Woohoo! It’s finally here—the last day of school. While most kids are going to be super excited, others may have mixed emotions. Make your last day together extra special with some of these fun activities for the last day of school and send your students into summer with fantastic memories of the school year behind them!
1. Stage your own classroom Olympics
What better way to wrap up a great year than with your very own version of the Olympic games? Your kids will love the pomp and circumstance from the opening ceremony and challenging events to the winners on the medal podium.
Learn more: Activity Village
2. Read end-of-year read-alouds
Teacher Brenda Tejada knows that the end of the school year is a time of mixed emotions. “Students have worked hard all year and are almost at the finish line,” she says. “Some may be excited for their summer vacation, while others may feel anxious to say goodbye.” Her book list and accompanying activities are a sure bet to help ease the transition.
Learn more: Tejada’s Tots
3. Hold a classroom trivia tournament
This activity is a great wrap-up to review a year’s worth of hard work. Review all the content you’ve covered and pull questions from each subject (this is easier if you plan ahead and gather questions throughout the year). Include questions that test how well students know one another. For instance, which student has four brothers? Students will head off for summer proud of all they’ve learned.
4. Get creative outside
Grab those buckets of sidewalk chalk and head out to the playground! Encourage students to draw memories from the past year, write shout-outs for friends and staff members, or just draw for the pure joy of creating something.
Learn more: Minds in Bloom
5. Take a meaningful walk
Teacher Courtney G. shares: “The kids from our high school wear their caps and gowns and walk the halls in their elementary school the day before graduation. They go from kindergarten to fifth grade as the students stand in the halls and clap. The fifth graders also do this on the last day of school before they leave elementary school. This is my sixth year teaching kindergarten at my school, so my first kinders are now fifth graders. I’m probably going to cry!”
Source: Shelby County Reporter
6. Let your students teach
Genius hour, sometimes called “Passion Pursuit,” in the classroom is an opportunity for students to explore their own unique interests in a loosely structured but supported way. On the last day of school, let each student teach the class what they have studied and learned.
Learn more: What Is Genius Hour and How Can I Try It in My Classroom?
7. Play end-of-year classmates bingo
It’s one last chance for students to learn a little something new about their classmates! Grab a free printable with get-to-know-you clues at the link, or design your own to better fit your class.
Learn more: Playdough to Plato
8. List what you’ve learned from A to Z
What a great way to look back over what kids have learned! For each letter of the alphabet, have them write and illustrate something they learned or did throughout the year. Hit the link below to get a free printable template for this project.
Learn more: Teaching With Jennifer Findley
9. Set up summer pen pals
Before you break for the summer, pair your students up as pen pals. Gather students on the rug and talk about what being a pen pal looks like. Draw names and let each pair spend some time together brainstorming ideas about what they’d like to write about.
Learn more: The Inspired Treehouse
10. Go to the beach
Or rather, bring the beach to you! This will take some planning and prep, but kids are seriously going to love it. Get all the tips you need at the link.
Learn more: Sailing Into Second
11. Pass the plate
Pick up a pack of paper plates and give out some colorful markers. Have each student write their name in the middle of the plate, then start passing! Each student writes complimentary words to describe their classmate, then passes it to the next kid. They’ll each end up with a sweet keepsake for the school year!
Source: Robin Bobo/Pinterest
12. Do a legacy project
According to the teacher team at Minds in Bloom, a legacy project is a lesson that students create, from objective and materials to procedures, to share with next year’s students. Last year, their students were charged with finding a science experiment that they wanted to share with the class. Each group created a lab sheet that could be shared and conducted the experiment for the class to observe. This awesome idea works across the curriculum, so allow your students to choose the topic they love the most.
Learn more: Minds in Bloom
13. Make ice cream
Ice cream parties are popular last-day-of-school activities, but here’s a sneaky way to add some STEM learning to the fun! Have kids make their own ice cream in a bag, then add some toppings and lay out on the grass to enjoy.
