Before school lets out for the summer, take time to celebrate your students and what they’ve learned this school year! Recognize their triumphs and how they’ve grown, and reward them for all the hard work they’ve put into their education this year.
Hold a mini field day for your class with activities like hopscotch, a Hula-Hoop contest, or a kickball tournament. If your school or parent group has carnival games, ask if you can use them for a day. Giant Jenga, cornhole, and ring toss games are fun classics. Or you can try one of these 18 favorite field day games!
Set up a selfie station. Use a sheet or plastic tablecloth to make a photo backdrop in your classroom. Make a sign or giant picture frame that says what you’re celebrating (End of the School Year 2021-2022 or Last Day of School 2022!). Add fun photo booth props, like silly hats or printable paper mustaches.
Have a picnic outdoors. Ask students to bring their favorite snacks and a beach towel or small blanket to sit on. Relax on the school lawn and enjoy the fresh air before leading a fun activity of your choice.
Plan a student book swap. Encourage summer reading by asking students to bring books they have finished reading and want to trade with classmates. Before the book swap, cut strips of cardstock to the size of a bookmark. Invite students to reflect on the challenges and successes of the 2021-22 school year or their hopes for the summer break and write or draw something representing that on the bookmark.
Break out the sidewalk chalk. With permission from the school administration, move your class outside and give students sidewalk chalk. Ask them to write positive and encouraging messages and draw safe-for-school pictures on the sidewalk at the school drop-off line. Provide some examples to students, like “have a great summer” or “hurray for the last day of school.”
Hand out classroom awards. These don’t have to be academic, in fact, they should be fun! Make sure each student gets a personal, creative award celebrating who they are. Superlatives can be anything from “classmate who rocks the most pink” to “future zookeeper”— show your students how much you’ve gotten to know them over the past year!
Invite a special guest. Ask someone special for an in-person or Zoom call with your students. It could be a local sports player or TV meteorologist, a children’s book author, or a famous school alum.
Play trivia. Organize students into teams and play a round of trivia. Questions could be related to the curriculum (Which science project helped us learn about chemical reactions?) or could reference events from the school year, like inside jokes within the class or current events in the world.
Play Mad Libs. The old-fashioned word game is a good way to reinforce what students have learned about the parts of speech, as well as to have some laughs. Brightly has free Mad Libs downloadables for ages 6 through 12. Have small groups work together, then read their completed Mad Libs to the class. If you’re concerned about students using language that’s not appropriate for school, review completed forms before sharing them with the rest of the class.