Memorable Ways to Mark The Last Day of School

Ideas to celebrate the special occasion for kids, teachers, and YOU!

By Christen Reiner, publisher of Macaroni KID Lakewood-Littleton & Macaroni KID Denver, Colo. May 15, 2023

The last day of school has arrived, and that's worthy of celebration!

I'm guessing that if you're like me though, you have very little brain power left at this point in the school year. So I'm going to help you with some ideas on how to mark this special occasion, whether you have little kids or teens! I'm also throwing in some bonus ideas on how you can thank teachers for their hard work this year.

Buckle up, buttercups.... let's get our end-of-school-year 2023 celebrations on!

 Alena Ozerova | Canva

Celebrating the young kids:

  • Chill out with some ice cream after the last day of school. Who doesn't love ice cream?
  • Grab a friend or two, hit the park, and let the kids play!
  • Popsicles. Need I say more?
  • Gift your kids a couple of brand-new books they'd love for summer reading. Even better, give them a gift card to your local bookstore, and let them pick out their own!
  • Pool toys or a summer fun tote make great end-of-year gifts and they give the kids something to look forward to during school break.
  • Create a coupon book full of fun things to do that your kiddos can cash in this summer. It's okay to set some boundaries for when these can be redeemed.
  • Design a T-shirt to wear on the last day of school. Or buy one. Your kids don't care!
  • A picnic is always a hit with the kids, and it gives you a chance to reconnect with them after a busy year.

 SDI Productions | Canva

Celebrating your teens:

  • Take them out to lunch. Maybe not on the last day of school, because they will want to hang with friends, but get a date on both of your calendars.
  • Create a summer survival kit — gum, some fun money, a gift card to buy a new swimsuit, fun nail polish, a hat they would like, etc.
  • Gather up a basket of their faves ... you know, those things you won't usually splurge on for them.
  • Give them restaurant gift cards or a little extra spending money for the summer. Even a gas card!
  • Coupon books might seem silly to a teen, but not when they are filled with unusual "values"! Think out of the box for your teens with a coupon book filled with unexpected treasures like:
    • Get out of one summer activity that doesn't float your boat.
    • Give one chore back to mom and dad for the week.
    • Good for one free tank of gas.
    • You pick the movie for a family night.
    • Choose a book that you enjoyed that your parents must read.
    • One breakfast delivered in bed.

 SDI Productions | Canva

Celebrating your teachers:

  • Join forces with a few families and buy your teachers a gift card to a nice restaurant so they can celebrate on someone else's dime.
  • Create a summer survival kit for them — a restaurant gift card, favorite candy, favorite soda, an outdoor candle, and a book you loved.
  • Scratch-and-win gift cards are inexpensive and a fun way to remind your teachers how lucky your kids were to have them this year.
  • A special sweet is always a treat and the perfect way to celebrate.
  • Ask your kids what their teacher likes to do for fun. They probably know! Then get them something that they can enjoy while doing that. For example, if your teacher loves the beach, gift them a nice beach towel.
  • Write them a note from the heart and tell them why you appreciated them this year. Be specific and, if sent as an email, copy the school administrator!

Beli_Photos | Canva

Celebrating yourself:

  • Do something you enjoy BEFORE the kids are out of school. By yourself. Or with a friend. Whatever makes you happy.
  • Gift yourself a little secret stash of treats that you enjoy. This can be food or nonfood items. When you feel like you might lose it this summer, remember that stash and take a moment to pick out a treat just for you. 
  • Do something just for you each day, whether that's reading a book, exercising, or taking time for a hobby.
  • Schedule a night with your partner or friends, or both. And make it sooner rather than later!
  • Write a list of things that you would like to do this summer and share it with your kids. You might be surprised at what they might enjoy too, and how they can help you make your goals a reality. 

No matter what you choose to do, make a point to do something to celebrate making it through another school year! Congratulations to ALL!

Christen Reiner is the publisher of Macaroni KID Lakewood-Littleton and Macaroni KID Denver.