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5 Activities For The End Of The School Year That Your Students Will Love!

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Stressing about activities for the end of the school year?

If I’m being honest, organizing fun activities for the end of the school year can be overwhelming sometimes!

There are so many fun possibilities out there, but the end of the school year is also an extremely busy time for teachers. Our plates are pretty full with assessments, report cards, open house, parent conferences, and yearly paperwork!

You can check out my story here, and find out why I am so passionate about helping make life easier for teachers and educators everywhere!

If you're like me, you're looking for a great list of doable activities for the end of the year that your students will love, but that won't push your sanity over the edge!

That’s exactly why I put together my top 5 fun activities for the end of the school year to help you out during this busy time of year.

(If you need ideas for a virtual end of school year celebration, you can head over to this page to check out virtual end of school year celebration ideas. I definitely remember having to think way outside the box to put together ideas for distance learning celebrations when we all shut down in 2020!)

#1: Balloon End of School Countdown

Counting down to the last day of school is always one of students’ favorite activities for the end of the school year. This is also one of the best end of the school year bulletin board ideas I’ve seen, and it’s definitely one I’ll be doing every year!

Check out this live footage of my students going wild for their last day of school treat!

Not only is it loads of fun (I swear my students were SO excited each day to pop that balloon!), but it is also really helpful for students to visually see how many days until the end of school!

For some students, there are feelings of anxiety and uncertainty around the end of the school year. There always seems to be that one student who asks every single day “How many days until the end of school…?”

If you want a free balloon countdown template, snag by clicking here or on the picture below! It includes anchor chart lettering and an editable list of 10 fun activities for the last 10 days.

example of end of year activities first grade students love
If you are looking for fun activities for the end of the school year, check out this FREE end of the year balloon countdown!

How To Do A Balloon End of School Countdown 

Materials To Gather:

  • Balloons (you can choose how many days you want your countdown to be! I chose 10.)
  • Packing tape and butcher paper OR push pins
  • Sharpie
  • Strips of paper with fun activities printed on them
  • Step 1: Plan your fun activities for each day. It can be little things, like extra recess time or getting to use a special toy, or big things, like a theme day or party. I tried to make my fun activities get gradually more and more exciting as we got closer to the end of school!  

Another example is doing a few madlibs as a treat! My students are so wild for madlibs, I just had to make them a special summer-themed pack as part of our end of the year celebration. You can snag that for free right here! I’ve tested it – and trust me, it will have your students giggling and asking for more!

  • Step 2: Print out your fun activities on strips of paper.
  • Step 3: Time to blow up your balloons! Put each slip of paper into a balloon as you blow it up. Then label the balloons 1-10 (or however many days you decide to have) with a Sharpie. The slips should go in the balloon that will be popped the day before they get the treat. For example, the last day of school’s activity is actually in the balloon labeled “2”. You’ll pop the 2 balloon at the end of the second to last day, revealing the fun treat for the next day (the last day). You’ll pop the balloon labeled “1” at the end of the last day. Since there’s no “next day”, I put some candy for them inside the balloon labeled “1” to have as a final treat.
  • Step 4: Secure the balloon either onto a bulletin board or onto a piece of decorated butcher paper. I found that packing tape looped over to be double-sided held the balloons in place best.
  • Step 5: Start popping! When you have 10 days of left of school, wait until the end of the day to pop number 10. The strip inside reveals what you’ll do the next day. At the end of each school day, continue pop the balloon with that number of school days left to reveal what their treat will be the next day!

If you want ideas for more end of the school year countdowns, head over to these sites for more great ideas:

#2: Class T-Shirts

One activity for the end of the school year that has been a tradition in my first grade classroom is making class T-shirts. These become precious keepsakes that your students will want to keep forever!

I’ve seen former students wear their class T-shirts for months and years to come, and I’ve had many parents ask for specific washing instructions saying they’d be in big trouble if they messed that shirt up! (Hand wash cold and hang dry is the best way to go, by the way 😉).

How To Make Class T-Shirts

Materials to Gather:

  • White t-shirts
  • Colored sharpies
  • Fabric paint
  • Construction paper (large size 12 x 18)

Step 1: A week before school ends, ask students to bring in a blank T-shirt. (You can also purchase them very cheaply at Michael’s, on Amazon, or sometimes even at the Dollar Store!)

Step 2: Lay the shirts out and have everyone rotate around to sign the backs of all the shirts with a Sharpie or fabric pen. I recommend putting a piece of construction paper inside the shirt so the pens don’t bleed through to the front.

