Finish off the school year with these special end of the year activities that are fun and important for kids: Reflect and recall school memories in a memory book, make goals on a summer bucket list, and have fun with classmates during a countdown week.
Important End of the Year Activities to Do with Students
The end of the school year is a special time for students to wrap up the year and have fun. It is also important to emphasize the social and emotional skills we have worked on all year.
There are many meaningful end of the year activities that you can do with your class to help you reflect on the year, recall special events and memories, make goals for the future, and say goodbye to friends.
4 Types of Activities to Wrap Up the School Year
Below are four types of end of the year activities kids will enjoy!
1. Reflection Activities for the End of the Year
End the school year with a sense of community by reflecting on what was done together as a class. Reflecting on the skills and concepts kids have learned throughout the year is also essential. Kids need to discuss their accomplishments, goals, and ways they learned to help one another throughout the school year.
2. School Memories from the Year Activities
There is a lot to remember from a year of school! Complete school memory activities to learn about each other’s favorite parts, challenging moments, and ways that we have grown and learned.
3. Goal Making Activities for the Future
Learning how to set goals and stick to them is very important. Children will learn what it means to analyze their challenges and learn how to overcome them by setting obtainable goals for the summer and the next school year.
4. Countdown Week Activities with a Friendship Theme
End the year by discussing the friendships and relationships they’ve built in the classroom. Have a countdown week of activities planned to maintain friendships and have fun!
12 End of the Year Activities Kids will Enjoy
Try any of the end of the year activities below or any of these 30 end of the year classroom activities to make the end of the year a wild success filled with fun times, friends, and laughter!
“Our Great School Year” Discussion
Reflect on the school year together and develop ideas and ways that each student made the school year great. In this activity, the class will identify what was important in a classroom and what made it great as a group.
- Create a Y-shaped anchor chart together labeled “Our Great School Year.”
- Ask kids to think about what their “great” school year looked like (what they saw each day when they looked around the room and at the other kids) and record ideas on the anchor chart. Examples: helping, working hard, happy kids, learning how to read.
- Ask kids what a “great” school year sounded like (what they heard about what people said to each other, words they used, and noises). Record ideas on the anchor chart. Examples: quiet, manners, laughing, kind words, questions, etc.
- Ask them what a “great” school year felt like (what feelings they had inside when they were at school and how people made them feel). Encourage kids to think about how they feel on a good day. Examples: open, welcome, respected, loved.
- Review and reread the ideas on the anchor chart. Have kids pick some favorite things and write about what a “great” school year meant.
Graph Our Favorite Subjects
Ask kids to identify their favorite subject and analyze the rest of their classmate’s choices by completing a graph.
- Bring the class together to read the book Last Day Blues by Julie Danneberg. Read the book together and discuss the different parts of the story and their meaning. Point out the illustrations and encourage them to notice different things. After the story, discuss things they will miss about this school year.
- Create an anchor chart labeled “Our Favorite Subject” with the different school subjects listed. Have students draw a tally mark under their favorite, count together, and discuss the results.
- Optional: Students can complete the graphing template or create a pictograph for the recorded data on the board.
Create a Memory Book
Encourage students to reflect on their school year by creating a memory book about all the things they did throughout the year.
- Brainstorm and discuss the memories from the year. Record their ideas on an anchor chart. Ask kids to share their favorite memory.
- Have students create a printable memory book and record their memories from the year.
- Create a few pages at a time. Take time to have students share their work as you go.
Ask “Our Memories” Questions
Discuss school memories from the year with your class. Ask questions that elicit conversation and encourage kids to answer. They will gain confidence when sharing details about themselves and their school year.
Different ways to use question cards:
- Put question cards in a jar and call on kids to pull one out and answer in front of the class.
- Read a card each morning during your meeting and ask volunteers to answer it.
- Answer a card about yourself, so your students hear your ideas first.
- Use the cards during brain breaks, transitions, morning meetings, when lined up, or whenever you need an activity to fill time.
- Pick a card and have kids write a response in their journal.
Create a Memory Bag
Go deeper and get to know how kids felt about the year by having them bring in a personal collection of items from home that represent who they’ve become, with the help of families.
