Countdown to Summer!!

UPDATE:  The winner of Race into Summer is Elizabeth Hall!  Congratulations!  I didn't see your e-mail address in your comment, so send me one at and I'll send it your way!!  I LOVED reading all your favorite end of year activities!!

Do you ever have a great idea and just can't wait to do it with your kids??  Well I was thinking a few days ago about how I wanted to countdown the last few days of school with my kiddos.  I have done a balloon pop countdown in the past but this year I wanted to change it up.  I have become so intrigued by QR codes and I thought they would be perfect to countdown our final days of the school year! QR codes are super easy to scan using a smartphone, ipad or ipod. When they're scanned a secret message pops up! 

I put together a pack of 4 different countdown methods. I know I may be a little late to the countdown game since some of you are already close to the end and I am VERY jealous, but if it's too late for you, you can always bookmark this post for next year : )  Two of the countdown methods include QR codes and two just have riddles. Riddles are hidden in the QR codes which tell the students of a fun activity we will do for the last 30 minutes of each day.  I start my countdown with the last 10 days of school, but I included 20 different riddles/activities so you could pick and choose what you wanted to do with your kiddos.  I also included numbers if you wanted to number the activities, I didn't number them in the pack in case teachers didn't want to use a certain activity or go in the same order I wanted to go in.

Here's what my QR countdown codes look like in my classroom!

As you can see the countdown begins on May 28th!!  My kids are all talking about them and trying to guess what could possibly be hidden in the codes.  I think it's going to be a hit this year!!

If you're not as crazy about QR codes as I am I also included two countdown methods with just the riddles, no codes, which are just as fun! If want to grab these FUN countdown posters for your classroom, click on either of the images below!

Want to win it for FREE??  Leave a comment with your FAVORITE end of year activity below and I will pick a winner by Sunday!


  1. We take a "field trip" to the next grade (4th for us) and have a question and answer session! It seems to ease some nerves and works on their speaking and listening skills!

  2. My students write letters to the upcoming first graders. We address them and I mail them out closer to the start of the new school year.

  3. This year we are dong something new: an end of the year flip book by Flapjack... I am excited to see how it turns out!

    I would LOVE to win.... We have done a few QR activities and my kids are finding them EVERYWHERE!!! They love them!

  4. Our school puts on a fun carnival and dance. Lots of fun memories. I love the use of QR codes!

    Lindsey -

  5. I so an ABC countdown the last 26 days of school something fun everyday! I love the qr codes!

  6. My favorite thing to do is creating a list of adjectives to describe each student and create a fun frame,
    My Second Sense

  7. Fun idea, Deana!! I'm still using balloons for my countdown.

    Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes

  8. My kids just figured out how to do the QR codes at the end of the year because our iPads haven't been with us all year. Those are so fun! I haven't done a balloon countdown before but we typically like to do themed days at school (popcorn day, bubble day, game day...etc).
    Love it!
    Thanks :)
    Kickin’ it in Kindergarten

  9. This looks like so much fun! My favorite is our school Field Day- water ball tosses, sack races, inflatable obtacle course- tons of fun! Hopefully the weather will cooperate:) I have never used QR codes, but would love to try!

  10. We did a balloon countdown last year and one of the best things was the Bubble Day. The kids got bubbles, which we went outside to play with, we chewed bubblegum (a HUGE no-no at our school!) and the funniest part was sneaking out of school to walk to the vending machine at the end of the block to get bubbly drink. I told the students we had to be very quiet so no one knew what we were up to. (I did clear it with our principal, of course!) So who do we meet at the front door? Our headmaster! Hilarious to see second graders act nonchalant. Then we snuck back in with our drinks so the other classes wouldn't see them.

    This looks like so much fun...fingers crossed!

    tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

  11. Such a cool idea! I never thought of using QR codes for something like this. AWESOME!
    My favorite end of year activity is our "Who's that Baby?" guessing game. All the parents send in a baby pic of their child. I put them into a cutesy Smart notebook and we try to guess which first grader matches which baby picture. So much fun!
    Colleen :-)
    Fun and Fearless in First

  12. This is my first year doing a balloon countdown and the kiddos are so excited to pop their balloon each day. So far our favorite activity has been visiting 3rd grade classrooms. We toured their rooms and the 3rd graders gave us some advice to survive 3rd grade.

  13. We also meet with the current third graders and they share what kinds of things third graders do! The students always get very excited about this and come back to the room talking about what they are looking forward to in third grade. (Makes this teacher a little teary eyed knowing I only have a handful of days left with them!) We also have a field day the last week of school and create memory books! This year I was wanting to do a balloon countdown and knew my students would LOVE getting to do something each day but I am loving your QR code countdown even more! It's so much fun making memories during the final days of school!

    I've Got It Made in Second Grade

  14. I started the year with a time capsule activity. I'm looking forward to students seeing how they have changed and grown this year. LOVE the QR codes!


  15. These look great. I love the anticipation that you're building up by posting them on the board and leaving them to speculate what the message is going to be.


    P.S. I'm relatively new to blog land, but I've always been a follower of your blog, I adore it!

  16. I love the thematic days we have the last week of school..the kids always enjoy them..bubble and popcorn day are my absolute favorites!


  17. I'm excited to do so many things with my students towards the end of the year! We will be writing letters to my future students and having a minute to win it style end of the year party!

  18. So cute! My favorite end of the year activity is our pizza and movie day on the last day of school!

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

  19. My favourite end of year activity is the festival we did we all our students giving us a piece of dancing or play in front of parents and teachers!!

  20. I just came across your blog and I love it! The QR Codes for the end of the year are a great idea. We are obsessed with using QR codes and our kiddos love them! I'm going to have to try your unit for sure! Happy to be your newest follower!

    Table Talk with C & C