Wednesday, May 20, 2015

School's out for Summer!!!

The last day of school is one of my favorite days of the school year!  Seriously, I'm not kidding!  I love having my kiddos home all day with lots of down time and pool time to look forward to!  I try to make the last day of school a celebration from the moment we drive in our driveway.  Here are 5 fun ways that you can welcome summer into your home!  Your kids will love them - guaranteed!!!

Be sure to check out the Blog Hop links later in this post for even more fun ideas!

1.  decorate your garage door with signs, balloons, and/or streamers!
I started this little tradition about three years ago and it's definitely something I want to continue.  The kiddos normally have early dismissal on the last day of school so I have to hurry home and get everything ready (and pray for no rain!).  It's always fun to drive up in the driveway and hear, "ah, thanks, mom!".
 This was my first attempt at a sign.  I got the paper and paint while a sweet babysitter (who happened to be a cheerleader when she was younger!) helped me out by making it!
Sadly it rained and messed up a little bit of the sign but the kids LOVED it anyway!
 Year two - I designed these signs and had them printed at our local copy store.
Whoo hoo!  School's out for SUMMER!
 This was last year's sign and balloons.  Still not sure what I'll do this year but I've got a few ideas!  :)
 The kids were definitely feelin' it this day!  There wasn't a shortage of poses!
I love jumping pictures (even if it takes about 15 tries to get everyone in the air at the same time!).  

2.  goodie boxes
In the weeks leading up to summer, I noticed that I was buying lots of stuff - swimsuits, towels, pool toys, etc.  I decided to hoard hide all these goodies in my closet and then give them to the kiddos on the last day of school.  It's really nothing more than things I would have picked up along the way - it's just more fun to be presented as a present.
This was my first attempt (sorry for the WAY overexposed pictures!).
The note read:
Let's have a BALL this summer!  I think we should stay cool by throwing WATER BALLOONS, swimming like FISH and DUCKS, and squirting each other with WATER GUNS!  Looks like the TOWEL will come in handy since we are going to get wet!  The sky is the limit so let's find a day to go fly a KITE.  Get ready to get SILLY and let's have a GLOWING summer break!

obviously, this was before my love for PicMonkey and WordSwag!  :)
After they emptied out the boxes, I used them on the stairs.  For the next couple of years, this is where I would drop things that needed to go up to their rooms.  I love when gifts have multiple uses!
 The second year I did goodies, I used sand buckets.  These buckets were used till the handles literally fell off!
 Notice the stack of cups?!  This was the summer I got wise about "whose cup is this left out?!".  Each kiddo had a different color cup (they conveniently came in a pack of 5) so no more blaming each other for cups that are "not mine."
This particular year I was really on top of my game!  The previous summer we had taken at least one picture each day during the summer.  I put it in a scrapbook to remind them how much fun we had.  We didn't take a fancy vacation or do anything out of the ordinary but I wanted to remind them that fun is what you make it.  We tried to keep up with it the next summer but we weren't as successful!  :)
The older they get the harder it is to find little things but they really don't care - they just love having little goodies waiting for them!

3. bless your friends!
It's lots of fun doing little things for your kiddos, but it's even more fun to share the love! Some of my favorite times have been in the car with the bigs as we've ding-dong ditched friends while leaving little surprises on their front porches!
Here's a close up of the sign.  I had saved a political sign that was in our yard and covered it with paper.  I had to put tape all over it because there was a chance of rain and I didn't want the ink to run.
We left a basket of water balloons and a water balloon filler on their front porch for them to find when they got home.  So much fun!!!

4.  water balloon fight!
Speaking of water balloons...last year Mike and I staged an epic water balloon fight and our kids didn't know what to think!
We told them to go get dressed for the pool and while they were upstairs, we put this outside the front door (See!  The buckets can have uses for years to come!)
We texted this picture to our son and told them they had a surprise waiting on the front porch.
Sadly I don't have any pictures from the water balloon fight - I was too busy trying to protect myself!  :)
Later that day, we got a dose of our own medicine!  The kiddos had staged a re-match!

5. head to the pool!
Going to the pool is always fun but the pool on the last day of school is really special!  No one is on vacation yet and it's packed with friends!

