Low-cost end of the school year class party ideas for teachers, including a student award ceremony with student award certificates and donut banquet. Fun and inexpensive celebration.
Planning a fun end-of-the-year party for students doesn’t have to be a pain. And it doesn’t have to be expensive.
I’m kinda known for being a tight-wad, but my students don’t have any idea. They wanted something different, so they were thrilled to finally settle on a Donut Banquet.
We had a Donut Party!
(My students named it, “Do-nut Fear! Donuts are HERE!” That’s what they kept repeating and laughing hysterically. Whatever that means, right??)
I ordered donuts from two different bakeries and asked for an assortment. I told them, yes, I’m willing to pay extra for the “special” pastries and muffins.
HINT: Save your money!
Honestly, the fancy pastries weren’t the first to go – they looked pretty but didn’t appeal to my students who simply wanted donuts with LOTS OF SPRINKLES!
We topped off the banquet with orange juice, apple juice, and 99¢ a gallon tropical punch.
Next, while eating the yummy donuts, we watched a slide show of class photos. I take lots of student pictures during the year and use them as a slide show on my computer’s screen saver. Students absolutely LOVE watching it.
I had updated it the week before, so there were tons of pictures that students hadn’t yet seen.
We reminisced about two students who moved away, and remembered when a new student moved in and joined us.
Of course their favorite pictures were the goofy shots, but they really enjoyed remembering and reliving holidays, field trips, projects, fun stuff, and the simple photos of themselves hard at work. The surprise recess action shots were a HUGE sensation.
We then discussed, debated, and voted on some favorite class moments. Some of the special moments included:
- Favorite Lesson
- Funniest Moment
- Lesson They’d Most Like to Skip (Boy, was that a hot topic!)
- Favorite Book
- Biggest Laugh
- Favorite Project
And then I let students each tell a favorite moment they’ll always remember.
Students decorated their own student award certificates and had fun taping them to their lockers and their shirts. They wore the badges for the rest of the day.
Overall, the Donut Banquet was a hit!
How to Plan for your own Donut Banquet
The big idea here is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Don’t feel like you have to have a Pinterest Perfect Party.
1. Order donuts ahead of time
Decide if you want an assortment (with students possible arguing over donuts types) or if you want all the same (no student arguing, but someone is sure to ask where the “good ones” are . . .)
2. Print and prepare the student award certificates
You can grab my freebie by opting in below!
You’ll receive two different student award certificates (Star Student or MVP-Most Valuable Person) and you can choose if you want to have students color in their own pictures or if you want a regular $100 bill. You’ll also receive two different badge designs (Star Student or MVP).
3. Decide what you plan to say about each student ahead of time
Don’t overthink this. Remember special moments – times of pride when they met a goal, instances of challenge, those moments when they wanted to give up or felt frustrated – but overcame it and succeeded. Think about the moments that required effort on their part. That’s what I focused on for the student awards because (in my opinion) those are the traits that need to be recognized and celebrated, not “cleanest desk” or “nicest hair.”
Jot those ideas down on paper so you aren’t caught unprepared at award time.
4. Prepare your slide show
Grab all of the class photos you took throughout the year and spend a few minutes dumping all those pictures into a “Class” file on your computer. You can then set the screensaver to “Slide Show” and have it pull the photos from that file. Believe me, your class will LOVE IT!
If you get stuck on how to do it, just search on Google. The directions are a bit different depending on the type of computer that you have and which version of the operating system (my school still uses Windows 10).
5. Jot down a list of Favorite Moments
You may want to have students vote on some favorite school and classroom memories. Make a short list and include ideas like the ones I listed above. My list was fairly short because I wanted enough time for each student to share their own stand-out memories.
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One Final Thought
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