Wow! Can you believe it! Another school year is almost over. And it’s a good thing because for everything they try to squeeze into May, a person couldn’t take any more! For some of you who have all year school I wonder if you ever feel like there is a last day of school. It would be interesting to hear from some of you. Please “LIKE” my facebook page called Journey Through Divorce and tell me your experience between the emotional differences between an all year school year vs a Sept. – May/June school year. I would love to hear from you.
Remembering back to when my children had their last days of school brings back wonderful memories. This is a time when we as parents have an opportunity to intentionally build memories they will remember and talk about for years to come. And it was times like these that have bonded our blended family to this day. Building these kind of memories is something that is not based on your family structure. In my situation they became an essential part of our family bonding in both a single parent family and a blended family. But in this instance, even an intact family can benefit from these same ideas.
Celebrating the end of a school year can be a big deal. I know it was in our home. I would either surprise them by picking them up at school on their last day or take the day off of work and plan something special the 1st day of summer vacation. I would always make it a surprise and as they got older each year I would make it crazier so they would never know what to expect. And it got to the point where the more embarrassing I could make it, the better it got. Below are small sampling of the things I did. Feel free to use any of these ideas or use them as a spring board to come up with your own ideas.
- Find a local museum, landmark, amusement park or state park. Use the day to focus on your children and celebrate them and their accomplishments.
- Pack a lunch and spend the day at the local zoo. Put together a trivia game about the animals and fun facts about the zoo.
- Invite some friends over and have a party that includes a food relay. Have items in a brown bag and form 2 lines then have each one individually run down and grab an item out of the bag, eat it and tag the next person to do the same. Some of the things in the bags were; pudding they had to eat through a nylon over their head, a bag of soda crackers they need to eat with nothing to drink until then whistle, eat a jar of baby food, chew bubble gum balls and blow a bubble, eat an entire lemon, eat a bag of marshmallows, crack an egg and swallow it, eat an entire can of whipping cream, swallow a box of dry jello, drink some Tabasco sauce. Make sure you have a camera, the faces they make are hilarious!
- Wizzard of Oz scavenger hunt – Have each one of the kids dress up like Dorothy, the tin man, a lion, a witch, toto, scarecrow and have them go through the neighborhood knocking on doors collecting unique items. They have to link arms and sing “We’re Off to See the Wizard” as they go from home to home.
- Have a Napoleon Dynamite dance party. Watch the movie and then do a dance contest.
- Progressive Supper – split up a meal between 5 different homes. Serve an appetizer, salad, soup, entrée and dessert at the different homes. You move from home to home for your complete meal. This is a great way to get your grandparents or children’s friends families involved as well.
- Silly Supper – serve a meal where each item is listed on a menu as a school item. For instance; pencil, notebook, locker, teacher, text book, eraser, highlighter, ruler, calculator, etc. Then split up your meal into many different parts. For instance; milk, spaghetti sauce, noodles, lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese, fork, spoon, dressing, napkin, bread, butter etc. Hand out the surprise menu to each one of your kids and have them select 4 school items for 4 separate stages (appetizer, salad/soup, entrée and dessert). Then serve each of the 4 items they picked at one time and have them eat their meal in that order. (Each child will eat in their own order) They will end up having to eat butter without the bread, sauce without an eating utensil, dressing without a salad etc.
- Video Scavenger Hunt – break up into teams of 2 to 4 and give each team a video camera and a list of items they need to do, videoing them doing each item on the list. Have them do things like; sing The Star Spangled Banner out loud under a large American flag, run around all 4 bases as a team on a ball field, find a person who will sing Jingle Bells with you, go through a drive thru and order something from a different restaurant, find a stranger who would agree to dance to some music with you etc. The 1st team that comes back with a video proving they did everything on the list wins.
- I would do something special for each one of my seniors. One year we did a “Steal the Senior” when the senior’s friends would “steal” her and her siblings had to find her by following clues. At one time our families favorite show was “24”. So I made my senior “Jack Bauer” and him and his friends solved a mission in which his siblings were the bad guys. Then we did a “LOST” theme where I made the back yard like a deserted island. And our last one for our last senior was probably the funnest. He was really into the show “Swamp People” so we all dressed up in character and put the kids on a scavenger hunt in a boat for them to find a large blown up alligator. But along the way they had to conquer many obstacles. The important thing is to find something unique and special to your senior and build an activity around it. It was our special way of celebrating our seniors. Those were special shows that meant something to our family at the time. Think of what shows or movies have been favorites for your family.
But the most memorable was probably when me and my sister dressed up as old ladies and came in for each of their lunch hours on their last day of school to do whatever we could to embarrass them, including singing.