Most last day of school ideas for parents involve celebrations for the end of a school year or the start of summer. Mark the end of your child's school year with fun activities and decorations that make the day feel special and celebratory.
Last Day of School Signs
Celebrate the end of a school year with fun signs and decorations at home or when you pick the kids up from their last day of school.
Parent Pickup Area Airport-Style Signs
Pick your kids up in style on the last day of school when you make them VIP pickup signs like you'd see at the airport. Let all the other pickup parents know your plan so they can make signs for their kids too.
- Use the small size pieces of poster board in bright colors for the signs.
- Write your child's name and a fun phrase like "Happy First Day of Summer!" or "Last Day of 4th Grade Ever!" on the poster board.
- Dress the part and wear a tuxedo to look like a limo driver.
- Hold your sign up as you wait for your child to exit the school.
Last Day of School Mini Run-Through Banners
Give your child the chance to feel the finish line of another school year with a mini run-through banner.
- Start with two pieces of standard copy paper and lay them next to each other so they are both horizontal.
- Use one small piece of invisible tape to hold the two pieces of paper together.
- Flip over the mini banner you've just created so the tape is on the back.
- Write a catchy phrase such as "2019-2020 School Year Finish Line" and your child's name on the front of your mini banner.
- When you pick your child up or they get off the bus, hold the mini banner off to one side of your body using one hand on either end of the sign.
- Your child can run through the mini banner and it should break down the center easily.
No School Zone Door Sign
Decorate the front door of your house to show that it's now a "No School Zone." Kids will love seeing the decoration when they get off the bus and relish in knowing they won't have to do any homework inside those walls for another few months.
- Cut a large piece of black bulletin board paper to the size of your front door.
- Zig-zag caution tape across the paper.
- Add yellow letters that spell out "No School Zone."
- Hang the entire decorated paper on the outside of your front door.
- If you've got a porch, hang some caution tape as streamers around the windows or open areas of the porch.
Last Day of School Autograph Items
One fun thing to do on the last day of school is give your child the chance to get autographs from their classmates and teachers. Kids of any age can request signatures during the school day, but you should consider asking the teacher in advance to ensure it's possible. Classmates come and go, but they don't have to be forgotten with these custom end of school year keepsakes.
Signed Reusable Bag
Kids can carry their classmates, school friends, and teachers with them forever by creating a signed reusable bag at the end of the school year. Get one large bag to use every year or grab a new small one to represent each year of school.
- Purchase a plain white or tan reusable bag such as a cinch bag or tote bag.
- Cut a small piece of cardboard to match the size of the bags interior and put it in the bag so signatures won't run through to the other side.
- Stick a permanent marker in the bag so kids will have something to sign with.
- Your child can ask for autographs on the bag throughout the day.
Autographed Custom Puzzle
Your child's teacher and classmates are like pieces of their unique educational puzzle. Make your own custom puzzle that features signatures from school. Kids can put together their personalized puzzle whenever they want to reminisce about that school year.
- Glue a piece of white card stock to a piece of cardboard that is the same size. If you don't want to make your own, you can purchase blank puzzles.
- Give your child the dry card stock/cardboard piece and washable markers or crayons to take to school.
- Kids can get autographs on the cardboard during the school day.
- Use a printable puzzle piece template to make the puzzle pieces.
- Store the pieces in a zip-top baggie with a note about what grade and class your child was in.
Classmate Signature Matching Card Game
Turn classmate autographs into a custom memory matching game with index cards and markers. Older kids in upper elementary or middle grades can cut the index cards in half since they are better able to control their spacing when writing.
- Write the name of each classmate on the lined side of an index card.
- Count out the same number of blank index cards as you used for the classmate names.
- Send the blank index cards to school with your child.
- Your child will need to have each classmate sign their name on the lined side of one index card.
- Mix both sets of index cards together, lined sides facing away from you, to make the memory game.
