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15 End of the Year Spirit Days!

May 9, 2022 by Sarah Poquette




Teachers, can you see the finish line in sight? We are almost there! Some of us sooner than others (I say begrudgingly, as a teacher who goes until June 17th). Whether you are already in cruise control and down to the last couple of weeks, or you’re like me and you have quite a ways to go, I think we all can agree that nothing helps us get more excited for the end of the year than some fun spirit days! Below are some really great and unique days to spend with your students that they will remember forever!

1 – Minute to Win it Day

Are your kids competitive? I guess that was a silly question, of course, they are! We love playing games in my class and even more than that…we like winning! Having a minute to win it day allows you to explore so many different quick and fun games with your students, giving everyone a better chance at winning something! You can snag some affordable medals (aff) off of Amazon and have an awards ceremony for each event! Plus, if you need some filler activities in between events or for students who have been eliminated, they can work on some activities from ETTC’s STEAM Challenges resource!

End of Year Spirit Day 2 – Glow Day

I remember last year when one of my team teachers had a glow day and her kids were obsessed! You can totally go in the blacklight direction, or you can grab some black tablecloths or black bulletin board paper and darken your room. Then grab some glow sticks and go crazy! Just kidding, definitely have some structure set in place for the day. Even on super fun days, kids still need a consistent schedule. Encourage your kiddos to wear bright fun neon colors to school and maybe incorporate some Flashlight Reading in the mix.

3 – Friendship Day

One final opportunity to promote friendship and kindness. When our students leave our classrooms, I think what we want more than anything for them, is to be kind. We care more about their character than their test scores. Education to the Core has some wonderful Journal Prompts about friendship! These can be displayed on the board as conversation starters, or students can create written responses as well. Another great activity to do on Friendship Day is friendship bracelets. Lastly, if you’re looking for some great mentor texts on friendship, here are a few of my favorites:

End of Year Spirit Day 4 – Beach Day

A favorite of mine to do on the last full day of school is beach day. Students bring in their beach towels, and we set them up around the classroom to do our work on, read on, and eat lunch on. If it’s a really nice sunny day out, we take the beach towels outside and have a picnic lunch! In the past, I’ve also bought beach balls for each of my students and we sign them. Sunglasses are fun to incorporate too, have students wear their sunnies while they do a fun Write the Room activity! Because well, everything is more fun when you pretend you’re at the beach 😉.

Sidenote: because this is the most “summery” day we do, I often use this day to celebrate any summer birthdays we have in our classroom!

5 – Yes Day

I first heard about Yes Day on Tiktok, and I think it’s becoming a phenomenon that students are crazy about! The concept for a yes day is that your teacher has to say yes to whatever you ask (within reason…I hope). There is a really cute story by Amy Krouse Rosenthal called Yes Day! (aff) that is based on this same concept. If you’re feeling brave, this might be a fun one to add to your roster for end-of-the-year spirit day shenanigans. If this makes you nervous, maybe brainstorm some ideas with your students before diving in headfirst…or have your teacher bestie try it first!

End of Year Spirit Day 6 – Movie Day 🍿

We have watched movies in the past for parties or for rewards, but a full-blown movie day is a whole new level of fun. Break out the popcorn, maybe wear some jammies, pass out tickets, and 3-D glasses (even if they aren’t necessary), and give the full movie theatre experience! If you aren’t allowed to distribute food, have students bring in their favorite snack from home to munch on while they watch a movie on the smartboard. If you’re looking for a fun and appropriate G-rated movie to watch, here are a few of our favorites!

  • Horton Hears a Who
  • Monsters Inc
  • Ratatouille
  • Wall-e
  • Finding Nemo
  • Chicken Little
  • The Emperor’s New Groove
  • Cars

7 – Camping Day

I recently saw a teacher on Tiktok do a complete room transformation for Camp Read-A-Lot and I thought it was so cute! She put up black bulletin board paper over the walls and cut out stars as well. She created a personalized tent out of each student’s desk using table cloths, with a sign outside showing their name on the tent. Students sat under their desk tents and enjoyed a yummy treat to do “s’more” reading! She displayed a fire on the smartboard and turned off the lights to give it the camping vibe. She also used lanterns, but you can also use mini flashlights, so each student has one! If you want to see the original TikTok, it’s linked below!

