A few days prior to the party the children paint shirts with their friend's names on them. Last year’s shirt was a friendship garden. I purchase the t-shirts for a dollar each at my favorite store--- the Dollar Tree!
To start our end of the year party we always play games outdoors. Last year, the children got to plant artificial flowers in the sand box, and spray artificial flowers along the fence.
After the outdoor portion of the party, we go inside where the children serve their parents and staff with special snacks they made earlier in the day. Last year’s snack was pudding dirt cups complete with gummy worms and pipe cleaner flowers.
Following snack the children and families sit around the large group area to watch a slideshow of the year’s events. When the slideshow is over the parents and staff are wiping their tear-filled eyes as the children present the staff and their parents with gifts of appreciation. The parents received planted marigolds in jars that had the children’s hand prints painted on the outside last year. I got the idea from this website. The staff received laminated flower gardens stamped with the children's fingerprints, similar to the one pictured below.
Finally to complete the party, I pass out the children’s scrapbooks. In previous years (b.c. - before my own children), I have made them from scratch. However the last few years, I have been making them digitally with the help of Walgreens Photo Center. I have a two page spread for each month making the book exactly 20 pages. A 20-page 8.5 x 11 scrapbook is $19.99. After you purchase one book that size, you have the option of purchasing paperback 5X7 books for 6.99. I purchase one for each student in my class and then keep the larger 8.5 X11 book for a classroom keepsake. I always have the book made a few weeks before the end of the year party so I can watch for Walgreens photo deals. I can usually work it out to get 40 or 50% off my order making each book only $3.50!! Here is the link. They are a little pricey by the time I get one for every student but to me the memories are worth it!!