Find 10 of my favorite end of the year activities that will quickly become classroom traditions plus lots of free resources in this post.
Toward the end of the year I start thinking about fun ways to celebrate the last days of school with my students that will also keep them engaged. I want to make the most of that time and give them a send-off they won’t soon forget! These favorite end of the year activities and ideas will make your last week of school memorable and meaningful, but most of all fun! In fact, your students will love them so much you’ll want to turn them into yearly traditions!
I’ve included lots of fun freebies for you in this post so be sure to read to the end!
Start a Summer Break Countdown
Counting down the days until break is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done with my class. (We do this before Christmas Break too!) Make the last 5 days before summer break extra special by surprising your students each day! Here’s how it works: Roll down an anchor chart to reveal a clever daily gift.
Surprise your students with simple treats and matching activity pages. Students use the treats to do the tasks!
Students save all the pages until the last day of school then staple them together into a book. Inside, they even have game boards that are perfect for a game day.
On the last day of school grant your students official “next grade level” status!
Make “I’ll Miss You!” Mailboxes
The smiles are always priceless as students read special notes form their classmates telling them why they will be missed! These FREE Mailboxes can be made with empty tissue boxes (but who ever has enough of those!) or by folding a sheet of construction paper in half and stapling the sides.
Download the FREE Miss You Mailbox at the end of this post.
Some years we’ve made these fun superhero themed mailboxes for students to write kind notes and place them in their classmates’ cities.
Celebrate With An Award Ceremony
Celebrate your students and acknowledge their accomplishments with an end of the year awards ceremony. Roll out the red carpet with fabric or butcher paper and make your students feel famous! It means a lot to our students to receive an award from their teacher and presenting class awards to each child ends the year on a positive note and makes them all feel special.
This set is completely editable and includes diverse and differently-abled children to guarantee you have an award for every child. I’e even included 20 blank templates for you to make your own!
Plan End of the Year Theme Days
Plan a movie day for your students with fun, movie related activities to do! The FREE Movie Day Menus at the end of this post are a fun way for student to review working with money and to get them thinking and writing about the movie they just watched.
Last week of school theme days are a lot of fun and they help keeps students engaged and behavior at a minimum. Plan a theme for each day during the last week of school and let parents know ahead of time so they can send in the things you might need. We’ve done themes like move day, game day, memory book Monday and photo booth day. I’ve also done a superhero themed week with a super fun award ceremony!
Grab these FREE Movie Day Menus at the end of this post. Find more fun ideas for making movie day educational and more movie day math activities to do with your popcorn!
Knight Your Students At the End of the Year
Start a yearly tradition the last week of school by inducting your students into the Knighthood of Kindness. Kindness is a pillar of our classroom culture. As teachers, we spend a lot of time building community and teaching our students to be kind and inclusive. I wanted my students to carry this with them as they moved out of my classroom and on to the next grade.
I do a superhero theme at the end of the year so I tied this ceremony into our theme and it’s been a pretty powerful community building experience. You can tie in any theme you wish and do this ceremony at any time during the year.
During our ceremony a kindness oath is read as each student is “knighted” with a dollar store foam sword. Students promise to be kind in all they say and do. They receive medals and certificates and create a Kindness Knights handbook describing how they Know words are powerful, ways they can Include others, Never forget they have a choice, and to Demonstrate kindness in their words and deeds. KIND.
Click here to see the Kindness Knights Kit.
Set Up A Photo Booth
Kids love to take pictures, especially with their friends. Set up an end of the year photo booth and get photos of your students to send home as keepsake cards.
Parents will treasure these and so appreciate you sending them home. Write a personal note inside for each student to make them extra special.
Write Letters To Next Year’s Class
During the last week of school, ask your students to write welcome letters to next year’s class. Have them describe all the things they will learn and get to do in your classroom. Students can include their favorite things about being in your class to welcome your incoming students. Save all the letters to give you your new class next year!
Make End of Year Desk Cleaning Fun
Add desk cleaning to your end of the year activities by making it fun! Turn desk cleaning into a game by graphing the contents inside. You never know what you’ll find and the results are often hilarious! Have students tally the number of each item in their desks and make a bar graph, tally chart, or a line plot depending on your grade. Pick several items as categories and make a class graph on chart paper.
Cleaning your desktops with shaving cream makes a fun game too. Have students draw shapes and name their attributes, draw arrays, and write spelling words before scrubbing the tops of their desks. Shaving cream works wonders for removing name tags and sticky glue residue from your students desks.
Packing up after student leave on the last day can be a daunting task. There are lots of little jobs that students can help with so have your class help where they can. I’ve put together some tips for packing your classroom that make setting up next year so much easier! Be sure to download the free end of the year teacher checklist in the post.
Plan A Memory Book Monday
Set aside Monday during the last week of school and give students memory books they can work on all week. Giving students the chance to chat with their friends as they remember and write about all they have done gives them a sense of closure and a memento from their year with you as their teacher.
I especially like these graphic novel style memory books because students not only write about their school year but about the power of their words, the power of kindness, friendship and respect.
Have A Hashtag Hop
This is such a fun thing to do at the end of the year and YOU end up with a memory book of your own! Create a teacher memory book by having your students do a hashtag hop! Print out pictures you’ve taken during the year and place them on tables around the room. Students then hop to each spot and write a hashtag under the picture.
Get your class up and moving as they think of fun hashtags to add!
Bind or staple the pages together so you have your own teacher memory book. Add a class photo on the cover with your favorite hashtag!
Would you like the free end of year activities shown in this post? I’d be happy to send them to you!
Pop in your email address below and I’ll send them your way! I highly recommend using your personal email rather than a school email address as schools often block outside emails with attachments or images.
I hope you’ve found some end of the year ideas to make your last week of school meaningful and memorable but most of all FUN! Be sure to pin it for later so you have it when you plan!
Check out these related posts for more end of the year activities and ideas! Click on the pics to read the posts.
Happy teaching friends!