Now it's time to just sit back, relax, and enjoy summer!  Oh, and if the above ideas don't work for you, you can always take a nap!
I hope you enjoyed these fun summer ideas!  Check out my Pinterest board Summertime - I'm always pinning ideas of things I would love to do with my kiddos!

Follow Holly @ While I'm Waiting...'s board Summertime on Pinterest.

I'm so excited to be part of this fun Blog Hop!  Check out these awesome posts for summer tips, activities, and bucket lists. I hope you find some new ideas for your summer of fun!

And, my sweet friend, Keri from Living In This Season has released an ebook just in time for summer!  It's called Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive - filled with practical tips and lots of encouragement to help you thrive with your kiddos this summer.  Not only does she address freedom from comparison and guilt but she also encourages moms to embrace our gifts and the season we are in.  Click here to visit Living In This Season and find out more about Keri's ebook!

How do you celebrate the start of summer?

Have a blessed day!  Gig 'em and God bless!
Holly
This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the link and purchase an item I receive a small commission.

The Waiting on...Wednesday link up is live today at While I'm Waiting!  A place where you can link up what you are waiting on, going through, making, anything - as long as it's family-friendly!  Come over and link up your fabulous posts!
While I'm Waiting...Waiting on...Wednesday link-up
You can check my favorite link-ups page to find the awesome girlies I'm linking up with today.  Show them some LOVE! :)
also linking up with Mandy @ Almond Place for her #summerfunfriday

36 comments:

  1. You seriously are the coolest mom ever!!! I mean really, I want to be your child! My favorite picture of them is jumping too. Great shot Holly. Looks like it could go on a cover of a magazine. Super fun ideas for everyone. When my girls were younger the one traditional event we did on the last day of school was going to buy summer sandals (girls and their shoes), we'd go to lunch afterwards and like you, I LOVED having my girls home all day for summer vacation. I was the one that always dreaded when school came around again. This was so much fun to read. I even came away with some tips for my students!

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    1. Haha, Michelle! Not really! For every one thing that I do ok, there are many more that I absolutely stink at! :) I have learned that I parent best when I'm intentional about what we do. But, thank you, thank you, thank you for your super kind words!!! I love the tradition of you guys going to buy sandals! You know it's summer when...! I completely agree with you - I get so sad when it's time for them to go back to school! Thanks for always being so sweet! You are such an inspiration! Have a fantastic day!

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  2. I LOVE these ideas! With my oldest in kindergarten this year this comes at the perfect time. Now to get something together before June 4th! Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Thanks, Keri! Word to the wise - start small! :) That way there's no pressure the next year! I can't wait to see what fun traditions you start!

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  3. What fun ideas for kicking off summer!! Looking forward to sharing!

    Elizabeth
    allkindsofthingsblog.com

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! This was so much fun putting together! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  4. Wow you are an amazing Mom! Your kids will have amazing memories to share and hopefully recreate with their kids!

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    1. Haha - definitely not amazing. I have some highlights here and there but can really stink it up most days! Thankfully my kiddos shower me with more grace than I deserve! :) It's funny to me that they don't remember me doing this from year to year so it's always unexpected! I love that! Thank you for your sweet words and for stopping by!

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  5. You are the most fun mom ever. I can't even tell my kids about you because they might abandon me! I am totally stealing the color coded cup idea. Your heart for making everything joyful for your kiddos is inspiring to me!

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    1. You are completely safe, Kim! For every one thing I get right, there are many (many!) things I don't! :) But, yes, get the color coded cups!!! I snagged these at Wal-Mart. But, thank you for your sweet words! I appreciate them so much!

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  6. These are such cute ideas!! SO creative! Im definitely doing these when my babes are in school :)

    Whitney @ www.mamaandmister.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Whitney! We love tradition around here and these are some of our favorites! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. LOOOOVEEEE these ideas!! Might have to borrow a couple!!

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    1. Absolutely! Borrow away! Just let me know if you share! I would love to see! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Oh my goodness, Holly! This totally makes me wish that my sons were little again! What fun ideas!! I love the sense of *play and whimsy* that you have. It's so important, I think, to have FUN with our kids. I was like you, I loved having my boys home for the summer. We had so many adventures! I'm sure that the memories that we made will last them a lifetime. You are doing the same...

    School's out for summer!! YAY!

