Class Party Ideas to Celebrate the End of School

After a year of learning and fun, it’s time to celebrate before school is out for summer. These party tips and ideas will take planning from stressful to seamless and give kids special memories with their classmates. All you need is a few activities and a treat to send students off for the summer with plenty to smile about!

Get started with these tips and theme inspiration (ask the kids if you need more ideas!)

Planning Tips

  1. Set and share a party date and location as early as possible to ensure volunteer participation, even if you don’t have all the details set.
  1. Send out a sign up asking for party item donations and volunteers to run activity stations, serve treats and help with clean up and set up.
  1. Collect money from parents a few weeks in advance and present your teachers with end of year gifts at the party.
  1. Create a mini-photo station with fun summer props. Purchase a background online or decorate a sheet and create a custom backdrop.
  1. If there’s a budget for party favors, pick up sunglasses for students to create a fun summer vibe.
  1. Keep refreshments simple – serve popsicles or ice cream cups. Make sure to have plenty of water to keep everyone cool!
  1. Create an end of the year slide show to entertain the kids while the party is being set up.
  1. Keep plenty of bags handy to pack up party favors, prizes and snacks to send home.
  1. Ask volunteers to take pictures during the party and upload them to a shared album or photo site. 
  1. If you’re planning outdoor activities, have a rain plan just in case.

Party Themes and Ideas

  1. Olympics - Finish the year with a podium of champions. Set up an obstacle course with activities such as hula hoop spin, basketball toss and long jump. At the end of the competition, let all participants dig into a big bag of prizes.
  1. Sundae Party – I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Serve up traditional ice cream flavors (don’t forget lactose-free options) and ask parents or volunteers to supply the toppings. Game: Instead of duck, duck, duck - goose, play banana, banana, banana - split!
  1. Bubbles – Surprise the class with a big bubble theme. Fill a baby pool with soapy liquid and pass out homemade bubble wands. Give individual bubbles as party favors. Game: See who can create the largest bubble or make one last the longest!
  1. Jungle Party - Tame wild party animals with a jungle theme. Feed the hungry crocodile in a bag toss, hop from rock to rock over a raging river and play pin the tail on the monkey. Encourage students to bring their favorite stuffed animals to join in the fun. Serve rainforest mix and cool off with ice cream cups.
  1. Stay Cool - Celebrate a wonderful year with fun water activities! Plan fun activities like water balloon toss and cup to cup. Serve slushie drinks or ice cream in fancy cups and pass out beach balls for students to sign. Tip: Make sure to ask parents to send a change of clothes and a towel for kids on party day!
  1. Carnival - Step right up to the ultimate party extravaganza. Ask volunteers to help with carnival games and invite students to play ring toss, knock down the cans, cornhole and more. Serve treats like popcorn and snow cones. 
  1. Community Day - Have fun and show appreciation for your school community! Write and decorate thank you notes to teachers and staff or have students create a giant mural on butcher paper sharing their favorite memories of the year. Finish with a pizza party!
  1. Rainbow Run – Ask students to wear white t-shirts and surprise them with a festive color run around the school. Serve refreshing popsicles and a platter of colorful fruit arranged in a rainbow. Play twister and see who can keep their arms and legs on the colored circles.
  1. Hollywood – Invite students to dress as their favorite book, television or movie character and let them decorate their very own star on the Walk of Fame. Present awards to each child recognizing their accomplishments. Game: Play a few rounds of charades to see who’s who.
  1. Talent Show – Give your star entertainers a moment in the spotlight! Announce the party a few weeks in advance to give students time to prepare their acts. Don’t forget to ask teachers to join the show! Give special awards to recognize each student’s performance. 
  1. When I Grow Up – Fill the classroom with the future leaders of tomorrow. Ask students to dress as doctors, princesses, veterinarians, superheroes or whatever they want to be when they grow up. Game: Let everyone show off their costumes then play “career” bingo.
  1. Luau - Break out grass skirts, tropical snacks and colorful drink umbrellas - it’s time to party Hawaiian style. Welcome each child with a lei and set up plastic palm trees and string lights to create the perfect vibe. Decorate shirts for a fab party favor and play the limbo.
  1. Unbirthday Party -Throw an unbirthday party for the class complete with cake, presents, balloons and party favors. Serve cookies and ice cream and take a whack at the pinata.
  1. Dive Into Summer – Bring a splash of summer to school with a pool themed party! Use pool noodles to create an obstacle course and set up inner tubes for students to roll in relay races. Inflate some rafts for seating and enjoy some cool treats!
  1. Picnic – Easy to put together and tons of fun, throw out blankets and spend the afternoon in the sunshine. Ask each child to bring a packed lunch or visit a local business to see if they will provide the goodies. Ask volunteers to supply drinks and dessert and your day is complete. Game: Host an impromptu softball or kickball game and bring yo-yos, a basketball and hula hoops for an afternoon of activities.

Move to the head of the class with these easy ideas even the coolest kids will love!

Courtney McLaughlin?is a freelance writer in Charlotte, N.C. She gratefully shares her life, home and heart with her daughter and their dog.?