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4 Ways to make the last days of summer count

Mother and Founder of SupportPay, the 1st Child Support payment platform, 15 year tech veteran in Silicon Valley

The first day of school is always exciting and fun, but also bittersweet. It means no more sleeping in and spending long afternoons at the pool and no more late nights gathered around a campfire laughing with friends and eating s'mores. Back to school means back to schedules and chores and kids' activities and homework.

Even so, the start of the school year is a big deal. It means my daughter is another year older and starting a new adventure with a new teacher and likely some new friends. Because it's such a big deal, the first day of school is cause for celebration. Here are our favorite ways to celebrate.

1. Last day of summer finale

On the last day of summer vacation, we always clear our schedules and plan for a fun-filled, packed-to-the-brim day. We end up doing something different every year, but we always have fun. We love to get pedicures, see a movie, have lunch at our favorite place, go for a bike ride, eat ice cream, go swimming, and snuggle in bed at the end of the day. It's one of my favorite parts of summer vacation because we spend the whole day just having fun together.

2. New gear

It's not always feasible to buy new backpacks and lunch boxes and school supplies and tennis shoes and a whole new wardrobe and a new phone and... the list goes on forever. But when summer starts coming to an end, we make a plan to replace things that she's outgrown or that have worn out. For all those items that don't get replaced, sometimes a little change makes it seem almost new. We give backpacks and lunch boxes a thorough washing, get new shoelaces for shoes that still fit, sew on fun patches to her backpack, and trade clothes with a friend. Getting new clothes and supplies for school is one of the best parts of back to school, but when you can't swing it, re-purposing can be just as useful.

3. A special meal

Sometimes I go up to the school and have lunch with my daughter on the first day of school. Other times, we plan a special dinner for just the two of us. I'll either cook her current favorite meal for dinner and we'll talk all about her day... or we'll head out to dinner and order extra appetizers and dessert.

4. After school surprise

There's nothing more fun than coming home from the first day of school and getting greeted by a can of silly string sprayed on your or a water gun fight. We like to keep things light and fun around our house and having a little rowdy fun after school is a great way to make the day more memorable.

Does your family have special ways to celebrate the first day of school or last day of summer?

Photo Credit: SupportPay.com

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