    GOD BLESS!

    (Was reminded of this quote from C.S. Lewis' book, The Last Battle: “The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.” Yup, heaven is going to be one grand forever vacation!!)

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words, Sharon! For everything I get right, there's a ton that, well, isn't so great! :) But, I agree - nothing like having my kiddos home all summer long!!! Only 5 more days of school!!!

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  9. Wow. That's amazing. My kids would give me the mom of the year award if I did this for them. What a great idea. I love the water balloon idea. Stopping by from Momma Told Me Linky.

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    1. Hi, Mariet! Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you found me! Thank you for your sweet words. I get it right - some times! ;) By the time school is out I am DONE! So, it's fun to kick off the summer and get read for a little fun! I was say may kiddos were most surprised with the water balloon fight - way out of the norm for me so they didn't know what to think! It was loads of fun!

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  10. I'm pinning this for when our little one is old enough - these are awesome ideas!!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your creative summer fun and for linking up at the Thank Goodness It's Thursday party. I can't wait to see what you link up tomorrow!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! You will be surprised at how quickly that will be! It seems like just yesterday that our kiddos were in preschool! Thanks for hosting - I'll see you tomorrow! :)

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  11. I LOVE the water balloon fight! What a great idea and so much fun....my kids would never expect this from us! I also love the idea of saving all the summer stuff and using that as a year end gift....brilliant! Thanks for linking up!!

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    1. Our kids were completely thrown off guard by this one! They've asked for it again this year but I might put it off so that it surprises them again (or...I might do it again!). :) Thanks for hosting! It's always fun to link up with you!

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  12. I LOVE the sign and the gift baskets! What great ideas! Thank you so much for sharing this on Making Memories Mondays! Hope to see you back Sun night 9PM EST! :-)
    Cathy

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    1. Thanks, Cathy! And, thanks for hosting! Hoping I can pull something together for tomorrow! ;)

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  13. I love this!! I always have last day of school balloons for my babies outside and of course we have water balloons too.
    Thanks for sharing with us at Mommy Monday!
    XOXO

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    1. The last day of school is definitely a day to celebrate! Thanks for hosting! Hope to see you again Monday!

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  14. Such a cute blog! thanks for sharing this on Fabulous Friday Party! Reminds me of the summer days for my kids school .
    Maria

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    1. Thank you, Maria! The last day of school is definitely my favorite day of the school year! I'm glad you stopped by!

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  15. Wow! You're an over achiever! That was amazing! I'll aim high next year, we've been out for over a month so totally missed that! :)

    Thanks for linking up at my party!

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    1. Haha! Not even close! Just intentional about taking the ordinary and making it extra-ordinary! :) Thanks for stopping by! I'm one of the co-hosts. :)

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  16. I LOVE these ideas! I have to remember for next year - my kids already had their last day of school and I think they would have LOVED coming home to this with all the goodies and gearing up for a summer of total fun. Thanks for the inspiration. Totally pinning and sharing via #summerfamilyfun

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    1. Thank you, Joann! We've been our for a few weeks too - couldn't help but share! :) Every time I look at these pics, I just smile. The last day of school is my favorite day of school! I'm so glad you stopped by! Hope to see you again soon!

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  17. You are the coolest set of parents! So thoughtful of you to welcome your kids to summer by hanging a fun message at the garage. So it's the first time they'll see going home and already the mood is set!

    Water balloons is also fun fun fun!

    Your kids would definitely grow up happy and always looking forward to summers (but I don't know what you do with the other seasons!).

    Thanks for linking up and helping make my first linky co-hosting a success. :)

    I'll surely remember these when I'm a mom myself.

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    1. Thanks, Lux! We have our moments of greatness (here and there!) - haha! Water balloons are definitely the way to make kids think you are "the best parents ever"! Just keep that little hint in your arsenal when you become a mom! :) It's truly the little things! Isn't co-hosting fun? I'll see you next week!

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  18. What fun ideas! Our last day is Wednesday - I'm definitely putting up a sign. Wish I had seen those cool basket ideas earlier! #Summerfamilyfun

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    1. Your kiddos will love the sign - guaranteed! Isn't the #summerfamilyfun one of the best link-ups? So fun!!! Can't wait to see what all is linked up this week! Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy the last few days of school!

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