15 Fun Last Day of School Year Traditions to Do This Year

Are you looking for ways to celebrate summer break with your kids? Here are 15 Last Day of School Year Traditions you can do this year!

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School’s out for summer!! The last days of the school year are some of the most exciting times for kids! Do you remember that feeling of anticipation to summer break? Those final days of the school year are SO FUN for kids between the field days, parties and traditions. We are really bumming out this year that so many of our favorite end of year traditions have been cancelled.

There is not “quite” the same level of anticipation with the end of the school year as we normally experience. But, I am trying to make the best of our situation and still give the kids an end of the school year celebration they deserve! Let’s be honest, our kids (and teachers) have been amazing at adapting to online learning and stay at home orders.

I really want the kids to know that this end of the year IS a celebration and they have a lot to be proud about! While the kids can’t celebrate at school or with their friends, we came up with some fun, end of school year traditions to do at home!

The great thing about these last day of school year traditions is that you can do them next year even when we aren’t (hopefully) quarantined:)

15 Last Day of School Year Traditions

1. Have a Family Water Balloon Fight

This is a yearly last day of school tradition that we typically do with friends. However, since we are social distancing, we will have a family water balloon fight. These water balloons are an almost must! You can fill hundreds of water balloons in minutes.

Everyone picks a water balloon color and then we each fill up a bucket with balloons. I recommend filling the bucket with some water so the balloons do not easily pop when they are placed on top of each other. 

Once the water balloons are used up, the battle quickly turns to a water blaster fight. Then, usually the kids are just dumping buckets of water on each other. I hope we have good weather this year because this is our absolute favorite tradition on the last day of school.

2. Make Your Own Sundae Bar

Another festive last day of school year tradition is to have a special dessert.  We always have a make your own ice cream sundae bar. Stock up on all the toppings and offer a variety of ice cream flavors. Set up the ice cream bar before the water fight (except for the ice cream), so it is all ready to go.

Another fun option is to make your own snow cones! We have this snow cone machine and we make snow cones all summer long. You will want some flavored syrups and serving cups.

3. Take a Last Day of School Photo

Do not forget about a last day of school year photo of each of the kids.

End of School Year Traditions #summerbreak #school #kids

This will be a year to remember, so you can be creative in what you include in the picture. Maybe you include a sign that says “last day of online school” or something else to indicate this school year was a bit different.

4. Have a Virtual Celebration with Friends

If you can not be with your friends on the last day of school, set up a virtual celebration on Zoom or Facetime! Decide on a celebration time and gather up all of your friends for a end of school year farewell! Everyone can share their favorite memories from the school year.

The celebration could have  a theme like silly hat, crazy outfit or pajamas!

5. Set up a Field Day or Family Olympics at Home

Did your kids miss out on a field day this year? We were bummed that this school activity was cancelled. Bring the school field days home and create your own family Olympics.

At Home Field Day Activities

  • Corn hole
  • Water Balloon Toss
  • Tricycle Race
  • Potato Sack Races
  • Obstacle Course

6. Tie Dye T-Shirts

My daughter has been asking to Tie Dye some t-shirts. I’ve been waiting for the weather to be nice so we can do this project outdoors.

We always use this tie-dye kit. It comes with everything you need and it very easy to use. This would be a fun last day of school tradition that would be a visual reminder all summer long when you wear your tie dye shirt!

7. Set up a Backyard Campout

Another fun way to kick off summer break is to set up a backyard campout! We love having a backyard camp out every summer. This is a perfect step before having a family camp out in the woods. We love having the ability to run into the house but yet we still make it feel like a real campout.

last day of school year traditions #campout #endofschool #summerbreak

We roast marshmallows, watch a movie in the tent and stay up late telling stories. It is always one of our favorite memories of the summer.

When you roast marshmallows or make S’Mores, these roasting sticks are a must. They are color coded so everyone can pick one. The sticks expand to a long length so you do not have to worry about anyone roasting to close to the fire.

8. Go on a Picnic

Another way to celebrate the last day of school is to have a family picnic. Gather up some snacks or supplies for a dinner in the park. Bring a Frisbee or wiffle ball set for some family fun.

9. Set up the Sprinkler or Pool

If you have a hot day, you can celebrate summer break with some water fun. Keep it easy and carefree when you get out the sprinkler or pool!

10. Create a Summer Fun List

One thing we like to do to kick off summer vacation is to come up with our summer fun list. We usually write our list on our kitchen chalkboard so that we can keep track of what we have done and what need to still do.

