Tick. Tick. Tick. Is it over yet? Your kids have been asking themselves this for weeks, waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for the end of the school year. They’ve been crossing off the days on the calendar and and counting the seconds until they have two solid months of play.

Once the last day of school comes, how can you help make the day even more special? How are you going to celebrate and set the expectation that it’s going to be a great summer break?

Here is a list of fun ways to make the last day of school even more exciting for your kids than it already will be.

1. Get a Personalized Classmate Shirt

Many kids put a lot of thought into what they are going to wear on the last day of school, to make one final good impression on their classmates, but we think it’s more important that their classmates leave an impression on your kid!

Send your kid to their last day of school wearing a shirt you and they don’t mind getting marked up, equip them with a bunch of colourful markers, and encourage them to ask for their classmates signatures. Hopefully some will even leave nice, personalized parting messages.

2. Race into Summer

When your little one hears the last school bell, they’ll likely jump out of their desk and race home to get summer started. They’ll already be racing, so why not make it more realistic with a banner to run through at the finish line?

Hang a banner across your front door with “Welcome to Summer!” painted on it, and when your kid runs through it the cheering and summer celebrations begin.

3. Have a Water Fight

Coming off the school bus or walking to your front door, you might notice that your child looks far too unaware of their surroundings since they’re busy with their head in the clouds thinking about the wonderful things they’ll do this summer. What a perfect opportunity to bring them back to earth with a water balloon to the back.

Pass your child a squirt gun, attack, and run away before they can get you back!

4. Host a Sleepover

Invite a few of your child’s friends over for a night of tag, board games, spooky stories, or whatever else they like to do as a group. What better way to kick off the summer than with good times with friends? Don’t forget to stock up on pillows for a pillow fight!

5. Set Up a Scavenger Hunt

Leave your kid a cryptic riddle waiting in their room for when they get home from school. If they can figure out what it means, it should lead them to another clue, and after that another. At the end of the mysterious trail have a hidden treasure of fun summer supplies, like chalk and jump rope, to reward your child for the perilous journey they had to endure to get there.

6. Go Out for Ice Cream

You scream, I scream, we all scream for…well you know how it goes. Your kid will be screaming out the school doors to get home, and the yummiest way to quiet them down is by filling their mouth with a cool, delicious treat.

Don’t forget the rules of sharing: one scoop for your little one, two scoops for you. You have to put up with the screaming—you deserve it.

Live in the GTA? Check out our Ultimate Toronto Ice Cream Guide.

7. Go Fishing

Something about driving to a lake or river, casting a fishing rod into the water, and waiting for a catch is very calming, and is a great bonding opportunity for many kids and parents. This is a great activity for getting children who don’t enjoy being around crowds off the couch.

Be sure to snap a picture of the disgusted expressions on your child’s face when you put a worm on a hook.

8. Go Camping

Maybe it’s from having someone’s foot in their face while sleeping in close quarters or discovering new bugs to sneak onto your clothes, but whatever it is camping makes for a memorable summer activity.

If you aren’t a fan of a long drive to an expensive campground, you can always camp in your own backyard. That way the comforts of home are readily available and wild animals aren’t likely to take your food.

9. Make Homework Confetti

Is the memory of bad grades weighing down your child? Or do they not want to be reminded of how long it took to make that collage they really didn’t care about? Let your kid use scissors, a paper shredder, or their own two hands to destroy to their little’s heart’s content.

Make sure to put aside any work your child is proud of so it won’t accidently get lost in the chaos.

10. Throw a Tailgate Party

Decorate the trunk of your car with summer streamers and pictures, fill it will your kid’s favourite snacks, drive to the school parking lot (or somewhere else nearby), and gather with your neighbours for a tailgate party. You can even bring snacks that normally your kids wouldn’t be allowed to have at school—how scandalous!

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