Back To School Around The World

For most American parents, the closest thing we have to a “Back to School” tradition is slapping “First Day of 2nd grade” on a piece of paper/Etsy chalkboard, snapping a pic of our kiddo fidgeting in their new school clothes, and posting that gem to Instagram.

With our kiddos back in the classroom (praise!), it’s fun to take a look at what school means for children around the world. Read on for some of our favorite international traditions for school children.

Which ones do you want to “borrow” this year or next year?

  • Netherlands – Dutch children start school on their 4th birthday, no matter when it falls in the school year. I suspect your eagerness to try this one may depend on when your little one’s birthday falls.
  • Japan – Japanese children are responsible for cleaning their school classrooms. Sounds fantastic – let’s do it!
  • Germany – When they begin school, German children receive a Schultute, a large, customized (often homemade) cone, filled with school supplies and tasty treats – for a “sweet” year. Chocolate and crafts? Let me grab my glue gun!
  • Russia – In Russia, the first day of school is called the “Day of Knowledge.” Kids typically bring flowers to their teachers, while the teachers hand out balloons in return. Love naming the day with an emphasis on learning, love the flowers for teachers… but balloons? Keep it.
  • Italy – Young children in Italy wear a grembiule (smock) over their school clothes. This laundry-doing mama can get behind that tradition.
  • India – In India, children often receive a gift to mark the start of school. There, the first day of school is called praveshanotshavan or Admission Day. Typically, the start of school coincides with monsoon season, so their “back to school” present may include a new umbrella. Accessories, FTW!

Happy Back to School!

Thanks to Little Passports for educating us about school traditions around the world!


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