Assalamu’alaikum & Marhaba!
Layaan’s last day of school was more than a week ago. Because of our upcoming travels, keeping her in school was not practical. My goal was to make her last day as special and memorable as possible. I knew she would be disappointed to leave, so here’s what we did to end it on a good note.
DIY Thank You Cards
It is important to me that my kids learn early on to appreciate and respect their teachers. I know how much effort they put into their work. Imagine a classroom filled with little toddlers and tikes, when we find just our one exhausting. In order to keep Layaan involved, first we discussed why it was important to say thank you. I asked her to tell me some of the things they all do for her and how we can show our gratitude.
She was so excited to make Thank You cards for all of the staff in her classroom and the administrators. We used blank extra large index cards to make this DIY design I found through Pinterest.
I made the base of the flower and drew the lines. She used her fingertips dipped in watercolor paint. It was interesting to observe her choice of color combinations for each person. She kept double checking I was not mixing up the card with the wrong name. It really felt like she was personalizing each one with her own artistic touch. I wrote a quick thank you note on all of them. Next time, I would write a nice quote about teaching for them to display and attach a note.
DIY Gifts – Flower Arrangements
For her specific class teachers and teacher assistants, I asked her to participate in the gift making process as well. After exploring different options, we decided on flower arrangements. We went to the grocery store and chose a variety of flowers, picked up vases (mason jars and glasses), and some twine. After cutting off parts of the stem, I laid them out for Layaan to arrange herself. She really enjoyed this. Lastly, we tied the twine around each vase creating a bow.
Upon seeing the completed arrangements, she was so pleased with them and super excited. We kept them in our refrigerator overnight to maintain freshness.
In addition to the cards and flowers, I bought some Starbucks gift cards for her teachers. For the other staff members we attached chocolates to the Thank You cards. The next day, the teachers and staff were so appreciative. I aim to teach my children the most important thing about gift giving is thoughtfulness and effort not just value.
To say goodbye to her classmates, I decided to have a cake made for them. Layaan constantly told me about the cakes the other kids brought to class for their birthdays. Though she never asked me outright when she would, I could tell she really wanted to. In order to keep her from feeling left out, I decided a cake would be the perfect way to make her feel special and a nice treat for her class. I was lucky to find a local mommy baker (Lemon), who baked this beautiful customized cake with butterflies and strawberry filling using all organic ingredients and brown sugar.
Her teacher was also kind enough to ask me to come in to read a storybook. I thought this was a really nice gesture. I forgot how special kids feel when their family members get to visit during school. I could overhear her asking all her friends, “Did you see my mommy and my baby Muhammad?” It was really sweet to see how proud she was of us. We took lots of pictures around the cake. The kids sang her a goodbye song. I could tell the entire day meant so much to her.
Every now and then, she asks me about school and I am sure she definitely misses it. But I think her send off helped her close that door in a positive way, especially since we move around quite a bit.
The best thing is that we received a present of our own from her teacher. She made this beautiful book with pictures and descriptions of her accomplishments with her friends from her first day until her last week!