The last day of school will be here before you know it! Here are some great ideas to make it special for your kids.
Finishing a school year definitely feels like a big accomplishment to a kid. Here are some great ideas to make the last day of school super special and one your child won’t soon forget!
Free ideas for the last day of school
Good news: You don’t have to spend any money at all to celebrate the last day of school with your kids! Check out these easy and free ideas that your kids will enjoy:
Begin your family summer bingo board
Summer bingo is a great way to keep boredom at bay! According to ChildMind, having lots of plans for the summer will help your kids feel secure, even when their daily school routine won’t be happening.
Basically, you and your kids come up with some fun activities you’d like to do over the summer and arrange them on a simple bingo board.
Then as you do the activities throughout the summer, you can mark them off. When you get a bingo, you can celebrate together as a family with a special treat!
(This is our family’s favorite way to make the summer interesting! The summer bingo board is especially perfect if you’re not planning a big summer vacation because it makes normal activities seem more exciting!)
Take a last day of school photo
Be sure to commemorate the last day of school by taking an individual photo of each of your kids! Although they may not love posing for a moment or two, it is really cool and rewarding to see how much they’ve grown and changed throughout the course of an entire school year.
To make your photos quick and easy, download and print these adorable Last Day of School signs from the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable Library! There are perfect summery signs for every grade from Pre-K3 all the way up through 12th grade.
Click here to join the Free Printable Library or on the image below and get your free printable signs!
Sign up for summer reading at local library
If your kids love to read or enter contests, swing by your local library to sign up for their summer reading program! (You could do this on your way to pick up ice cream or another fun summery treat!)
Many libraries offer great themed contests for all ages. Oftentimes, the library will offer milestone prizes throughout the program, so your kid doesn’t have to be the big winner to feel like they’ve been rewarded!
This is a great way to motivate your kids to keep up their literacy skills during the long break from school. (For some more great ways to help your kids keep learning over the summer, check out this awesome list of resources here from AllConnect!)
Put together an End of School Year art exhibit
Before your kids come home from the last day of school, take some time to go through the artwork or projects they’ve completed during the past school year.
Display them in a prominent place in your home – such as on a wall or refrigerator – and see how long it takes your kids to notice them!
They’ll enjoy looking back at the work they did and the progress they’ve made during the year.
Create an End of School Year walk of fame
Similar to creating an End of the Year art gallery, you could also create a “Walk of Fame” for each of your kids.
Simply write out a list of their big and small accomplishments throughout the school year on large paper stars.
Then place the stars along a hallway or sidewalk in a long row.
When your kids get home, have them walk along their star route and read the all the things they’ve accomplished or learned during the year.
Here’s a quick list of possible ideas to help you get started on your kid’s End of the Year Walk of Fame:
- learned all of the multiplication tables, ABCs, etc
- got all As and Bs
- served on the student council
- won a citizenship award
- played in her first soccer season
- sang in the school or church choir
- entered the science fair
- won an award at Field Day
- created a special work of art
- participated in a service project
- gained a new sibling
- made a new best friend
- performed in a musical recital
- participated in Lemonade Day
- went on a special field trip or vacation
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Create Top 10 Lists
One of our favorite ideas for the last day of school is to have your kids create Top 10 lists.
These lists could be their Top 10 books to read, movies to watch, games to play, places to go, people to hang out with, treats to make, etc.
Choose three or four categories and either have your kids complete individual lists (or make one big family list instead).
Creating Top 10 lists is an awesome way to get lots of good ideas for your Summer Bingo Board or Bucket List!
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Surprise ideas for the last day of school
If you want to have a little surprise gift for your kids when they come home from the last day of school, check out these great ideas too!
Fill a bucket with some new water toys
Treat your kids to a bucket full of fun water toys when they arrive home from the last day of school!
Here are some of our favorite, inexpensive water toys from Amazon:
Easy-fill water balloons – you could have these pre-filled for an impromptu water fight when the kids get home from school! Or you could put a cute note on the package with the message: “This summer is going to be BURSTING with fun!”
Water guns – this 2-pack is perfect! You could stick a fun message on them that reads: “Let’s have a BLAST this summer!”
