Summer is approaching, and the kids cannot wait another second. You can see their entire bodies shaking with pent-up excitement. They are ready for weekends at the pool, day camps for any and every interest they have, and plenty of ice cream.
But there are still school days ahead. As you plead for patience, use these three fun ways to distract your kids as they look ahead to the end of the school year.
Create a Count-down Calendar
Bring out poster board, markers, scissors, and everything else you need to create a count-down wall calendar. As they work on their project, point out special dates they need to remember. Then, begin the countdown in the last weeks of school. Oh, and those special dates? On the specified day, share a summer gift. These can be the reveal of vacation plans, a new chalk set, or an evening at the grocery store picking out yummy goodies for the start of summer.
Throw an Ice Cream Party
The end of the school year always calls for pizza parties with ice cream for dessert. But friends aren’t only in homeroom. Let your kids invite their friends from other schools over, especially those that end earlier in the month. Before everyone goes away for the summer, friends can create sweet ice cream treats at an ice cream bar–pushing each other to make their creation even bigger–and say their goodbyes as the sugar rush wears off. In addition to your ice cream, make sure to provide plenty of toppings, everything from sprinkles and hot fudge to gummy worms and honey.
Hand Off Kitchen Duties
Mark the end of the school year at home by serving up the kids’ favorite meals. Instead of creating more work for you, use that pent-up pre-summer energy for good. Once exams and projects are over, leaving those awkward end days of school, have the kids prepare their menu during homework time with the knowledge that they are cooking the last night of school. Whether they decide to go in as a team or for each to create a different dinner for the week, let them build their grocery list, learn how they will prepare the meal, and decide what they will need help with. If cooking requires more than sticking a frozen pizza in the oven, break up age-appropriate tasks, like prepping veggies the night before or pre-measuring ingredients, so they don’t become overwhelmed.