Excitement and, of course, butterflies are running high this momentous school year. Give kids the super-celebratory send-off they deserve.

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The first day of school merits as much pomp and elation as the last day. Give your kids a thrills-filled Day 1 that will stoke them up for a year of adventures. (Can we get a woot-woot?) Here's how you can pump up the vibes.

All-Ready Confetti 

Sprinkle your kid with pink paper flower petals from Studio Pep pencil-shaped confetti poppers as they walk out the door. 

girl wearing glasses and backpack
Credit: Tim Marsella

Group Trip 

"On the first day, all the neighborhood families walk to school together," says Jenn Andrlik-McMurrer, a mom of two in Norwalk, Connecticut. "There is so much camaraderie and support."

girl holding 3rd balloons under balloon arch
Credit: Courtesy of Smashed Peas and Carrots

Insta-Worthy Backdrop 

You'll blow kids' minds with a color-coordinated arch for first-day photos, says Maggie Brereton, a mom of four near Chicago. Tape balloons to the garage door (details at smashedpeasandcarrots.com).

Support Team in the Backseat 

"The first morning I drop off my daughter at school, I strap her favorite dolls and our dogs into the car so we can all cheer her on," says Denisse Montalvan, of Gardena, California. "I tell her we'll all be back to pick her up and hear about her amazing day."

dash blue star waffle maker
Credit: Courtesy of Dash

Star Snack 

Twinkle, twinkle, little waffle. Kids will be psyched to dig into a breakfast stack from the Dash Star Mini Waffle Maker. Pour in batter from a packaged mix or your usual recipe, close the lid for about two minutes, and (ta-da!) a syrup-ready star is born.

Quirkier Pix 

Instead of doing the typical hold-up-a-sign photos, Melissa Evans, a mom of four in Washington, Connecticut, takes a whole-family picture—funny poses encouraged. "Kids have a blast brainstorming their facial expressions." 

Post-School Sprinkles 

"We drive straight from school to the ice-cream shop," says Marina Sandoval, a mom of three in San Fernando, California. "Every year, my daughter orders her treat with sprinkles."

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's September 2021 issue as "They Only Get One First Day." Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here