Bucket Full of Summer Fun

Thanks for helping me have a great year Last Day of School Thank You Gift for Teacher AlaynasCreations

Hello Wednesday!  Has anyone checked their calendars lately?  And did you do a double-take (as I did) when you realized just how quickly the last day of school is approaching?!?  T-minus 15 (school) days and counting, according to my little guy on Monday, which translates to just over two weeks until school is out for the summer.  That’s a bit late for our typical school year and I know a lot of schools are finishing up even sooner than that.  So in the interest of being on the ball, ahead of the game, and all of those other clichés that help keep me from feeling stressed, I wanted to put together a fun little end of the year gift for the teachers – and do it now rather than later.

Bucket List Last Day of School Teacher Thank You Gift Idea AlaynasCreations

The first place I always turn for inspiration is my Pinterest Boards and it wasn’t long before I ran across this great printable Bucket List tag.  So cute – and half the work is already done for me!  So I printed it out and took a quick trip to the dollar store.

Last Day of School Bucket List Teacher Gift Idea AlaynasCreaions

Don’t you just love the dollar store?  I never leave there with just the items on my list, but I sure do have fun while I wander – and my kids or husband usually get some fun treat out of the deal.  For this project I simply let myself wander, repeating the thoughts “summer…bucket list…summer” as the kids and I wandered through the store.  In the end my collection included a fun pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, Sunny-D (catching the theme here, aren’t we?), a bag of gummy bears (Tyler’s pick for his teacher when I told him we needed a treat to add to the bucket), and some small buckets.
*the dollar store is my absolute favorite place to find inexpensive containers for gift baskets.


Bucket List Last Day of School Teacher Thank You Gift AlaynasCreations.jpg

It looks pretty good all put together doesn’t it?  Hopefully the teachers will like it and if not, they’ll still appreciate the sentiment.

Last Day of School Bucket of Fun for Summer gift idea for the kids AlaynasCreations

I had purchased the buckets in a set of three so I had one leftover after putting together the two teacher gifts.  I decided it would be great to use for a little Bucket of Fun for my kids on the last day of school.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted in the bucket so I took a look at what I’ve done over the past few years (I wrote a blog post about some of our traditions last year.  You can find it HERE)…then decided that wasn’t really helpful since my kids already had those items. 😛  So plan B was to just let things jump out at me and it worked great.  One day at the grocery store I ran across those Milk Magic flavoring straws – Cotton Candy flavored!  That’s something I knew my kids would love to try, so I picked them up.  Another day Tyler was with me at the store and spotted the Slushies on the shelf.  I told him we didn’t need them that day, then when he turned around I snuck them into the cart under the vegetables.  And this past Sunday the bubble wands caught my daughter’s eye while we were looking for a birthday gift for a girl in Tyler’s class.  12 years old and she still thinks bubble wands are fun – great!  So I let her grab the 5 pack, gave two to the kids to use that afternoon, put one in the birthday gift, and kept the other 2 for the bucket.  Perfect.

Last Day of School Summer Bucket Quick and inexpensive gift basket idea for the kids or teachers at the end of the school year AlaynasCreations

Bring on the last day of school because we are now ready for it!  Are you??  Maybe not, but just think of all those days we might be able to sleep in a bit instead of rushing out the door to school, and no homework and… 😉

For more Last Day of School (or teacher appreciation) gift ideas or End of School traditions with the kiddos feel free to check out:
End of the Year Teacher Gifts in a Cup (my most Pinned blog post on Pinterest for the past month!)
Super Powered Teacher Gift
Crazy Cool Teacher Gift (this one was for Valentine’s Day but I think a “stay cool” spin on this idea would be awesome)
-my Last Day of School Traditions over the past few years


Linking to:  R&R Wednesdays, Home Matters Linky Party,

Last Day of School Traditions

Last Day of School Fun Traditions

My kids are about to start their final week of school for the year – yay!  Have I mentioned how excited I am to not have to get them up and out the door quite so early? That’s certainly something to be celebrated! 😉  As a Mom, I have tried to institute quite a few fun little traditions for my kids for various holidays and events and the Last Day of School is no exception.

The year my daughter completed Kindergarten we were living in a fantastic little neighborhood.  On the last day of school some of the moms set up a table by the bus stop and gave all the kids ice cream as they arrived home off the bus.  I thought that was such a fun little tradition to have so when we moved to North Carolina I began a similar tradition there.  We had a fun neighborhood with lots of elementary-age children that liked to play together all the time and a neighborhood pool, so it was easy to set up a casual Last Day of School Party for the kiddos.  All I had to do was send out a few Facebook/Text Messages mentioning we would be meeting at the pool shortly after the kids got home from school, and that I would bring popsicles if anyone else wanted to contribute anything to share and viola – instant party.
Last Day of School Popsicle Pool Party

Ok, so yeah I put a little bit of effort into making it feel like a party by setting up a table for the drinks and snacks and decorating it.  It took me all of 10 minutes to whip up a cute Summer pennant banner, grab a plastic tablecloth from my party stash, and find one of our striped beach towels to provide a fun pop of color.  As I always say – it doesn’t take a lot of money, just a little bit of planning and attention to detail to make something special.

