Back to School Traditions from Around the World

It happened again.  The summer flew by and school is upon us.  I know several parents that struggle with the transition back to school.  I know many more children who struggle with the transition back to school.  Children around the world experience this same struggle and, just like us, their families work to make the transition go more smoothly too. Maybe we can gain a few ideas to add to our own repertoire and make this transition better this year than ever before. With that in mind, here are a few traditions from around that world that might make the transition just a little bit easier. Give one or two a try and see what you think.

  • In Germany, children get a Schultuete on the first day of school. This large decorated paper cone is filled with school supplies and small presents.  Sending your child to school with a modified Schultuete may make the transition easier.
  • In Russia, children give their teachers colorful bouquets of flowers on the first day of school. The children receive balloons in return. Wouldn’t that be fun? It might even help build a better relationship with their teacher. How could you modify this to work with your children in your school district?
  • In Japan, children may pack a traditional first day of school lunch for good luck. The lunch includes rice with seaweed sauce and quail eggs. (Learn more here.) I don’t know if my kids would like that particular lunch, but a special lunch could go a long way in making the school transition a little easier.
  • Parents in Kazakhstan give their children a present filled with sweets, a pencil, and a candle on the first day of school. (Read more here.) Is there a small gift you might give your children to make school transition easier?
  • In India, the first day of school coincides with the monsoon season. As a result, children get a new umbrella to start the school year. Perhaps a new pair of jeans, a new shirt, or a new pair of shoes would work just as well in the US.

When all is said and done, your child will follow your lead as they return to school. Enjoy the transition back to school with your child. Build traditions around the transition. Celebrate the next step in “growing up.”  You can use the ideas from other countries to make it even more fun and educational…even if you have to modify them a little bit.

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