When is your kid's last day of school? This Friday? Next Wednesday? Next month?
Whether you have a few more days or a few more weeks, chances are that last day of school is fast approaching. Have you thought about how you will celebrate? It doesn't have to be elaborate. When I was a kid, the last day of school always meant riding home with all of the windows open shouting..."No more pencils, no more books," at the top of our lungs. I'm sure we did other fun stuff too, but to be honest, that is what I remember.
Looking for a little inspiration for fun ways to celebrate the last day? I asked around and got loads of responses from folks about the memories they made as kids on the last day of school or the memories they plan to make with their own children.
These are my absolute favorites:
When in doubt, ice cream always works. "When I was a child my mother took me out for a sundae the last day of school at Howard Johnson's. I continued that tradition with my daughter, but since Howard Johnson's doesn't exist where we live in Oakland, California, I took her to the Dreyer's Ice Cream shop or to Fentons, a local famous one that serves huge sundaes. This summer, I plan to take her for out for ice cream the day after she comes home from college. But I'll let her choose where to go." Karen P.
Get back to nature. "Our family Last Day of School Ritual is we go camping with lots of families from our school. School gets out on a Friday, but we start camping on Thursday after school and everyone caravans down from our local campground (Lake Lopez, California) to school on Friday. Then many families come out after school on Friday to join in a fun weekend of camping, boating and hiking with friends. This has been a school tradition for many years. This will be our 8th year and the kids look forward to it." Karen B.
Make memories. "My daughter is graduating elementary school this year. Last night she picked out her shirt to wear for field day which was purchased and I asked her if she's going to make a memory shirt. She had no clue as to what it was. I grabbed my uniform shirt from high school and told her that the reason it had so many signatures and doodles was because it was the shirt I wore on my last day of school and everyone in my class signed it. She took a permanent marker to school and came home with her shirt signed by everyone, including her teachers and the little first graders and kindergarten kids she reads to. She was like "Mom, EVERYONE wanted to sign my shirt. And then guess what? They all stole my idea so now it's like I had the best idea ever and everyone is keeping their memory shirts!" I guess with this generation, what is old can be new again." Arthia N.
Go for a swim. "Back in 2005, when our sons (best friends) were 10, 8 and 6, my closest friend and I began a tradition of taking our boys to a local creek to celebrate the start of summer. After school let out, we'd spend a whole day at the creek playing in the water — the boys would hike up the creek, swim in the pools, jump off logs into the water, and build dams. It just felt like the ultimate summer day. We made it an annual tradition that we all looked forward to every June. Now our oldest sons are 21 and in college together, and they still organize a trip to the creek with their brothers and friends to celebrate the start of summer every year." Sue J.
Let the sidewalks talk. "I wrote on the sidewalk [in chalk] with things like "Welcome to Summer" "Let's Party" "Cannon ball" and also had a water balloon fight and the neighborhood kids came down after they got home from school and ran through the sprinkler and had popsicles...before dinner!" Marci L.
Stream some movie magic. "We chill after school until 5-6, then order a pizza and make popcorn and go for the binge — not food, but movie or TV series. Netflix or Amazon is your friend here. We stay up late and watch until people (parents or kids) start fading/falling asleep. This is fun because most of the year TV and late nights are rigidly controlled so a cut-loose summer kick-off is fun." Lisa J.
Remember it with a hunt. "At the end of the school year we have a fun scavenger hunt about school supplies and different things/events that took place over the academic year. We set up a little "map" and they have to find something (an artifact) or recreate a moment from each month of the school year. We do this as reminder of all the things the kids accomplished during the academic year — so if the kids have felt tired stressed by the end of May and early June, they know why; because they were working hard." Kanesha B.
Related on MNN:
- Is your snack cabinet ready for the summer?
- Do you give your kids end-of-school year gifts?
- How to create new family traditions