The end of the school year is rapidly approaching. Whether you’re looking for a last minute party theme, ideas for activities, or are already thinking about next year, we have some suggestions to help you throw an amazing end of the school year party.
Having an outdoor party to celebrate the end of the school year is a great way to end summer. Best of all is that it requires very little planning! Depending on the school, you may have to check to see if you can have the class outside and for how long. As long as that is fine, this party is smooth sailing. You may choose to have an all day event, a half day event, or hour long event. Pick and choose from our suggestions based on how long you have. If your party will be lasting all day, it’s good to have some activities planned. Bring out what playground equipment you have and encourage students to bring things from home such as badminton sets or bag toss games. This allows students to spread out and enjoy whatever activities they like most, even if that means sitting under a tree and reading a book on their own. Have everyone bring a picnic lunch, with some snacks from you provided, and wrap up the day with a team sport such as kickball or baseball! This is a great introduction to outdoor summer fun and an exciting way to finish up the year.
Throw a Carnival
This works better outside than in, but by moving around desks and choosing the activities carefully, you can host this indoors as well. Carnivals are a fun, traditional summer activity, so basing your party around them is perfect for the end of the year. For this you will need decorations. Huge groups of helium balloons and the classic red and white striped backdrop are simple and effective ideas. As it is a carnival themed party, the activities should also be carnival themed. Creating a photo booth is a fun way for students to make memories. Create some props such as animal masks or “heavy” barbells, and bring in some hats and boas. Make it extra nostalgic by using a Polaroid camera! If you can’t get your hands on one fast enough, upload pictures from the photo booth online to a school website or email pictures to parents afterwards. A beanbag toss game and other games where you have to throw and knock down objects are classic for carnivals. Give out small “prizes”, AKA your student gifts at the end. If you want snacks, serve hot dogs and popcorn!
Hawaiian Themed Party
This event can easily be hosted indoors or out, depending on your preferences, and likely won’t be a party that lasts the full day. But it will be a party that your students will remember. This party is simple to put together as well. You can often find Hawaiian themed décor at your nearby store. Give out leis to students, or even have them make their own! The limbo is a great, easy game that your students will love. What’s great about this is you can make healthy snacks using pineapple, coconut, and other tropical fruits. Wrap up the day with the movie Lilo and Stitch, or another Hawaiian themed movie.
Many students will head camping or go off to some sort of camp over the summer, making this a great theme for the end of the year. Set up real tents or your play on a tent in your classroom. Each tent can have different activity stations, all themed around camping. Put outdoor books in one for reading time. In another, set up a listening center to play “spooky” stories that would be told around a campfire. Have a crafting area and of course, there will have to be snacks. S’mores are traditional and luckily there are tons of recipes out there for S’mores cookies, cakes, and more.
Have a Travel Day
Summer vacation often means students will be going on vacation with their families. Use this as an opportunity to not only have fun at the end of the year, but get some extra teaching in. You can set up different stations with popular travel destinations in your classroom. In Mexico, students can make their own salsa. In England, students can sample tea and learn the meanings of British words. In France, students can try French pastries and learn some basic words in French. Ask students where they want to go on summer vacation and make a chart on the board. This type of activity is fun, inspires learning, and may inspire some of your students to travel!
The end of the school year is an exciting, special, and slightly sad time. It is often hard to watch the students you’ve taught all year leave for a new grade and a new classroom. Use these ideas to make the end of the school year a magical and memorable time.