twister

Party Inflatables

Since summer is winding down, the kids are going to be spending a lot more time inside the classroom rather than outside. Give them a day to remember and soak up the sun with rentable party inflatables. Search for obstacle courses, bounce houses, or even dunk tanks to get everyone up, moving, and having fun.

Find Party Inflatables

School Themed Party Decorations

The best part about the back to school theme is that most supplies are probably already in your house! Show your guests your commitment to the theme by incorporating chalkboards, bright colors, and even the school’s mascot.

We also love this easy printable back to school banner by A Girl and a Glue Gun that also makes the perfect photo opportunity. You can also ask parents to email some school photos that you can hang up throughout the party.

Plan Back to School Party Activities

From school themed crafts to interactive games, these back to school party ideas and activities are sure to be a hit among kids and parents:

Homemade Rock Candy

altHave guests channel their inner scientist with this easy Homemade Rock Candy from Better Life Blog. All you need is sugar, water, food coloring, jars, wooden sticks, and a little bit of patience for this awesome science project. Combine all of the ingredients and materials and in a few days you’ll have your own rock candy! Get the full instructions and supplies list here.

School Supply Scavenger Hunt

altPrepare for the school year and have fun while doing it with this School Supply Scavenger Hunt by The Dating Divas. Print their pre-designed clue cards and have party guests find the supplies to stock up for the first day of school. Download and print the cards here.

DIY Flamingo Bookmark

altMake the transition into the new school year a little easier by incorporating a touch of summer! Get everyone excited to read with this DIY Flamingo Bookmark that is sure to brighten up reading time. Visit Blissful Domestication for the instructions.

Back to School Time Capsule

altSince the school year seems to fly by, have the party guests create these adorable Back to School Time Capsules inspired by iHeartCraftyThings. The kids fill the jar with pictures, questions and answers, and other mementos to open on the last day of the school year. They can see how much they’ve grown and what goals they accomplished this year!

Apple Stained Glass Window Decoration

altSince the school year begins right before fall, you can’t go wrong with an apple themed craft for the kiddos to make. Take an arts and crafts break at the party and create these adorable apple stained glass window decorations to get you in the fall mood. Get the step by step instructions from Kinder Craze here.

Beach Ball “Get to Know You” Game

altThis creative get to know you game is the perfect way to learn about new classmates and have fun with current ones. Write questions on the beach ball, toss it around, and whichever question your hand lands on, you answer it! Get more ideas and questions for the game from Cook & Craft Me Crazy.

Make Kid-Friendly Foods

These aren’t your ordinary after school snacks. Whip up these delicious treats that are sure to get an A+!

Pizza Bagel Bites

altPizza bagels are a simple and delicious childhood favorite. Make these mini snacks ahead of time or set up a topping bar at the party to have guests create their own. Get the full recipe from Serious Eats.

Ruler Rice Krispies

altA 5 ingredient dessert is always a win! Make these adorable Ruler Shaped Rice Krispies that will get everyone excited for math class this year. Visit A Cultivated Nest for the full recipe and instructions.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

altTurn a classic school lunch into a fun and easy dessert for the back to school kick-off! These cookies are stuffed with globs of creamy peanut butter and delicious strawberry preserves. Get nostalgic with this Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie recipe by Cookies and Cups here.

Donate

Give any leftover supplies from your activities to your child’s teacher, they will definitely appreciate it!

With these back to school party ideas, you're sure to be “parent of the year” before the school year has even officially started.

Find more kids party ideas and bookable vendors here on The Bash.

Published on 7/21/2021