31 Ideas to Celebrate the Last Day of School

Time goes by quickly. In a blink of an eye, your child is an adult. Take the time to embrace the daily triumphs. The memories will last a lifetime.

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The end of every school year is a milestone in your child’s life. Not to mention, you deserve personal recognition for your hard work too. School schedules are sometimes hectic with last-minute snacks, homework help, field trips, parent-teacher conferences, fundraisers, and on some days simply getting your child to school on time.

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When the last day of school arrives, celebrate. Scheduling conflicts may not allow your celebration to occur exactly on the last day, still, take the time to recognize the accomplishment. The celebration can be a simple family dinner with a special dessert to a large party with your child’s friends.

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If you are uncertain how to celebrate the end of the school year, ask your child for input. Often your child’s idea may be something you would have never thought about as a fun way to celebrate. If you need inspiration, check out the following for ideas to celebrate the last day of school.

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  1. Special homemade family dinner (let your child pick the meal)
  2. Go out to eat.
  3. Bake a celebration cake.
  4. Make breakfast for dinner.
  5. Family game night.
  6. Plan a trip to the local bookstore to purchase books for summer reading.
  7. Host a backyard BBQ
  8. Pool party (if the weather permits)
  9. Backyard beach party
  10. Harry Potter theme party
  11. Comic book, Star Wars, princess, or other theme parties
  12. End of the school year theme party
  13. Trip to the local ice cream shop
  14. Spa day (This is a favorite with teens. Summer haircut, new nail color, or facial).
  15. Create a sundae bar in your kitchen. (Banana splits with all the toppings are a great way to celebrate).
  16. Make root beer floats.
  17. Pizza party
  18. Video game night
  19. Outdoor games party
  20. Go to a local, state, or federal park. (Don’t forget the picnic basket)
  21. Scavenger hunt
  22. Movie night
  23. Slumber party
  24. Picnic in your own backyard.
  25. Host a bonfire.
  26. Plan a trip to an amusement park.
  27. Attend a major or minor league baseball game or other sporting events
  28. Water balloon “fight” or other water-related activities.
  29. Hang a banner. (Small gestures have a major impact on your child).
  30. A card with a gift certificate to your child’s favorite place.
  31. Visit an art gallery or museum.

The end-of-school-year celebrations are a fun way to acknowledge a year of hard work. Have fun and enjoy summer vacation.

Tips for Back to School Shopping on a Budget

A new school year is right around the corner. Are you ready? Or is your budget a little tighter than normal this year?  Getting your children ready to go back to school does not need to be stressful. With a little planning, you can send your children back to school and stay within your budget.

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Make Lists

Whether you use a phone app or buy a spiral notebook, lists are a must when preparing for the new school year. Stay organized. Write out a list of each child’s needs for back to school.

Before Shopping Check School Guidelines

Children seem to grow a couple of inches over the summer months. The start of school may require an upgraded wardrobe. Prior to back-to-school shopping, check your child’s school website or handbook for any changes in dress code requirements.  

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Check the Closets

Now, time to get busy. Start by checking your child’s current clothing. Carefully, inspect each piece of clothing for potential school-appropriate outfits. Older children can help in this process. When searching for back-to-school outfits, use this time to clean out unwanted or too-small pieces of clothing. Sort your children’s clothes into piles.

  • School Appropriate: The pile consists of clothing suitable to start the current school year. Even summer clothing should be part of your wearable inventory. Many autumn days are still warm. Extending the life of summer clothes is a money saver.
  • Home Wearable: The pile consists of clothing only suitable for stay-at-home days or playtime. The clothes may look worn but still in good condition.
  • Donation Pile: Clothing still in good condition but no longer usable. The clothes may be too small, do not fit properly, or not a favorite with your child. The clothes in this pile may be suitable for resale at a consignment shop, garage sale, or donation at your nearest charity. Advertising your child’s unwearable clothes on social media for free is a great way to help another child in the community.
  • Discard: Clothes with stains or unrepairable holes go into this pile. Cut the clothes into small pieces to use for rags, crafts, or discard.

The pile system is the perfect opportunity to assess your child’s immediate clothing requirements for back to school. Make a detailed inventory of wearable clothes to help prepare your shopping lists. Remember to check footwear too.

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Time to Shop

Use your list of essentials to start your back-to-school shopping.

