The end of the year is upon us! While some schools are going full-time in person, some aren’t quite there yet. Every teacher out there is trying to come up with the best way to make their end of the year celebration magical. However, if you are teaching in a virtual environment, you may be struggling to come up with ideas to help your students feel special. With a teacher toolbox full of in-person celebration ideas you’ve been using for years, you may be drawing a blank about how to bring that same energy and enthusiasm to a virtual celebration. With a little creativity and an open mind, you can make your end of the celebration a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved.
10 Virtual End Of The Year Celebration Ideas
There are a so many ways to make virtual celebrations super fun and even interactive for students and their families. From a dance party theme complete with glow sticks to a virtual day at the beach, you are sure to find an idea that fits your style and celebrates your students in a unique and exciting way.
Some things to consider before planning your virtual end of the year celebration:
- How much money do you want to spend either yourself or from your school or PTO?
- Are you able to leave certificates and goodies at the school for parents to pick up, will you be able to drive by and leave goodies on doorsteps, or will certificates be emailed as a digital attachment?
- How much time do you want to put into prepping for your virtual end of the year celebration?
- What resources will your students have access to at their home?
With all of this in mind, it’s time to get your virtual class celebrations kicked into high gear. With 10 virtual end of the year celebration ideas, you are sure to find the perfect fit for your class. Let’s plan some exciting and engaging activities you and your students are sure to love.
1. Class Talent Show
With all of the popular YouTube celebrities out there nowadays, it’s not surprising that kids know just how to ham it up in front of a camera. Put that love of performing to good use with a class talent show.
This will take a tiny bit of prep a few weeks in advance. Start out by showing some clips from America’s Got Talent that are kid-appropriate. If you are feeling brave, show off one of your own talents. Kids love it when an adult sheds their seriousness for a little silliness now and then.
Ask students to write down a few things they feel they are really good at. However, it would be helpful to give students a few questions or sentence stems such as:
- What is something you are good at doing outside?
- What is something you love doing with music?
- Do you have a skill you would like to teach someone else?
These sentence stems can help students come up with a list of ideas for the talent show.
Record in Advance
Be sure to keep reminding students weeks in advance to have their performances ready. It may be helpful to ask students to pre-record their performance. This will make it easier for you to put it all together to show off during your talent show celebration. If you have a student or two who feel uncomfortable performing in front of the class, offer an alternative like sharing a drawing, or reading a favorite story. This will help even your shyest of students feel comfortable participating.
Integrate end of the year awards into your celebration day. Share the students talent show video and then present any awards for that student. Write down a little something about each student that you will always remember about them and share it during the celebration. Your students will enjoy this memorable experience and love seeing all of the amazing talents of their classmates.
2. Dress-Up Day
This is such a wonderful way to get silly with your students on your celebration day. A few weeks before celebration day, share the special day with your students. You can choose the dress-up theme or you can allow the class to brainstorm and vote.
These can include:
- Pajama Party where everyone gets to dress up in their most comfy pajamas, rock some messy hair, snuggle up with stuffies, and lounge around. Fun and relaxing activities like watching a movie, listening to an audio book or pajama party games would all be fun.
- A Day At The Beach complete with sunglasses and beach towels! Students can dress in their school appropriate swimwear, put a beach towel on the floor, pick out some cool shades, and chill out for the day. Consider a beach themed movie or book to add to the fun!
- Somewhere Over The Rainbow will have your students dressing up in their most colorful outfit. Decorate your space with as many colors as you can. Make all your activities related to Roy G. Biv!
- Future Me dress-up day will have your students thinking about their future life goals. Let each student dress-up in a way that represents their future and then share with the class.
Once your class has decided on a theme for dress-up celebration day, think about ways you can incorporate that theme into your activities for the day.
Handing out awards can be done virtually through a slide show, or ask parents to download and print out certificates if they are able. If you and your school are comfortable with giving small gifts to students, you could drop off the certificates before celebration day. You could even share a themed snack, activity or prop to go with dress-up day!
Your students will love having a voice and choice for their end of the year celebration. You will love how easy and fun the celebration turns out to be.
3. Dance Party
Everyone loves a dance party, especially kids! This is such a fun opportunity to bring in some funky music, decorations, and even a few glow sticks. When the teacher really gets into the spirit of the celebration, it makes it even more exciting for the students.
To prep for celebration day, head down to your local discount store. Grab some glow sticks, glow bracelets, and glow necklaces to put in a goodie bag for your students. Be sure to check with your school to see if they would rather you drop off the goodie bag on doorsteps, or plan a time for parents to do a drive-by pick up before the day of the celebration.
Your students are sweet and their awards can be too. With Candy Bar Awards like the Almond Joy award for bringing joy and happiness to the classroom, or the Nutrageous award for adding some wild and nutty moments to the year, your students will be thrilled to receive a little sweet treat with their certificate.
