Between organizing, packing, cleaning, summer vacation excitement, and class management, the end of the year can be a little overwhelming. But despite everything you have to do, you still want to enjoy your students and make it memorable!
I’m sharing some fun ways to end the school year and make great memories with your students!
On the last day of school, we had “Memory Day” and I filled a bunch of balloons (one for each student plus a few extras) with slips of paper. The slips had questions about the year, for example, What was your favorite book/ field trip/ event this year? I also had some fun ones, like Sing your favorite song, Do a silly dance, and Tell us a joke.
When kids came in on the last day, it made them so excited to see the colorful balloons taped to our wall and they couldn’t wait to pop them!
I saved one balloon in a corner and popped it last. What did its slip say? GROUP HUG!
This is my favorite way to remember everything we did this year because it will make a keepsake that students will appreciate for years to come. Read this post for tips to make a unique end-of-year memory book.
Roll out the red carpet and have your students stroll down with as much personality as they would like to receive their special awards!
In our school, we had bulletin board paper on huge rolls so I taped some red paper to the floor and grandly introduced each student as they came up to receive their award. I love giving each student a unique award, so I made these end-of-year awards that have 50 different categories plus editable ones. Students love the silly names and I love having the little descriptions for each right on the awards.
Check out the video below to see how they work!
End-of-Year Picnic/ Luau
If you want to invite your parents to come in for a celebration, a picnic is perfect. With limited space, the classroom can get pretty packed so going outside is easier, weather permitting. You can even get leis, play some tropical music, and use a broomstick to play limbo.
I asked parents to bring in a blanket and a lunch for themselves and their children. Sometimes I provided refreshments, but my class moms/dads were always more than happy to take care of them.
This picnic is also a perfect time for your students to share their portfolios or memory books with their parents!
FREE End-of-Year Slideshow
Parents love seeing pictures of their kids throughout the school year. Do you know who else does? KIDS! I love how they giggle and call each other’s names out as they appear onscreen.
An end-of-year slideshow makes a great display during your celebration. It doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Just insert any pictures you’ve taken throughout the year into a PowerPoint and add text for a heading.
I’ve made you a FREE template you can use to make a simple EOY slideshow with ‘All About Me’ slides your students can fill out.
Just edit the cover slide, have your students complete their slides, and copy and paste them into one slideshow. You can add a little music and transitions if you want to make it fancy, or you can just click through the slideshow!
You can also print out the slides and put them into a class book!
THEME DAYS or Weeks
Of course, themes are always a lot of fun! Some themes are super easy (bubble day) while others take a bit of time to put together so you may want to have the theme last at least a week (see my Dinosaur and Farm theme posts).
Some fun and easy themes are bubbles, dress-up day, kindness day, game day, movie & pajamas, garage sale, and funny book day!
Have snacks for the theme! Here are ideas for a beach day theme.
You can even use the balloon pop idea at the beginning of this post to pop the theme of the day!
Of course, management can get a little hairy with all of the excitement, so be sure to read my post about my secret way of keeping kids calm and trying their best until the very last day of school!
This year was a doozy, but it’s definitely one to remember! You’ll be glad you took some days to have fun with your students and laugh together! 🙂
Don’t forget to get your free end-of-year class book or slideshow template!