The Cutest Back to School Dinner Idea

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Welcome your kindergartener back home from their first day of school with this adorable back to school dinner. What a special way to mark their big day!

A table is set with a school bus floral centerpiece and cute ABC puzzle messages at each place setting.

When your little baby heads off to kindergarten for the first time, it is the perfect opportunity for setting some simple family traditions.

Traditions to Start in Kindergarten

Everyone has their own set of must-do's for a kindergartener's first day:

Of all the traditions out there, I've always especially loved the idea of holding a family feast to honor the new year.

For a kindergartener, this is an especially wonderful opportunity to welcome them home after their first big day.

A Simple Back to School Dinner

Years ago when I first read "The Family Dinner," I was enamored by the simple table settings Laurie David shared as part of her family's everyday routine. It's amazing to me how powerful a little extra effort towards the table really is.

The only fancy things required are some simple table sprucing.

In this instance it truly doesn't matter what's on your menu--even hot dogs or chicken nuggets are elevated by some ambiance.

I pulled this back to school dinner table together with materials found around my house in just a few minutes and it made all the difference in turning a weeknight dinner into a party.

A quick raiding of the kids' toy box and art supply stash along with two minutes in my backyard garden provided everything I needed.

No special scissors or printables required!

Adorable Table Decorations in Minutes

A table is set with a school bus floral centerpiece and cute ABC puzzle messages at each place setting.

1. ABC Puzzles

I used two sets of ABC puzzles from Melissa & Doug to spell out cute messages at each setting. We love the Alphabet Art puzzle and the See-inside Peg Puzzle.

Words I played with include:

  • smarty
  • grow
  • learn
  • teach
  • ABC123
  • study
  • know
  • friends
  • love

How many more can you think of?

3 simple decorations for a sweet and adorable Back to School dinner

2. Clever Containers for Flowers

The sweet yellow school bus from the Whittle World School Bus Set is a fall classic and made the perfect unique container for some flowers snipped from my garden. I found a clear plastic disposable cup, gently squeezed the sides together and set it in the open space towards the front of the bus. I added a little water and just popped the flowers in and done.

It's the cutest little centerpiece and it came right from the toy bin!

3 simple decorations for a Back to School feast

3. Sweet Little Apples on the Placemats

To give the placemats a more festive feel, I hand-painted some sweet little apples using the easiest trick you'll ever see:

How to paint little apples for a placemat.

Simply bend a paper towel tube to form the apple shape, dip it in red paint and press it on a large piece of white paper. I just trimmed some from the craft paper roll from the kids' art station. 

Then I used a small paintbrush to add the little green leaves for an accent. This would be a fun back to school art activity to do with the kids the night before or you can just surprise them after school with everything already prepped.

What to Serve for Dinner

As I said, it really doesn't matter what you serve that night, just make it something the kids love and that is easy.

But, if you really need some inspiration, here are some of our favorite school night suppers:

Back to school dinner: a sweet and simple first day dinner idea to welcome your kids to a new school year.


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  3. Pingback: Capturing Childhood: First Day of School Photos

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