About 3 weeks before school begins I send a letter to each new child with a picture of Gingerbread man. In the letter I tell them how excited I am to see them on the first day and tell them they can color or decorate the Gingerbread person. Then I tell them that there will be a surprise for them on their first day of school.
On the first day of school I read the Gingerbread story. However, I do not read the ending of the story. Before school that day, I hide clues around the school for the children to go on a hunt for the Gingerbread man. (This is a great way to give the kids a tour of the building!) I hide a clue in the oven, library, etc. When they return from the hunt to the classroom there is a Gingerbread cookie and milk waiting for them and a note from the gingerbread person welcoming the children to school.
We then enjoy hearing the rest of the story while we eat out Gingerbread cookies. The children LOVE this and when we reminisce about our favorite activities at the end of the year this is the first thing they remember about our Kindergarten year.