As the end of the school year approaches, it’s important to find ways to keep your students engaged and excited about coming to class. One fun and easy way to do this is by creating an end-of-year countdown using a paper chain. (Paper chain for your students and chocolate for you.) Each link in the chain represents a day leading up to the end of the school year (and their new grade level) and has a fun activity for you and your students to do together.
These are LOW-PREP, EASY activities that don’t take a lot of time or money. It is the end of the school year, right? We need easy.
- FREE Counting Down the Year Paper Chain download
- colorful paper (optional, you can use white paper)
- Download the free paper chain countdown.
- Print out the poster that matches your grade level and the strips. Remember, this is a countdown to when your students officially move on to the next grade level. So, for example, if you teach 2nd grade, you would pick the “Countdown to 3rd Grade” sign because your students are moving towards being in third grade. (International teachers: there are posters included that say Grade 1, Grade 2, etc., and Year 1, Year 2, etc.)
- Decide which strips you want to use and how many days you want your countdown to be. The download also has editable strips so you can create your own activities. I love printing the strips on colorful paper to make it fun.
- Create your chain by linking the circles together. Staple the ends to secure. You can make your chain with the words facing in or facing out.
- Each day choose a different student to pick the last link. Complete the activity.
If you want more ideas to add to your links, here are 30 fun and easy ideas to countdown the last month of school with your students:
- Have a picnic lunch outside.
- Write letters to next year’s students.
- Create a class memory book.
- Play a game of “Would You Rather?”
- Have a pajama day.
- Make homemade ice cream.
- Have a dance party.
- Make a time capsule.
- Play “20 Questions.”
- Have a movie day.
- Play “Simon Says.”
- Have a talent show.
- Make friendship bracelets.
- Have a scavenger hunt.
- Do a science experiment.
- Have a silly hat day.
- Make a class mural.
- Play “Red Light, Green Light.”
- Have a read-aloud day.
- Play “Duck, Duck, Goose.”
- Have a board game day.
- Create a class newspaper.
- Play “I Spy.”
- Have a field day.
- Make paper airplanes and have a flying contest.
- Have a show and tell day.
- Do a nature scavenger hunt.
- Play “Hot Potato.”
- Have a puzzle day.
- Make a class photo album.
These are just a few ideas to get you started on your end-of-year countdown. Remember, the key is to have fun and enjoy your time with your students in these last few weeks of the school year. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.