End of Summer Traditions


The transition from the long, lazy, and unscheduled summer days into the more disciplined, crispier school mornings can be difficult. Starting end-of-summer traditions is a great way to make this transition smoother, exciting, and more comfortable, especially for those kiddos making a bigger transition into a new school.

Here at Indianapolis Moms, we have put together a list of end-of-summer traditions you can try with your family. 

See an Outdoor Movie Screening

Appreciating warm summer evenings is a great way to say goodbye to summer. Bring blankets and a picnic for an epic experience. Check out local events or even visit a Drive-in Movie theatre.

Playground Crawl

Playgrounds, especially with a good splash pad, are a sure sign that the summer break has started. Once the kids return to school, playground visits will decrease, especially with the weather changing. Write a list of your children’s favorite playgrounds and visit them all in one day! To make this more interactive, take lots of pictures and ask your children to rate each playground out of 10, identifying their favorite bit of each playground. Add up the scores and name the playground winner of the summer.

Firepit and S’Mores Night

There is nothing better than S’Mores on a hot evening after a long day at the pool. Light the fire pit and help your children make S’Mores while talking about their best bits of summer 2022.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Gather your favorite flavors of ice cream and team them with your ultimate favorite toppings. Let the kids get messy and make lots of memories. Don’t forget to get the camera ready to capture those cute sundae-covered faces.

Family Game Night

Savor the last few evenings without scheduled after-school activities and homework by having a family game night. Bring out your favorite games and get the competitive spirit going.

Year on Year Picture

Take an end-of-summer photo in the same spot every year and let your child see how much they have grown.


This is a tradition borrowed from Germany. When a child begins school, the family creates a Schultüte, a large cone-shaped container made from colored paper. The family gathers items useful for school, such as pens, colored markers, glue, etc., and also the child’s favorite candy and place it into the cone. The Schultüte is presented to the child on the first day of school. This is a great way to get other family members involved in end-of-summer traditions.

Write Goals for the School Year

This is a fabulous way to get your child into the habit of setting and achieving goals and is also a great activity to help an anxious child get excited about returning to school. Remember to include some non-academic goals and also some after-school activity goals. Once you have written the goals, spend some time discussing what actions need to happen to achieve the goals.

Be Creative

Children love to create their own traditions, and the best traditions are always those that are unique to your family. Take some time to brainstorm the traditions your children would like to participate in. This allows the entire family to spend some time together, and using your child’s ideas will increase their self-esteem and allow them to feel heard.

I love the long summer days and vacation time with my children, so savoring these small traditions is also a good exercise for those moms who may shed a tear or two on the first day of school.

What are your favorite end-of-summer traditions?