Inside: Countdown to Summer Break and focus on kindness at the same time by using this Kindness Countdown to Summer Break Paper Chain.
I will never forget my last year teaching…the burnout was real.
And the stretch from Spring Break to Summer break felt longer than before and my mental health was in the toilet. So I made myself a countdown calendar to get me through to the last days of school and to the promised land: sunny days with no alarm clocks.
Summer calls to us. Especially as educators.
To lean into all things summer, we connect summer with kindness and social emotional learning with our Kindness Suns Kind or Unkind Sort, our Kindness Popsicle Kind or Unkind Sort, and our Kindness Water Splashes Kind or Unkind Sort.
But we also can countdown to a break.
Because what most parents and educators especially love during late spring is the fact that we’re getting closer and closer to Summer Break.
No alarm clocks. No school lunches packed. Vacations to the beach or vacations on the couch.
To help countdown to our coveted Summer Break and spread acts of kindness at the same time, we use our Summer Break Kindness Paper Chain Countdown Calendar.
How to Focus on Kindness During Summer
Summer is full of special holidays.
In June, we can spread kindness on Father’s Day with our Kind to Father’s Day Poem.
In July, we can spread kindness to our veterans and our active servicemen and women with our Patriotic Thank you Notes.
But we can also spread kindness every day as we countdown to Summer Break and get ready for summer.
Each day as we speak and act with kindness and freely giveaway our kindness to others, we’ll focus a little less on ourselves and more on others.
Daily kindness reminders like this make kindness more of a habit and less of a one-time, big grand gesture.
And it sets them up to want to be kind more often, setting the new season on the right foot…on a kinder foot.
Supplies Needed for the Countdown to Summer Break Paper Chain
- 1 ½-inch by 11-inch construction paper strips (the number of strips you need will be dependent on the number of days your kids have left until summer break) We used light blue, orange and yellow.
- Glue stick
- Printable countdown activities (download it below).
How to Use the Kindness Paper Chain Countdown to Spring Break
1. Download and print the paper chain countdown printables (download it below).
2. Cut each of the activities. Choose the best ones for you and the number you need depending on when you start and how many days are left until Summer Break.
3. Glue each of the activities on one strip of the construction paper.
4. Loop the strip into a circle, with the activity facing in, and carefully staple the ends together.
5. Make another kindness activity strip. Put it through the first circle, loop it into its own circle, and then staple the ends together.
6. Continue with each construction paper strip, gluing the kindness activities down, and linking them all together.
The last strip in the link will be their last day before Summer Break!
7. Hang up the countdown to Summer Break calendar where it can be easily seen so it’s a visual representation of how many days left until break.
8. Each day, rip off the top loop, do the kindness activity and celebrate them for focusing on giving.
As the strip gets shorter and shorter, so will the days in school.
So when your kids ask, “How many days until summer starts?” you can point to the paper chain and count the links left on your countdown chain.
And after focusing on spreading kindness, you’ll know you’re almost there to the much-deserved summer break.