The end of the 2019-20 school year is near and while it doesn’t look as we expected, we can still celebrate reaching the end
This may not be the ending we pictured, but the school year is drawing to a close. And while we’ve shared a bit on how you can celebrate your high school graduate, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the end of some of the less momentous school years — all last days are worth a celebration!
Like all things 2020, don’t look at this list as something to stress you out by the pressure to make it perfect. Simply check it out if you’re looking for a fun thing to do on your school’s last day this year!
Last day of school photo
It is always fun to see the first day/last day comparisons of how much kids have grown over the course of the year. March outside or wherever you snapped that “first day” pic and get a last day one to go with it.
Ice cream, in some form or fashion
You can set up an ice cream bar at home or venture to Champaign-Urbana favorites to bring home, like Jarlings (use the drive through!) or Sidney Dairy Barn (place your order online to pick up, if you’re so inclined). More options? Check out our ice cream trail.
Have an outdoor movie
Move your TV outside or set up a projector to point toward a white sheet and watch a summer movie classic. Staying up late is always fun and even better if a movie is involved. If you don’t want to watch a movie at home …
Head to the drive-in
Drive to Harvest Moon in Gibson City (now open nightly) for a movie as a fam. You may want to reserve a spot online ahead of time and you definitely want to read the scoop on the current guidelines on visiting the drive-in while practicing social distancing.
Make a summer bucket list
Again, we realize some of your usual favorites might not be an option this year. However, odds are good if you ask your kids what’s on their summer bucket list, many of their ideas are going to be a possibility (and likely simpler than you ever imagined). One of the things our kids wanted to do was take Alexa outside for a dance party. See?
Look at pics from the school year together
This is meant to be a fun activity, not a sad one! Check out the pics of the first day of school, that annual walk-a-thon back in the fall, or the time your kids got to cheer on the football field as part of that cheer clinic. Whatever the memories of the school year are, it’s fun to look back together. If you don’t want to look at pics, just ask your kids what their favorite memory of the year was and have fun talking together about it.
Have a picnic
Heck, with remote learning in place, who is to say your last day of school has to go all day? Knock off early and take your lunch outside somewhere. Our favorites right now are places where nature abounds like forest preserves or state parks where there’s ample space to spread out and no need to be tempted by a playground.
Have a neighborhood parade
Parades are the “in” thing right now, right? We’ve seen appropriately distanced parades for high school grads where kids walk down the street and neighbors clap from their driveway to celebrate them. Why not make it an all-grade affair in your neighborhood? Kids can walk with siblings and make signs to say “see ya third grade” or whatever they just finished. Invite neighbors (with and without kids) to sit on their porch and driveway to celebrate.
Play with water
Set up the sprinkler, pull out the slip ‘n’ slide and fill the water guns. The last day of school is the perfect day to play with water! Or, if you want to take it up a notch …
Family color wars
When everyone — yes, this includes all parents in the household — is done with their commitments for the day, put on old (preferably white) clothes and have a color war. You can dilute regular washable paint and load it in a squirt gun, or order some powdered tempera paint to mix up and use the same way. Bonus if you use your kids’ school colors!
Send a video to your child’s teacher
This is a great time to let your teachers know how much you appreciate them. Take time to record a short video of you and your child and email it to them to simply say “thanks.” This school year has been a tough time for them, too.
Blow up balloons or make a banner
You can decorate your front porch to surprise your kids on the last day of school. Tell them how proud you are of them!
Walk of Fame/Accomplishments
Thanks to Indy with Kids for this super idea. Set up signs along your driveway (or use chalk on your driveway) that show what your child accomplished at school this year. Things like “learned to pack her own lunch” or “joined running club” that may seem to be little things along the way but are actually some of the most momentous things our kids did this year.
Camp in the backyard
Have camping gear? We know campgrounds aren’t open yet but you can pitch a tent in the backyard, crank up the firepit for s’mores and have a blast “camping” to celebrate the start of summer.
Have another idea on celebrating the end of summer that we should know about? Email us to let us know!