Even the best school years must come to a close. Check out these end of the school year activities to inspire you as you wrap up another year in preschool or kindergarten.
“I cannot believe it’s almost May already!” I’m pretty sure I exclaim that in shock every year! Am I the only one who does that?
There is a LOT that goes into closing out a school year, as I’m sure you well know. The cleaning, the paperwork, the assessments . . . and on and on and on!
But don’t let the never-ending end of school list get you down. Try incorporating some of the ideas here to keep you and the kids engaged until the very end of school. Make some more sweet memories with your students before summer arrives.
Preschool End of the School Year Activities
Below you’ll find some fun end of the school year activities for you and your students. There are special activity days, sweet gift ideas, some end of the year songs, and more!
I think these ideas are great for preschool and kindergarten, and you can definitely adjust them for older grades and homeschool as well.
End of the Year Portfolios
I know I’m incredibly biased, but I love the preschool portfolios my students make. It’s a tradition I’ve kept to since the beginning of my teaching career, when I was working with kindergarten students.
The portfolio pages tend to change a little bit every year, but I think they’re well-loved no matter what! In fact, I’ve had some of my former students’ parents contact me to say they love looking back through the portfolio – even years later.
Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds has a darling preschool memory book, as well! I love how she incorporates items from throughout the school year, too. Be sure to check out how she includes the parents in her memory book – such a great idea.
End of the Year Slideshow Songs
Another one of our favorite end of the school year activities is a celebration program. It’s different every year, but it always includes some kind of slideshow.
I’ve been involved in creating the slideshow for many years, which means I’m always collecting song ideas. I put together 20 of my favorite end of the year songs, and I loved all of the feedback I got from other teachers!
In fact, I gathered another 25 end of the year slideshow songs based on the ideas many of my amazing readers sent in!
If you’re unsure how to create your own end of the year slideshow, Pre-K Pages has a tutorial just for you! In years past, I’ve sometimes created gift DVDs of the kids’ year this way.
More End of the Year Celebration Ideas
Speaking of end of the year celebrations, check out how Teach Preschool showcases her students’ work for her program. In fact, I’m considering tweaking a few of her ideas for my students’ program this year!
If your children sing during an end of the year program, check out Preschool Inspiration’s list of songs for the kids to sing.
Stay at Home Educator shares how to make your own graduation caps if your students will be dressing as graduates during an end of the year celebration.
End of the Year Housekeeping
In addition to programs, gifts, and portfolios, the end of the school year also means cleaning. Ugh – not something I enjoy one little bit.
PreKinders shares how her students help out with some of these necessary tasks, but in a fun way.
I’ve done so in years past, and it’s helpful both to students and teachers. And what a great way to transition away from the school year.
Fun Days for the End of the Year
My preschool loves to integrate fun themed days in the last month of school. The nicer weather allows us to be outside more, so we take advantage of that.
I find the special days also help us celebrate as a class in a more informal way.
Water days, messy play days, and preschool mud days have been huge hits in the past!
End of the Year Gift Ideas
I like to give my students books for end of the year gifts. This is especially fun if there’s a favorite story that the whole class adores! Scholastic usually has a variety of paperback picture books for very reasonable prices.
Proud to Be Primary shares an idea for a sweet and simple photo gift for the end of the year. I love that her idea really captures what the kids are interested in here and now.
The Educators’ Spin On It put together a grand list of end of the year gift ideas! Talk a walk through there and choose your favorite.
Even More End of the School Year Activities to Try
I love getting to know the kiddos over the course of the year! It’s fun to hear what they want to be when they grow up, and I love documenting that somehow. I absolutely adore how Fresh Picked Whimsy captured each child’s dreams with a photo art collage. I may try that out, although I don’t think mine would look as amazing as hers!
Consider having a fun countdown to the end of the year, too. Elementary Nest shares a balloon popping idea, but you can adapt it any way you’d like.
What end of the school year activities do you treasure?
Do you have some that are just plain fun for you and the kiddos? I would LOVE to hear all about them in the comments below! 🙂
End-of-Year Classroom Gifts
At the close of each year, I like to thank my students for giving me the pleasure of spending time with them, teaching them, and having a ton of fun while doing it. It’s important to note that I, myself, learn new things with every set of students that comes through my classroom. So, as a thank you to my students, I like to send them off with a small token of my appreciation – a gift. Often times, I will personalize whatever item I choose with a little phrase or saying related to the item.
Only you know the dynamics of your classroom and students. So, you will know the perfect gift for your students. But here are some of my personal favorites (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Temporary tattoos
- Color-your-own cups
- Crazy straws
- Personalized, beaded keychains or bracelets
- Kids’ sunglasses
- Buckets filled with small trinkets
- Play dough
- Small jars of slime (made in class, or course!)
Remember. An end-of-school year gift is not a necessity. In the past, I have held an additional celebration, outside of their graduation ceremonies, to celebrate my students and all of their accomplishments. I have planned an activity that I know they all loved (a water play day!) to show them my appreciation and pride in them.
Finishing another year of preschool, for both student and teacher, is really an accomplishment and should be celebrated as such. So, it really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you celebrate the time you’ve had with your students!
Preschool Teacher Resources
If you’re looking to save some time planning for preschool, be sure to pop over to Preschool Teacher 101. You’ll find a bevy of done-for-you resources like preschool lesson plans, math and STEM activities, and literacy packs. Check out our membership options for even more ways to save your time.
Click on the photos below for more information about each specific resource:
I have a question about the slideshow app. Can you upload pictures from Facebook directly to the slideshow??
Thanks for sharing such a wonderful activities…. These are very useful for me as a teacher.
For my end of the year slide show I like to use as one of my songs I Am Your Child by Barry Manilow. And Safe and Sound by Matthew West. I also use some of the other songs you had mentioned.
Mary Catherine says
Jennifer, that sounds like a sweet song! I’m in the middle of re-doing this list, so I might have to add your idea. Thank you!