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Fun Ways to Make Saying Goodbye Easier for Students

The end of the day and the end of the semester aren’t always easy on young students—they may miss their friends and teachers, and the fun and structure of school. Make saying goodbye a happy occasion, so they carry that positivity with them long after they leave. Here are some tips to make saying goodbye easier for students.

Leave Connected – Have students suggest unique and fun ways to say goodbye (i.e. high five, hug, hand shake, smile, hip bump, wave, thumbs up, short dance move), and list their responses. Stand at the door as they leave, and as students say goodbye to you and each other, give them the option to use one of the fun ways from the list.

Regroup Routine – Create a 15-minute routine for the end of each day. Help students leave with a good feeling about themselves and what they have accomplished by doing the following:

  • Clean up together
  • Sit in a circle
  • Let students know that talking about learning at the end of the day helps them remember what they’ve learned.
  • Ask students a question and let each one give a brief response or a pass. Open-ended questions are best: What is one thing you loved doing this semester (or day)? What is one thing you learned this semester (or day)? What is something that we did in class that you’d like to have more time doing?

Stay Upbeat – Establish a goodbye ritual for the whole group to do together, such as singing a song, listening to special music, or doing a chant or fun poem. Suggested songs are “Happy Trails to You” or “So Long, It’s Been So Good to Know You.”

See You Later, Alligator – Recite this poem together throughout the semester and one final time on their last day in the classroom:

See you later, alligator

In a while, crocodile

Out of the door, dinosaur

Chop chop lollipop

See you soon, baboon

Take care, polar bear

Give a hug, ladybug

In an hour, sunflower

Maybe two, kangaroo

Better swish, jellyfish

Chow, chow, brown cow

Better shake, rattlesnake

Bye, bye, butterfly

Gotta go, buffalo

Let’s jam, Sam

Blow a kiss, goldfish

Be sweet, parakeet

How do make saying goodbye fun for your students? We’d love to hear!