By Friday, students (and teachers) are tired. Building in some fun Friday activities—whether it’s an hour at the end of the day or a whole day based around a theme—can be just the thing to help you wrap up the week, build community, and end the week on a high note.
These activities can be used in short periods of time (say, 20 to 40 minutes) as a reward, they could be the last hour or two of your day, or some could take an entire Friday. However you plan them, make sure your Fridays are fun!
1. Host a fun Friday STEM challenge
Egg-drop challenges, building a roller coaster out of straws, making planes or marble mazes—the possibilities are endless. Check out these fun Friday STEM activities to get started (there are more than enough for every Friday of the school year).
2. Set up a crafting hour
If you’re the kind of teacher who loves to use up old coffee filters, tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls, and more, or if you’re teaching a class of crafters, set aside Fun Fridays to experiment with craft projects and see what students can make with the leftovers. Start with these easy craft ideas.
3. Play games
Games are more than just fun. They build cooperation, problem-solving, strategy, and academic skills. Have kids bring out the classic board games (check out Best Board Games for Kids, According to Teachers), or make your own with a printable game board.
4. Dance party!
Dim the lights, put on YouTube dance-along videos, and let the kids burn off some steam. Check out the Best Dance Songs To Get Your Kids Moving to get your dance party started.
5. Take students to the movies
Sometimes a good movie is a great way to end the week. Involve students in planning a movie afternoon by having them work to create a menu and research the movie they’re watching. What do the reviews say? How many stars does it have? What scene or line is the movie famous for?
Here is a list of good family movies and activities to go with each.
6. Minute-to-Win-It challenge
If you only have a few minutes at the end of a Friday, Minute-to-Win-It activities are your go-to for a fun way to end the week.
Check out this video about Minute-to-Win-It, and get more ideas from these Minute-to-Win-It challenges.
If you have a class that loves to compete and knows tons of fun facts, trivia may be the perfect Fun Friday activity. Here is a big list of trivia questions for kids that you can use to lead a round of your own trivia challenge.
Puzzles are perfect for those days when everyone needs to chill out. Put on some quiet music and have students work together on a jigsaw puzzle. Here are our puzzle recommendations.
9. Cup stacking
Kids love cup stacking! (It’s even become an international competitive sport.) Cup stacking is fun and improves hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, and cooperation when kids play in teams. Check out Everything You Need To Know About Cup Stacking.
10. Invite a guest reader or presenter
Invite a guest reader to read a picture book to students—even older elementary students love a picture book. Have students prepare to engage the guest reader by writing questions ahead of time. Or if you teach older students, invite a guest in to share about their work or hobby. Need book ideas? Check out these famous children’s books everyone should read.
11. Hold book clubs
Another way to infuse literacy into a Fun Friday is with book clubs. Students work in groups to choose a book they all want to read. Then, they agree on a schedule to read the book so they’re all on the same page when they discuss it on Friday.
Check out this article about starting a family book club and book recommendations.
So much fun in five letters. You can do old-fashioned bingo or bingo using shapes, words, numbers, math problems, or any skill you want to reinforce. Whatever the version, students love bingo. Here’s a spelling word bingo variation to try.
Buy it: Bingo game at Amazon
13. Mindful coloring
If you’re looking for more fun Friday activities that are calming, try coloring. Put on relaxing music and pass out mindful coloring sheets.
Buy it: Mindful coloring book at Amazon
14. Directed drawing
Directed drawing breaks pictures into steps that students can take to create the finished product. Each student works on their own drawing while you read the directions. Here are our favorite directed drawing activities for kids.
Roll out butcher paper and put out the art supplies so students can create a mural. Let them paint whatever they want, or have them plan out a mural based on the season, a favorite theme, or whatever they come up with. These real school murals can inspire your butcher paper murals.
16. Parachute games
Grab a parachute and head to the gym or field and you can spend the last hour of the week floating, running, and watching the colors fall. Here are the best parachute games to keep Fridays busy.
17. LEGO Challenge
Building with LEGO bricks is a fun and versatile way to spend a Friday. Challenge students to create a track, build animal homes, and learn about STEM topics, from life cycles to kinetic energy. Check out one teacher’s ideas for teaching with LEGO.
18. Flashlight Friday
Have each student bring in a flashlight, or stock a class set, and turn the lights off. Students can read using flashlights, shine the light on the answer they choose during morning meeting or lessons, or write and tell ghost stories. Read more about how to make Flashlight Fridays a thing.
19. Learn origami
Origami teaches kids patience, focus, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. Check out Easy Origami for Kids for video tutorials and free how-to printables.
Some movement is always a good way to end the week. If it’s raining or you have kids who love to stretch and act out stories, make Cosmic Kids Yoga a fun Friday routine.
21. Take a nature walk
After a week in the classroom, getting out into nature—walking around the edge of the football field or actually walking on a path—can shift students’ perspectives. Here’s one way to take a nature walk using Lois Ehlert’s books for inspiration.
22. Balloon games and experiments
Balloons—from watching them blow up to the inevitable pop—are super-fun Friday activities. You can run relay races, play volleyball, and so much more. Start with the balloon games in the video above, and bring in more learning with balloon experiments.
23. Go bowling
One way to use bowling as an incentive is to have students earn tickets to bowl at the end of the week. Kids who have tickets can bowl, and if they get a strike, they get a prize. Or just set up bowling pins and play a game to see who gets the most points.
Buy it: Bowling set at Amazon
24. Hedbanz game
There is the traditional game of Hedbanz (super fun!) or you can adapt the game to feature literary characters you’ve read about, historical figures, or people at your school.
Buy it: Hedbanz game at Amazon
25. Open mic or poetry slam
Holding a poetry slam or open mic lets students show off talents that you may not know they have (or give kids who are always showing off a place to do so appropriately). Choose one student to emcee, and agree on the rules (2 minutes per person, one poem or song per person, etc.).
Charades is a game that all your students can play and get into. Divide students into teams and use a standard charades deck, or use time during the week to create a charades deck that is specific to your class and their interests and knowledge.
Buy it: Charades for Kids at Amazon
As with charades, get a card deck or make your own set of pictures that students can draw for their peers to guess. Divide into teams or not, depending on how competitive students feel.
Buy it: Pictionary at Amazon
28. Choose a whole-class game
29. Coding hour
30. Take a trip through time
Have students choose a time period, and dedicate a Friday to learning all about how people lived at that time, for example, in the Middle Ages.
31. Mini field day
On warm days, head outside with water balloons and Hula-Hoops. On cold days, stay inside for a ring toss and beanbags. Either way, a mini field day is a great fun Friday activity. Start with these field day activities.
32. Take a virtual field trip
33. Edible science
The classroom isn’t the place to bake, but these edible science experiments are a great way to mix science and food.
34. Play tag
Finally, what Friday wouldn’t be fun with a game of tag? Check out all the ways to play tag.