The end of the year is almost here, and you can practically feel the excitement buzzing in the classroom. Students are bursting with energy, showcasing behaviors you never knew they had. It’s all part of the fun, right? Over the years, I’ve discovered that surviving the chaos requires a winning combination of fun and organization. Even though it’s nearing the end, kids still need structure and routines. So, in this blog post, I’ll help you plan an end of year celebration that will keep your kids thrilled and engaged until the very last day. Let’s make it one they’ll never forget!
End of Year Awards Celebration:
I LOVE doing awards as an end of year celebration. I think it is such a fun way to recognize all of the personalities in your class and makes the students feel SO special.
If you teach littles, you can go all out. Get the kids to dress fancy, grab some red fabric for a “red carpet” and make it really special. With older students, you don’t necessarily need ALL of that but they will still love seeing their name pop up on the screen and hearing your acknowledgments.
My End of Year Awards are structured so that each award has two slides dedicated to it. The first slide has the award title and a little rhyme that matches – so after I read it out, the students can actually make guesses of who might get it. The next slide starts with confetti and a drumroll as the name is revealed. It’s SO fun and simple to set up. Click here or on the image below to check it out!
End of Year Celebration Countdown
I LOVE embracing the excitement of an end of year celebration by doing a countdown with my class. In the past, I’ve used balloons that we will pop in the days leading up to our final day of school. In each balloon, I put a piece of paper that describes our fun activity for the day. I usually start little and make the activities more exciting as we get closer to the end.
We would pop the balloon for the day each morning, but I also used this with a classroom management strategy to ensure students were continuing positive behaviours. During the countdown, I kept a “students vs. teacher” tally chart on my board. If they had more points than me at the end of the day, they would be able to pop the balloon for the next day. If not, they would miss out on that celebration. I’ve never had them lose (because they REALLY want to pop the balloon), but it definitely helped them stay on track.
- Water Play (I warned parents in advance but asked them to keep it a secret). We did a water balloon toss and water balloon pinata which was a big hit. No pun intended. 🎈
- Arts & Crafts Day: spend the whole day working on an end-of-year craft to take home! When I did this with Grade 3’s we had just finished our plants unit so they all painted a mini clay planter to take their plant home in.
- Outdoor Day: give students free time outside & play a class game like soccer-baseball or tag.
- Games Day: set up a variety of board games & card games in the classroom and have students rotate through. If you don’t have access to board games, you could also have students MAKE games for the day that they love just as much.
- Last Day of School PARTY: we did a make-your-own ice cream sundae station & an end-of-year awards ceremony. If you want to go all out, get a piece of red carpet and have them dress up!
- Movie Day
- Class Game Show (e.g., family feud, jeopardy)
- Memory Book Day: give students a memory book to fill out, colour, and have their friends sign.
You have a couple of options when it comes to counting down virtually! You can create a virtual balloon pop on Google Slides.
- End of Year Awards Ceremony (digital)
- Art Workshop (guided drawing or guided craft with the class)
- Virtual Field Trip
- Movie Day
- Class Game Show
- Free Time/Game Time
- Virtual Talent Show
- Virtual Show & Tell
- Create a digital escape room
For more virtual ideas, check out this blog post!
End of Year Memory Book
Having students complete a memory book can be a great way to keep them busy while also practicing reading & writing skills. It’s a great end of year celebration because the students can reflect on all of the amazing memories they made! Click here or on the image to check it out!
If you like doing gifts for your students at the end of the year, here are some ideas:
- Beach ball for everyone to sign
- Book (Scholastic has great sets that come out to $1 per book)
For my class last year, I will be sending them a developed “class photo” made on Pixton & a class sticker. Our next art project will be designing a sticker that represents our class this year, perhaps with a funny quote, motto, or just a symbol/image that reflects us. We will vote on our favourite and I will make it into a sticker & send it off in the mail for them to receive.
I think this will be such a cute way to acknowledge and remember this crazy year and experience we all went through together.
Hopefully, that inspired you to get some fun, easy activities ready for your end of year celebration. If you still have lots of time ahead of you – check out this blog post on End of Year Project Ideas to Increase Engagement.
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