Thursday, May 7, 2015

13 Ways to Celebrate the End of the Year

Hey friends!

Jen from Sparkling in Second here!

It's almost the time again...SUMMER TIME!
Every year I like to do some sort of "Countdown to the End of the Year" type thing. This tends to keep the kids on good behavior {because you can bribe them a bit if they aren't doing their best} and keeps them entertained as the school year winds down.

Here are some fun ideas to make the end of your year great {and keep your kids in check, because we know they get a little out of hand at this point...}

This year I did a balloon display. We'd pop one at the end of each day and learn what we'd get to do tomorrow!

My balloons defaulted at some point during the countdown, so we made a quick switch to stickies on the board.

Here are some of the things we LOVED doing in our class {not all are "educational", but most could be changed to be if you needed to}.

Paper Airplane Contest

Here's a cute video that teaches the kids how to make a dart paper airplane. 

Here's the link!

After, race em and see who wins :)

Write with a Pen Day

What child doesn't LOVE to write in pen!? They just DIE over this. 


Exploring sound is a great way to end the year, since it's usually noisy ;)
{Click here, here, or here to learn more}

Bubble Day

Bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish...
You'll need different types of gum and bubbles too!
We got to blow bubbles with gum, taste gum, blow bubbles with a wand, and tons more like graphing and writing.

Art Day

Kids love art time! You can do just about any type of art you'd like for this day. You can have it accompany anything you are learning as well. 
In my class, we've been a bit obsessed with tissue paper art {Click here to hear more}.
It's a quiet and time consuming art piece that the kids love!

Bring a Stuff Animal to School

We invited some pals into the classroom. I had the kiddos bring in their favorite stuff animal {or action figure}. We taught them all day long and even took them to our Daily 5 stations.

Chalk Day

Free for all chalking! Or you can have them draw shapes, find parallel lines or right angles, or even draw a picture of something you are studying. As long as they have chalk, they'll do anything you want ;)

Measurement Olympics

The creator of Measurement Olympics, Mrs. Amy Lemons, is brilliant! Check out what she did here. We had a little pom pom fuzzy to kick, flick, blow, and so much more. We started at some cones, did the event, then measured up! I made a quick little events sheet so the kids could record their data, but they can always just jot it down in a notebook. What a hit it was!

Glow Sticks

These little babies come in handy {thank you Dollar Tree}! We used these to "read in the dark" and watch a movie!
Just be careful, the cheapy ones tend to burst open, yuck!

Summer Birthdays Party

Those poor babies who have summer birthdays...never get celebrated at school {like me :(}! This year, I decided to throw one big party for all those summer birthdays! I had the parents bring in what they'd want to donate for their child's birthday and we had a big bash of cupcakes, cookies, chips, drinks, ice cream, and more! We even played games! I think this birthday party was better than any other one we'd celebrated throughout the year. It makes those summer babies feel loved.

Beach Ball Autographs

Have parents donate beach balls {or stock up at the end of the summer at Target or Michael's when they are on sale for under 50 cents}. Write their name in a cute way, have the kids blow them up, give em all a sharpie, and let em go!
Hint: some kids can't blow up beach balls ;)

Red Carpet Awards

Love love love this idea! I've seen it a million places now, but originally I think Reagan from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits thought of it {here}.
We do Honor Roll awards in an assembly all together, but this is a way you can do the fun/silly awards with just your class. I use Gladys from Teaching in High Heels' awards, but I've seen some super fun candy awards which I'm sure the kids would love.
helpful hint: make them feel even more special by making those easy graduation caps! I saw them from Kristen at Easy Teaching Tools and fell in love. They were pretty easy to make. All you need are some sentence strips and card stock or construction paper. You may want a glue gun too, it makes it go much faster.

Popcorn/Slumber Party

This year, on our very last school day, we had a "Popcorn Bar" and a slumber party! Parents donated the pre popped popcorn baggies and some "toppings" like M&Ms, sour patch kids, and skittles. We mixed it in our bags and snuggled around the room watching movies :)

How do you celebrate the end of the year with you littles?


  1. Wait! What? You're already out of school? Jealous. We have about four weeks to go in Houston. Love the ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ha, I guess that was a misprint ;) I did that LAST year for the last day of school :) I'm still chuggin along til June 17!

  2. Thanks for all the great ideas! I'm starting my 10 day countdown in a few days, and I was looking for a few more ideas, so this was perfect!

    Some of my other favorites are Extra Brain Breaks (GoNoodle after every subject) and, of course, No Shoes in the classroom.

    Shine on In First Grade

    1. Oh those extra brain breaks are heaven for me and the kids ;) Great idea!