Last Day of School Traditions... 2018 Edition

Is there anything more exciting than the last day of school? Each year we mark the occasion with the same three activities, and this year was no different. Check out our favourite last day of school traditions.

We always start our celebration with a trip to get ice cream. We have been taking the same picture (in the same Dairy Queen) for eight years! I can't believe how grown up my boys are getting. Why does time have to go by so fast?

Then, we go home and my boys run through their "finish line". This year, my boys made it through Grade 3, Grade 5, and Grade 7.

And, of course, I like to give them a book to read over the summer. This year, they got some inexpensive pickle ball rackets too!

We're all ready for summer now. It's time to pack away the lunch bags, and pull out the flip flops. Happy Summer everyone!

 (aka East Coast Mommy)

You might also like: 50 Ways to Make Summer Memorable

50 Simple Ways to Make Summer Memorable (and a FREE printable Summer Checklist)

Since 2012, my boys and I have started our summer by putting together a summer checklist of all the fun adventures we plan on completing during their break from school. Our list is filled with easy and inexpensive ideas for summer fun, but this annual tradition has proven to be a valuable tool for building priceless childhood memories. Today, I am sharing our 2018 summer checklist (that you can download for free), including many links to additional info about the activities. We always have 50 items on our list, but feel free to just choose 20, 30, or 40 of your favourites. It's not meant to be stressful. It's meant to be a template for fun!

To download and print the summer checklist: click on the checklist below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8X10 photo. I sent mine to my local copy store and printed it for $0.51. 

And... in case you need more info about the items on list, check out the helpful links below.

1) Celebrate Canada Day or the 4th of July

2) Watch fireworks or attend a parade

3) Have a picnic or go cloud gazing.

4) Go to a splash pad or swim in a pool
5) Host a "half sleepover" or backyard carnival

6) Go to a farmer's market or visit a yard sale
7) Visit the library and read a book outside

8) Have a water fight or NERF gun battle

9) Go fishing or hiking
10) Have a family movie night outside or attend an outdoor concert

11) Eat donuts from a string (with no hands)

12) Pick out a toy or treat at the dollar store
13) Plant something and watch it grow

14) Visit a wildlife park, farm or zoo
15) Build a fort (inside or out) or a trail through the woods
16) Get ice cream in PJs (drive throughs are OK) 
17) Play baseball, soccer, golf or street hockey
18) Make ice cream or another cold treat

19) Go for a bike ride
20) Decorate a cake or bake cookies

21) Spend time at a cottage, beach or park
22) Do a science experiment

23) Play a board game

24) Go geo-caching

25) Have a "kids pick the meals" day
26) Play mini golf
27) See a play or visit a museum
28) Have a lemonade stand or yard sale

29) Try a new food
30) Have a theme day (e.g. a pirate day or superhero day)

31) Camp at a campground, in the backyard or in the living room

32) Have a PJ day
33) Build a large puzzle
34) Make a summer reading list, set a reading goal or keep a summer journal
35) Fly a kite

36) Have a dance party in the living room
37) Go on a scavenger hunt

38) Build an obstacle course
39) Play with water balloons

40) Do a good deed or raise money for charity
41) Go on a road trip to another city or town
42) Play "tag" or run in a race
43) Roast marshmallows, make s'mores or cook up a different campfire treat

44) Write and mail a letter or postcard
45) Visit at least 5 different ice cream stands

46) Make a craft

47) __________________________
48) __________________________
49) __________________________

As you can see, there are blank spaces at the bottom of my checklist for you to add a few of your own activities/ideas. Or, you can create an entirely new list using the template below. Click on the template, right-click, save it to your computer, print it like a regular 8X10 photo, and add as many activities as you like!

This really is one of my favourite family traditions. It's always a lot of fun, and definitely something my boys look forward to each year.

 (aka East Coast Mommy)

Last Day of School Class Treats: BALLS (with free printable tags)

This is my boys' last week of school, and they want to bring treats to share with their classmates on the last day. I think it's fun to make punny tags to attach to little trinkets, and today I am sharing the two different last day of school treats my boys are sharing with their friends this year.

My middle son decided that he wanted to give out bouncy balls and KitKat bars. I packaged the two items in little cellophane bags, and I added a tag that says, "It was a BALL having you in my class. Enjoy your summer BREAK!" Cute, right?

To download the tags I designed: click on the photo below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

I think the kids are going to love these adorable treats.

My youngest son isn't allowed to bring edible treats to his school, so he is bringing balls and little bottles of slime. I think these packages are equally cute, so I don't think they'll miss the sugar at all!

To download the tags I designed: click on the photo below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

 Don't these little goodie bags look cute? I love the bright colours.

I think sharing treats with friends is a great way to end a school year. The treats are small, but I am sure the kind gesture will be appreciated.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Simple Summer Science with Maker Lab Books

Disclosure: I was given Maker Lab books from DK books in exchange for my truthful review. Opinions in this blog are (as always) 100% my own. My boys really did love these books! (Also, I have included Amazon affiliate links in this post. If you purchase a book, I will get a small commission, at NO extra cost to you.

Recently, DK books sent my boys three "Maker Lab" books, and this weekend, I let my boys check them out. They immediately came up with a list of science experiments and projects that they want to do. I think these books are going to keep us pretty busy over their summer break!

Eventually, we came to a consensus, and we decided to start by making a glowing ice orb (inspired by the Star Wars Maker Lab book). We filled a balloon with water, left it in the fridge for 9 hours, removed it from the fridge, broke and removed the balloon, crack open the week side of the ice, poured out the water, and inserted glow sticks. We went into a dark room, and the kids admired the awesome glowing orb we made.

Here it is from a couple of different angles.

Then, we decided to do another experiment with our ice orb. We put it in a bowl, we poured salt over it, and we added food colouring. The rivers of colour created by the melting ice were super-cool.

We even looked at it in a dark room with a flashlight shining up through it.

I know my boys will be making a lot of things from these books this summer. They are especially excited about the Star Wars Maker Lab, but all three books are filled with wonderful projects.


I seriously encourage you to check out these kid-friendly science/ activity books. They really will get your kids reading and excited about about learning. 

Check out this cool projector my 12 year old made using a couple of boxes, a dollar store magnifying glass, and some duct tape.

How are you preventing the "summer slide" while the kids are on vacation this year? These Maker Lab books will educate AND entertain them... and it doesn't get much better than that! 

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Don't miss any of the fun....