Let’s End the School Year Right and Kick Off Summer!
Oh boy, summer is coming in way hot. I asked my Facebook group, Memories in Moments Insiders, to drop a gif on how they’re really feeling about Summer Break and the comments had me peeing my pants laughing. Let’s just say it was clear that most moms out there are feeling a litttttle stressed when it comes to summer break! There were gifs on women yelling they’re scared, people putting their game faces on, or just purely running away. A few were totally positive and excited for summer, but most…not so much!
Okay, so let’s kick off summer! What are the things we need to do to get ready? I don’t know about you but I am feeling a little burnt out already and it’s not even summer. There are a million end of school things! And my kids aren’t even in real school yet! We’ve got activities ending, celebrations at school, graduation ceremonies, field trips, the list goes on and on. They’re all fun and exciting things, and definitely ones I want to be present at, celebrating my kids and their years BUT wow. It’s a lot for a parent!
In this episode, I’m sharing some of my favorite easy tips and ideas for making it through the end of the school year and prepping your homes and hearts for summer break! These are some of my favorite kick off to summer traditions I’ve started and I’m excited to pass them on to you to try also!
Ending the School Year
Get a Thoughtful Teacher Gift
Listen, teachers need gifts. No one works harder than teachers. As a former teacher, I can tell you, the level of mental and physical exhaustion these people are facing as the school year winds down is intense. These teachers are with our kids all the dang time. They comfort, love, teach, inspire, and discipline our kids when we are not with them. They are their safe base when they aren’t at home. Do you know what that means? It means they get a really good thank you gift!
Think of something thoughtful- a gift card to their favorite store, a spa basket (I go to Target and get sheet masks, bath salts, lip scrubs, etc. maybe essentials oils and a diffuser). My girlfriend Nicole put together a little cheeseboard for her teachers! A wood board, tea towel and some cheese, crackers, and local honey. Totally cute. I’ve got a whole blog that I wrote about teacher gifts you can check out for more ideas!
Ask for School Friends Contact Info
While your kids are still in school, make sure you get any contact info for kids also. You never know who your kid will want to invite to their summer birthday party or have a play date with, and if you don’t have their contact info, then you obviously can’t play! So ask your little one if there are friends they’d like to play with and give the teacher a note with your name and email to put in their folders. Then the parents can email you and you’ve started a conversation!
End of School Year Celebration
I have these fun summer bins waiting on my porch for my kids when they come home from their last day of school. I call them my summer kick off bins!
The Target dollar spot is FULL of outdoor toys ranging from $1-3. STOCK UP. Then get a big plastic bin (I got two large ones from the dollar store) and fill them with the toy! I got dump trucks for the sand pit, water toys, new beach towels, bathing suits, cathing toys, rubber balls, jump ropes, bubbles, side walk chalk paint.
I probably spent about $15-20 per kid but I won’t buy them anything else to play with outside this summer. That’s their bin of new outside/summer toys! Wrap a bow around your bins or place them under a sign that says Welcome Summer and they will be SO excited!
Last Day Dinner
I love a good family dinner. The last day of school is perfect for this! You could also do the first weekend or something too if the last day was a long one- I get it! But regardless of when, pick a time that works for your family to celebrate the end of school.
Have a fun dinner- have the kids pick or do something on the grill like a burger bar or grilled pizzas- and then have a fun dessert like ice cream bar with fun toppings or smores! You can invite friends or neighbors over for this and make it a little party or just keep it low key and hang with the fam, which is what we do at the Carter house!
Summer Cleaning: Purge Time
On Episode 39, Jennifer Johnson with The Orderly Space taught us all the best ways to purge. Summer is the best time to purge. You just got a TON of stuff sent home from school that you don’t need, your kids rooms are nightmares because you’re too busy during the year to organize them, and you just need to kick off summer feeling fresh and prepared.
Remember, the best chance you have for your kids playing with toys…is for them to actually see their toys. Purging helps remind them of old favorites and gets them revisiting things!
Space and organization also helps with focusing on play and then not getting hunt up on cleaning up when they’re done. When my kids have less toys…they play better together and actually for longer so this is an important one I’d urge you not to skip.
Art Supply Restock
This purge also helps you see what arts and crafts supplies need restocking. Take inventory and then make a Target list for restocking! If you have a summer birthday, you can also ask for things on the restock list, ensuring they’ll get things you’ll use!
Summer Shopping Day Date
Take a good inventory of the closet and then make a little end of school year summer clothes shopping date! I just did this with Evie and we had the best day! We went to lunch and busted out all the shopping- new clothes, bathing suits and sandals. She needed everything and she’s also becoming totally picky so I can’t just go to the store or order her things online anymore. She’s got all these opinions I need to listen to now…so it’s much easier to take her with me rather than return a bunch.
I put a fun spin on this day of errands and made it out to be a big day date and she was thrilled, kept saying it was the best day over and over so that was a total win, and I needed some reconnect time with her too! Hudson doesn’t care about his clothes yet (he’s almost 3) but when he does, I will 100% be doing this with him as well. It’s a fun new tradition that I’m really glad I started!
Summer Bucket List
The summer bucket list is your handful of activities that are must-dos over the summer: beach day, backyard camping, zoo trip, trying 3 new ice cream shops, outdoor movie nights, strawberry picking, etc. Whatever is important to your family that you want to do, write them all down and then start plugging them into your calendar to get everyone excited!
This adds that fun and excitement about summer break and makes it more real. Also, seeing things on your schedule makes the daunting children in your house all day feelings a little more bearable!
If you liked these tips, then you will definitely want to download my free checklist that expands on this list: 10 Things Every Mom Needs to Do Before the School Year Ends. I shared a couple, but there are still a bunch more of these ideas to help you kick off summer and end the school year feeling excited and prepared!
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