5 Easy End of School Year Ideas

It is that time of year when teachers start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  You might be counting down the days to summer vacation.  The end of the year is a busy time.  They don't call it the 90 days of May for nothing. Your to-do lists are long and never-ending.  Remember to take time to enjoy these last few weeks with your class.  Those fun-filled days will bring you joy and can actually help in reducing stress.

5 Ways to End the School Year

When I say fun-filled days, I'm not talking big elaborate room transformations.  I mean easy, mess-free, stress-free days.

1. Countdown to Summer With Ice Cream

This is a fun and easy activity to incorporate into your morning routine. Each day I remove one scoop from our ice cream cone. on the last day, we celebrate with ice cream.  I use ice cream sandwiches, chocolate sauce, and whip cream.  The students unwrap their ice cream sandwiches and place them onto their paper plates.  Then, I walk around with the chocolate sauce and whip cream.  There is no scooping of ice cream to be had and the mess isn't really a mess.

ice-cream summer countdown

2. Mystery Countdown

This countdown to summer break is really simple.  I place mystery days in envelopes.  Each day we open one envelope to reveal what our mystery activity will be.  These are simple activities that take very little prep or time to complete. Some of our countdown to summer days include sidewalk chalk, watercolor painting, Lego time, bubbles, playing 4 corners, playing heads up 7 up, and extra recess.  Many of these activities require little or no prep and the kids will be excited to open those mystery envelopes each day.

3.  Classroom Awards Day

We don't do a big kindergarten promotion ceremony.  Instead, I do classroom awards just for my class.  I use red tablecloths from the Dollar Store to create a curtain-type backdrop.  I move the tables to the sides to create a space for a red carpet runway using red bulletin board paper.  You can add some stars to the curtains and runway if you'd like.  I call each student up to present their award.  The students walk the red carpet runway before receiving their awards.

4. Picnic/Beach Day

Ask students to bring a beach towel to school.  Instead of eating lunch in the cafeteria, have a picnic with your class someplace outside.  Students can grab their cafeteria food and then join you outside on their beach towels.  Play some fun music and just enjoy the time together.

5. Prep the Room

Students love to be helpful.  Have your students help you prepare the classroom for the incoming students. Some ideas for cleaning and organizing are.

  • Organizing the classroom library- put all the books back in the correct bins facing the right direction.
  • Wipe down all surfaces using baby wipes or mister clean erasers. Make it a challenge to see who can get their wipe the dirtiest.
  • Clean off tables and chairs using shaving cream. Spray some shaving cream on the tabletops for each student.  Make it a learning moment.  Call out letters, numbers, or sight words for students to write.
  • Clean and organize manipulatives.  Those linker cubes, pattern blocks, and teddy bears could probably use a good cleaning.  Create a wash and dry station outside.  Fill a few bins with warm water and soap and a few with just warm water.  Have students wash and rinse the manipulatives.  Lay them on a towel to dry.  Once cleaned, have students sort them and place them back into their containers.
  • Send Home Items before the final day of school. I collect grocery sacks and label each one with a student's name. During the last week of school, we start filling those bags with all the things students will be taking home.  This includes artwork, workbooks, and nametags. For their supplies, We usually dump them into plastic baggies that they keep at their tables.  This allows me to collect, wash and store their table caddies/pencil boxes. 

Below are resources you might find helpful for ending the school year.

School Memory Book Print and Google Slides

End of School year Memory Book

End of Year Slideshow for Google Slides- 
Use in-person or Remote

Completion Certificates Pre-school Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten

kindergarten completion certificates

End of Year Awards

End of Year Calss Awards

Countdown to Summer Icecream Display and Activities

Summer Countdown display

Prepare Homework Folders for next year

homework folders for kindergarten and first grade

Pin for Later

Last Week of School Activities

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