9 Last-minute Activities to do Before They Leave for College

9 Last-minute Activities to do Before They Leave for College

Spend some quality time with your teen before they leave for college with the help of our 9 ideas.


By: Lexi Walters Wright

You’re going to spend time shopping for school and dorm supplies together, but these months before freshman year begins shouldn’t be all about practicality — they’re a last-chance hurrah for the two of you to bond before their new life begins.

Add some of these bonding activities to your summer checklist and send your child off to school feeling loved (and prepared).

1. Be a Tourist in Your Own Town. What local attractions haven't you two experienced in years? Revisit a place that features prominently in family lore, perhaps somewhere you took your child when they were younger that you still laugh about today.

2. See an Outdoor Concert. There’s something magical about listening to music under the stars. Let your child choose who you see, even if it’s a local band.

3. Be a Money Role Model. Bring your teen with you to open a bank account for them that they’ll use at school. Let this be an opportunity to have frank discussions about what they’ll be paying for in the fall and what you will cover.

4. Devour the Same Summer Read. Encourage your child to choose a book or two that you both read. As you both work through it, talk about your favorite and least favorite parts, plot surprises or anything confusing. Not only is it good for them to enter as a freshman with some literature fresh in their mind, a parent-kid book club is also a sweet, no-stress way to connect.

5. Purge Your Teen’s Closet. Work with your child to decide which clothes aren’t coming to college and which they’d like to donate. You’ll have lots of fun, “Remember when I wore this?” conversations. Then, together, find a charity that will be grateful for hand-me-downs.

6. Binge-watch a Series on a Rainy Day. The next time the weather cancels your family’s outdoor plans, hunker down with a whole streaming television series of your child’s choosing. It doesn’t matter what you watch, just that you have this concentrated time together.

7. Road Trip! It truly doesn’t matter where you go, just as long as you’re together. Let your child take the lead in choosing your destination, and they’ll feel more invested in the trip.

8. Let Them School You on Social Media. If you’re not already signed up for social media, let your teen help you get a profile started. These are key ways college kids keep in touch with family back home.

9. Get in the Picture. During this final summer together, you may find it tempting to be the one behind the camera, snapping cute pictures of your family in action. But make a conscious effort to be part of the frame regularly. Once your child is off at school, send a framed photo of the two of you — and post one yourself somewhere that you'll smile at daily.

Do you have any last-minute bonding ideas? Share them in the comments below!

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