Balloons and Beginnings!
For many kids, this is the last week of school, and summer vacation will be starting soon. This is an important event in our children's lives, as they mark the end of one year, and look forward to the relaxing days ahead. Celebrating the end of school is a wonderful way to recognize all of the hard work and effort put in by the kids throughout the year, and to create new family memories, and it doesn't need to be complicated or expensive to be meaningful. We've compiled our top ten ideas for creating a bonanza of fun on the last day of school, and if your kids have already finished school, or haven't started it yet, you can use many of them to celebrate the first official day of summer tomorrow too. Congratulations kids AND parents on finishing another year!
1. Create a "Summer Vacation" banner out of a roll of paper. Tape the paper across the front or back door, and allow kids to run through it to mark the end of school, and the beginning of vacation.
2. Host a potluck ice cream sundae party for your kids and their friends. You provide the ice cream, and each family brings a different topping. Everyone can then create their own custom ice cream creations.
3. Use black masking tape or electrical tape to create frames, and form an art gallery on a wall in your home. Display some of your child's best pieces of school work in each of the frames. If you'd like, make a sign like "Grade Two Gallery" to go along with the display.
4. Present kids with a box or bucket full of new art and craft supplies that they can enjoy throughout the summer.
5. Take a special last day of school photo. A great way to do this is to make signs out of cardstock or construction paper saying things like "Grade Six Graduate", and then to have each child pose with the appropriate sign. If you have them, dig out pictures from the beginning of the school year as well, and compare them to see how everyone has grown.
6. Plan a celebration dinner. Make pancakes shaped like the next school grade, or cut sandwiches into the appropriate number shapes. If you are celebrating the beginning of summer, make sunshine shapes. You could also decorate individual pizzas with happy faces, or the number of the next school year.
7. Weather permitting, pack a picnic dinner and head to a local park to celebrate. Bring along balls, frisbees, books, and other fun activities, and stay out late.
8. Use sidewalk chalk to decorate the driveway with "Congratulations" and "Happy Summer Vacation" messages. If you'd like, hang balloons on the door too.
9. Stop by the bookstore, and allow everyone to pick one new book to enjoy over the summer. Alternately, host a summer reading swap with your child's friends. For no cost, everyone will leave with something new to them.
10. Make a wish! Give every family member an unlit birthday candle, and have each person make a wish. Wishes can be said out loud or kept private depending on your family's preference. Place the candles into a cake, light them, and have everyone blow them out together. Candles can also be placed into pizza, a stack of pancakes, a plate of muffins, or other sturdy desserts. If you don't have an appropriate food to stick the candles in you could use tea lights instead, and simply place them in the centre of the table to blow out.
Have a beary special summer, and be sure to share your traditions with us here or on facebook too. We love hearing from you!
Beary Truly Yours,
Theodore Bear, on behalf of everyone at Ape To Zebra