Beach ball – if you have a pool or will be swimming at a neighborhood pool, a new beach ball can be a fun way to welcome every summer. This 3-pack has one jumbo ball and two regular-sized beach balls to mix up the fun. Kids always love a clever message, so you could write something like: “We’re ready to have a BALL this summer!”
Pool float – choose a fun-themed pool float or two that reflect your kids’ likes and interests this year! (This year we have a tiger and a popsicle float like this!)
Create a new summer toys basket
If water toys don’t float your boat (sorry, we couldn’t resist!), here are some great fun summer fun toys to use outdoors with your kids.
Fill a simple basket or buckets with a few of these items and have it waiting for your kids when they arrive home from the last day of school!
New bubble wands – this 14-pack of bubble wands from Amazon is our favorite! In 7 bright colors (2 of each, to prevent any fighting over which color your kids use!), these bubble wands make it super easy to create lots of big bubbles. Consider adding a little note that says something like “Let’s have BUBBLES of fun this summer!”
Hula hoops – Attach a simple sticky note with the words, “Here’s HOOPING for a great summer!”
Sidewalk chalk – Replacing sidewalk chalk every year is a given in most households. This great 20-piece set comes in a plastic container (with a lid! – score!). A clever note that reads, “Let’s create a beautiful summer!” will make this a memorable gift!
Kites – Include an awesome, durable kite for your kids to fly when you go to the beach!
Picnic set – Mix up the traditional summer gifts and purchase a fun, classic picnic basket set for two. You can add a gift tag with the words, “I PICK you to have an amazing summer!” You could make it a point to take each of your kids on a special one-on-one picnic during the summer.
Decorate your car for school pickup
If you drive to pickup your kids from school, consider decorating your car windows with these liquid-chalk paint markers! You can write things such as:
- “School’s Out for the Summer!”
- “Hello, Sunshine, Shades, and Smiles!”
- “[Your vacation location] or Bust!”
- “Goodbye School, Hello Summer!”
- “Let the Good Times Roll!”
As your kids come out of school, feel free to be that mom who is cheering and has an awesome summertime playlist cranked from those minivan speakers! (heehee! – Check out our fun summertime playlist for the disco dance party!)
Put up a giant banner
Make and hang a simple banner to hang on your garage door or your front door for your kids to see when they get home from the last day of school! Grab a roll of giant white kraft paper and let your inner artist shine!
Bus stop surprise
If your kids ride the bus, meet them at the bus stop with cans of silly string or shaving cream and let them have a ball!
You could also bring a bucket of water balloons or water guns instead if the weather is super warm.
Special events to celebrate the last day of school
These simple events can be pulled off easily and inexpensively – something every mom needs, right?!
Ice cream treat/ at-home ice cream bar
Pick up your kids from school and take them immediately to their favorite ice-cream or frozen yogurt place.
If you’d rather make this an at-home event, set up an ice cream bar with all of your kids’ favorite flavors of ice cream, as well as all the syrups, whipped cream, toppings, and sprinkles they can imagine!
Disco dance party
Plan a family “Welcome to Summer” dance party! We highly recommend adding your own inexpensive, personal disco light like this to really ramp up those at-home dance parties!
Create a great summer-themed playlist with some of these great songs:
- “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
- “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama
- “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams
- “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper
- “Surfin’ USA” by the Beach Boys (or any of their songs!)
- “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
- “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
- “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars
- “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley
- “Wipeout” by The Surfaris
Another really memorable last day of school idea is to host a family campout.
It really doesn’t matter if you set up a tent in the backyard or in the living room! Kids love the chance to sleep in a sleeping bag, tell stories by flashlight and roast some gooey marshmallows for s’mores.
(These marshmallow roasting sticks are our absolute favorites – for safety purposes AND for the different colored handles so no one confuses which marshmallow is theirs!)
Pizza party and an outdoor movie
Have each of your kids invite a friend over for start-of-the-summer pizza and an outdoor movie!
Nothing beats a lazy summer evening taking in a movie under the stars. (Be sure to have bug spray on hand though!)
Final thoughts about these last day of school activities
Are you feeling excited about the last day of school now?! We sure hope so!
Remember, it doesn’t take a ton of effort (or money!) to put together a few of these fun ideas for the last day of school. Your kids will love and appreciate any effort you make!
Here’s to a summer of fun for you and your family!
Related articles about summer fun for kids:
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