Start an End of School Year Tradition:10 Festive Ways to Celebrate the End of a School Year

I don’t know about y’all, but at our house we are counting down the days until school is out. Turns out even homeschoolers are excited for summer break! Or maybe homeschoolers are EXTRA excited for summer break? Full disclosure, we have been limping toward the end of year finish line. We. Are. Ready. No matter what your schooling looks like, I think wrapping up a school year should most definitely be celebrated! It’s an accomplishment that should not go unnoticed. Like most traditions it doesn’t have to be an elaborate celebration. I love traditions that are simple and memorable, and easy to repeat year after year. I love the idea of my high school kids still wanting to have a water balloon fight or ice cream sundae on the last day of school, because it’s what we do! Just pick a fun tradition or two that you can do year after year! Making it a tradition means you have something to look forward to, and your not scrambling for a celebration idea every year.

Here is a list of end of school year tradition inspiration, I’m confident that one of these ideas, or a combination of a few will be the perfect celebration for your family.

1. A celebratory breakfast. We always start the school year with a festive breakfast, so it seems only fitting to end the year in a similar manner. If a hot breakfast is rare then maybe you wake up a little early to show your love through a stack of fluffy pancakes. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles for some extra fun!

2. A literal finish line. I saw this idea online and thought it was pretty cute. Roll out some butcher paper to decorate for the kids to bust through on the last day, or use some streamers to mark the official finish of the school year!

3. A summer fun bucket of goodies. Nothing says, “Happy Summer Break” like a basket of summer fun goodies. Fill it with simple things that you would have purchased anyways, but when presented in a cute basket all together they feel like a fun surprise! Some items that are fun to include:

  • water balloons
  • water guns
  • popsicles
  • smores supplies
  • new swim googles or swim toys
  • a summer themed book to enjoy

4. Host a popsicle party. Get friends or neighbors in on the celebration by inviting everyone over to enjoy a last day of school popsicle, and maybe even something stronger for the adults to toast the end of packing lunches and checking back packs for a bit.

5. Include ice cream. What’s more celebratory than ice cream? Swing by your favorite ice cream shop for a treat on the way home, or enjoy a special ice cream treat at home!

6. Have some water fun. Run through the sprinklers in your school clothes or have an epic water balloon fight.

7. Collect memories. Don’t forget to do all the important memory keeping items:

  • Take a last day of school picture to compare to the first day of school picture.
  • I have a children’s book that I ask their teacher to write a note in each year, I guess I’ll be writing a note this year! If we continue to homeschool this tradition won’t make much sense, but I think it is a fun way to remember all their teachers if the go to school each year. Here are some books that are perfect for this tradition:
  1. Remarkably You
  2. Oh the Places You’ll Go
  3. I Wish You More
  4. Reach for the Stars
  5. The Wonderful Things You Will Be
  • I love the idea of a beginning and end of year interview to see how they have changed, and what they interests are from year to year. I like this printable interview and system for organizing school papers. I also like this printable interview as well.

8. Silly string fight. If water fights aren’t your thing perhaps a silly string fight?

9. A summer themed dinner. If waking early for a special breakfast isn’t your jam then perhaps you would enjoy a festive dinner. Make it a picnic or a barbecue. Decorate with a summer theme and talk about all the fun things you want to do together over the summer. These little swimming bear cupcakes would be super cute or make S’Mores and toast to summer break!

10. Summer Themed Movie Night. Kick off summer break by staying up a little late and enjoying a family movie. Bonus festive points if it’s an outdoor movie night! I’d love to hear your suggestions for movies. My boys really enjoyed The Parent Trap and The Sandlot, two summer classics. I’m thinking this summer we might try Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Angels in the Outfield, Little Rascals and Dennis the Menace for movie nights, I think any of those would be a great summer kick-off flick!

Here’s a fun planner page to generate some fun summer activities!

There are so many ways to celebrate the end of the school year and kick-off summer, what traditions does your family have?

Cheers to summer break and lots of memory making!



Hey, I’m Megan, wife to Chad, mama to our three rambunctious boys, Grady, Marshall, Stafford and our sweet little girl, Ainsley Nell.  I have a passion for celebrating holidays, cherishing seasons, creating memories, collecting traditions, connecting hearts and chasing joy.   Thanks for coming along for our journey.