​​6½ Things to Do Before Summer Ends & School Gets Going Again

There’s something about the end of summer and the start of a new school year that, though bittersweet, brings a renewed sense of purpose and energy. With fall just around the corner, now’s the time to enjoy what’s left of summer—while also gearing up for the start of a new season. Here are some ideas and suggestions designed to help get your family off to a great start:

1. Make a list of all that’s left on your summer ‘to do’ list—and do it! Haven’t had a chance to swim at Sooke Potholes yet? Go now! Always wanted to beachcomb at Sombrio Beach? Check the tide charts and go when it’s low! Craving ice cream and a stroll along Discovery Pier in Campbell River? Prepare for brain freeze!

2. Organize a back-to-school get-together and let kids (re)unite. A great way to break the ice before the first day of school is by getting together so kids and families can get to know each other ahead of time. It can make all the difference on that first day, seeing a familiar face.

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3. Walk through a ‘soft start’ to the new school year. Try getting to bed a little earlier, packing a lunch, walking the route to school—or anything else that you think might help your child adjust to the soon-to-be new routine.

4. Combine fun with getting stuff done. Shopping for school supplies? Stray from the list and let kids choose a few unconventional and more personalized items, or combine the shopping trip with an end-of-the-summer camping trip up Island!

4½. While you’re school supply shopping, consider buying one or two extra items—or fill a backpack with supplies— to donate to your child’s school.

5. Create a new ritual to mark the start of September and the new school year. Pancakes for dinner on the night before the first day of school? Have a camp-in instead of a camp-out, pop popcorn, watch a movie, talk about your favourite summer memories and what everyone’s looking forward to this fall.

6. Celebrate the small stuff. Made it through the first week? Throw a pizza party—or even a frisbee at the local park! —and celebrate the start of the new season. Social psychologists tell us that when we stop to celebrate and savour the good stuff, not only do we buffer ourselves against bad and build resilience, but we also spark joy.

So slow down and savour what’s left of summer and get ready to celebrate the successes of fall!​​

– Sue Fast, Editor

Vancouver Island's Parenting Resource