Step 3: Then students can decorate the front of the shirt with fabric paint. Let the shirts dry all the way before taking them home.

My students went wild for every step of this project! We all wore our class t-shirts (yes, I made one too!) for our class party and it was definitely a highlight of the end of the school year.

#3: Memory Crafts

Commemorating the school year with special crafts can be a really wonderful way for students to process their end of the school year feelings. 

Projects can be a great way for students to reflect on their year, think about their favorite memories from the school year, and record them in a beautiful format. One of my favorite craft activities for the end of the school year is this “favorite memories flower”.

How To Make A “Favorite Memories Flower”

Materials to gather:

  • Colored cardstock or construction paper
  • Pencils or crayons
  • Glue
  • Sequins (or whatever art materials you are trying to use up!)

Step 1: Decorate the middle of the flower with your room or grade level in pretty letters.

Step 2: On each petal, students write a favorite memory and draw a picture to go with it. Some examples might be their favorite book, favorite recess game, favorite subject, or favorite field trip.

Step 3: Have students decorate the edge of the flower by gluing down sequins or other decorative art materials.

These flowers are so much fun to display in the room during the last few days of school!

If you want a full-class activity that pairs with a memory craft, check out my End of the Year Memory Craft and Anchor Chart:

#4: Student Gifts

Saying goodbye is always a bittersweet experience. I start feeling all the emotions when I think about sending my firsties on to the next grade each year! And students are usually feeling it too!

Sending them home with a small end of the school year gift can be a special way of sending off your students and making goodbyes a little sweeter. End of the school year gifts don’t have to be expensive or fancy. Students appreciate small gestures, and anything from their teacher will feel special! 

Easy and Inexpensive End of the School Year Gift Ideas:

  • Books: I love ordering books from Scholastic using our classroom points or their dollar deals. Choosing a book for each student is a special way of connecting with them in this end of the year gift. 
  • Bookmarks: These don’t even need to be purchased! If you have a Cricut or a laminator, designing personalized Bookmarks for your students can be simple!
  • Pencils and Stickers: You can’t go wrong with pencils and stickers! There are so many to choose from, but I’ve chosen some top kid favorites here
  • Notebooks: A simple notebook can be a fun end of the school year gift for students. This end of the year gift encourages them to keep writing over the summer in their own special notebook.
  • Dollar Store or Dollar Spot Goodies: Sometimes just browsing the dollar store or the dollar spot at Target can give you great inspiration for putting together a fun and inexpensive baggie full of assorted goodies as an end of the school year gift.

If you need more fun and affordable gifts ideas, check out this article:

#5: Class Parties

Having an end of the school year party has become almost an expected event! Some teachers go all out with their parties, making themes and decorations. I tend to keep things simple and manageable. It’s up to you how big you want to go for this beloved end of the school year activity!

Teaching holding summer madlibs, one of our favorite fun end of school year activities.
These summer Madlibs were one of our top fun activities for the end of the school year! Click here to get them for free!

Easy and Fun End of the School Year Party Ideas:

  • Themed Days: Take your pick from Pajama Day, Wacky Hair Day, Disney Day, Decades Day, Camping Day, Character Day, Beach Day, Rainbow Day…the list goes on and on! You can even have a theme for every day of the last week!
  • Superlative Awards: Giving out fun awards to your students can be a great activity for the end of the school year. Think of something special for each student that is truly award-worthy…do you have a students who is a tech wiz? A student who always picked up trash? Maybe a student who had a cheery attitude? It can be really fun to reflect on each of your students and try to find the perfect award for each one! Some teachers make paper plate awards, and others like to print out individual certificate awards. Students will be so excited to receive a special award just for them!
  • Promotion Ceremony: This is a nice idea if you’d like to include families in your end of the school year party. One possibility is to have a presentation of student speeches, stories, or song. You could also read poems or give a talk about what the year meant to you as a teacher. Another idea is to roll out a big red carpet and have students walk up to receive a “diploma” promoting them to the next grade!

Need more end of the school year party ideas? Check out this site for a bunch of fun theme ideas:

There is no doubt that the end of the school year is a big deal. It’s a big transition for students, parents, and teachers! And we want to honor it in the best we can by choosing activities for the end of the school year that celebrate a year’s worth of growth and hard work!

What's one of your favorite fun activities for the end of the school year?
xoxo
Laura
Teacher holding a flower craft as an example of a fun end of year activities.
Hope this gave you lots of ideas for fun end of year activities to do in your classroom!

Don’t forget you can click here to download my Free Popping Into Summer Balloon Countdown right now!

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