Friday, June 1, 2012

* Celebrating The End Of The School Year!

Do you have any traditions or special things you do 
to celebrate the end of another school year with your kids?
We do in our house!

(Celebrating Preschool Graduation 2012!)

I like having traditions and little rituals that are a fun way 
for the girls and me to wrap things up and head into our summer break. 
I recently read an article over at Mom's Homeroom written by the Scholastic Staff
with some fun ideas for how to make the last weeks
 before the school year ends a special time with your kids.
Even if you homeschool, you can still have rituals 
to celebrate the end and start of a new school year with your family.

They suggested spending some time looking at 
changes and accomplishments
from the school year with your child.
A bit of a "Now and Then" comparison so to speak.
We do this in our house by looking at photos and scrapbooks.

I always start the school year by taking 
an official first day of school photo
of the girls in front of our house or at the bus stop.
The photo above is of both girls from this school year.
I even remembered to ask them to hold up little signs!
Next year, I'd like them to make their own signs.

I also take photos on the last day of school.
It's a fun way to see how much the girls 
have grown up over the course of a school year.

These photos were taken on the LAST day of school. 
Look how little ""C" and "E" are - that rainy last day of school was 
"E"'s last day of kindergarten. 

This photo was taken last year when "E" got off the bus and "C" and I were waiting 
with a box of popsicles to hand out to all of our bus stop friends!

It was such a big hit that I plan to be at the bus stop 
again this year on the last day of school with popsicles for all of the kids.
It's going to be a fun new tradition for our family.

We have another summertime popsicle tradition in our family.
The ice cream truck starts making rounds in our neighborhood this time of year.
Its music is always a signals the start of summer 
and the end of the school year.
The girls love to get treats but most of it is really junky and overpriced.
I try to stock our own freezer with frozen treats 
like frozen tubes of squeeze yogurt
and homemade fruit popsicles. 
It cuts down on the begging and negotiating that takes place
 whenever they hear "ice cream truck music" - 
I just send them inside to grab a treat from our freezer instead!

We made these popsicles with chopped up fruit and juice
in paper cups with craft sticks and we use cupcake wrappers 
to keep them upright.
Bonus -- they also help catch drips when you eat your popsicles!


We also have school memory books that we ask the girls' teachers to sign 
so each year of school they have a note from their teacher. 
When they graduate from High School, I'll hand over the books
to each of my girls as a graduation gift!

The article also suggested making a "Countdown Calendar"
for the last month of school to count down the days.
They suggested asking your child to write down things
 that he/she wants to do when school is over and add it to the calendar.

In our house, we make a Summer Fun To Do List! (here's the post)
The girls and I brainstorm a big list of what we want to do over summer break
including trips we have planned and we make a big collage together.
We're planning to make this summer's to do list soon!

We also enjoy decorating our driveway and side walk with 
chalk drawings and homemade sidewalk paint
It's a fun way to add a little pizzazz to the neighborhood and send the message
that school is out for the summer!

We also enjoy a special family dinner on the last day of school
with some kind of treat like ice cream sundaes or S'Mores!

I would love to hear how you celebrate the end of the school year 
with your family!

Pink and Green Mama

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