@lifewlittlelearners

The BEST day #campreadalot #teachersoftiktok #classroomtransformation

♬ GOOD VIBES – Ellen Once Again

 

If you’re really feeling adventurous, have students bring in a sleeping bag so they can be cozy while they read independently or with a friend. I did this one last year and it was a hit! I’ve never had so many of my students reading for so long–they loved it! But if they get bored, have them work on some Camping Comprehension.

End of Year Spirit Day 8 – Disney Day

I’ve seen some teachers go ALL out for this one, but there are so many different activities to incorporate into your day. If you’d like, you can turn it into a dress-up day and have students dress as their favorite Disney characters! There are so many virtual field trip options on Youtube to explore including parades, fireworks, and rides for students to pretend they are on! There are also so many different Disney-themed directed drawings on Art Hub to choose from if your students need something calming to do. Or if your kids are obsessed with coloring pages like mine, print off a bunch of different options and have a Disney coloring day!

9 – Carnival Day

I remember back when I worked at a summer camp, we hosted a carnival day and it was a blast! We invited other classes to come and attend, passed out tickets, and distributed prizes. It was a lot of work but the kids absolutely loved not only creating the games but running them and then playing them as well! If you don’t want to break the bank, there are so many DIY carnival activities you can make using household materials or recyclables. Here is a list of some we made:

  • Ball Toss
  • Ring a Bottle
  • Ring Toss
  • Guessing Booth
  • Darts
  • Lucky Duck Matching

To give it the real carnival feel, instead of doing face painting, have students create masks with paper plates and popsicle sticks! Students that finish their masks early can read ETTC’s Going to the Carnival Minibook.

End of Year Spirit Day 10 – Slime Day

For the brave…this one is all you. I am personally not a slime gal, but kudos to those of you that are willing to do slime. Something about slime intimidates me, maybe it’s my inexperience with making slime that worries me. I just always worry if the consistency isn’t perfect, it will be a disaster. But part of the fun might be experimenting with your slime recipe. I highly suggest using shaving cream to give it a more fluffy consistency. You can also use shaving cream to clean your student desks and tables. I do this at the end of every year and they love using the shaving cream to clean!

11 – Tie-Dye Day

Last year we did tie-dying and it was so much fun! It certainly doesn’t need to be an all-day event, but tie-dying as a class is an absolute must to check off your teacher bucket list! Last year we ordered our school shirts and tie-dyed them, then wore them to field day! You can also either purchase plain white shirts or have students bring them in a random shirt they want to tie-dye. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! Coordinate a day for everyone to wear their shirts on the same day and take a fun class picture!

End of Year Spirit Day 12 – Bubble & Chalk Day

Again, doesn’t have to be an all-day extravaganza, but who doesn’t love bubbles and chalk?! Education to the Core has a great STEAM Bubble Challenge as a part of their End of the Year STEAM activities. Buy a brand new fresh set of chalk (aff) and bubbles (aff) and let your kids spend the morning outside soaking up the sun (maybe keep an eye on the weather for this one…doing bubbles inside doesn’t sound like a great idea).

There are so many fun ways to use chalk outside. You can have students trace themselves, write their names in big block letters, play hopscotch, four square, etc. I’ve even seen some crazy big board game creations outside with chalk–maybe set up a life-size game of chutes and ladders for your class to play! You can even create crazy funky mazes for them to complete and time them while they do it. Gets the energy out and keeps them occupied! Unlimited options with this spirit day idea!

