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Our Favorite End of the Year Activities

The end of a school year is a bittersweet experience. While it’s very exciting for both teachers and students to enter the summer break, it can also be sad to say goodbye to friends you won’t see next year and let go of your daily routines. 

Fight the end of the year blues with these fun and creative activities that give students a chance to share their memories, connect before the break, and anticipate the upcoming summer. 

Wearable Memories

Wearable mementos are always a big hit. Everything from friendship bracelets to tie dye shirts give students not only a creative outlet, but a fun way to remember friends and moments from the previous year. 

Consider the time and space you have to work with. An end of the year project doesn’t have to be complex or messy. You can supply markers and invite kids to wear a shirt they’d like to sign for each other. Simple string and bead bracelets can be fun for students to make and trade before the summer break. If you’re really brave, let them tie dye a t-shirt outdoors.

Thoughts to Go

For a unique, fun, and memorable end of the year takeaway, consider supplying students with familiar takeout containers for them to fill with the year’s memories. Encourage students to write down their favorite moments of the year for themselves and for their peers on slips of paper. 

Each student should include some of their own memories and add a few memories to their classmates’ containers. Everyone will go home with a unique reminder of their friends and experiences.

Board Game Tournament 

Friendly competition is a fun way to end the year with some relaxation and excitement. By pitting students against each other in a tournament style competition, you give students time to say goodbye in small groups and one-on-one. 

Keeping track of the winners and scores gives the day structure and flow. Consider awards or prizes for the winners in subcategories or the winner of the tournament overall. Classmates could sign these awards as an end of the year memento.


Arranging a picnic for students is a wholesome way to share snacks and memories before the summer break. While getting outside is always fun and exciting, it’s not necessary for the perfect picnic experience. Spreading some blankets on the floor, tossing around a few strategic pillows and packing snacks in a classic basket can be enough to evoke those summer fun feelings. Playful details like a handful of plastic ants add even more ambiance.

Field Trip to the Next Grade

If students will be advancing to another grade in the same school, consider taking a field trip to visit their future classrooms. This gives older students a chance to give advice and pointers to the upcoming class. It also makes younger students feel more comfortable if they have some idea of what to expect after the summer break. Consider introducing students to their future teachers for the next year. On the first day after summer break, they’re greeted with a familiar face.

Write a Letter to Next Year’s Class

At the end of the year, have your students write a letter to your incoming class. Include helpful tips and tricks that students have developed over the course of the school year. This advice can be practical, heartfelt, or just for fun. 

The spirit of the letter is to welcome next year’s students and give this year’s students an opportunity for reflection. Ask your students what they wish they would have known on their first day and what would they tell themselves if they could go back.

Open Mic Day

Invite students to create performance art based on their memories and experiences throughout the school year to be shared during an open mic day. Create a space within the classroom for performers to deliver their pieces while their classmates observe. Encourage students to pursue diverse formats like spoken word, poetry, song, or even stand up comedy. For an added bonus, pieces may earn a last-minute bonus grade point. 

Create a Highlights Reel

Building a chronological highlights reel is a fun and collaborative creative activity for the end of the year. You can utilize a bulletin board, whiteboard, string, or a continuous roll of paper to create a timeline on which students add their most memorable highlights. Encourage students to draw pictures recreating the memories and plot them out based on when they occurred during the year. 

Signature Collection

Collecting signatures at the end of the school year is an age-old tradition. Inject some modern fun into it by switching up the items students bring to sign. Yearbooks aren’t the only way to collect signatures from your friends before parting for the summer break. Encourage students to bring beach balls, pool noodles, frisbees, tote bags, water bottles, or even white sneakers for their friends to sign.

Ice Cream Social

An ice cream social is a classic summer activity that is fun for all ages. By providing students with a few basic flavors and a lot of interesting toppings, you give them a creative outlet as well as an exciting treat. You might even provide labels for the toppings that correlate to things the students gained from the school year. Sprinkle on some chocolate chips that represent new friendships or maybe a drizzle of caramel that represents personal growth.

Invite your students to build the perfect ice cream sundae that represents the experiences and skills they’ve developed throughout the year and explain it while they devour their delicious creations.

Summer Bucket List

Before students leave for summer break, help them develop their own individual summer bucket list. Ask students to consider what their goal is for the coming break. Are they hoping to read more books? Do they want to up their soccer game? Or are they just hoping to have as much fun as possible before the return of routines and responsibilities the following year? 

It’s always fun to hear students’ ideas of what makes the perfect summer and watch them collaborate and debate the best ways to spend the break.

Classroom Breakdown Party

Breaking down your classroom at the end of the year can be an emotional experience. Why not take some of the bitter out and add a little more sweet by encouraging your students to participate? 

Invite your students to carefully help you take down decorations and pack up supplies. While students are participating in this party, consider playing some fun music to keep the energy up or creating a group discussion about everyone’s favorite moments from the previous year.

Treat Swap

Planning a treat swap is a fun and delicious way for students to celebrate at the end of the year while getting to know each other’s family life and culture a little better. Ask each student to bring something from home to trade with the class. At the end of the day, each student should have a plate with a diverse range of snacks and treats to try. 

This sensory experience offers opportunities to talk about cultural backgrounds, family traditions, and personal taste. Take the time to explore each student’s offering, the reasons why they like that dish, and why they choose it to share.

Classroom Camp-Out

Camping is one of the most popular summer activities and for good reason. It’s always fun to get outside, challenge yourself and test your limitations. The same skills and benefits can be gathered from a mini classroom camp-out indoors. 

This activity can be as complex or simple as you like. Provide students with some basic tent making supplies or ask them to bring a sleeping bag to sit on in the classroom. Encourage students to dress in their best outdoor gear and provide s’mores as a tasty thematic treat. Students could sit around a faux campfire and share their favorite stories from the previous school year. 

Beach Day

You don’t need sand and sun to enjoy beach day fun. Ask your students to dress in their best nautical themed clothing, or even bring beach towels to spread out on the floor. Open up a book discussion on the best summer beach reads for the upcoming break, share some tropical beachy snacks, and spend some time tossing around a beach ball and sharing favorite memories from the previous year. 

With these end of the year activities, your students will get one last chance to get to know each other a little better, reminisce about their favorite parts of the year, and say goodbye for the summer break. Whether you choose to throw a party with food, music, and games or to do something simple, like making friendship bracelets, your students will appreciate the opportunity to relax and reflect together. 

The end of the year doesn’t have to include stressful, messy, or complex activities. Simple fun is a sweet way to begin the summer, too. The opportunity to connect and relax is what matters most.

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