The last day of school is bittersweet! It’s a time when your kids are bidding farewell to their routines and embracing the freedom of summer. There is anticipation for what is to come, but sadness for what is finished.
The last day of school is usually busy, so it’s essential to pick last day of school traditions that make sense for your family. That being said, even a few small traditions can make all the difference. By the last day of school, my kids are bubbling over with excitement. They are ready for fun! To make this day special, you can incorporate last day of school traditions that bring joy, create lasting memories, and celebrate the achievements of the past year. Let’s explore a variety of fun, inexpensive, and easy traditions to make the last day of school truly memorable for your child.
Fun last day of school traditions
Are you ready to start a few new last day of school traditions with your kids? Let’s get started!
Capture Growth with First and Last Day Photos
Start the day by capturing the growth your child has experienced throughout the school year. Take a photo in the same location where you captured their first day of school picture. Comparing the two images side by side will show how much your kids have changed. I have my kids take a picture on the porch, in front of our front door. I love seeing their growth throughout the year! This is an easy tradition. It just takes a few minutes. If I can get them to smile on the first try. 🙂
Pack a Special Lunch with a Personal Note
Surprise your child with a special packed lunch on their last day of school. Include their favorite treats, a handwritten note expressing your love and pride, and perhaps a small token to signify the start of summer vacation. This is a sweet way to let your kids know that you are thinking of them. My kids typically don’t have a full day of school on the last day of school, so I like to do this the last day they have lunch at school.
Need more lunch note ideas? Read: 24 Free Lunchbox Notes for Kids
Create a Summer Bag
Want to know a fun way to surprise your kids with things that you’ll need to give them anyway? Fill a summer bag filled with items that will add to the excitement of the upcoming break. Include things like sunscreen, beach towels, water toys, and other essentials for outdoor adventures. This simple act will get your child in the summer spirit and foster anticipation for the fun-filled days ahead. This is a fun thing to “gift” your kids
Write a Heartfelt Letter
Take the opportunity to write a heartfelt letter to your child, reflecting on their accomplishments, growth, and experiences throughout the school year. Share your love, pride, and hopes for the summer break. Be specific as you talk about things they’ve done or accomplished this past year.
Indulge in Ice Cream
After school, treat your child to a delicious ice cream cone or sundae. Celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer with this classic and delightful tradition. It’s a sweet way to mark the transition and create a lasting memory. Grab our Ice Cream Sundae party signs here.
Countdown with Balloons or a Paper Chain
Build excitement in the days leading up to the last day of school by creating a countdown with balloons or a paper chain. Each day, pop a balloon or remove a link from the chain, symbolizing the approaching end of the school year. This tradition spreads the anticipation and fun throughout the weeks before school ends.
For older kids, encourage them to bring a pillowcase or shirt along with a Sharpie to school for their friends to sign. This gesture allows them to collect memories and well wishes from their peers, creating a unique keepsake of their time together. My mother recently told me about a stuffed bear she had signed from dear friends in second grade before she moved to a new town. That bear held such meaning and love for her as she moved on to a new stage in her life. These cute tote bags would be perfect for this! Your kids can have friends sign them, and then use the bags all summer long!
Express Gratitude to Teachers
Send a note of appreciation to your child’s teacher. Acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and positive impact the teacher has had on your child’s education. This act of gratitude will reinforce the importance of recognizing and valuing the efforts of those who shape our children’s lives.
If you need more ideas for expressing gratitude to teachers, read: Gift Ideas and Thank You Notes for Teacher Appreciation Week
Foster Summer Connections
Help your child hand out contact information cards to their friends, facilitating opportunities for summer playdates. Encourage and empower your child to maintain friendships during the break, fostering social connections outside of the school environment.
Make a Summer Bucket List
Sit down with your child and create a summer bucket list together. Include activities, places to visit, and experiences they want to enjoy during the break. This collaborative process builds excitement and ensures that the summer is filled with adventures and fun.
Last day of school traditions provide an opportunity for your kids to make the transition from school to summer memorable and enjoyable. By incorporating these fun and meaningful activities into your family’s last day of school traditions, you can create lasting memories and celebrate your child’s achievements. From capturing growth with first and last day photos to expressing gratitude to teachers, each tradition adds a special touch to this significant milestone. Remember, these traditions don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. What matters most is the time spent together celebrating the end of another successful school year!