NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh pencils and the perfect lunchbox, new clothes and the hottest notebooks. In the wind down of summer as we head into fall, a variety of celebrities time-tripped back to childhood, sharing favorite moments preparing for the first day of school.
"I went to a military school. Oddly enough, every fall when it came up, the idea of putting on the uniform and going back to school was very exciting," recalled Joe Morton of ABC's "Scandal."
For Katy Mixon, who stars in ABC's "American Housewife," it was all about the duds.
"Going clothes shopping. I grew up in a family of seven — six girls and one boy. My mama used to always take us to go get those back-to-school clothes, and I loved it."
Kelly McCreary of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" was all about the paper products.
"I still love a great new notebook. Super nerd," she said.
Her fellow cast member, Jason Winston George, had other favorite gear.
"Lunchboxes. It was all about the new lunchboxes and the backpack. Lunchbox and backpack, that was my joint," he said.
Ian Ziering, who stars in Syfy's "Sharknado 5: Global Swarming," has passed down one of his parents' back-to-school traditions to his two kids.
"It's taking a picture in front of the house, in front of the front door. We do it every year with my kids with a little sign: Kindergarten, first day of kindergarten, first day of first grade. It's great. I have that from my childhood and now my kids have that," he said. "It's just a great picture to look back on."
Kaitlyn Dever, in the summer film "Detroit," said it was all about first-day fashion.
"You gotta bring it first day, and my mom would always get me something so rad and so cool," she said. "I would always be coordinated with my sister, who's two years younger than me."
Salma Hayek's favorite back-to-school activity growing up in Mexico was wrapping her books and adorning her homemade covers.
"They don't do it anymore," she said. "Finding the paper to wrap it and the decorations. Now it's all in the computer. Nobody wraps their books anymore. I remember how exciting it was, to do it all neatly. It was a lovely ritual."
Her castmate, Samuel L. Jackson, in the film "The Hitman's Bodyguard," said he remembers hunting down the "perfect notebook that didn't fall apart after two weeks."
Co-star Ryan Reynolds had no specific back-to-school rituals growing up, but his oldest daughter is heading to preschool.
"I'm sure I'm the one who needs help, not her," he said. "She'll be fine."
Max Greenfield, who appears in the film "The Glass Castle," said backpacks stand out for him and his daughter, one of his two kids.
"She had a good backpack this year. She had a Vans backpack, which was pretty cool," he said. "This year we're growing out of the Hello Kitty backpack and now you have a Vans backpack. I think later on it's going to get terrifying when she's like, I'm wearing this to school, and you're like, no you're not."
Kate Beckinsale, who's in the new film, "The Only Living Boy in New York," loved the idea of marking time as the school years passed.
"You could completely reinvent yourself every year, if you wanted to, defined by your backpack and your pencil case. I still like that, the smell of sharpening pencils and all new erasers," she said.
Fellow cast member Kiersey Clemons has three little sisters.
"Taking them school shopping for the supplies and the backpacks and everything, that is my favorite thing," she smiled. "I love the fresh pencils and pens and binders. I love that. I love organization."
Associated Press writers Brooke Lefferts in New York and Marcela Isaza, Lee Patrick Sullivan and Joseph Longo in Los Angeles contributed to this report.