Ding-a-ling-a-ling, school bell a ring!
It’s already the end of summer vacations for the little ones, so they’re heading back to the classrooms (even if it’s online). But nothing is more exciting than the many back-to-school traditions we enjoyed growing up in the Caribbean. Things like writing our names in our books, packing our bags with every item our parents bought for us, meeting and greeting new and old schoolmates, and eating snacks all day were sure highlights!
Why not bring some of that tradition to your back-to-school routine this year? Here’s our list of the top five things we believe every Caribbean household should do and have for back-to-school this year!
We can all agree that reading is fundamental for learning and growing as a child. Across the Caribbean, droves of authors and publishers create fun novels, activity books, and journals for children to read and learn new words, even those unique to the Caribbean. No matter their age, there’s a book for your young scholar perfect for back-to-school.
Blue Banyan Books’ My Caribbean Colouring Book is an excellent option for after-school activities, while their Yum Yum Yummy nursery rhymes book is ideal for teaching little ones about tropical fruits. Of course, there are also many story and poetry books for older children like BalaPress Kiss Mi Granny, Blue Banyan Books Off Track by Tamika Gibson, or Spark Learning Store’s Leaderboard journaling book. These are sure to help limit screen time and encourage your kids to want to read more.
Back to school means that after school and weekends are often packed with homework and other assignments. Giving your children fun and educational crafts or puzzles to keep their minds occupied is a great way to keep them interested in learning.
The Ackee Stack 100pc Puzzle from Puzzles by SG isn’t only good for teaching cognitive skills. It highlights Jamaica’s culture too. Similarly, craft sets from Heritage Wonders are excellent for teaching children how to get creative with paint, yarn, craft sticks, and other materials.
While we all enjoyed going back to school, we did have moments when we couldn’t wait for the weekend so that we could enjoy downtime with friends and family. Make back-to-school weekends fun for playdates and family games night with awesome games, perfect for children ages three and older.
Trinidad and Tobago’s very own Doh Say Dat KIDS! Card Game is perfect for encouraging your children to be quick-minded and strategic while teaching them about Trinibago heritage and culture. While from the 876, there’s the Guesswah Jamaican Culture Board Game, which brings all the greatness of Jam Rock together in one game set. Your little ones will enjoy guessing and learning about their Caribbean heritage while having a blast!
Nothing says “I’m proud to be Caribbean!” like wearing a shirt featuring various aspects of island culture and heritage. Send your kids back to school dressed to the nine in colorful T-shirts, dresses, or sweaters from brands like Bright Eyed from Trinidad or TBL in Jamaica. You can also protect your young ones from health risks with hand-sewn cotton masks courtesy of Wee Pals Co. Ltd in Trinidad.
We couldn’t forget the snacks! What’s back to school without the best Caribbean snacks in your lunch bag? Classics like Holiday’s Big Foot Cheese Snack, JP St. Mary's Original Banana Chips, National’s Duplex Sandwich Cookies, Charles Milk Chocolate Bar, and Milo Sandwich Cookies are sure to make snack time fantastic! Even drinks and milk like Nestle Orchard Fruit Juice Drink, Chubby soft drinks, and Nestle Flavoured Milk Shakes are tasty options for your kiddies. Healthy snacks like dried fruits and nut blends are also perfect for snack time.
Did we cover everything on your list? Even though you’re living abroad, you can still share the traditions and experiences you enjoyed as a Caribbean student with your children. Make back to school even more special this year for your little ones by getting all they need at caribshopper.com.