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THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL BLUES
This week, my kids’ school year ended. Instead of class parties, hugs good-bye and autographed yearbooks, they had a teacher parade and a pickup line to grab their stuff left behind. It was hard on them. The past few months have been excitement of “no school” only to realize what that really meant. This week they didn’t want it to end.
While teachers and districts did their best (I mean, we got a parade!) it wasn’t closure for my kiddos. My daughter graduated three years of preschool and missed her spring show and ceremony. My son missed a field trip, end of the year activities and being able to tell his friends good-bye.
Parents and teachers all over the world are trying to make these last days special for kids and it is so encouraging to see. But if your kids are feeling a little lost like mine, and bummed out after they only get to wave at their teacher instead of give them a big hug like they love doing, then maybe these few ideas will help give them a little more closure for the school year.
Instead of naming it the End of the School Year Party (which emphasizes the bummer you’re trying to avoid), name it The First Day of Summer Party. Studies show that having something to look forward to boosts your mood and planning something fun (like a vacation) provides the same benefits of actually going on a vacation.
HOST A FIRST DAY OF SUMMER PARTY AT HOME
1. DECORATE THE HOUSE THE NIGHT BEFORE
Use streamers in the doorway, set up some surfer-themed music, lay out beach-towels and activities in the living room, and a summery tablecloth and banner in the breakfast room.
2. HAVE A FIRST DAY OF SUMMER BREAKFAST
Dress donuts up as pool floaties with little umbrellas, milk with silly straws, and bowls of fresh fruit on skewers.
3. GIVE A FIRST DAY OF SUMMER GIFT
Find a few special goodies such as a new summer shirt, brand new art supplies, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, blow up pool, seeds for a garden, and set them all in a beach bucket.
4. MAKE A FAMILY BUCKET LIST
5. PLAY A FEW GAMES TOGETHER
6. HAVE A PICNIC AT THE PARK
Take the kids to a local park and bring a snack lunch from home (carrots in peanut butter, string cheese, trail mix, cut up fruit and veggies with hummus, etc). Spread out a blanket or set up some camping chairs. Toss a Frisbee around, fly a kite or feed the ducks.
7. TAKE A REST WITH A NEW BOOK
Give each child a new book they can enjoy on their own in their room for an hour rest time. It could be the start of a series, or one of your favorites as a kid. We like Choose Your Own Adventure and anything by Mo Willems.
8. PLAY WITH WATER
Set up a kiddy pool, a sprinkler, water balloon fight, a water table or fill a bucket with water and let them get creative with toys, buckets, rocks and plants. Anything to get them excited to play outside.
7. WATCH A SUMMER-THEMED MOVIE WITH DINNER
Wrap up the night with dinner outside and a movie under the stars. Exhausted and ready to turn in? That’s ok! Order pizza and watch a movie inside. At intermission, break out the ice cream sundaes or individual bowls of popcorn.
To create even more excitement, print this First Day of Summer Itinerary and get pumped about the day together!
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