The end of the school year is usually full of activity. For teachers it’s getting that COS done, talking transition with kindergarten teachers or family resources coordinators for those three-year-olds coming in, writing new IEPs. All of those things still need to be done. But what happens when those kiddos we’ve been seeing virtually for the last three months. Usually there are hugs, end of the year parties, picnics…fun activities to mark the end of the year.
This year is different and, unless our communities have opened up, we are looking at celebrating virtually. What to do? What to do? Here are some possibilities:
Goodbye and Change Read Alouds:
- Oh No! Time to Go by Rebecca Doughty
- I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr
- Wherever You Go by Pat Zietlow Miller and Eliza Miller
- Little Tree by Loren Long
- Starfish Where Are You? by Barroux
- Tree by Bretta Teckentrup
- Growing Season by Maryanne Cocca Leffler
- Carmella Full Of Wishes by Matt De La Pena
Sharing the Year
Take a poll of the children (and their families) about what was their favorite fingerplay, song, or activity for the year. Expect that the responses will be of the most recent things you’ve done (but not always!) Pack your last few sessions with these. Children can make a picture of their favorite and can share it when the song, etc., is introduced.
Have a Virtual Picnic
If your school district is providing lunches for kids have parents pick up their lunches (or pick them up and deliver to porches.) Plan your Zoom group session at a time when families will be eating. Share what is their favorite thing in their lunch that day (chocolate milk for me.)
Do picnic things like virtual races (play music and kids run in place until the music stops.
What are children and families looking forward to for summer (besides getting out of the house.) Have children (and families, too) make a picture of what they’re looking forward to.
What do they think school will be like next year? Who will their teacher be? Make a picture of what they think school or their teacher will be like.
Learn a Goodbye Song
Goodbye, Goodbye See You Soon (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)
Goodbye Goodbye see you soon (wave hands)
But not until we sing this tune (point to mouth)
We must part and we must go (turn one hand over on “part”; then the other on “go)
We’ll be back next year to say Hello (big, exaggerated wave)
This article was contributed by Mary Perkins for the Early Childhood Express newsletter.