This post is brought to you in partnership with Föm Mania, by Little Kids Inc. I received free products to facilitate my post. Opinions are my own.
Summer! It’s the season many of us look forward to year-round. We’re planning vacations, sorting through camping gear, and either welcoming our kids home from school or setting aside our homeschooling curriculum for some needed rest.
For some kids, summer break is the best 10-12 weeks of the year. However, while the end of the school year is bright with the promise of rest and time to get out and enjoy the sunshine, the transition to summer break can also prove to be a challenge for some kids. Saying goodbye to a favorite teacher, school friends, and even a predictable daily routine can be difficult. Either way, choosing to celebrate the end of the school year and ring in summer break with fun and intention is a great way to start the summer season off right.
Here are 6 ideas to celebrate the end of the school year and ring in the start of summer break:
Create a Summer Bucket List
My kids and I have been creating summer bucket lists for the last 7 years – and it’s become a tradition we all look forward to. Our lists include a wide range of activities – highlighting our summer hopes and dreams big and small alike. After we create our bucket lists, we display them in the kitchen and mark items off as we experience them.
Backyard Fun and Games
Getting outside, enjoying the sunshine, and PLAYING together as a family is a great way to set the tone for the summer season and give kids fresh ideas to beat summer boredom without a screen!
Get out the backyard games and sporting equipment and challenge your friends and family members! Here are some of my family’s FAVORITE backyard games:
Badminton (None of us are very skilled, but we have so much fun trying!)
Basketball (We love playing HORSE with the kids! It can get pretty competitive!)
Hula-hooping (Yep. Proud to say I’m still pretty good at this!)
Backyard FOAM Fun
We recently had a backyard BLAST with the Fömilator and the Fömalanche (*available at Target, CVS, Amazon, and other retailers near you!) from Föm Mania. These unique and highly intriguing products will certainly prove that it in fact FOAM that brings all the kids to your yard!
Within seconds of turning on the Fömalanche, there was pure delight in my backyard. Joy was written all over the faces of my children as light and fluffy foam streamed out – ready and waiting for them to play with and experience it.
What’s terrific about the Föm Mania products, is that even on a less than sunny day (as we so often have here in the Pacific Northwest), kids can still get outside and enjoy foam play – without getting cold and wet like they would with squirt guns or water balloons. (Plus, it’s mess-free (doesn’t stain their clothes!), biodegradable, and dissolves on its own! Talk about a win for kids AND parents!)
Your kids, their friends, and everyone in the neighborhood will want to come and get in on the foamy fun. And the best part? (Yes, even better than being no-prep and no-mess!) Your kids will WANT be outside. They will quickly become actively engaged in play. Foam is pretty hard to resist – proving nearly irresistable to kids, tweens, and teens alike. (I should know – I have all of the above, and they ALL had a BLAST with these foamy fun products from Föm Mania.
Föm Mania brought all four of my kids together. Everyone wanted to be in on the action – trying their hand at the Fömilator (who hasn’t daydreamed about squirting someone with foam?!), touching the stream of foam pouring out of the Fömalanche, and just taking some time to play and be kids. No screens. No phones. Just outdoor foamy fun with their siblings. LOVE it!
You can’t fake that JOY! This is some summer fun these kids won’t soon forget! Trust me, these are seriously “fömazing”!
Enjoy a Special Meal
We begin and end the school year with a trip to our favorite restaurant. Taking the time to share a special meal out as a family helps our kids know that we value their hard work. (Because working through an entire year’s worth of schooling IS hard work! Our kids are learning, growing, and changing so much throughout their formative years!)
Our family has also celebrated either/and the last day of school /first day of summer break with a special breakfast. From fancy pancakes to monkey bread to donuts, a delicious start to the day can let your kids know you’re excited for their break and proud of their hard work.
Other ideas include a backyard barbecue with all of your/their favorites. Our favorite backyard treat? Ultimate S’mores! (Yes, that’s right – we take homemade chocolate chip cookies and use those in place of graham crackers! You’re welcome. Your life has now changed.) 😉
Look Behind and Look Ahead
Spend some time talking with your child about the year they just completed and the year to come. Have your child list their top three moments from the past year. Sometimes in the end-of-the-school-year stress (or heck, just in the middle of a regular weekday), it’s easy to let small milestones and potential memories go by unnoticed and uncelebrated. A child dealing with end of the year testing or finals may not be able to recall the GOOD from their past school year – their successes and growth. So help them remember! Remind them of the ways they’ve grown and help them get the ball rolling if they struggle to see their own accomplishments. Allowing your child to remember the positive memories from the year honors the past and validates any feelings of grief or loss they might be feeling. At the same time, help your child look forward by helping them come up with three things to look forward to in the next year.
Ask other kids or parents you may know with a child in the next grade up if there are any fun things to get excited about. (Think that fun 5th grade robotics unit or the annual 2nd grade field trip to the science museum! Older students may look forward to an upcoming elective, being finished with a subject that’s not their favorite, or getting to start driver’s ed, etc.) Having something fun to look forward to always changes my kids’ dispositions. Try it!
Let your child choose something they want to learn or find out more about over the summer. Do they want to learn how to make bread? How to code? Are they fascinated by the night sky? Love rock collecting or always been intrigued by geocaching? Summer is the perfect time to dig into those interests and let them learn and explore.
Find a variety of books on the topic and help your child become an expert. Do experiments. Research online. Find local “field trips” to take. Not only will your child enjoy learning a new skill or finding out more about a topic of interest, you’ll likely enjoy some time together AND you’ll be preventing summer-slide by providing opportunities to read and learn!
Have a WONDERFUL summer everyone!
*Thank you to Föm Mania. Find out more about the Föm Mania products mentioned in this post (and MORE) by visiting the Föm Mania website: https://www.fommania.com/