Denise here from Sunny Days in Second Grade. It hardly seems possible, but this is my last guest post for the school year! Next month at this time I will be well rested, well-read and hopefully nice and tan as I write for you. That sounds pretty incredible, right?
Since we have to make it through the last few weeks before those heavenly lazy days of summer are upon us, I have a little idea I’d like to share with you. I’ve never really been one for the end of the year countdown idea. Mostly because I like to keep the kids unaware that we’re actually winding down because that seems to translate in them amping up, if you know what I mean! But this year I decided to give it a whirl and see how it goes. So far, I’m pretty pleased and the kids are having a ball!
When I started planning for this, I didn’t want to spend a fortune, so I came up with a mix of activities that were either inexpensive or free. Some items I’ve asked parents to help donate, some I just picked up myself or actually had leftover from other activities.
Here’s the list I decided upon and some tips in case you want to try them out!
1. Shaving cream desk writing. I have found that the yellow Barbasol works the best and three cans were MORE than enough for my class of 18.
2. Gum balls. Could not be simpler! I recently did a class activity that included gum balls and I could not believe how excited the kids were to actually chew gum in school! It was hysterical. They were almost scared to do it! I had some left-over, so day 2 we busted out the gum balls again and they were just as excited. This time we had a little bubble blowing contest which they loved. You can get gumballs at Dollar Tree. Super easy and cheap.
3. Playdough. In second grade, I don’t use playdough so much during my everyday routine. But seriously, what kid doesn’t dig this stuff? I asked for parent donations and thankfully, we have enough for each kid to have their own can AND lots of fun tools to explore with. After some free time playing, I’m going to stop and ask them to sculpt certain objects, like an animal, the sun, a certain letter, etc – just to keep them engaged a bit.
4. Bubbles. What says summer better than blowing bubbles outside? Bubbles can be picked up pretty inexpensively this time of year. This will be a fun little diversion this week!
5. Ice cream sandwiches. I’ve done popsicle treats before and the kids love them, but I thought it might be fun two switch it up. I’m planning on taking them outside for snack (which we do every day because of a g-r-o-s-s bug problem in our room) and then surprising them with the ice cream sammies. Should be fun!
6. Dance Party! We recently had a big event at our school with a D.J. When he played the Cha-Cha Slide, almost every kid in my class ran to participate! Seeing that, I knew I had to figure out a way to bring that into the classroom. Try YMCA, Macarena, Chicken Dance, Electric Slide. Don’t worry if you don’t know the dances – the kids do!
Be the memorable teacher.
A whole binder of ideas and checklists for hosting the perfect classroom celebration.
7. Show & Share. This is my second grade version of show & tell. I don’t really allow kids to bring in things to share with the class on a regular basis. I know that sounds mean. I actually used to, but then it seemed like every day I had kids wanting to show things that really weren’t all that significant and it became a big time killer. I know that the “fossil” they dug up in the back yard is awesome to them, but to the rest of the class (and me) it was just a dirty rock that was taking up valuable class time. So, having a designated day to bring in one cool thing to share is going to be a big hit with my group.
8. Gimp Keychains. You remember making those with these plastic strings, right? Here’s a link that gives simple directions, but google “gimp keychains” and you’ll find links and videos galore. I know I was hooked on these as a kid and I can’t wait to get my kids started!
9. Beach Ball Autographs. I’m going to write a little message on each child’s ball, but let them blow them up themselves. I think they’ll be surprised to see the message, and then be thrilled that they can have the rest of the class write on it as well. Sharpies are best for this! When the balls are all signed, we’ll head outside with them for a few minutes.
10. Silly String Fight. Ok, I’ll admit I’m a little nervous about this one! I asked for donations for this one and a parent generously donated a can per child. She left the receipt in the bag and I was shocked to see that it was almost $60, eek! If you do this one, maybe a few parents can pitch in together. My grand plan is to take them outside and let them have at it! I know they’ll have fun and I’m hoping it will be a very memorable moment of their last day of second grade!
Have fun, my friends and I’ll see you all (poolside, hopefully) next month!