End of School year celebrations #kids #lastdayofschool

If you do not have a chalkboard, create your list on a piece of paper or a poster and make sure to display it where the whole family can see.

11. Purge School Papers

When I asked my kids for suggestions on things to do on the last day of school, they suggested get rid of all of their school papers:) Usually the kids come home with stacks and stacks of papers to sort.

We like to purge the papers right away because if we don’t do it at the end of the year, we forget to do it all summer. You can read about how I organize school papers in this post.

12.  Let Older Kids Have a Virtual Sleepover with Friends

Since sleepovers are not happening these days, I suggested that my kids have a virtual sleepover. They can set up a zoom or Facetime call with their friends. The kids can decide on a movie to watch together, play some games and stay up later than usual!

13. Have a Family Award Ceremony

Did your kids miss out on a school awards ceremony or party? You could work together as a family to come up with some end of school year awards. These do not have to be serious awards. If your family has a good sense of humor, you could give prizes for child who was late to school the most, person most likely to forget their homework, best dressed child, etc. Just keep it light and fun and make sure everyone wins:)

14. Create a End of Year Time Capsule

One way to commemorate the end of the school year is to put together a time capsule. Write down some of your favorite memories of the school year plus add any special papers or notes. You might want to add a picture and writing sample from each of the kids.

Then, decide on when you want to open the time capsule and put it in a spot that you will not forget.

15. Write a Letter or Send a Gift to Your Teachers

One final last day of school year tradition is to send a note of thanks to your teacher. My mom was a school teacher and one gift she appreciated the most was a heartfelt note from the parents or the students. These special cards or letters are the most meaningful gifts you can give a teacher. You could also include a gift card or small gift as a token of appreciation.


My heart goes out to students this year who are hitting big milestones. I can not imagine being the parent of a high school senior right now. So many traditions they are missing out on. My fifth grader graduates from the intermediate school this year and heads to Middle School in the Fall. There are so many fun activities that 5th graders typically get to do. I hope we can make his last day of school memorable despite the circumstances.

Every year my kids bring in this book to have the teachers sign it. I am figuring out how we can get our teachers to sign their books this year.

last day of school year traditions



How will you celebrate the end of the school year this year? What are some of your last day of school year traditions?

My friends Keri and Amanda are also sharing their last day of school year traditions.

You can head over to Miss Sue Living to grab an End Of School Year Interview Printable.

Keri has more  last day of school year ideas too!



Looking for more end of school year posts?

How to Create a School Memory Book

6 Unforgettable Summer Traditions

How to Create a Simple Summer Schedule for Kids


How to Celebrate the End of the School Year during a pandemic #lastdayofschool #traditions #summerbreak #summervacation #graduationideas



  1. May 13, 2020 / 7:06 am

    This is such a strange year we’re having with school but I love that you’re doing whatever it takes to continue to make it special for your kiddos. As an elementary school teacher, I know how big of a deal 5th grade is and I’m so sorry your little guy misses out on the end of year festivities. I’m sure a nice sundae and virtual sleepover will help ease the pain. Hang in there!

  2. May 13, 2020 / 8:20 am

    I was thinking about how our last day of school photo would look. I like the family awards idea!

  3. May 13, 2020 / 8:34 am

    These are such cute ideas! My daughter will go to kindergarten in the fall, so I️ need to start thinking of some fun traditions to start for the end of the school year next year! <3

  4. May 13, 2020 / 9:51 am

    I do feel really bad for people who have big milestone graduations this year. I love all of these ideas for making the end of the year more fun though! A sundae bar is definitely right up my alley.


  5. May 13, 2020 / 1:47 pm

    This is just sooo cute! Great ideas! Love them ALL!
    -Holley @ beesimplyorganized.com

  6. May 13, 2020 / 2:19 pm

    Definitely making a summer fun list!! I’m using some of these ideas you have shared.

  7. May 14, 2020 / 7:00 am

    Oh my gosh Jaclyn- you made me cry. I LOVE your ideas and didn’t even think about doing our obligatory “Last Day of School Photos” – what a great idea! They have worked so hard AND have adjusted during this very difficult time- they should be celebrated. Definitely going to incorporate some of your ideas- thank you! XO

    • Jaclyn
      May 14, 2020 / 7:24 am

      Aww Holly thank you. It is a bittersweet ending to the school year.

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