As the school year ends, teachers and students alike may feel a bittersweet sensation as they start to say goodbye to each other for the summer. A nice way of sending your first-graders off to second grade is to throw an end-of-the-year party. Make the party extra special by using some of these ideas to truly commemorate the occasion.
Decorate your classroom with some colorful items that reflect the start of the summer, not the end of your time with your students. Gather some colorful yellow and orange streamers and cascade them from the ceiling to the opposing walls. If you have time, make a cardboard silhouette of a beach bum and cut out a hole in the silhouette for your students' heads to fit through. Place some beach balls on the countertops in your classroom, as well as some straw hats and flip flops.
To avoid making too much of a mess in your classroom, prepare some finger foods the kids can eat using just a napkin. Ask your students' parents to have the kids bring in anything from pretzels to cupcakes. On your end, bring some summer-themed treats, such as a fruit salad mixed with watermelon and strawberries. To make a frozen and sweet drink, blend some sherbet ice cream with lemon-lime soda. Place little umbrellas in the drinks to make them even more special.
Games and Activities
Integrate the summertime theme into your games. Push all the desks back so you have a space to play. Divide the kids into two teams and line each team up side by side. Hand the player at the end a hula hoop. As the teams hold hands, they have to pull the hula hoop over their bodies from the first player to the last without breaking hands. The first team to do this wins. Commemorate the party by having everyone sign yearbooks. If you don't have yearbooks, help the kids make blank pamphlets out of construction paper and sign them.
Though students often give their teachers gifts to end the year, you can also contribute some small tokens of affection to your students to send them off with good memories. Set up a picture-taking section in the classroom so you can take digital photos of your students together with their friends or even with you. Print the pictures before the students leave and send them home with the photos. Make goody bags filled with pencils, notepads and other supplies for their next school year.
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