Party Pointer: Easy Back to School Centerpieces


When my sons were of an age, we used to celebrate each new season with a different colorful flag and door wreath on our porch, decorations around the house and centerpieces on our dining table. We had a school-bus nylon flag hanging from the porch post and a grapevine wreath covered with school supplies like pencils, crayons, ruler, protractor, mini-calculator, and pencil sharpener and a bright yellow bow hung on our door. In our family room, we had a vignette of schoolbooks from the late 1800’s, a blackboard, a pewter ink well and a old-fashioned lunch pail on our pie safe.

For our kitchen table, I varied the simple centerpieces. Here are examples of a few easy back to school centerpieces you might want to try for your family:

If your children have magnetic letters that you all have used on your refrigerator or a magnetic board, these are perfect in vases, jars or compotes. They are colorful and reminiscent of learning the alphabet. I used three small square clear glass vases that I love to use for repetition in a row as a centerpiece. I made sure that all the letters on the sides of each vase had the magnetic side facing inward. I placed all of those pieces by hand, but the inside letters were just dropped in at random.

The alphabet letters not only give a festive look to your table, but you can also use them as an educational conversation starter with your children or grandchildren. Ask each child to choose a letter from the vase and name a word that starts with the letter. Ask the next child to choose a letter and name a word. If the children are older, see if they can name a word with both chosen letters in it, and build from there.

You can also fill a flower vase with plastic letters and water and add cheery flowers that are color-coordinated with the letters. A candle can also be used, but be sure the flame is not too near to the letters.

If you have lots of short golf pencils, they can make a cute centerpiece. I lined up the pencils in this small square clear glass vase–this vase is too small on its own is too small to be a centerpiece on most tables. If you have enough pencils to fill another matching vase, you could fill a center vase with new crayons staying up like the pencils. You can also use clean aluminum cans as vases, put two rubber bands around the cans and line up your pencils or crayons by placing them under the rubber bands to hold them in place as you work. Tie a ribbon or raffia over the rubber bands and you’re all done.You might also use taller, regular pencils in a vase with the short golf pencils for a different look,

You could do this for a center vase, or do three vases alike. You could also tie a colored ribbon around the taller pencils.My sons would claim this idea was their favorite because it was full of gummies–one of their favorite kinds of candy. I found these gummy alphabet-shaped candies at our local drugstore, and placed them in a clear glass large footed individual salad bowl which I placed atop a clear glass dessert plate. Getting to eat some of the centerpiece for dessert was motivation to finish all the healthy items on their dinner plates. If they ate all their meat, vegetables and fruit, I would let them select 15 gummies, and they had to see what they could spell with the letters they had. It was a challenge that was more successful sometimes over others, depending on the letters they drew. You may also find cookies that are shaped like letters that would work as well as the gummies.

Whatever kind of easy back to school centerpiece you choose to make your family for everyday or a celebration, you will help your children find an enjoyment of education. What could be better!

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