Book Corner. You've probably put away many of the books that were out at the first of the year. Take them out again. Give children time to browse and decide on their very favorite book. Share each one with the group and then give children time to enjoy old favorites.
Manipulatives. Here's another place in your room where toys have been rotated throughout the year. Bring out your beginning-of-school items so children can reexplore them. They will enjoy playing with old favorites and love experiencing the new things they can do with them now.
Snack. Ask children to think about what their favorite snack has been all year. Keep a list and try to turn their suggestions into your snack menu for the last weeks of school. As you eat together, encourage older children to talk about foods they had never tasted before this year or foods they didn't like but enjoy now.
Bulletin Boards. If you have photographs of children from the beginning of the year-from cubbies or an open house-use these to create a bulletin board. (You can also ask parents to bring in photos of how their children looked back in September.) Hang the pictures at children's eye level. Encourage older children to share how they feel they've changed during the year.
This article originally appeared in the May, 2001 issue of Early Childhood Today.