13 – Show and Tell Day

Think back to all the things you’ve heard students talk about this year that they never got to bring in and show you. You could seriously dedicate a whole day to show and tell. Kids can talk forever about the things they love, and generally, their classmates love to see what they bring in. We do a student of the week where students can bring in an item each day, but students always end up wanting to share more than they can fit into their week of fame. Having a day dedicated to bringing in special items from home and sharing them with friends might be a super-inclusive and wholesome spirit day to end the year on a positive note.

End of Year Spirit Day 14 – Board Game Day

This is one of my all-time favorites! I’ve done it several times over the last few years and it is a student favorite as well. Have students bring in their favorite board game from home and share it with the class! Disclaimer: make sure students bring in a game they know how to play. If they bring in a new game, this does not go as smoothly. Then have each student share about their game and why it’s their favorite during your morning meeting. This gets the other students excited about the games available and is a great way to preview the games as well. I typically set a timer and students can play other people’s games or play their own game! We typically do a few rounds so each person gets to play their own game as well as a couple of new games. It makes for a very relaxing morning or afternoon!

15 – Hollywood Awards

Every year we give out awards in the final week of school and it is a super special occasion. We typically record it so we can share it with family members, and I prepare a short speech for each child. In the past, I’ve done the selection of awards, but I have seen other teachers share on social media that they involve their students in the selection process. I love this! This year, I think we will talk about the different awards, and anonymously nominate students for each award. It will be so thoughtful to see who they think deserves which award, and of course, there will be enough for everyone to receive a unique and special award! You might be wondering, how do you decide what awards to give? I don’t–Education to the Core decides for me and I simply select the ones that fit my student demographic best! That’s right, I’m talking about End of the Year Awards! Not only does this resource come with certificates, but it comes with a complimentary crown and bookmark! After students are awarded their certificates, they can color and decorate their personalized crowns and bookmarks. Talk about a photo-worthy moment! This is a great spirit day idea to make students feel like the stars that they are!

Let’s Get Organized!

Now you might be wondering, these sound really great but how can I organize them? I’ve seen two really great ways teachers organize these days and both are countdowns!

ABC Countdown

The first idea is an alphabet countdown! For the last 26 days of school (for those of us that still have 26 days) create a chain link using ETTC’s Alphabet Countdown resource! Print it out on some bright and fun colored paper, and recruit your kiddos to do some cutting and taping for you. Then hang it up somewhere in your classroom and enjoy a special activity each day with your students! Each day correlates with a letter from the alphabet. Such a cute idea–students love to rip off a link each day and watch the chain get smaller and smaller (and the teachers love it too😉). If you don’t want to do a chain, print off our editable calendar to share with families! I’ve already shared 14 spirit day themes, but Fearless First Graders are talking about end-of-the-year activities that you can certainly compile to use in your ABC countdown as well!

Let’s End the Year with a Bang!

The second idea is a balloon countdown many call, “Let’s End the Year with a Bang!”. You may have seen teachers on Instagram or Tiktok sharing their cute setups for this type of countdown. I created one last year and it was super easy! Just grab ten balloons (or more if you want to countdown sooner), insert a tiny piece of paper inside the balloon with the spirit day written on it, and blow them up! Then, stick them up somewhere for the students to see, and pop one each day! I typically pop it the night before so students can prepare (in case they have to bring anything in for the spirit day). I typically give parents a heads up on the spirit days so they can prepare for anything that needs to be brought in as well. If you’re looking for inspiration, @Sassyn2nd posted a photo of her lineup for this year’s countdown and it is the cutest!

Teachers, as we close out possibly one of the most challenging years of education, I hope that you are able to end on a positive note and enjoy your last few weeks with your kiddos. As hard as this year has been, these last few weeks are the ones your students will remember most. And they are super memorable for us teachers as well!

Want a way to help students store all the memories from their school year? Definitely download Education to the Core’s End of the Year Memory Book! Chip away a couple of pages a day during your last few weeks, so by the last day of school, students have a personalized memory book FULL of their favorite memories.

WRITTEN BY – Sarah Poquette & Nashella Zarek

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