1-2-3 Come Do Some End Of The Year Activities With Me
I was always looking for some quick, easy and educational activities that would be fun for my kiddos to do during those last few weeks of school.
Things they could work on independently that didn't take a lot of prep or explanation on my part, which would free me up to finish assessing or complete the myriad of other "have to get done" things.
Today's article features 2 of my favorites. First up is my "Autograph Packet". There are 3 autograph booklets to choose from.
* The pencil, is for older students,
* The schoolhouse works for just about anyone, as well as the "play-on-words" auto-themed auto-graph booklet.
However, I did have an early-elementary crowd in mind when I made the automobile one, as I included a full-page option because little ones tend to write so big. The others are 2-on-a-page for speedy printing.
The packet includes black & white autograph pages, featuring adorable graphics for your kiddos to color, should you choose the auto or schoolhouse options. (More "happily engaged" time.)
Unlike an entire memory book that would be a bit difficult for little ones to do on their own, they feel extremely proud that they can write their name and really enjoy collecting their classmates' signatures as well.
Because the pencil is for older students, simply cut some blank pages (perhaps fun neon-colored copy paper) and staple together.
Another super-fun activity is making some thank you cards to show your appreciation for staff and others that have helped you through the year.
This is an educationally relevant activity, plus a great way to teach this valuable life skill. Letting people know you care, especially fits in with those schools who have taken part in a bucket-filling program.
I find that children are anxious to make something for these individuals, as they have really come to care for them. With that in mind, I designed the "Thank You! End-Of-The-Year Appreciation Packet", which includes a nice variety of "craftivities" for you to choose from.
The "Thanks a Bunch Bouquet" is a quick, easy and lovely thank you card for a room helper, librarian, secretary, student teacher, or whomever else you’d like to show your appreciation for. A parent could also make this for the teacher.
Simply print off the vase of flowers, along with a color or black and white copy of your class’s group picture. Cut the children’s head shots into circles. You or they can glue to the center of the flowers.
I made enough centers for 30 students and one teacher. I’d put your photo in the flower that’s fallen, as it stands out. For a less feminine option, I’ve also included a "Thanks a bunch!" pattern, with a set of balloons.
I’ve also written a little thank you poem that generically fits just about anyone. You can glue this inside the card as well, then sign Love, Mr(s) ______________’s 2016 kindergarten class etc. (You fill in your name, the year and grade.)
If you want this activity to include some writing practice, students can also complete the “Thank you for . . .” writing prompt worksheets or bookmarks that can be glued inside, or on the back of the card as well. Each child simply writes one sentence.
This can be done at an independent center, or you can fill in the page as a whole group. For preschool children, have each child dictate what they’d like to thank that person for and you write it down.
Another option is the Thank you acrostic poem. Older students can each do one.
To make things easier, I allow students to write a "sentence" or phrase, if they can’t think of an adjective that starts with that letter; such as "A" = “Always there for us.” or for the letter "Y", “You are great!”
Younger students can do this with you during a whole-group brainstorming session. Choose children to color in the letters. This too, is another little something that can be glued inside the card along with the heart that says: "Thank you! Thank you! You're so nice. Simply had to say it twice."
For another option, I’ve also included large 8x10 letter cards that spell out “Thank you!” . Break up your children into small groups and have them color their group's letter. For a truly awesome-looking stained-glass appearance, remind them to color each section a different color.
Glue each letter to a variety of colors of construction paper. Arrange your students in a group. The front nine children each hold a letter and the exclamation point card, so that they spell “Thank you!” Take a picture. Use this photo to glue to the inside, or for the cover, of your thank you card(s).
If you have the time, why not thank the bus drivers?
Simply run off the bus pattern on yellow construction paper. Children trim and “hinge” the "grill" to the matching section of the larger bus, so that it flips open to reveal a handwritten message from the child.
For that finishing touch, add a photo of themselves in the bus seat. I cannot begin to tell you how many of my students' bus drivers LOVED this card.
Theirs is often a thankless job (I certainly couldn't do it!) and they were truly touched. Some taped them inside the bus!
These simple acts of kindness, go a long way in touching an individual’s heart and making them feel truly appreciated. I hope you make the time to "pay it forward" today. You just never know how far that "ripple" of joy grows.
Today's featured FREEBIE is an end of the year alphabet poem. Simply run it off and tuck in your kiddos' backpacks on that last day of school. I've included full color, as well as black & white templates for PK-4 through 1st grade.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I love my early morning time before things get hot and sticky. Once again Michigan has skipped spring and zipped into summer weather.
Wishing you a day filled with everyone and everything you enjoy the most.
"Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all." -Aristotle
A little bit different twist to the "Bucket List" activity in the first article, is to use a beach ball instead of a sand pail. Run off my master and have students fill in the writing prompt: "I'm going to have a ball this summer doing..."
Children have the option of writing their list on the balls and then coloring them, or cutting out brightly colored pieces of construction paper and gluing them to the beach ball like a puzzle and then writing on them.
The easiest way for them to do this, is to give them two copies of the white beach ball and three 5x7 sheets of 3 different colors of construction paper of their choice.
One of the white beach balls will be their template, the other one they will lay on top of a piece of construction paper and cut out the desired colored piece and then glue it to the white template.
After they have glued all of their pieces down, they write their prompt: "I'm going to have a ball..." and then cut out their beach ball. Students write their name in a pretty colored marker around the small circle on the ball.
Put royal blue paper on your bulletin board, gently scrunch up some light blue tissue paper and arrange it in long rows to look like waves and then staple it across the board.
Tuck the beach balls in and on top of the waves. Purchase 3 beach balls at The Dollar store, blow them up and suspend them with fish line from the ceiling.
Write: Having A / Ball This / Summer! on 3 different index cards. Use a thick black magic marker. Put scotch tape on the back of the index cards and stick them to the beach balls.
If the balls spin around so that you can't read them, make another set of cards for the backs of the balls.
If you want to do the pail as well as the beach ball, then have the beach ball be about friends they are going to do things with.
To add to the fun, and to get some gross motor and verbal acuity activities in as well, toss around a real beach ball.
The student who catches it shares what they will do this summer. When they catch the ball have students write their name on it with permanent marker.
After everyone has had a turn, pull a student's name out of a basket of names. That student wins the beach ball!
Click on the link to view/download Summer Fun Writing Packet
Scroll down for yet another summer writing prompt: Having A Whale Of A Good Time...
End Of The School Year Ideas:
Lots of visitors have been downloading the 36-page Graduation Activities and Ideas packet, so I wanted to up-date last year's bookmark project found there, to 2012, as well as provide the rest of the numbers so if you like this, you can update it each year.
Click on the link to view/download the 2012 preschool or kindergarten graduation bookmark.
Click on the link to view/download the Graduation Activities and Ideas packet.
Presenting fun certificates to everyone at the end of the year is a nice self-esteem builder.
There are 12 different kinds included in this packet, but I wanted to make it a separate download, as I’ve had several requests for this type of thing for other grades.
They wouldn’t know they are here, because it’s a kindergarten graduation item.
For your convenience, here's the separate certificate file: Click on the link to view/download it. End of the Year Certificates.
I hope you find these things helpful as you prepare for this exciting time!
Scroll down for the big article for today: Word Art Fun!