Music Themed Activities
Rock the day with some awesome music scattered between activities. You can even have a dance-off to give students the opportunity to show off their mad dancing skills. You could even invite a guest judge to join your online meeting to be the dance party judge.
Name that tune is also a kid favorite. Grab a variety of popular music, songs that may have been used in the classroom, or music from popular movies. Play a few seconds from the beginning of each song. Ask students to hit the raise hand button to “ring in” or simply have them number a paper from 1-10 to write down their answers.
Finish off the dance party by watching a music-themed movie like Sing, Trolls World Tour, or Happy Feet. Your kids will have an amazing time rocking out with their friends and teachers on dance party celebration day!
4. Movie Party
Make your end of the year celebration the box office event of the season with a class movie party.
Choose a movie for the day or provide students with 3-4 options and let them vote. Make sure the movie is one you can stream digitally. Also make sure to check with your school librarian or administration to make sure you have permission to view the movie.
Once the special movie has been chosen, it’s time to go all out with the theme. Consider dressing up as a character from the movie. Kids love it when their teachers ham it up.
Depending on the guidelines from your school district, you could either drop off some bags of popcorn with candy, or send a fun and easy recipe for parents and their students to create their own movie day snacks.
Movie Themed Activities
For your movie day celebration, weave in the theme of the movie with as many activities as possible.
- A charades game where students act out the title of their favorite movie
- A guided drawing activity to learn how to draw a character from the movie
- Movie soundtrack sing-along
- Movie trivia using Kahoot!
For your end of the year awards, you might consider creating a Hollywood Star-themed slideshow. Superlative awards, like Most Courageous and Star Reader, will have students feeling like they are at the Oscars. After “presenting” the award to the student, ask the other students in the class to unmute their microphones and clap. It’s such a great way to make each student feel like a celebrity in a virtual environment.
5. Virtual Field Day or Class Olympics
Let’s get those kiddos moving with a virtual field day or class Olympics. This could take a little more planning before celebration day, but it will be worth it. With a little creativity and outside-the-box thinking, your students will be excited to participate in some friendly competition.
Before celebration day, take some time to show some videos of some famous athletes competing in the Olympics. Check out this YouTube video celebrating some of the most memorable moments in Olympic history from the past decade.
While swimming, diving, and shot put may not be possible, there are so many fun and creative ways to participate in some friendly competition. Here’s some fun online friendly games your students will love:
- Rock, Paper, Scissors
- Simon Says
- Minute to Win It Games
Create end of the year awards that look like gold medals. Instead of traditional certificates, print the individualized student awards on yellow card stock and attaching a ribbon to look like a medal. Every one of your students will feel like a winner with the field day or Olympic-themed celebration day.
6. Mystery Party
Put all those inferencing skills to the test with a Mystery Party. Your upper elementary students, will love the book The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. It’s the perfect opportunity for your students to play the part of a private eye. Think of it like the Clue game but with a great book.
Start the virtual meeting with some suspenseful music followed by a slideshow with a letter written by Mr. Westing asking for the class to help him.
Then get your students excited about solving the mystery by spending the day reading chapters of the book. You can do the book as a read aloud or use a dramatized audio book.
Take a break after a few chapter to play some games related to the story. For example, students can take turns finding an object in their learning space. While keeping it hidden, they describe it to their classmates. Will the other students be able to guess what the mystery object is?
A guided drawing activity relating to a character or setting in the book is always an activity students look forward to. After finishing the book, have students create an alternate ending to the story. Play a Mad Libs style game by choosing a page or two from the story. Take out some words and ask students to provide new words Mad-Lib style.
For your virtual awards ceremony, create a slideshow in the style of your book. Think about the characters from the story and how your students exhibit some of the same characteristics. Each slide could be individualized with the student’s name and a picture. With a little bit of creative thinking, your scholastic scholars will have a page-turning virtual end of the year awards celebration they will remember for years to come.
7. Virtual Zoo Fieldtrip
A field trip to the zoo is always the highlight of the year for many students. If your school has gone virtual, this is may seem like an impossibility. . .almost. While you may not be able to take your students to the zoo, you can bring the zoo to them. On the day of your virtual end of the year celebration, ask students to bring their favorite animal to class. The stuffed version, of course!
Be ready to start your virtual class meeting in the morning with some jungle-themed music. Use some animal print decorations in your background, or go all out and get dressed up as a zookeeper.
Animal Themed Activities
Throughout the day, plan activities that are animal-themed for your students to enjoy. How about an animal charades game or name that animal sound listening activity?
When it’s time for students to show off their animals, ask them to say a little something about the animal. This would be a great culminating celebration day to a spring animal research project too!