One year it was a really rainy day so we didn’t go the party route.  Instead, I bought a couple of boxes of ice cream sandwiches, printed out some fun tags and met my daughter at the bus stop where she hurriedly handed them out before everyone got soaked.  (You can find the printable over on the Eighteen25 blog.)

Stay Cool This Summer Treats for Kids

This year we no longer live in a neighborhood so I’m thinking we will do our own ice cream sundaes or rootbeer floats when the kids get home from school.  Or go out for shakes or snow cones.  Or…ok so I haven’t decided yet.

Another thing I started doing on the Last Day of School is putting together a little suprise of some sort for the kids.  Sometimes it’s something simple, like the cups and treats I put together for them last year.

End of School Treats in a Cup for Kids

And other years I went a little overboard more elaborate, like this:
Gift Basket Summer Fun Last Day of SchoolLast Day of School Summer Fun Bucket A

and this:

Bucket of Fun Last Day of School Gift Basket A

As you can see, I look for things that the kids can use in the summer.  You could include food items like freezer pops, drink mixes, snowcone flavorings, Jello mix, snacks and treats of any kind.  Items related to keeping the kids busy in the summer could include bubbles, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, jacks, beach balls, pool noodles or toys, splash balls, water balloons, arts and craft supplies (I see googly eyes, colored pencils and brightly colored pipe cleaners in this bucket), snow cone cups and straws, etc.  That Chinese jump rope kept the kids and their friends occupied for hours that summer.  More personal things to include might be summer-weight pajamas, new swimming suits or towels, water bottles, and books.

Summer Fun Bucket Gift Basket

Oh – and before they go jump in the pool don’t forget those Last Day of School photos!


It really doesn’t matter what I do for the kids on the last day of school, my intention is just to do a little something to make it memorable.
Do you have any Last Day of School traditions you do every year or are wanting to try?

Related blog posts:
-2016 Bucket of Summer Fun for teachers and kids.

Linking to:  Lifestyle Link Up, DIY Sunday Showcase, The Party Bunch, Pin Me Party, The Saturday Sharefest,

Just in Case You Needed More Teacher Appreciation Ideas

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Day and Week:  Countdown to Summer, altered clipboard, and more

According to my calculations, we have only one more week until Teacher Appreciation Day/Week.  You know those hard-working teachers need a boost, especially at this point in the school year (anyone starting to get as excited for Summer as I am?!), and it’s kind of fun to put together a little something for the kids to take to school.  I made Countdown to Summer blocks for my children’s teachers this year, which is one of my favorite ideas.  For those of you that may want something a little more simple/easier to put together (the blocks aren’t hard, but they do take a bit of time and prep) I thought I’d do a quick round-up and recap of the teacher appreciation ideas I have used in the past few years.

In 2011 I put together a little kit of office supplies and candy for the teacher.  The PTO at the school had a standard gift idea list – one day was a card, one day candy, and one day was a flower.  I went along with those too, but wanted to add a more personal gift as well.Original inspiration (and instructions) for the project found here. I chose a smaller size bead organizer from Walmart and grabbed a few coordinating office supplies, which I divided between the two kits (one for the teacher, one for the assistant), and of course added a little sugar to finish it off.  I was shopping with both kids for the candy and couldn’t concentrate, or I would have made sure the wrappers were blue or green to go with my color scheme too. 😉

2012 followed much the same format from the school – cards on one day, chocolate on another, flowers on a third, then I did a little something on my own that wasn’t part of the suggested list.

I picked up a bunch of yummy smelling hand sanitizer (in pocket sizes) and holders at one of Bath and Body Works big sales knowing it would come in handy for something like this.  The tag says “you are scent-sational.”  The printables for this one and the chocolate came from the Eighteen25 blog and can be found here.

2013 was once again cards, chocolate, flowers and I added in a set of countdown to summer blocks in fun black, white, and red patterns.

I added the option to count down to the beginning of next school year – just for the fun of it.  These were an absolute hit with the teachers and I have repeated the idea again this year – see earlier post).

Last year (2014) – chocolate, cards, flowers (tiny pots with seeds this time) and the personal gift was altered clipboards.

I found the owl printable card first (Printable found here) and decided to go with that as the theme.

I modified the printable water bottle labels found here and used that for the tags on the rest of the items.  The tag on the flowers reads “Thanks for helping me grow.  Love, ___ ”

The chocolate:  The tag reads “you deserve chocolate! Love,  ___”

And finally, a more personal gift from the kids.  I like to get a little creative with these, not only to give the teachers a little variety but hopefully they also get the message that we participate in Teacher Appreciation week not just because we are asked to, but because we really do appreciate their contribution as teachers to the lives of our children.
I took Plain Jane clipboards

and turned them into something fun, pretty, and personal.

The tag reads “You’re just write, teacher.  Love, ____”

So there you have it – a few more Teacher Gift Ideas to add to your Pinterest boards. 🙂 You all do that right?  Compulsively collect a lot of ideas for things so that when you need them you will have more than enough ideas to choose from?  Well, in case you need even more feel free to check out my Back to School Pinterest Board where I collect all kinds of ideas for teacher gifts, lunchbox notes, and more.
Now I’m off to find a cute soccer coach gift idea.  My son’s final soccer game of the season is tonight and after dealing with eight 8-10 year olds twice a week, the coach surely deserves a treat!