School Is Out: Fun Traditions For the Last Day of School

The school year is almost over. The end of the school year is a time to celebrate with your child. They have worked hard for 180 days and are ready to have a little fun. They deserve to see how proud you are of them and to know that all their hard work does not go unnoticed.

To make them feel extra special, instead of taking your child out to celebrate by getting ice cream or a special yummy treat that only lasts a few minutes, why not try something that will create life-long memories instead? There are SO many fun ways to mark the end of the school year and the beginning of summer together that will do just that!

Here are just a few ideas of things you can do together with your child to reward them for having such a great school year and to show them how much they mean to you:

5 “School’s Out” Traditions:

Family Fun Gift Bag

Have a Family Fun gift bag ready for them when they get home from school on the last day. Fill it with sidewalk chalk, a water gun, sand toys, water balloons, and bubbles (or anything else your family would love!). Pick a time when everyone in your family can go outside and use something from the bag. Let your child decide what they want to use first, and get ready for some good old-fashioned fun!

last day of school traditions

10 Mommy Dates

Make a list of your child’s ten favorite places to go to. This could include parks, playgrounds, restaurants, the library, the swimming pool, a trampoline park, a donut shop, a bowling alley, an ice cream shop, etc. Roll it up and tie it with a ribbon like a scroll. When they get home from the last day of school or when they wake up on the morning of their first day of summer, present them with the list. Tell them that they get to have ten mommy dates with you (one for each week of the summer) to all of their favorite places.

Summer Bucket List

Sit down together and create a Summer Bucket List. Brainstorm things that each of you want to do before the end of the summer together. This could be a simple thing like baking cookies together, playing playdoh, going to your local library story time, or going on a nature hunt around your neighborhood. Write down any and all ideas that the two of you have, and designate a dedicated time each week to cross some items off the bucket list with your child.

Summer Souvenir Book

After the last day of school, present them with a special notebook and writing utensil. They can write stories in it, create illustrations, draw comics, write poems, practice their name, or draw pictures. Tell them that over the summer, you will “publish” (type up) any stories or poems they write. You can print off all of their writing, add in the pages they drew or illustrated on, and put all the pages together at the end of the summer. Let your child create a front and back cover with construction paper or cardstock, staple it all together, and you have a wonderful book that the two of you worked on together. Your child will love being the author and illustrator, and you will love having such a great souvenir from the summer.

last day of school traditions

Art Display

Take your favorite art pieces that your child created during the school year (that you kept of course, since you loved them so much) and frame them with pretty frames from your local discount store. You could also create a collage or mod podge them to something, if you want to get super creative. Wrap them up with a big bow and present them to your child on their last day of school. Let them pick the perfect place in your house to display them and make sure you tell them that they are your favorite artist in the whole wide world!

As you can see, it does not take a lot of time, talent, or money to mark the end of the school year and to celebrate your child for all of their hard work. They will love that you made them feel important and that you spent time together. I cannot think of a better way to start summer than to put a smile on my child’s face, and I know any of these ideas would do just that!

Have a happy Last Day of School and First Day of Summer Break!


Melissa was born and raised right here in Iowa. Although she grew up in southwest Iowa (about as close to Missouri and Nebraska as you can get!), she has called eastern Iowa home for 15 years. She and her husband Eric live in North Liberty, along with their 4 year-old daughter Kennedy. Melissa attended the University of Northern Iowa where she earned her BA in Early Childhood Special Education and her MAE in K-6 Learning Disabilities. She currently teaches kindergarten for the Clear Creek Amana School District, where she has taught for 14 years. In her spare time, Melissa loves to be outside playing or working on projects in their yard, spending time with family and friends, and baking up goodies for her family. She also enjoys taking walks with their two dogs, plump beagle Lenny and shy dachshund-beagle mix Cooper. Life as a full-time working mommy keeps her very busy, but Melissa wouldn't have it any other way!


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