Back to School Rituals

Next week, Toby and Anton are heading back to school. They are excited, but it’s also (of course) a little nervewracking. As Dr. Seuss put it, “How did it get so late so soon?” In these last days of vacation, we have a few family rituals to help ease them into the fall…

Avoiding stores. Needless to say, the shopping crush this time of year is no joke. So, we turn to the trusty Internet for as much as possible. In particular, our back-to-school supplies for breakfasts and packed lunches, as well as crayons, notebooks and pencils, come from Boxed, the awesome and affordable bulk delivery service. (See below for why we love shopping at Boxed).

It ain’t over ’til it’s over. Window displays are already Halloween-themed, but summer officially lasts until September 22nd. We try to soak up the end of the season by having picnic dinners at the park and letting the boys stay up later than usual (the best part of summer as a kid).

Scout out the playground. Lately, when I get home from work, the boys and I have been heading to the playground at Toby’s new school. That way, on the first day, he’ll hopefully feel comfortable in the space and know the drill at recess.

Easy haircuts. I used to put off each boy’s trim until the nanosecond before school started, but because of heightened emotions, it tended to end in tears. (Plus, it’s nice to have cuts grow out a little before the first day.) Now we schedule haircuts a week or so before.

Back-to-school books. At bedtime, we’ve been reading an old favorite, Berenstain Bears Go Back to School, and talking about how the brother and sister bears are both nervous and excited for the first day. (An emotion that Toby has dubbed, “Nerve-cited.”)

Celebratory cake. For each of the boys, we bring out a cake the night before the first day of school. When we turn out the lights and the boys blow out the candles, it always feels like the exact moment they’re finally ready for a new year.

Back to School Rituals

Bonus for all readers: As our partners for this post, Boxed is offering 20% off your first order, as well as free delivery, with the code CUPOFJO, good until September 30th. (Maximum discount $50.) A few things we love about Boxed:

  • Boxed has a huge inventory, which includes our go-to grocery brands as well as their own great line of household goods, Prince & Spring. (Much of it is available in bulk sizes, too, if you like, so you won’t run out as often.)
  • It’s incredibly convenient to shop online (or from their app). That way, you don’t have to lug bags home or battle lines in stores.
  • Fast delivery: Most orders arrive within one or two days. And shipping is free on most orders.
  • Because of the wholesale prices, we save money every time we use Boxed. Also, unlike other wholesale stores, there’s no membership fee.

Back to School Rituals

Stocking up the pantry with our back-to-school haul from Boxed.

Back to School Rituals

Of course, the boys also love to play with the giant delivery box itself.

Back to School Rituals



Anton was a bunny sleeping in the box (I brought him pretend carrots).


Thank you so much, Boxed!

P.S. An ode to rituals.

(Photos by Ana Schechter for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Boxed, a great start-up that makes life easier.)