Hosting an End of the Summer Party

A Back to School Celebration

If your child has the back to school blues, a gathering of friends for one last blast can make the transition easier to cope with. Inviting some of the classmates that he will be seeing again, before school is actually in session, can break the ice for those awkward first days of school.

Growing up I was one of the lucky kids who enjoyed school, but not all of my five siblings did. So, my father, being the wise man he was, offered a solution of transitioning from summer fun to the business of going back to school by creating an ‘End-of-the-summer-party.’ This has become a family tradition that is now three generations old.

The purpose of the celebration is to form a summer memory, as well as offer your child an opportunity to reunite with a buddy before walking the halls of strangers. Having a party where the focus is fun will also offer a quick conversation starter if asked, “What did you do on your summer vacation?”

Party Plans

Explain to your child the purpose of the party and solicit her assistance. The more involved your child is the more she will feel it is her party. Start by organizing the guest list, next create a menu, and end with activities. After setting the time and place you are well on your way to a memorable event.

Invitations and Guest List

The guest list should include classmates that they will be seeing in the fall, as well as nearby neighbors they’ve been hanging out with. Many kids in rural areas don’t have easy access to ‘play dates’ during the summer, so contacting those whom your child has not been involved with over the summer will give him an opportunity to rekindle old friendships.

Invitations are easy to create. With modern technology, an invitation is just a click of the computer away. An email or that special email invitation called: Evite can make the job easier, while helping to track the RSVP status.

Other ways to contact the party guests would be to simply call and discuss the details or, for an additional activity that would give your child something to do, have her design and make her own invitation cards to mail out to friends. Everyone enjoys the surprise of receiving mail and a party invitation can be even more exciting. Be sure to plan well in advance to enable the recipients enough time to mark their calendars for the fun day.



Grill favorites: Franks and Burgers

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Have a chef available to handle the BBQBurgers grilled to perfection.Cooking your own 'dog' is a party pleaser.
Have a chef available to handle the BBQ
Have a chef available to handle the BBQ | Source
Burgers grilled to perfection.
Burgers grilled to perfection. | Source
Cooking your own 'dog' is a party pleaser.
Cooking your own 'dog' is a party pleaser. | Source

Menu

A party for your child or teen should be filled with fun foods that they enjoy. An added tip is to make it as simple and easy as possible. Back in the sixties, when dad was the master host of the neighborhood party, before the fad of block party even existed, he gave each of the guests a hot dog stick to grill their own dogs and marshmallows in the fire pit. No fuss, no mess.

Other popular picnic fair goes a long way. Have a hot dog/hamburger grill going with adult supervision. Or make it a taco bar theme. Homemade pizza is a third option, but a step back into the fussing-with-the-oven situation. If simplicity is your goal, and pizza is the main menu choice, order out and have it delivered. A fourth possibility is to serve chicken. Younger children love chicken tenders and it isn’t too complicated to serve. Or, if you want to take the teens into a sandwich smorgasbord a giant party submarine sandwich is often a crazy choice that the kids can have fun with.

Set bowls of chips or snack items to go along with the dogs and burgers. Keep a bowl of watermelon slices on ice for a quick grab. And, bring out the cooler to set up juice boxes or sodas and water bottles for an easy ‘serve-yourself’.

When it comes to the end of the meal the sky’s the limit. A cake announcing the event with a catchy title like: Summer’s past, but we had a blast is an option. Other choices would be homemade cookies or brownies, s’mores with chocolate bars and marshmallows on graham crackers, or simply ice cream sundaes. Personally, I like the ice cream sundae idea because the kids can make their own and it speaks of summer.

Amazon lawn games for entertainment

Fun Party Activities

Water fun
Water fun | Source

Activities

Obviously, getting together is part of the activity itself. But, depending on your child’s age, most kids don’t sit around chatting for very long. They want to be doing something. If you are fortunate to have a pool the activity speaks for itself. Have the guests bring suits and towels and make sure there is supervision in the pool area itself.

If there is no pool, and it is a hot day, create a ‘shower’ of water fun through the garden hose. By buying an attachment or simply putting the sprinkler on, your young one can have hours of entertainment. My kids were fans of the slip and slides and my grandkids have played in a sprinkler set up where the water shoots through a pole and showers down on them. Squirt gun ‘wars’ are also a watery way to cool down.

Other activities would include lawn games like croquet, jarts, bean bag toss, ball games, or even board games. In addition, you may want to play games of competition like: potato sack races, water balloon or egg toss, and red light, green light. These are old games that many children no longer play because they are considered ‘old fashioned’. So, if you know your child acts too sophisticated for this type of activity, can it and move onto something that may engage his attention.

One of the ways that you may end your party is through a treasure hunt. Have a hidden prize somewhere in your yard with a ‘map’ and clues. If this is too complicated to devise on short notice hang a colorful piñata from a tree and have the kids try their luck with breaking open the candy filled piñata.

Remember: whatever way you go with the menu and activities the sole purpose is to offer one last fun filled event shared with your child’s friends as a transition from summer to school. Enjoy the celebration!

