Kicking Off Summer with a Family Ceremony and a Summer Fun Bucket


The school year is quickly drawing to a close and summer is ready to make her entrance. Because I’m a huge fan of ‘marking the moment’ and get overly excited about making memories and creating family traditions, I like to hold family opening and closing ceremonies to intentionally transition from one season to another.

Traditionally, on the last day of school our family goes out for froyo and discusses a few questions such as the ones below. We like to go out and make it special, but the ‘celebration’ could be as simple as asking one question on the car ride home from school, or around the table at dinner that evening, do what works for your family and brings you the most joy and peace.

Family Discussion Questions To Close Out the School Year

  • What is something you learned this school year?
  • What was the best part of this year?
  • Who is a friend you made this school year?
  • What is your favorite memory from this school year?
  • What are you looking forward to this summer?
  • What are some things you’d like to do this summer?

During our family ceremony, we also set practical expectations for the summer about things such as chores, snacks, bed time, frequency of fun outings, etc. Historically this has helped our family all get on the same page with reasonable expectations as we enter the new season.

This year I decided to kick off our summer opening ceremony by having summer fun buckets in the car for my boys when I pick them up on their last day of school. My idea behind the buckets is that they are a fun and tangible way to celebrate, while also gifting my kids with some items they would have needed for summer anyway. I didn’t go over the top on these buckets, in fact, most items I bought came from the Dollar Store. I included a few practical things they needed for summer and a few fun snacks and toys. The bucket not only serves as a container to hold all the goodies, but will come in handy for outdoor water play and trips to the beach this summer.

Here are ideas of items you could put in a summer fun bucket if you want to make one;

  • sidewalk chalk
  • coloring books for rainy days
  • a book to read this summer
  • art supplies such as crayons, water colors, stickers, glue, tape, Playdoh, etc.
  • bubbles
  • squirt gun
  • sandals
  • goggles
  • pool toys
  • flavor ice popsicles
  • gum
  • favorite special drink
  • candy
  • special snacks such as sunflower seeds, Slim Jim’s, a bag of spicy chips, etc.
  • sunglasses
  • hats
  • swimsuit
  • towel
  • tie-dye kit
  • bug catcher kit
  • perler bead kits
  • sports equipment such as a football, frisbee, etc.

As you can see, it doesn’t have to be over the top! Just something to congratulate your kids on a job well done this year and to get them excited for the months of summer ahead! What would you add to your family ceremony or celebration?

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Shannon Mangerchine
Shannon recently moved to Columbus with her husband, Jeremy, and three sons, Noah, Eli and Zeke. She left a career in Human Resources to take on her dream of being a stay-at-home mom. During this time, she and her husband founded a non-profit called Bastion Resources with the purpose of inspiring others to live a life of intimacy with God. Shannon is passionate about creating community and engaging in meaningful conversation around the dinner table. Recently, she created The Intentional Daily Journal to help people live with more purpose and clarity, which is available for purchase on Amazon. In her free time, Shannon enjoys all types of fitness, trying new restaurants, reading books, coffee dates with friends and hanging at the park with her family. Shannon is constantly creating new healthy recipes and sharing them on her blog Healthy Mom Healthy Family.