Below is my blog post from the Tyndale blog. The pictures are from our trip to a state park yesterday.
It seems like just weeks ago you were counting down to the last day of school and the start of summer vacation, and now the countdown is reversed as the first day of school approaches too quickly—or maybe not quickly enough. Either way, take the remaining time to celebrate the last days of summer.
Plan one final outing. Let each child have a say in what the perfect end-of-summer activity would be. A pool party with hot dogs and hamburgers? A trip to the zoo, park, or lake? Talk through all your options and then compromise as much as possible so that the day is special for each child and you. Or, you could surprise your children with a new activity such as visiting a climbing wall, renting a canoe at the state park, or going to an indoor play area or laser tag arena.
Relive the high moments of the summer by creating a scrapbook. You can buy scrapbooks and supplies from an art or hobby store or create one digitally through a website like Snapfish or Shutterfly, which often have special deals on photo books. Think through the summer’s activities and have each child choose his or her top ten highlights of the summer. Make a book showing those. Include admission tickets, programs, postcards, photos, or drawings that will remind your children of the summer they had.
Celebrate new skills learned and new milestones reached. Did your child learn to ride his bike without training wheels, or did she get her driving learner’s permit? Did she learn to keep her room neat or master a layup at basketball camp? Did he learn new verses at Vacation Bible School? Have an ice cream party or other special treat to celebrate everything that was accomplished during the summer.
Set a goal for the new school year. Having something to work toward during the year will make it easier to return to school. Your children may want to try a new sport or musical instrument, choose an extracurricular activity or club, or take tumbling, dance, or karate classes. If so, they could set a goal of reaching a certain level or accomplishing a certain skill. They may want to make the honor roll each grading period. Or the goal may be to save a certain amount of money toward next summer’s special activities. You can make a chart showing how much a trip would cost, and break it into smaller goals. Sit down with your children and brainstorm possible goals for the new school year.
Summer vacation may be drawing to a close, but the fun doesn’t have to end yet. Make the most of the last days of summer.