Learn more: Your Home Based Mom
14. Make friendship bracelets
Load up on embroidery floss and let your students loose! They’ll love creating a keepsake that reminds them of this special year every time they look at it.
15. Build roller coasters
STEM challenges make terrific meaningful and fun team activities for the last day of school. Try building a DIY roller coaster from drinking straws, or check out lots of other STEM challenges here.
Source: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls
16. Give pop-up toasts
Here’s a chance to practice public speaking in a low-key way. Buy some ginger ale and plastic champagne glasses to turn class into a party. Then have kids compose and give a short toast to their friends, teacher, school year, or any topic you choose.
Learn more: Dave Stuart Jr.
17. Just let them play
Set up game stations and give students time to rotate through each station. Try games like Marshmallow Madness, Scoop It Up, and more at the link below!
Learn more: More Time 2 Teach
18. Host a lemonade tasting
There’s all kinds of tasty learning worked into this totally sweet idea! Kids taste pink and regular lemonade, then make graphs, write descriptions, learn vocab words, and more.
Learn more: Primarily Speaking
19. Do an in-house service project
Organize your students into teams and leave your school better than you found it. Weed the school garden, write thank-you letters to school staff members, pick up litter outside, help take down hallway bulletin boards. Or see if specials teachers (music, art, P.E., library) need any help getting organized for the end of the year.
20. Compete in a paper airplane contest
You know they want to be outside, so take advantage of that and hold the ultimate paper airplane competition. Kids compete in multiple categories, like distance and accuracy, to find the overall winner.
Learn more: The Thinker Builder
21. Serve up a scoop of memories
What a sweet way to celebrate the end of the school year! Make paper ice cream sundaes, with a different memory on each scoop. You can have kids draw these themselves or buy a printable version at the link below.
Learn more: True Life: I’m a Teacher
22. Set up a photo booth
Photo booths are popular for the first day of school, but they’re terrific for the last day too. Help kids capture memories with their friends before they part for the summer.
Learn more: Teach Create Motivate
23. Wear a Last Day of School crown
Little ones will love coloring and cutting out their very own Last Day of School crown. Check out the link below to buy the printable, or design your own.
Learn more: Teach Starter
24. Create a summer bucket list
Provide kids with lots of options, then have them compile their own bucket lists for the summer days ahead. In addition to fun items, encourage them to add ways to help others or learn something new too.
Learn more: Reasons to Skip the Housework
25. Put the year in a bag
This has to be one of the most fun and meaningful last-day-of-school activities. In the days leading up to the final day, have kids give some thought to what symbolizes this past school year to them and place their ideas in a labeled paper bag. On the final day, they’ll give the other students a small token of that symbol and explain their thinking. (They don’t need to buy anything; they can write or draw their symbol instead.)
Learn more: Tarheel State Teacher
26. Take a book-themed museum walk
For this project, students create a project that provides a sneak peek of one of their favorite books. They can create posters, dioramas, tri-folds, even dress up as a main character. Give students a couple of weeks to prepare their project at home, then hold your museum walk on the last day of school as a grand finale to the year.
Learn more: Teaching With Jennifer Findley
27. Conquer an escape room
Kids love escape rooms, so they’re great activities for the last day of school. Theme yours to what you’ve learned during the year, facts about different classmates, or summer activities. Learn how to set up a classroom escape room here.
28. Dance up a storm
If you’re looking for fun last-day-of-school activities that get kids moving, hold an epic dance party! Consider having each class submit a song selection for the playlist. They could even choreograph their own special dance moves for when it comes on! We’ve also got fantastic end-of-year playlist ideas for you right here.
29. Send your wishes soaring
Follow the tutorial below and make paper kites with your students. Have each student write down their hopes and dreams for the future (or alternatively, their favorite memories of the school year) on their kite then go outside and have a launch party.
Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands
Loving these fun activities for the last day of school? Take a look at these end-of-year assignments and activities for every grade.
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