End of school party
Whether its a dance party or a watermelon smash, celebrate the end of the kids’ school year with high energy fun to welcome the summer holidays.
An end of school party in the park can quickly become an annual tradition that helps kids celebrate shutting the books for a couple of months and helps them say goodbye to pals before heading in different directions over the summer. The truth is parents like a chance to say goodbye to schoolyard parent friends before facing the new summertime schedule and appreciate seeing their kids burn off some extra energy.
Parks are a great shared space for kids and parents. An end of school party is also a great way for your park group to forge a strong connection with the schools in the surrounding vicinity. Make sure you connect with them about the event.
MABELLEarts Arts hosts a Watermelon Smash which a local paper aptly called an “explosion of fruit and joy.” The celebration centers around inviting the youngest child to smash a watermelon on the ground. When it breaks into bits, everyone gets to share in devouring it. The event is deliberately a “little wild” says MABELLEarts’ Assistant Artistic Director Shifra Cooper, “kids rule the day.”
Letting kids feel is charge is great advice for hosting an end of school event in the park. Here are some more ideas to make the last day of school a big hit.
Keep it CoolWater play keeps kids cool while keeping them active. Not every park has water access and it’s advisable to keep water guns out of circulation. But, you can prep some big sponges that kids can toss around with lots of buckets. Let kids know that they should wear their bathing suits and plan to get wet. If you can't access water, think of other ways kids can burn off energy to experience the "true release" that Shifra describes when the watermelon hits the ground.
Share a picnicSince school ends close to the dinner hour, let kids and parents know that they’re welcome to bring food and picnic blankets for a community picnic. People can bring their own food and eat together in the great outdoors. Of course, there are strict rules around sharing food in parks, but bringing your own picnic basket keeps things simple.
Make it PlayfulAs the watermelon smash demonstrates, kids want to celebrate the end of school in wild and high energy ways. Kids will be in the mood to burn off some energy so think about high-energy activities like a DJ dance party or simple races. If there are musically inclined kids, you can host an open stage where kids and parents can put their musical talent on full display. Just make sure you have the right permits and keep the sound manageable.
Be welcomingNo one should be left out of the end of school party. Use school channels like Parent Council and in-school memo boards and community Facebook pages, to promote the party. Also, use sidewalk chalk outside the school and park to let parents and kids know the big day is coming. Finally, make sure there’s something for all ages of students because what kindergarteners think is fun, grade sixes think is “totally lame.” So, consider the activities that are relevant to both like crafts and games for the young ones and music and dancing for older kids. In fact, as MABELLEarts experienced, if you do it right, teens will eventually become involved as event organizers.
At the end of the school year, kids just want to let off some steam. We try to keep things open and not be too prescriptive about how things will go. That's just not the right vibe for the occasion.Shifra Cooper MABELLEarts