Well I hate to say it folks, but the summer is coming to an end soon. For those of us lucky enough to live in 75 degree weather all year round it may not mean much, but having lived in Ohio for most of my life, I can appreciate the fact that we need to savor these last few weeks before the new school year begins and temperatures begin to drop.
I know, having taught for 4 years, that many kids hit this “panic mode” before a new school year. (or maybe it’s just the 7th-12th grade crowd I taught) It feels like there are only a couple weeks left of freedom, but so many things that you didn’t get to do this summer.
I’ve compiled a list of fun activities that, as parents or caregivers, you can do with your kids to help them feel more at ease with summer ending and a new school year beginning!
Please feel free to share your own “back to school” traditions with us so everyone with little ones (or older kids) can benefit!
Grade School (K-4) – Review Games
Many kiddos in grade school get anxious for the new school year for a lot of reasons, but mostly they are afraid they are not going to know everything they need to know to be “smart” in class. Feed on the fact that these little ones are still so knowledge-hungry! Before you know it you’ll have a teenager with a case of Senior-itis on your hands!
Try staging fun review games for them to ease their minds. Try integrating some summer fun in with their reviews to help them feel confident that they didn’t, in fact, forget everything they’ve learned in their previous year!
If you’re a DIY-er, try making a dunk tank where the kids get to try to soak you if they get questions right. Not your speed? Try having them earn a small piece of candy/stickers or extra TV/play time if they answer correctly. The ideas are endless! Take your kids favorite summer time activity and make it into a game! They are sure to love it!
Intermediate School (Grades 5&6) – Adventure Activities!
My best memory from 6th grade was our zoo/scavenger hunt fieldtrip. That’s right! We were given a list of tasks to complete/exhibits to find and a disposable camera. With the watchful eye of a chaperone, a group of 6 of us ran around the zoo finding all of the answers to our list and taking pictures as evidence.
Try taking your pre-teen and a few of his/her close friends to the zoo, an art/health/history museum, planetarium, or aquarium and give them a list of tasks to complete. If you’re not the creative type to make your own, many of these places have pre-made scavenger hunts on their websites!
Middle School (Grades 7&8) – Back-to-School Shopping
Be prepared. This group is wholly concentrated on their burgeoning images. They strive to fit in with the other kids at school and their clothing is the first thing that speaks for them. Sorry to say it, but if you have a kid in this age group, taking them back-to-school shopping will be the most beneficial! Try going on a tax-free weekend or hit the back-to-school sales with coupons in hand to save a little money. Think of it as quality time with the kid who won’t want to be seen with you when their friends are around come mid-August 🙂
High School (Grades 9-12) – The Drive In
I know it’s scary to let your kiddos go someplace alone, especially right after they may have earned their drivers license, but all of my students at this age love two things: driving around with friends and the movies. Why not surprise them with the car keys and a $20 and send them off to a drive-in movie for the evening with a friend you like? Maybe just set a curfew so they don’t have too much fun galavanting around the city 🙂
Happy celebrations of the last days of summer!