Milestones Made Easy: A DIY Back-to-School Sign

I promised myself I’d wait until my daughter starts Kindergarten to print the “first day of school” sign for the obligatory picture. Then I started thinking about printing all 13 signs right this very second so I’d be very, very prepared. THEN I got a crafty, itchy feeling and, inspired by some milestone cards, decided I should make a reusable sign for ALL milestones—not just the first day of school. Then the tab in my brain that is always collecting teacher-y things lit up, because this would be AWESOME in the classroom and make a ridiculously amazing teacher gift.

Whew. Then I had a cocktail. (Kidding. Maybe.)

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Without anymore thinking, I present a DIY milestone sign. Or four.

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You’ll need a dry erase board and markers, stickers, or adhesive vinyl letters cut on a cutting machine (I personally use a Silhouette and love it), and if you want to decorate it, permanent markers. Starting with a clean dry erase board, stick on a word or phrase as a “thought starter” or milestone marker.

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Then, use a permanent marker for extra color and detail.

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“Today I” makes for a fantastic catch-all starter. One of my friends says “hip-hip!” all the time, so a more “mod” version with “hip-hip-hooray!” on it might work for her.

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It would be great for baby milestones, too. (For the record, Vivi is a fantastic sleeper—I was just trying to think of things a parent might celebrate.)

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A speech bubble might be a good choice if you have particularly witty children, for those times when you want to capture a funny quote. I’d think an older kiddo might be more willing to participate with a speech bubble version.

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When I taught in the classroom, one of my favorite things was to end the day by asking my students to share the best thing that happened that day. (Favorite answer, since I’m sure you are dying to know: “I didn’t spill a single thing today. My mom will be so proud, and she won’t have to soak my shirt tonight!”) It was the conversation starter my mom would use with us as kids—and it works! So much better than “how was your day?” in terms of response, AND it give great insight into how the day really was. This would be a great version for a classroom: at the end of the day the teacher asks the question and either writes it himself/herself or lets the kids write the answer. Snap a quick pic, and done! If I was in the classroom, I’d aim for one or two per day, snapped on my phone and emailed to myself, putting my class on a two- or three-week rotation.

No matter what occasion you’re celebrating, and regardless of whether you’re capturing it at home or in the classroom, I hope this DIY milestone sign helps to preserve priceless memories and spark some conversation with your kiddos, for both parents and teachers alike!

 

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