As the school year winds down and summer vacation approaches, it’s always fun to count down the days until break. To make the end of the school year special, here are 6 creative and easy ideas for an end of year countdown that students can do with their classmates! From good old-fashioned scavenger hunts to writing letters to their future selves, these end of year activities are sure to get your students excited about counting down to summer.
End of Year Countdown Ideas For You: Game of the Day
The first fun way to count down the days until summer break with your students is to play math review games! Math review games are a great way for students to practice their math skills while having fun with their classmates. From classic board games like Monopoly and Sorry, to more interactive activities like Jeopardy, Knockout, and Bingo, there’s something for every student when it comes to math review games.
A fun idea for this is to put all of your games into one bowl and choose each day, or use a fun randomizer like this one to choose! (Bonus: grab a Knockout pack specifically for end of year review and you’ll be all set! Use this free pack to set up your own classroom challenge – you can even print trophies!)
End of Year Countdown Ideas For You: Total Request
Another great way to celebrate the last month of school is to do a countdown using student requests! Have your students write down their favorite activities like having a water balloon toss or (always a class favorite) a paper airplane contest. Brainstorm a list of requests together or ask students to submit individually. As the days wind down, pull out one of those requests and celebrate!
End of Year Countdown Ideas For You: Countdown Controller
For the last few weeks of school, have each student pick a special day to count down until the final bell rings. No final bell? Have a student count down each day to the start of dismissal, the start of recess, or have them do a custom drum roll to see who the featured student of the end of the year countdown is! They can choose a silly voice, or they can count down in a different language–the sky is the limit! Students will leave your class on a happy note remembering how fun it was to wait their turn to be “countdown controller.”
End of Year Countdown Ideas For You: Countdown Mystery Envelopes
Perhaps my favorite way to countdown the end of the year is using these countdown mystery envelopes. Each day features a new student to celebrate along with a fun activity to complete. There are several ways to assemble it (directions are included). This can be hung on the wall for all to enjoy!
You can check out all the details here.
I love this because of the following features:
1- Each student gets a special day to be celebrated. They will bring home a letter from each student in their class!
2- Every day is also a new chance for a fun activity! Some favorites are paper airplanes, Pictionary, and Knockout.
You can buy the entire countdown pack (and the activities included) here. The added bonus of this all is that your job is made so much easier! Rather than battling the end-of-the-year-itis, you can harness the energy by having fun that is planned for you. Like magic, the last 25-30 afternoons will be planned!
It’s so tempting to choose end of year countdowns that are quick and just for decoration, but I find that instilling meaning behind the countdown made a huge difference in the end of year classroom morale. It was just the right amount of structure mixed with fun that I needed to end the year on a fun for them (but sane for me) note.
End of Year Countdown Ideas For You: Scavenger Hunt
Choose a theme for each mini-scavenger hunt you decide to implement in your class. For example, one day might be a nature scavenger hunt; another day might be an ABC scavenger hunt that takes you around the school to find things that start with a certain letter. Other ideas include a math scavenger hunt (find a group of objects around school/classroom that contain 3+4 items) or a “Who’s Who” scavenger hunt in which you must find certain people in the building (bonus: deliver cards or a nice surprise to them!)
End of Year Countdown Ideas For You: Letters to Future You
If your students are old enough to write letters, have them write a letter to themself in 1 year, 2 years, or even 10 years! Make sure to follow up on the delivery of the letters and send them on the appropriate date for the students to open. This is a great activity for self-awareness and a cool way to culminate a year of growth and friendships. You can create at template for the letters or let your students freestyle to their future selves.
Overall, this is one of the most funt times of year if we are able to let go of the stress and harness the excitement of summer. I hope you can use one or several of these ideas in your own classroom!