16 End of the School Year Activities

The last days of school hold the potential to be the most memorable and enjoyable moments of the year. I love to get my students super excited using a countdown. We pull off one link each day to reveal what the next day’s fun will be! It doubles as a behavior management tool because I pick a student who has exemplified excellence that day. Today, I’m sharing my favorite tried-and-true end-of-the-year activity ideas.

Last Days Chain Countdown

In my first year of teaching, to build excitement, I wrote the reward on the inside of the chain link in a white crayon. Then, I chose one student who had an outstanding day to rip it off and color over the “secret message” with a marker to reveal the reward. I might’ve also forced them to do this in rainbow color order. This was fun but I kept forgetting what day was coming up next and ended up taking them apart and trying to read white crayon to figure out what I needed to prepare for the next day (I should’ve just written the order down for myself somewhere… #hindsight #firstyearteacher)

end of the school year countdown chain

End of the School Year Activity Ideas

  • Kickball Tournament: Challenge other classes to a kickball tournament. We always do this with all 5 second grade classes. To avoid drama (because kickball seems to stir it up), one of the teachers is the pitcher. Sometimes we spread this over two days.
  • Be the Teachers: Have your students plan and teach a mini-lesson reviewing something they learned from the school year. Give them prep time and partner them up if possible. You could brainstorm topic ideas and teaching strategies together as a class.
  • Sidewalk Chalk: I grabbed some sidewalk chalk from 5 Below for just a buck! You could pair this with academics and have students practice their math facts or spelling words.
  • Beach Day: Students bring in a towel and sunglasses to lounge while they work for the day. You could put on some beach sounds in the background.
  • Stuffed Animal Day: Students bring in their favorite stuffed animal.
  • Movie: If you need to tie this to academics, have them compare and contrast the book and the movie or two characters.
  • Flashlight Day: We do almost EVERYTHING in the dark with flashlights (regular and finger-sized). You can read more about our day here.
  • Game Day: This is my favorite! We play Jeopardy, Kahoot, Rock/Paper/Scissors, Sparkle, and Around the World. This year, I will add Digital Memory Games. Try one for free!
free no prep memory game

More End of the Year Theme Day Ideas…

  • Bubbles and Bubblegum: Students can play with bubbles out at recess and enjoy chewing some bubblegum during a lesson.
  • Freeze and Read: Enjoy a popsicle while you read outside. I always grab the cheap freeze pops from The Dollar Tree. In past years, we used this as our wrap-up activity with our 1st grade Book Buddies. In the future, I’d add a game of freeze tag, too!
  • Picnic Lunch: Bring some blankets and eat lunch outside.
  • Paper Airplanes: Check out this website for making paper airplanes. Students make paper airplanes and we test them outside with a friendly competition
  • Slime Day: Develop the perfect slime recipe and try it out!
  • Jokes Day: Read, write, and share jokes all day.
  • Virtual Field Trip: Check out these *FREE* virtual field trips you can choose from!
  • Awards Day: I save this one for our final day. Our last day of school is always SUPER short (like less than 2 hours…I don’t get it.) First, I roll out the red bulletin board paper carpet, read No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher’s Dirty Looks (Ha! It’s the perfect last day read!). Then, I hand out these certificates to my students.

Download the End of the Year Ideas

class award certifications end of the year

I hope you can find some new ideas for activities to include during the end of the year! The activities highlighted in this post I have personally used with my students. As the school year draws to a close, I hope you have an amazing time celebrating the accomplishments of another year!

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end of the year classroom ideas

Happy almost summer break teaching to you!

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