Celebrating The School-Day Gap

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Special thanks to CLIF Kid & POPSUGAR for being a sponsor and providing CLIF Kid Zbar Filled snacks for us to try. All opinions, ideas, and content are my own.

This Summer has flown by. I say that every year well, since the kids have been old enough to entertain themselves, that is. Before that, Summer went a bit slower! But this Summer . . .  wow! It feels like Emmy just got out of school, and here we are starting back up again. I guess that just means we had a great Summer!

It always seems strange that my kids are around nonstop all Summer and then one day they are gone again at school all day long. I have mixed emotions about this. I personally LOVED going to school and thought that back-to-school time was the best. Now, as a mom, I miss the kids when they are gone, but I know that they, too, love the excitement of seeing their friends again and being around their awesome teachers.

This just means I have to really make the most of that gap time. You know the time in between when school lets out for the day and when after-school activities start. I don’t mean to brag (yes I do), but I rock that time of day.

I am the queen of celebrating the school-day gap.

My girls know how much that time of day means to me, and to them too, so we both look forward to that time. I make sure to sign off from work during that time so they know that time is all for them.

This is how we celebrate that time each day.

Based on the time we have available, some days we spend it enjoying a fun snack, and other days we take a surprise adventure. The best days are when the after-school activity starts late and we can do both an awesome snack and a cool adventure.

On those days, it is normally a walk at the nature preserve that thrills us. Give Emmy and me 20 minutes and a snack, and we both leave energized and excited for the rest of the busy day.

During those 20 minutes (or longer if we can stretch it) we go for a walk, a hike, or we happily sit on a bench and observe nature. A couple times I’ve brought a sketchbook for Emmy to draw wildlife. I have zero drawing skills, so I’m always amazed at her creations.

Even after a full day at school, Emmy normally chooses some sort of activity that includes movement, so hikes and walks end up at the top of our list, but the most important part is just being together. I’m always so surprised how just 20 minutes of quality time can impact our whole life. Because we both know that time during the day is limited, we really maximize it.

I know that those messy times are where the deep childhood memories will be made so I make sure we don’t miss a single one!

After all that fun we work up an appetite.

Our personal favorite snack bar to enjoy on our gap time adventures is new CLIF Kid Zbar Filled. We both love the Chocolate Filled With Peanut Butter flavor. She loves the taste. I love that it is organic and nutritious. When she isn’t looking, I also love that it is delicious. Ha! She doesn’t appreciate when I have a bite or two of her snacks.

I have been keeping a box of them in the car so that there is always a snack around, and that was a tip I recently shared with another mom. When we travel, I always keep more than enough snacks with us. For some reason, I wasn’t as good about doing that at home. This has been a huge game changer for us, but Emmy tends to get a little unfocused when she gets hungry (she gets that from me), and this keeps us all sane. This is especially true when Ashley’s workouts run late or I have one more errand to run before we can head home for dinner.

This time of year, it is all about appreciating and celebrating the times we have together, especially the school-day gaps, and I feel like I now know the ticket to happiness: CLIF Kid Zbar Filled snacks!

How are you celebrating the school-day gap?

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • We usually have homework that we need to start, but I LOVE the idea of celebrating the school day gap! It is not a bad idea at all! I might just have to do that! It looks like so much fun!

  • These CLIF Kid Zbar Filled snacks are going to be perfect for back to school lunches. I am always looking for healthy snacks to give my kids. I will have to go stock up on the weekend.

  • It’s important to spend time together during the school year, even though schedules are busy. Sounds like you’re doing great at that.

  • I don’t think I’ve heard it called the school day gap, but that’s a really appropriate title. With as much time as kids spend at school, and then sleeping, the time does go quickly. I love the idea of using all that “spare” or “free” time in fun ways to make more memories with your kids.

  • You win the school day gap for sure! A yummy snack and dedicated time to reconnect is all you need!

  • Isn’t it crazy that school is already starting back up?! Emmy looks like she’s a kiddo that’s full of energy. I bet the Zbars keep her up and going which is great for school and spending time with family.

  • We love Clif bars! And yes, summer flew by way too quickly!
    Things are a little different at my house, since we homeschool. Because the kids are around all day every day, we eat a lot of snacks, and I really strive to make sure that those snacks are healthy ones, such as Clif bars.

  • I have never heard of Cliff Bars but they look really wholesome and delicious, your kids definitely seem to love them! Before reading this I had never heard of the school day gap before but it is obvioulsy an integral part of the day. You sure are managing to cram a lot into one day, go you!

  • We love Clif bars that is for sure and they make snacking easier. the gap from camp until school for teenager is so much more difficult. I still havent figured it out but love your idea of getting outside with your child is a great idea. Definitely going to run that by daughter.

  • My little one is in daycare and heading to Kindergarten in January so we have not really has this, I love spending time outdoors with him on the weekends and when I have time for work. We don’t have the CLIF bars here. Wish I could try one.

  • You have such a lovely daughter and I can see the joy in her eyes! I’ve tried Cliff Bars before too and they’re absolutely delish — and healthy too! I always love to have them when I’m out for that quick snack fix.

  • That’s so awesome that you are making sure to spend valuable time with your daughter during the gap between school and after school activities. This looks like you have such great ideas. Unfortunately, I never get any of that time with my daughter based on our parenting rotation. But it looks like you have such fun.

  • I agree with you, time sure flies when you are having fun! You’re lucky that you have a piece of nature that you can go to anytime, I’d love that over the malls or indoor playground.

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