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Comments 29 comments

LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Thank you for sharing such Positive traditions. This is a great way for students and parents to have closure of a school year, and be unified for whatever Summer may bring. Way to bring Families Closer!!!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Lilly- Actually, it is just the opposite. Our tradition was for a summer closure while bringing the family mindset into a focus for the new school year. Our party let us know that school was right around the corner. It helped us to prepare psychologically for the idea of putting away the toys and opening up the books. :)


fetty profile image

fetty 6 years ago from South Jersey

Interesting idea to allow your children and their friends to have one last good time before school begins. It really is a very positive tradition. Great Hub!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Fetty, thanks for stopping in to read and comment. It was my dad's idea, originally. We just carried on the fun!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Denise, I think that is a terrific suggest. Children love parties and its neat that is now a tradition in your home.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Pamela, nice of you to stop by, :) It's a great tradition for my grandkids now. Thanks for the comment.


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

What a nice tradition! Moma and Daddy used to let me and my siblings "model" our new school clothes for them each year. I loved it. Dummy me, I should have asked for snacks to follow!HA!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

That's funny! LOL


Words by Mike 6 years ago

lol, bayoulady-too funny. Denise, this was a great Hub. I too went against tradition this year, allowing my children to have a, "Last Blast." They were content and seemed to do the job in getting them to calm down of the approaching academic season. Really good tips, Thanks for sharing.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Mike-sounds like the party was a success. Thanks for reading the hub.


zzron profile image

zzron 6 years ago from Houston, TX.

Great info, thanks for sharing.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi zzron, thanks for stopping by to read the hub. Nice meeting you.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago

Pretty good advice. Although I don't have any kids, I'll definitely keep this in mind if the need ever arises. That's a very good idea, Denise. :)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Steven-thanks for the read. It was always a favorite time of the summer, although it meant its end. I always looked forward to going back to school but not all my brothers did. Dad's idea took the sting out a bit.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Congratulations on winning TWO hubbie awards (like mother, like daughter): Forum Queen and Most Supportive Hubber.

BTW, I never saw this hub before but it's really cool. Rated up across the board.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Gail, thanks so much...once again Cara was the one that notified me. Actually, I got 'the call' from my youngest granddaughter telling me, "you won two" or "you won, too" LOL Either way I had forgotten the results were in that eve.

I'm glad you liked the hub-thanks for the rating.


Cassidella profile image

Cassidella 5 years ago

Hi Denise I really like this hub! We have had back-to-school splashes at the pool for the kids, but haven't hosted one at home before. It's a wonderful idea to throw an end-of-summer party! Voted up!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

So glad you enjoyed this, Cassidella, and found it useful. Hope you have a blast!


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 3 years ago from Michigan

Hello Denise, this is a great hub! I like your ideas and the photos are great! It is time to start thinking about going back to school. Hope you're enjoying your summer.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Sima, Thanks for commenting on this hub. I don't recall if you have young children, but if so...I hope you offer an end of summer get together, it always put us in the mood to get back to school to see our friends.

I was in Michigan a few weeks ago for my spiritual retreat, as well as a family reunion. It's always fun visiting my daughters and grandkids! Thanks. Hope yours is going well also. Thanks for stopping by. :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Great ideas denise, and the summer holidays will soon be over, one blink and it will be back to school! lol! voted and shared!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Fabulous and fun ideas Denise!! My granddaughter has friends over every day so it's always a party for us :) She's getting bummed about school starting up again soon. As am I.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Nell, yes...I'm actually preparing my nephew to go off to college. He'll start classes Aug 15th! Right around the corner. Thanks for the vote and share. :)

Hi Linda-LOL I envy you your visits with your granddaughter...hopefully, I'll be in Michigan shortly to be near my own grandkids, now that my nephew has graduated. :) Thanks for the comments.


mr-veg profile image

mr-veg 3 years ago from Colorado United States

Nice way to have fun with your kids.. Good one Denise.. Surely would put a smile on entire families face :) ... I love the idea of having fun activities, specially the water splash and treasure hunt :D ... you are cool !!!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Mr-veg-thanks for your enthusiastic comments! lol I had to laugh about the last one. Yeah, my parents were considered cool by all the neighborhood kids, so maybe they passed it on!

I don't remember if you have kids???? If so, be sure to have lots of FUN with them. A good sense of humor goes a very long way when parenting.


mr-veg profile image

mr-veg 3 years ago from Colorado United States

yeah I do have a Daughter :) So it's time to have fun and be Cool :)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

How old is she? OK, from Mr.-Veg to Mr. Cool! lol


mr-veg profile image

mr-veg 3 years ago from Colorado United States

She is just a year old now :D .. but she is a sweetheart :) hope your weekend is going on with all fun !!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hello mr-veg I bet she is a sweetheart and a real cutie. I think the toddler age is just fabulous. They are huge sponges that soak up so much info all at one time in such a short time! It's amazing. Enjoy her while she is young...it goes by so very quickly.

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