Activities and Lessons

8 Fun Last-Day-of-School Activities for Elementary School

7 Min Read
WF1953350 8 Fun Last Day of School Activities for Elementary School Hero

The end of the school year can be an energetic time when students are excited to head out of the classroom and start their summers. But that last day of school can be bittersweet as everyone says their goodbyes. Make this time of the year memorable with fun activities or a celebration.

5 Short Last-Day-of-School Ideas for Teachers

Before the final school bell rings, celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer with your students. These fun last-day-of-school activities for elementary school students will keep them engaged and contain their excitement during class.

Activity 1: Make Predictions About Summer

From record-breaking temperatures to a wave of tourists visiting their hometowns, students might return to school with much to discuss with their peers. In this last-day-of-school activity, have students predict what they think might happen while school isn’t in session. The prediction can be realistic: “After watching the trailer, I think that [insert upcoming summer movie] will perform just as well as the first movie in the series.” Or the prediction can be unlikely to come true: “Humans will finally have a verbal exchange with aliens.” Have students write down their predictions and share them with next year’s incoming class.

Activity 2: Write Inspirational Letters to Next Year’s Class

Because academic growth tends to happen gradually, it’s important to look back and reflect on the growth that’s happened over the school year. Provide time on the last day to let students showcase their growth by writing letters of inspiration to the incoming class, whether on paper or digitally. The letters can focus on boosting future students’ confidence, with messages along the lines of “If at first you don’t succeed, try again” or “Your hard work will pay off!’” Alternatively, students can dig deeper and share with the incoming students what they learned, what they loved the most, and what challenged them the most. Or students can write just one sentence of advice on how to succeed at that grade level.

Activity 3: Celebrate Summer Holidays

Celebrating holidays and commemorative months throughout the school year adds more excitement to learning. However, some official or unofficial holidays occur over the summer months. Before the last day, have students choose one of these events to research. Here’s a list to get started (depending on when the last day is for your school):

Holiday/Commemorative Month

When It’s Celebrated

LGBTQ+ Pride Month

All June

National Caribbean American Heritage Month

All June

Disability Pride Month

All July

National Children’s Day

Second Sunday in June


June 19

Make Music Day

June 21

Independence Day

July 4

National Moon Day

July 20

Nelson Mandela International Day

July 18

International Day of Friendship

July 30

Students can research how long the holiday lasts and how people celebrate it. Then, on the last day of school, provide time for students to share what they discovered about their chosen holidays or commemorative months. Consider having students share stories, games, or anything else associated with their holidays or events as a way to celebrate summer holidays.

Activity 4: Lend a Helping Hand

Have students help you tidy up the classroom before the official staff comes in to clean up before summer break. Explain to students that in some cultures, cleaning is a source of pride and ownership. They can pick up trash, toss recyclables into the appropriate bin, and organize classroom items. Take this activity further by seeing if other teachers need helping hands tidying up their classrooms. You could even have students help clean the school’s exterior, such as the playground or garden.

Activity 5: Hold a Read-Aloud

On the last day of school, have a read-aloud on a topic like the emotions the last day of school brings or the excitement of summer adventures to come. Consider inviting students from other classes, too, or having the students read the books instead of you or students at a lower grade level. Two options are below; the first book is about the end of the school year, and the second is about summer adventures.

Book: Sometimes You Fly by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt, Grades Pre-K–3

This picture book provides a sentimental way to wrap up the school year and celebrate students’ accomplishments, however big or small. The book encourages students to remember times when they both failed and soared while aiming to achieve their goals. After finishing Sometimes You Fly, students might reminisce about their journeys to the end of the school year.

Book: The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Leo Espinosa, Grades Pre-K–3

This picture book evokes the feelings summer brings, such as lightheartedness and fun. After reading about the book characters’ adventures in Brooklyn during the summer, students will be excited to end their last day of school and discover what’s in store for them.

WF1953350 8 Fun Last Day of School Activities for Elementary School Inline

3 Last-Day-of-School Celebration Ideas

Throw a celebration to give the school year one last hurrah and allow students to bid farewell to their classmates and teachers. Try the celebration suggestions below or some of our other end-of-school-year celebration ideas to make this time of the year memorable for everyone.

Idea 1: Throw an Outdoor Party

In most parts of the country, May and June bring warm weather, making this time of the year ideal for a last-day-of-school outdoor celebration. Students can enjoy a range of healthy and tasty snacks while playing fun games like freeze tag! During the celebration, consider giving cheap end-of-year gifts for students from teachers as a way to show your appreciation.

Amid the fun games, incorporate some science learning into the celebration before students are officially out for the year. For example, students can build paper airplanes and test their designs to practice their engineering skills. Here’s a video tutorial on making a basic airplane model.

Idea 2: Host a Game Day

Allow students to bring their favorite board or card games, plus have some available. This math activities blog provides various card game options. Or before game day, consider having students create their own games, individually or in small groups. For example, have students create a board game based on a book they read during the year. Use the following steps as inspiration:

What You’ll Need

  • Materials for game board/playing cards: cardboard, construction paper, or index cards
  • Art supplies for game pieces: modeling clay, plastic, paper clips, rocks, dice, or anything that might work
  • Additional supplies: markers, crayons, paint, or other art supplies

What to Do

  • Start by having students think of any book they read and loved during the school year and its themes and characters. Example: GHOST by Jason Reynolds
  • After brainstorming ideas and before crafting the rules, have students decide on their game’s theme, mission, and number of players. Let their imaginations run wild! There aren’t any wrong answers. Example: Let’s say a board game is based on the novel GHOST. That board game can have a track-and-field theme, and the mission can be to cross the finish line. Additionally, in GHOST, teamwork is a major theme, so the board game could touch on that theme, such as players on teams working together to cross the finish line.
  • Afterward, have students write the rules. If they are in groups, students can collaborate on the rules together. Or, to make the process quicker, each group member can have a role while designing the game. For example, one can be responsible for writing the rules.
  • If students feel stuck while designing the game, encourage them to model it after one they already know, such as Go Fish or Crazy Eights.

On game day, set up stations so that everyone can have a chance to play their designed games and the other board or card games.

Idea 3: Celebrate the Summer Games

Every four years, athletes worldwide converge in one location to compete in the Summer Olympics. Throw a celebration to generate excitement about the upcoming games! Decorate the class with flags from around the world, images of inspirational athletes, or anything else that fits the theme.

Let students complete activities related to the Summer Games or hold an educational Olympics. You could set up stations inspired by major topics students learned throughout the year and have students test their knowledge. No matter what, students will certainly have fun!

Share Your Last-Day-of-School Ideas

What are some of your last-day-of-school celebration ideas and activities? Share your favorites with us via email at or reach out on Instagram or Facebook.


Discover more science-themed last-day-of-school ideas here.


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