Making Special Memories on the Last Day of School

A few special memories I have of my childhood were the fun things my parents did to celebrate the last day of school.  One year they put together an entire awards ceremony just for my sister & I!  I remember my sister getting a can of hair mousse & the reward had to do with how much time she spent fixing her hair in the morning!  (I wish I could remember the other awards…)  Other years it was just a silly string fight on the back patio & one year we got new bikes (if your kids need bikes, may as well make it count for something…).  We have started a few traditions on the last day of school that my kids really seem to enjoy.  You know it’s special to them when they start asking about it a few weeks before school gets out for fear of disappointment!   

I always try to make sure my kids look decent on the last day of school, since I like to take pictures to commemorate their last day of ____ grade (fill in the blank) & we usually take pictures of them with their teachers.

Speaking of teachers, the last few years we have made them these candygram letters using mainly school supplies.  We added a Dairy Queen gift card at the bottom this year.

It says:

“Dear Mrs. B,
I just wanted to send a quick (note- we used post-it notes) to say how much you (mint) to me this year!  There are too many things to (highlight- highlighter) from our year, but they made a (permanent mark- permanent marker) on me that can’t be (erased- eraser).  You are an (extra- gum) special teacher & I am a (smartie) because of you!
P.S. Celebrate the end of a great school year with some (DQ- gift card)!”

Even though this is a pretty inexpensive gift, the teachers really do seem to get a kick out of it.  My son’s teacher teared up & said she wasn't going to take anything off of it & that she would glue the gift card back on after she used it!

I like to make their lunch extra special on the last day, so I have started wrapping it like a present!  The past couple of years I have just purchased Lunchables, because they are easy to wrap & are also a special treat for the kids on the last day.  I had an epiphany this year & decided this would also be a great idea for when my kids’ birthdays fall on a school day.

The fun celebrations begin once school is out & they return home.  In the past, we have hidden behind the house with water guns, water balloons, & even the hose & soaked them as they come in.  We try to change it up a little each year, so this year we locked the garage door & all the doors to the house.  

We posted this note on the front door:

It reads:

Dear (Zeke) & (Elie),
We are so proud of the (Smarties) you have become this school year & are (bursting- starbursts) with happiness to have some (Extra- gum) time with you over summer break!  We can’t wait to enjoy (popsicles) on the back deck, family (game- You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me!) night, (movies- Redbox codes), & relaxing over the (glow- glow sticks) of the fire pit.  There are sure to be lots of (Snickers- candy bar)!  We love you to (pieces- Reese’s Pieces)!
(Mommy & Daddy)

(I left extra goodies in a gift bag inside, so my kids would each have their own, except for the Redbox codes & the game & the rest of the popsicles were in the freezer so they could enjoy them right away!)

We stood right inside the door & waited for them to come to the front door to read the sign.  Then, we opened the front door & covered them in silly string!  After a few years of getting soaked with water, I definitely don’t think they were expecting that!

We also try to take the kids out for some family fun on the last day of school.  We have gone to Kings Island Amusement Park, Laser Tag, & this year we played mini golf.  (Can you believe we have never taken our kids to a legitimate miniature golf place?)

I know some parents dread the last day of school, but I do really enjoy having my kids home for the summer.  Here are our plans for making the most of our time together:

I’ll be back next week to explain how we plan on preventing summer learning loss, while making it fun & rewarding for the kiddos!


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