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Online School or Classroom Learning: Make the First Day Special

Online School or Classroom Learning: Make the First Day Special

After a summer like no other, it’s time for school again. Whether it’s online school or classroom learning, you can make their first day positive and special. From creating a vision board to capturing this one-of-a-kind year in photos, we’ve got tips and ideas for you.

Instagrammers: Read on for details on how to enter Zulily’s #firstdaynewway Instagram contest, and then enter for a chance to win a Grand Prize valued at over $1,400 (including a new laptop)!


A vision board is a collage of images that represents dreams and goals. Once created, a vision board is a tangible way to keep connected to goals even when day-to-day life is challenging. Making a vision board can be useful (and fun) for all ages, so consider making your own board alongside your child. This is a great activity to do before that big first day or during the first few weeks of school. Here’s how:

1. Collect supplies:

  • A large piece of construction paper or poster board (an open manilla folder will do)
  • Old magazines, catalogs, newspapers, greeting cards, etc. (you can also print images from online sources)
  • Scissors, as well as glue or tape
  • Stickers, felt-tip markers, ribbons or other extras (optional)

2. Consider or discuss what kinds of dreams or visions your board can reflect, such as:

  • What are you most proud of doing right now? How would you like to continue this?
  • Where do you dream of going? Where have you already been that inspired you?
  • What people, animals, activities, colors or objects make you feel happy?
  • What do you hope to accomplish this school year? What are some things you would like to learn about?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • What are some special goals or ways you can grow during this challenging pandemic?

3. Browse through the magazines and other sources, clipping out images, phrases and even words or letters. Let your imagination soar and don’t hold back. Now is the time to pile up those pictures freely.

4. Arrange, organize and glue. Then, find a great place to display your vision board. Let the board inspire you but remember that it is made for a moment in time. You can make a new vision board for New Year’s Day or on your birthday. It is the act of letting yourself dream that is the true gift of making a vision board.

Share Your First Day Experience in Our Epic Instagram Contest

Attention Instagrammers:

What does the first day of school look like for your family this year? Share a photo and enter for a chance to WIN a Grand Prize valued at over $1,400 — including a laptop computer, $500 Zulily gift card, Beats by Dr Dre headphones, a JanSport laptop backpack, YETI water bottle and more! 

Visit our Zulily Instagram to learn more and share your #FIRSTDAYNEWWAY!


Have a high school or college senior learning online this fall? Ask a photographer friend or book a pro for a senior photo shoot. No matter their age (or virtual or in-person learing situation), they’ll thank you later for taking that first-day photo!

Social distancing may mean that family and friends cannot celebrate your student in person. Sharing photos via email or on social media will let them be part of this special time. If you or your child enjoy adding flair to your images, check out Zulily’s fun, family-friendly new stickers (search “Zulily” in stickers) on Instagram or Facebook.

Virtual learning may make having enough pictures for yearbooks tricky. Start taking and saving pictures for those inevitable school yearbook requests in months to come. If your child is an athlete, snap them practicing in the backyard. Serious scholar? Take a picture of them reading a favorite book. Masks a rule? Take a picture of your kid wearing their favorite face covering. And who can resist those at-home learning space pictures of a student engaged in online learning?

Pro Tip: If your student is resistant to your photo-bug tendencies, have a conversation and make sure you stay in their comfort zone. Some kids are more willing to be photographed if they’re more involved. Ask them what they’d like to be photographed doing or in what landscape. Share pictures you’ve seen that inspire you. Approach picture-taking as a visual journal or photography project, then experiment together with different perspectives, filters and other creative techniques together.

Visit our Back-to-Class Shop for online school or classroom learning supplies, apparel and more.

Visit our YouTube channel for easy recipes for a Power Breakfast Smoothie or Savory After-School Treat.

Need tips for keeping kids socially engaged online? Plan the perfect Virtual Playdate for any age.

Here’s wishing you an A+ school year!


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