The summer break is just around the corner.
My daughter has been eagerly counting down the weeks (and prompting her little brother to do the same), and we’ve been talking about all the fun things that we’ll be doing over the summer.
Even with all this excitement, I’ve noticed the small moments when they realize that in August, they won’t be going back to the same classroom, or the same teachers, or the exact same classmates.
Cue a hint of nostalgia.
After all, even when the summer break is fun and exciting, the end of the school year is a transition and, as such, it requires purposeful guidance to make sure it’s successful.
The kids will have to adjust to new routines with less structure, and they will be spending time apart from some of their friends. These are hard changes for adults and littles alike.
So, to make things more palatable, I like to celebrate with my kids the last day of school and welcome the summer in an enjoyable, easy, and thoughtful way.
Hype up and embrace the change.
My kids look forward to the last day of school because it means doing something amazing that they normally don’t get to do:
- Get froyo with unlimited toppings
- Have a movie night outside
- Decorate the car with window chalk markers
My hope is to make the transition fun and less scary. After all, how can things go wrong with a huge pint of froyo, gummies, and cereal in front of you?
Look back and celebrate!
When it comes to transitions, I find it important to create a bridge between what’s ending and what’s about to come.
In this case, I like to take some time to look back at the school year and celebrate what’s happened: what we’ve learned, who we’ve met, what we’ve discovered, what’s brought us joy . . .
We usually use simple prompts like talking about and drawing our favorite color/animal/song/shape, the games they enjoyed the most at recess, memory verses they remember, or the most interesting things we learned.
This year I’ll try to lead the conversation into a place that requires more self-reflection: thinking of situations that made us feel proud of how we handled them or talking about skills that we developed from scratch or perfected through practice.
The bridge to the summer break includes discussing and drawing what we’re excited about doing this summer as well as the things that we’d like to learn/practice during this time.
» » » » » » » RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Ultimate Guide to Summer in El Paso « « « « « « «
And to make it all more enticing, popsicles are a must while working on this!
Enjoy the summer!
Mindset and perspective are SO important in truly enjoying the moment/stage we’re living. In Kyle Cooke’s immortal words, summer should be fun!
And it is! (When we choose to give into it.)
Schedule playdates, go camping in the backyard, have a movie marathon, go swimming, visit a new park . . . Our city offers so many things to do during the summer; take advantage of it!
» RELATED READ: The Great Big El Paso Summer Bucket List :: 100 Summer Fun Ideas «
The summer break is about spending quality time with each other. Free time is scarce during the school year. Squeeze everything you can out of your summer, be fully present, and savor this time with your family.
I think wrapping up the school year in a creative and engaging way and setting the stage for what’s to come eases kids and adults into an enjoyable and relaxing summer break.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of El Paso Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.