- Explain the “Memory Bag” activity to your class. Read the parent letter to them. Brainstorm ideas as a class of things they could bring from home and put inside their memory bag.
- Send kids home with the signed family letter with a due date.
- Schedule a time for kids to share their items with the class. Encourage kids to ask questions and share details about the items in their bags.
Practice writing about ways they would love to spend their summer by writing their summer goals in a journal. Grab a free copy of this journal below!
- Give each student a summer writing journal to record their ideas.
- Read the prompts together, and have them write and draw their responses.
Summer Bucket List
Ask kids what they want to do this summer and have them create a “bucket list” of things they wish to do.
- Discuss what a bucket list is (Experiences a person wishes to have in the future or their lifetime).
- For this activity, kids will focus on the summer. Have the kids think of different things they wish to do or see this summer. Brainstorm their ideas on a chart.
- Have them write their bucket list on a paper bucket. Kids can color and fill the bucket with pictures corresponding to what they want to do (i.e., include a sand pail if they wish to visit the beach).
Summer Kindness Calendar
Encourage kids to take action in being kind and perform different acts of kindness every day. For this activity, kids participate in a summer challenge to complete acts throughout the summer.
- Ask children what an act of kindness is or remind them. Explain that it is doing a thoughtful, selfless thing for someone who doesn’t expect it or ask for it, to make them smile and be happy.
- Brainstorm a list of kind acts and add examples that kids have done on an anchor chart throughout the year.
- Introduce the Summer Kindness Challenge. The challenge is to see how many kind acts they can complete within a month while on summer break. They can either perform and record an act of kindness for different days of the month or color in one of the acts listed on the kindness calendar.
- Optional: Ask them to return the completed calendar to you at the start of the next school year for a special reward.
Next Class Welcome Letter
Have students write a letter that will ease the nerves of the next set of students coming into the classroom. Let them know what they can expect, what they will learn, and some of the fun they will have.
- Brainstorm things that are important for students to know as they enter the classroom.
- Tell your students that they will be writing a letter to the following year’s group of students. This letter will prepare them for the year and help them feel less nervous.
- Students write their letters and deliver them or save them for next year.
Student Awards Hat
Recognize the unique qualities that every child has. Create a special award crown headband that allows other students to recognize the good qualities of their friends.
- Discuss positive personality traits as a class.
- Tell students that they will recognize their classmates by giving out awards.
- Give each student an award crown and an award sheet so they can color and cut out their award pieces and write their name on their crown.
- Have students give classmates an award that they feel fits them and their personality.
- Glue on each piece or add with a paper clip.
- When the crowns are complete, have students share the awards they received.
Friendship Week Countdown
Make the last week of school fun and memorable with a week of fun-themed days for the class to do together at the end.
- Decide on which activities you would like to include and the length of your countdown.
- Create a paper chain by linking strips of paper with the end of the year activities together to create a chain.
- Alternatively, keep the activities a secret and put the pieces of paper into balloons, and blow them up. Hang them on the board and pop a balloon each day to reveal the theme.
Create a star keepsake that reminds each student why they are special. Kids are encouraged to write something kind about each other on the stars.
- Brainstorm different nice things we can say to our friends as we leave for the summer. Write them down on an anchor chart for kids to use.
- Give each student a star with their name and place it on their desk.
- Have students walk around and write something kind to each classmate on their star.
- Use this last day of school activity to create a meaningful keepsake for kids to take with them as they say goodbye.
I hope you enjoy these end of the year activities that are both special and fun for your students! Which activity will you try?
End of the School Year SEL
All 12 of the activities in this post, plus 10 more, are available in the End of the Year Social-Emotional Learning resource by Proud to be Primary.
This one resource is the perfect companion to the last few weeks of school.
The SEL end of the year resource includes PRINTABLE & DIGITAL mini-lesson ideas to fill your lesson plans with engaging activities kids will love.
Free Summer Writing Journal
Sign up for a FREE copy of the summer writing journal (instructions above)! Click the image below to grab a copy.
Free Summer Reading Activity Log
Encourage reading in fun ways this summer with this FREE summer reading activity book resource! Click the image below to grab a copy.
More End of the Year Activities
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