Fun Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year!

PreschoolGrad

When I think of the last day of school I can’t help but sing, “School’s Out For Summer” by Alice Cooper. It’s such an iconic song symbolizing the end of a school year and the beginning of a more relaxed schedule. Why not start Summer Vacation off right with a way to celebrate your child’s accomplishments and have fun?

Here are some exciting ways to kick start summer:

  • Have a countdown to summer calendar.
  • Take a photo of your child on their last day. Click Last Day Signs.pptx for printable signs.
  • Leave a note on your child’s bathroom mirror before school, tucked in their lunch box or waiting somewhere for them when they arrive home.Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.20.19 PM
  • Send your child to school with a last day of school shirt. (You could even have their classmates autograph it, but you may want to check with their teacher first.)
  • Bus Stop Greeting- have a treat to give them when they get off the bus such as a popsicle or cupcake.
  • Arrange for a special visitor to come over such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, neighbor.
  • Throw a Bash! It could be simple or elaborate. Consider coordinating with neighbors or their classmates for a joint party.
    • Theme Ideas:
      • Ice Cream Shop- have different flavors of ice cream with toppings for them to create their own sundae.
      • Camp Out- have a tent set up, roast marshmallows, grill out
      • Water- fill a small pool, have squirt guns, run through the sprinkler, slip-n-slide
      • Game Night- Twister, Tag, Bean Bag Toss, Pickle in the Middle
      • Home Drive-in- watch a movie under the stars
      • Minute to Win it Games
      • Beach Party or Luau
  • Welcome Home Banner- hang it on the garage, front porch, or have them run through it.  Click Last Day posters.pptx for printable signs.
  • Door Decorations- decorate your front door with things such as streamers or balloons.
  • Chalk Sayings on the driveway or along the path on the way home.
  • Dinner- cook their favorite meal or go out to dinner.
  • Special Activity such as a park, miniature golf, bowling, etc.
  • Decorate your car for pick up with balloons, streamers or the markers you can write on your car or fill your car with balloons. ** I have not tried this so test these items out first in an inconspicuous spot to make sure there is no damage to your car.**
  • Jazz up their bike with streamers or other fun items and have a bike parade.
  • Gift basket with summer related items or gear (bubbles, swim suit, goggles, sunscreen, sidewalk chalk, etc.)  Click S’more.pptx for the s’more gift tags.Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 7.48.13 PM
  • Sayings: Fun in the Sun, That’s a Wrap, Goodbye ___th grader, Hello ___th grader!, O”fish”ally Summer, Too Cool for School, Have a Ball This Summer, I’m Looking Forward to Spending “S’More” Time With You

First impressions are everything so kickoff the summer with something that will make your kids smile!

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Battelle Darby Creek

DSC_1102I can’t believe I’ve lived in Columbus since college and haven’t visited Battelle Darby Creek before.  I’ve missed out all of these years but I’m sure glad I know about it now.  It is perfect for people in all stages of life and varying interests.  I saw many people running and biking the trails, out walking with their binoculars, taking their dog for a stroll, families and couples hiking and people fishing.

Hiking Trails 

Battelle Darby Creek is Ohio’s largest Metro Park with miles and miles of activities.  We started our day at the Cobshell trail near the Ranger Station.  Here I grabbed a guide that included a map of the trails with details such as difficultly level and length.  Since I was with my 3 and 5 year old I didn’t want to be overzealous and get too far out on a trail only to have one of them utter the words, “carry me”.  We took the path down towards the creek and enjoyed watching the creek gush on by.  There was a ranger walking around and my son was interested in asking him what kinds of animals lived in the area.

Playgrounds

My kids had spotted a few swing set areas when we initially pulled in so they wanted to go play on those for a bit.  Kids who were attending celebrations at the nearby shelters you can rent also wandered over for some playtime.

Bison 

Then we hopped in the car and drove about 1 mile down the road to another entrance (1415 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, Ohio 43119).  As we drove in we saw lots of bison in the field.  We went over to the fenced area and watched these creatures as they roamed around.

Nature Center

Nature Center (FREE!!)

Next up was exploring the Nature Center, which was FREE.  Also this center stays open later into the evening so it really gives you a lot of options to fit this into your schedule.  There were so many hands on opportunities to learn about animals and habitats.  My children loved sticking their hands in the large water area and getting to touch a turtle and a frog.  There were lots of animal skins sitting on tables so you could feel the different textures.  Another large room had a huge projection screen area to view short videos, pretend wooden tree for puppet shows, animal magnets you could maneuver on a wall and screens with buttons to push to learn more information.  This room is where they do story times a few times a month so we will have to head back for that.  My children and I were intrigued and were really surprised at all there was to do there.   The facility was new, clean, well managed and engaging so that is always a plus in my book.

We finished our day by heading to a natural play area where you were encouraged to go off the path and explore in the woods.  The signs said feel free to dig in the dirt, build a fort with sticks and investigate the natural environment.

What could be better than a day exploring Mother Nature’s beauty, spending time with my family and getting some exercise?  Not much.  Consider spending a day at one of Columbus’s wonderful Metro Parks!

Click on the link for a list of activities upcoming activities at various Metro Parks.  Link: Metro Park Activities

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Day of Fun in Dayton

We had a jammed pack day of fun exploring Dayton!

Our day started at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.  My kiddos had a blast using their imaginations in the pretend play sections where they took care of pets (stuffed animals), made pretend pizzas, acted as police officers and even put me behind bars in a jail cell. They loved the large climbing structure and slides. We all enjoyed seeing various animals up close.

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Next we headed to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Wowzers! This museum is huge and FREE! Can’t get much better than that! We all learned a lot about history and were amazed at the size of some of the warplanes and other artifacts.

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Our last stop was Scene 75. It is the country’s largest indoor play center and it sure was massive. This place is fun for all ages (even adults) and there are so many things to do it was hard to know where to start. Some of the fun features were arcade games, indoor go karts, laser tag, inflatables, indoor miniature golf, mini bowling, restaurant, Chaos room where there were multiple big screen projectors to play video games and more.

We didn’t get all that I wanted to see in during this trip so we will return soon!

 

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