  • Update Current Clothing: When creating your different piles of clothing, did you notice any clothing that could use updating? Here is a perfect time to get creative. Sew on new buttons or dye clothing to bring back vibrant colors. Add accessories to upgrade current pieces of clothing. For example, a vest or sweater can change the look of an entire outfit.
  • Shop Different Consignment and Thrift Shops: Start shopping at your local second-hand stores in your area for your children’s back-to-school clothes.  Thrift shops are ideal for staying within your budget. Older children may find pieces of clothing unique to their personal style.
  • Shop Area Garage and Yard Sales: Like you, other parents are preparing for the upcoming school year. Garage sales get rid of unwearable clothing items at a low cost. Depending on the amount of use, some articles of clothing appear brand new.
  • Clearance Section: When children start going back to school, the weather in many areas is still warm. The good news, many clothing stores discount summer wear to make room for winter items. Discounted clothing is a great way to start the back-to-school year.
  • Comparison Shop: Sign up for ad updates from your favorite department stores. Many companies provide discounts for registering your e-mail. Use the Internet, local newspaper inserts, and store websites to comparison shop. Utilizing all the different ads is a money-saving opportunity.

Going back to school is an exciting time for children. As a parent, you may worry about your budget. Preplan to find the needed essentials for your child’s wardrobe.

Shopping for School Clothes on a Budget

The beginning of the new school year is fastly approaching. Getting your children ready to go back to school does not need to be stressful. Planning early for your child’s school necessities is essential to stay within budget.

Tips on Shopping for Your Child’s School Clothes

Children seem to sprout up a couple of inches every summer. When school time comes around, a whole new wardrobe may be necessary. Before starting school clothes shopping, check the current student handbook to learn about any dress code changes. 

Make Lists

Lists are a must when preparing for the new school year. Consider picking up a spiral notebook to keep all your needs in one location. 

Check the Closets

Go through your child’s clothing. Use this time to clean out any unwearable items. Making piles of your child’s clothing helps get an overall view of the situation. 


  • School Wearable: The pile consists of clothing suitable for school wear. Extending their use, summer clothing may still be worn during the warmer fall days. 
  • Home Wearable: The pile consists of clothing only suitable for stay at home days. The clothes may look worn.
  • Donation: Clothing still in good condition go into this pile. The clothes are wearable but no longer fit your child. The clothes in this pile may be suitable for resale at a consignment shop, garage sale, or simply donated to your nearest charity. 
  • Discard: Clothes with stains or unrepairable holes go into this pile.


Creating piles provides the perfect opportunity to assess your child’s clothing needs. Make an inventory of wearable clothes to help prepare a shopping list of needed items. Do not forget to check footwear. 

Begin Shopping

After creating your child’s list of necessities, time to go shopping. 


  • Updating Wearable Clothing: When creating your wearable piles, did you see any clothing that could use updating. Get creative. Sewing on new buttons, dyeing clothes, or adding other embellishments may extend the use of your child’s clothes. 
  • Go to Consignment and Thrift Shops: Going to your local second-hand store may result in some terrific clothing finds at a lower cost.
  • Garage and Yard Sales: Like you, other parents are preparing for the upcoming school year by selling off unwearable clothing. 
  • Social Media Marketplace: Many communities host social media marketplaces. Basically, the marketplace is an online garage sale. Searching different marketplaces in your area may result in back to school clothing finds. 
  • Clearance Section: When children start going back to school, warmer days are still around. The good news, many clothing chains are already discounting summer wear to make room for winter items. 
  • Ad Deals: Search different ads to find upcoming sales on need clothing items. Use the Internet to comparison shop. 


Back to school is an exciting time for your child. Creating lists and searching for the best deals will help eliminate the stress of back to school shopping on a budget. 





August: National Back to School Month

August is back to school month. Summer is quickly coming to a close. Many team sports will be starting practice soon. The first day of school is just around the corner. The big question, are you ready?

Back to School Checklist

Grab a spiral notebook or your tablet to make your own back to school checklist. Do you need help planning? Attending your child’s school open house or orientation is one of the best ways to learn about specific needs for your child’s grade level.

An open house allows your child to meet the teacher, view the classroom, and learn busing information. Spending time at the school before the first day will ease your student back into the routine. If you are unable to attend, consider the following areas for preparing your child to go back to school.

School Clothes

Before heading out to buy clothes, check the school’s website or student handbook for the current dress code. Being up to date on new restrictions helps determine the type of clothes to purchase.

  • Take inventory.
  • Make a list of needed clothing items.
  • Set a budget.
  • Go shopping

School Supplies

Your child’s school website generally shows a list of needed supplies for each grade level. If not, many department stores have a basic checklist of school supplies for each grade level.

Items may include:

  • Backpack
  • Notebook paper
  • Pencils/Pens
  • Pencil Box
  • Glue
  • Binders
  • Lunch Bags

Classroom Needs

Many teachers will post classroom needs. When you are out shopping, picking up a couple of items helps teachers stock the classroom for the year. Generally, tissues and hand sanitizer is at the top of the list.

School Emergency Update

Most schools use online systems for contact or emergency information. When logging in, make certain all the information is current. If your school does not have an online setup, fill out the necessary paperwork to provide accurate contact information.

Back to school is a fun and exciting time for your child. Being prepared helps alleviate stress for both of you. Enjoy the time, make a special first day back to school breakfast or dinner to celebrate the return.




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