Back-To-School Pre-Party Planning

This year I had two granddaughters starting Preschool and my five-year-old grandson starting Kindergarten. I wanted to start a fun tradition with the grandchildren and give the parents some time to themselves before school started or to do some school shopping without the kids. Prior to the day of the party,  I researched Pinterest and other creative sites for ideas.  I had decided on a few things to make prior to the party. You may chose to do just one of the projects or all.  Keep it fun and simple  Here are the things  I started making and gathering a few weeks before:

  • School Paper Hangers
  • School Chalkboard Signs
  • Take home boxes
  • Large Measuring Ruler
  • Interview Sheets
  • Personalized Paper Keepers
  • Books
  • Food Prep


b2spaperhanger I found a great idea from Martha Stewart.  I changed the idea just a bit for Grandmas. You need a wooden pants hanger which you can purchase from IKEA or Wal-Mart (limited supply) for about .99 cents per hanger. You can also purchase HERE online. Be sure not to buy the hanger that looks similar but has metal clips on each end. Carefully paint the wooden portion of the hanger with a bright yellow paint of your choice. Allow to dry. Using another ruler as a guide, I freehanded the markings with a Sharpie marker.  I chose not to add the numbers but it was a personal choice. Allow to dry. Using vinyl lettering machine, I did a couple of versions.  They were:

  • To Show Nana
  • To Show Grandma
  • For My Nana
  • For My Grandma

After I applied the vinyl lettering, I used a Krylon Satin Finish Spray to seal the work.  Once completed, you just open the hanger and parents can slip the art work in between the pieces of wood on the hanger and close. Parents can hang up your grandchild’s papers using a Command Hanger for a less permanent option or a simple nail. If they do not live close, ask them to take a photo and send.  This allows you to capture some of their best work.


I searched many places for just a simple, small chalkboard.  I finally found them for $2.49 at Wal-Mart and they have a chalkboard on both sides which makes it even more useful for this project. I used vinyl lettering to display the year in school. You could also use your own beautiful handwriting. Due to popularity,  I used the hashtag in front of the words to capture the Instagram trend for future generations.  The next step was to create the “ruler” frame.  This came from simply purchasing wooden rulers in the back-to-school section of most stores.  My husband cut them with a small saw to fit the frame.  A small amount of hot glue held them in place on the frame. I glued rulers to both the front and the back of the frames if I used both sides to display different school years. Each family of grandchildren were able to take these home so their parents could photograph, send me a pictures and capture for a photo album or memory book.


I put some different sayings on them such as:

  • #preschool
  • #kindergarten (on the back of the preschool)
  • #2014
  • #first day (to record the first day of any given year)
  • #last day (to record the last day of school on any given year)


I purchsed some cute boxes from a local paper store here locally called Pak-n-Wrap.  I found some cute printable tags on Pinterest found HERE


I filled the boxes with school supplies, flash cards, stickers and fun games from the Dollar Store.



Another pre-party project was one which included my husband.  I wanted a measuring ruler to measure each grandchild at the beginning of each school year.  I wanted to have the ability to remove if we should ever move from our current home.


I do not have pictures of the steps to complete the project so I will list those here:

  1. Obtain a pine board that is 10″ x 72″
  2. Paint the board color of choice. I used chalk paint but any latex paint will work.
  3. Scale with a vinyl machine for the actual measurements and lettering
  4. Vinyl cutter can either make it as a stencil or an actual vinyl graphic to rub on.
  5. Position the vinyl lettering on straight. I did a section at a time rather than one long piece to ensure that it was placed straight.
  6. You can use a finish spray such as Krylon Matte or Satin Finish Spray.
  7. Start recording their measurements as a keepsake. (See photos for the Back-to-School Party)


I was excited to make a little binder filled with the fun things that are important to my grandkids at this particular age.  I used THIS interview sheet to ask them a few questions. I am sure these will be a treasure one day for both my grandchildren and their parents to read.



A few years ago a friend introduced me to these darling folders that allow you to keep all the large art projects and smaller papers that children bring home which can be placed in one handy place.  It has a divider for each school year and if you order online you can have it personalized with the child’s name.  As soon as my grandchildren are born, this is one of the first things I order.  You can order them HERE.



Making it  a fun meal for the little people was important to me!  I made the main course something that they will like, eat and most likely eat at school…PIZZA.  The other things I added were chocolate milk, gummy worms and dessert including cookies and cupcakes. (I added small green leaves cut from construction paper to add to the sour ball to make them look like little apples.)


I purchased three books that we read at the party. I want my grandkids to enjoy reading and know that I leve to read.  These books were fun!  I have included the picture of the books and the links below.

  1. Substitute Creature by Chris Gall
  2. This School Year Will Be the Best by Kay Winters
  3. The Night Before Preschool by Natasha Wing


Watch for tomorrow’s post with pictures from the actual party! This tradition will be something you, your grandchildren and their parents will never forget and they will thank you for taking the time and effort to plan.


One Response to “Back-To-School Pre-Party Planning”

  1. I love the chalkboard signs idea! It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now.

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