Virtual Field Trip Options
Consider reaching out to your local zoo or wild animal park to see if they would join in the online meeting with some of their furry friends. No zoos nearby, check out these zoo virtual field trips. Prices will vary, but they are sure to add a special adventure to your celebration day. There are also tons of online free live animal cameras where you can watch. Some of my favorite are on Explore.com and include bald eagles, panda bears, ocean animals and so much more! No matter your budget you can find a fun way to bring some wildlife into your virtual zoo field trip!
Think about using awards that align with your zoo theme. We can all think of that one student who would deserve the “Laughing Hyena Award” for being able to bring a smile to everyone’s faces during the year.
Check out the San Diego Zoo Kids page for lots of fun and exciting virtual activities for your class. A Zoo themed virtual end of the year celebration will be a wild way to end the year with your fabulous students.
8. Beach Party
Everyone is looking forward to summer, the beach, long days in the sun, and picnics. A beach-themed virtual end of the year celebration is a great opportunity to embrace the transition from school to summer vacation. Have your students grab their beach towels and sunglasses for a day full of beach-themed activities.
Some fun in the sun activities could include:
- Ocean Animal Charades
- Best crab walk competition
- Sea creature directed drawing
- Sidewalk chalk sand castle drawings
- Ice cube melting challenge
Consider adding in this Beach themed Escape Room Activity as a fun way to review math skills from the year. Giving students certificates that say “Star Fish” or “Bubbly Beluga” is an adorable way to highlight the accomplishments of your special kiddos.
9. Surprise Box
If you are looking for a super budget-friendly virtual end of the year celebration, this is it! With a few props from home, you can turn your virtual end of the year celebration into a fun and entertaining day for you and your students.
Start off your virtual meeting with a or box that you have drawn a big question mark on. Don’t be quick to explain it though. Let your students use the chat to try and guess what could possibly be inside. Play the hot and cold game to let students know if their guesses are close (hot) or completely off (cold). Really make it dramatic when you open the box and start pulling out the objects.
Use the props as a clue for the activities your class will be doing throughout the day. Your students will be so excited to try to guess what the next activity will be.
Surprise Box Activity Ideas
Some ideas for your mystery box with activity ideas could include:
- Pull out a marker or pencil for directed drawing
- Use a music note for a name that tune game
- A pair of shoes for some physical activity outside
- Some glasses for read aloud time
Finally, plan some time at the end of the day for your students to settle around their computers. Have everyone get out their favorite snack, and watch a slideshow with a Dollar Store Awards for each student. Pair the slideshow with some upbeat music for a sweet experience your students will love and your wallet will thank you for. With clever awards like Fabulous Fixer, Radical Reader, and Super Scientist, these awards will be a hit for each of your amazing students.
10. Design A Waterpark
Nothing screams summer quite like a waterpark. It’s a favorite summer activity for kids of every age. With a cleverly thought-out Design A Waterpark PBL activity, students will be able to design their very own waterpark to share with the class on celebration day.
This easy, no-prep, digital activity, is the perfect project to work on with students who are having to learn virtually at the end of the school year. Plan the project to be a week-long activity for students to build up excitement for sharing out their amazing waterpark designs on celebration day.
When it’s time to celebrate, just throw on some shades, grab some blow-up beach balls and a towel and get ready to go on some virtual tours of student-created waterparks. Let students explain the fun and
Make the day extra special with printable or digital invitations for students and families to attend a class “graduation” ceremony. Parents and students will feel so special receiving an invitation to participate in your virtual end of the year celebration. End the day with your graduation or continuation ceremony. Print or email digital certificates for each student to commemorate the amazing year they had.
Virtual End Of The Year Celebration Tips
Invite parents and maybe even grandparents to attend the awards part of your virtual end of the year celebration. For grandparents that don’t live nearby, it will be an opportunity they don’t usually get.
A little advance planning will go a long way. By planning out your special day in advance you will be able to send home treats, props, activities and even awards. Arrange for parents to pick them up from school, drop them off yourself, or even stick them in the mail.
Whatever you decide to do, just make it all about celebrating the students and their hard work. While many traditional end of the year activities may not be happening, there’s always a way show your students you are proud of them.
Looking For Even More End Of The Year Fun?
Be sure to check out these awesome activities sure to help you end your year with fun and excitement. Some of these activities may inspire you to create your own special end of the year celebration!
- Memory Book for the End of the Year
- End Of The Year Activities And Ideas
- Math Escape Room for the End of the Year
- Visit a National Park Project Based Learning Activity
- Plan a Road Trip Project Based Learning Activity
Save these Virtual End Of The Year Celebration Ideas
Whether you are looking for ideas now or just stumbled across this article, save these fun virtual end of the year celebration ideas. Just pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can come back quickly.
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