• Staci

Make the last day of school special

If you live in my neck of the woods, you're probably counting down the last days until the end of the school year. When that fateful day comes, why not go the extra mile to make their last day extra special? It doesn't take much to mark this landmark day in every student's school year. Here, I'll give you some easy and affordable ideas for making the last day of school extra sweet.

Prep them for SUMMER!

Your kids have (presumably) worked hard all year. Why not give them a little something special to kick off the summer? This doesn't have to be a pricey endeavour. Depending on the age of your kids, the dollar store can be a treasure trove of ingredients for the perfect, low-tech summer. Craft stores like Michael's are great, too, and you can often find fun summer stuff at Costco, too. Look around and be creative! Here's an example of a "basket" I put together one year for our daughter:

Included here: Water gun, markers, clay, activity books, journal, skipping rope, flutter board, camping utensils and a few other little bits and pieces. Most of this was purchased at the dollar store and Michael's.

Take them out for a treat!

Summer is for treats, right? Why not kick off the summer with a special treat, maybe something you wouldn't either normally do on regular basis, like a fancy milkshake or a fast-food dinner. Marking the day by doing something special like this helps make the occasion extra special.

Pack a special lunch

By the time June rolls around, most parents are tired of packing a lunch every day. But for this last one of the year, why not muster up the very last dregs of enthusiasm you have for the act of lunch packing to help your kiddo celebrate the last day of school? It doesn't take much to make their last-day lunch extra special. It can be as simple as tucking a special note into their lunch, adding in a special treat or a small toy, or incluing a clue as to something special that's to come when they get home after school.

Welcome them home in a memorable way

Speaking of after school, the last day of school is the perfect time to do something a little bit special to welcome your kiddos home. I've done a variety of different things over the years, depending on her age and what's she into at the time. Here are a few ideas:

Have an outdoor fondue party!

If you have a small fondue pot or small slow cooker, why not have an outdoor fondue party for the last day of school? You can enjoy spending time together, chat about their day, make plans for summer...all while enjoying some delicious chocolate fondue! What would be better than that? (And it's pretty easy to put together, too.)

Create a finish line!

Reaching the last day of school is like crossing a finish line of sorts for kids, so why not create an actual one for them to crash through at the end of the day? This is easier than it sounds. Simply stretch a length of paper (butcher paper, drawing paper, wrapping paper -- anything that tears easily -- across the threshold to your home (this could be the railing or gate outside, the front entryway, the garage, etc.) decorate it with a "you did it!" message and let them crash on through to officially welcome summer!

Take lots of pics

If you're a parent these days, you probably don't need to be told to take lots of pics -- you probably do already. But on the last day of school, there are some special shots you might not think of taking in the hustle and bustle of getting the kiddos off to school, but they are the kind of shots that will help chronicle the passage of time, those pictures that both you and they will cherish in the years to come. Here are some ideas for last-day-of-school photos:

  • A photo of them on the last day, holding a pic of themselves on the first day

We don't often see these changes because they happen gradually, but when you see a picture of them on the first day right alongside the image of them on the last day, the changes can be very emotional!

  • A photo of them getting off the bus

Yes, they get off the bus every day. If your kids are still little, you probably watch them get off the bus every day, too. But there's something special about that last day of school bus dismount that I can barely put into words. It's a moment in time that I want to freeze every year, that moment when they get off that bus, finished with one grade, one teacher, one set of challenges, maybe even one particular set of friends. Life changes so quickly in childhood, as they learn, grown, change, and slowly step into the people they are going to be, and it's simple things like a snapshot of them getting off the bus that makes me want to pause time for just a little while.

Create a "yearbook photo"

In the same vein as above with regards to trying to freeze time for a moment, take the time to snap a last-day-of-school photo, being sure to leave lots of open space around her in the photo. Then, I use PicMonkey to edit the photo to include little snippets of who she was and what she was up to during that school year: awards won, friends made, hobbies, favourites, etc. This creates a quick and easy way to remember who your child was at that moment in time.

There you have it: A few easy, simple, and affordable ways to make the last day of school memorable, both for you and for your kids. It doesn't take much to make our kids feel special any day of the year, and on the last day of school, why not go the extra mile? You'll be glad you did.

Happy Summer, everyone!

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