- To play, lay the index cards in a grid pattern with the lined side down.
- Take turns choosing cards as you try to match up the classmate's name (written by the parent) with the classmate's autograph (written by the child).
Last Day of School Meal Ideas
School breakfasts, lunches, and snacks can get really monotonous and predictable. Celebrate the last day of school with a dinner that's the complete opposite of school food.
Table-less, Manner-less Dinner
In school kids are only allowed to eat at cafeteria tables or sometimes their desks. They often have to follow precise rules and use their best table manners. Do away with these strict eating rules and create a table-less family dinner on the last day of school.
- Serve items that don't require dishes or utensils such as grilled mini pizzas or walking tacos.
- Eat in the backyard or a local park using staked drink holders for beverages and baskets hanging from trees to hold food items.
- Put everyone in their okay-to-get-dirty clothes and forgo napkins, everyone can use their sleeves!
Dessert Only Dinner
School lunches and other meals often must incorporate dairy, protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Go against the grain for healthy meals and eat only dessert items for dinner. The sugar overload might be too much for younger kids to handle, so vary your options to create a balance.
- Include savory dessert items like bacon cupcakes or sweet potato muffins so it's not all about the sugar.
- Serve about three to four dessert options in small bites so no one goes overboard.
- Wash down desserts with water or milk in fun glasses such as champagne flutes.
A typical meal at school includes a main dish, two sides, and dessert only if you're lucky. Treat your kids to a fancy, multi-course meal that's full of options and includes foods they'll never see served at school.
- Make a reservation at a high-end restaurant that serves multi-course meals.
- Make your own multi-course meal by participating in a progressive dinner party with other families where each serves one course at their house.
- Create a four course meal at home that includes appetizers, a soup or salad course, a main dish, and a dessert course.
Last Day of School Photo Shoot Ideas
Commemorate the last day of school with a photo shoot that depicts your child's attitude toward the last day of school. Some kids will miss their teachers and friends while others will be glad to get away. Choose props and locations that match your child's views on the end of a school year.
- School lunch smash shoot - Pack an extra school lunch for your child and take photos as they smash and throw it around similar to a first birthday smash cake shoot.
- Homework shredding shoot - Snap pics as your kid tears up all the papers they'll no longer need from school and throws them into the air.
- Candid hallway memories shoot - Head into school at the end of the day and take pictures of your child posing near classrooms and teachers.
- School signs shoot - Look for school signs or posters that feature words your child would use to describe the last day of school and get shots of your kid pointing to the sign or word.
Last Day of School Party Ideas
The biggest way you can celebrate the last day of school is a party with friends. Get together with your closest friends and their kids or put together a celebration with all the families from your child's class. Whatever type of party you throw, make sure it celebrates the start of summer!
School Parking Lot Tailgate
Say goodbye to the school in style with a community tailgate party in the school parking lot. Make sure you get permission from the school before planning.
- Ask each participating family to set up a game or snack station out of their trunk.
- Each carload should bring their own drinks, main dish, and a side or dessert to share.
- Everyone can decorate their trunks with school colors or classic school themes like rulers or alphabet blocks.
Unschool Block Party
Unschooling is a trendy phrase that describes a school without a fixed curriculum. Create a block party with no set schedule or rules.
- Get permission to shut down a dead-end street or a small section of your street for the party. If you can't, just use a local park or someone's yard.
- Ask everyone to bring a dish to share that can be left out on the food table for the entire party.
- Leave lawn games and summer fun supplies in one area and let kids decide which they want to set up or use.
Hello Summer Party
Celebrate the start of summer with a party that could only be hosted in summer.
- Give out sunglasses to all guests as favors.
- Have kids autograph beach balls for each other.
- Serve up summer staples such as watermelon, hot dogs, and lemonade.
Celebrate an End and a Beginning
The last day of school can be both sad and exciting. Celebrate the end of your school year in a way that's fitting of your child's feelings about it.