*This is a guest post by author Diane Johnson

As the school year winds to a close, children and parents get excited for the approaching relaxation and fun of summertime. With visions of swimming pools and popsicles, who wouldn’t look forward to the end of school? But before you pack up the backpacks and school supplies for good, take a moment to help make your child’s end of school time a cherished memory by making it special!

Words are Gifts – but Gifts are Great, Too!
Have your child write a short note to their teacher or teachers telling them how much they enjoyed the school year. If your child is younger, drawing a picture is a great alternative. Allowing your child to pick out a small gift for the teacher at the end of school can also go far in letting that special teacher know just how much they meant to you and your children. If they did a great job, let him or her know!
Along the same lines, if time allows, have your child write a note to each of their classmates telling them how much he or she enjoyed the school year together. People never know how much they mean to them until they tell them!

Party Time – a Must for the End of School
As the school year winds down, put together a small party with your child’s classmates at a nearby playground. You’ll get a chance to connect with other parents and your children will get a chance to celebrate school’s end together. Don’t forget to snap a few pictures of all the children together and email them out once the party is over. Your child will love being able to look back on their friends and talk about the school year. Don’t forget to email a copy of the picture to your child’s teacher, too – he or she will love a peek at their class having a great time!

Reward a Good Year with a Special Occasion
If your child has tried his or her best all year, reward their efforts by having a special dinner or fun night in their honor. Take a trip to their favorite restaurant or host a gathering of friends and family in your home – your child will know how much you care about them and their efforts!

Exchange Contact Information
Before school gets out, make sure your child has his or her classmates’ contact information so they can get together over summer. One of the things children miss about school in the summertime is not getting to see their friends every day. Make sure this is not a problem by collecting phone numbers and email addresses.

Play the Day Away
Summer is exciting. It’s full of vacations, road trips and sleeping in. But, after a while, summer can get a little…well…boring. Instead of letting your children wander around the house aimlessly, plan a few play dates with their friends. Don’t worry about hosting at your own home all the time – move the play date to a park instead! They’ll thank you, and you’ll be thankful – trust us.
Armed with these parenting strategies for the end of the school year, your child will look back at the fond memories of this year’s close and look forward to the beginning of next year!

About the author: Diane Johnson writes about a number of her interests including shopping, online classes, and traveling.

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