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Last Day of School Rituals for Kids
By: Patti Wood MA

  • Take a photo outside the school say the front entrance or by a tree or door at your house. One particular spot you can return to each year.
  • Take all school stuff, backpacks, papers, books, and symbolically put them away for the summer saying goodbye and have a great summer break!
  • Come home, put on bathing suits and turn on the sprinkler or slip and slide on the lawn and have the kids, and (perhaps you as well), run through a sprinkler or slide yelling out each time they go some fun things they dream of doing over the summer.    Fun things they can yell out might be, "Eat peach ice cream, go to the pool, visit grandma, paint pictures, play in the dirt, skip rope, learn to hula hoop, build a fort, ride my bike, play with _____.,  Have a sleep over, make my own pizza, play with the dog, go to the park, roast marshmallows, catch fire flies."
  • Create a start of the summer song and or dance that you do with your kids and do that same song or dance each year. You can pick an old classic sixties song, or some current hot song. Just make you’re your first day of summer vacation song is fun and upbeat and you will love singing to it each year.
  • Have one fun new summer set of clothes for your child and have those clothes laid out on their bed and have them run to their room take off school clothes and put on summer fun clothes. 
  • Have a special fun dinner at home or go to a fun restaurant you eat at rarely. Perhaps you can choose a theme restaurant like Japanese hibachi or Five Guys Hamburgers so there is specific memory, when you go there take a picture. At dinner go around and say fun things you dream of doing over the summer.
  • Ask your child or children the Monday of last week of school what fun dessert treat like ice-cream they want that they don’t usually get and have that after last day of school. Or bake a summer cake and have them decorate it.
  • Have a blown up beach ball, new beach towels and new bathing suits and flip flops, pail and shovel on the kids’ beds when they get home from school.
  • Fill a jar with slips of paper, each slip of paper has on it one summer fun play dream like those listed in the run through the sprinkler option above.  You put some in yourself and have the kids put some in. During the summer they get to pick something from the jar to do.
  • Go to the store before the last day of school and buy plants, or flowers or vegetables or herbs and fun pots and have the kids plant them the last day of school when they get home to show that new things begin when school ends and they can nurture and grow something over the summer.