10 Great School Event Ideas to Create Long-Lasting Memories
Running events in schools has innumerable and lasting positive effects on students. Organizing one doesn’t have to be time-consuming or costly, though throwing the right event will depend on your facilities, your budget, and the age group of your students.
We’ve compiled a list of versatile and accessible school event ideas for you to use as inspiration this year. But first, let’s go a little bit deeper into why they’re so important.
Events in Schools
Extra-curricular activities in schools underpin a huge proportion of the development of young people and when done right, translate to better socio-emotional wellbeing and learning outcomes.
Bringing cohorts together outside of the more rigid educational framework of the classroom allows for freedom of expression and a wider scope of the boundaries and context of authority. Extra-curricular activities have also been shown to reduce risky behaviors, improve health and wellness and boost academic achievements, as long as the programs benefit from quality programming and staffing.
The role of events in schools is unquestionable; however, just in case you’re struggling to think of a good idea for yours, we’ve compiled a list of ten ideas for you to take a look at.
School Event Ideas
There’s nothing more classic as a school event than a school disco. They’re a marker for social progress at any grade and will be remembered for life as being awkward, tacky, exciting, or phenomenal.
A school disco needs to be timed according to the age of the students (this means you can run several on the same night) and the music should be age-appropriate. Smoke machines, snack food, and disco/UV lighting are essential components and dance competitions are an optional extra.
2. Sports Day
For Sumer activities, or at the end of terms, a sports day is a great way to celebrate. Allow each class to put forward their best competitor and give teams names. These can be held indoors too, should the weather not allow it.
The path to success on any sports day is to combine real sports with fun alternatives like sack races and parents vs teachers. There should be an element of competition mixed with silliness and a casual attitude. Make sure to have awards ready!
A fete is another classic school event that harks back to medieval times. These were village events, originally focused on trading but gradually included games and other ways for people to come together and blow off steam. And this is exactly its role as a school event.
A crockery smash is a particularly popular stall at an event like this. Have a whip-around in advance and get parents to donate old broken cups and plates for children to throw baseballs at – it will go down a treat. Add in live music, a coconut shy, and optional costumes, and you’ve got a complete package.
4. Community Outreach
Community service is a great way to take the kids out of school and introduce them to the wider community. This also has the benefit of being almost infinitely tailorable to the class's age group and skill set, as well as being reasonably low-cost to execute.
To make it work, make sure to match the event with the class. Have youngsters sing to seniors, and the older kids do a beach or park cleanup with some council members. Remember, this can be a recurring event, and can be used to foster skills if it is successful.
5. Animal Experience
Kids in cities particularly have very little interaction with animals, whether domestic, farmed, or wild, and this event can be done at a local zoo, or in-house, depending on your budget and local options. Bringing kids face-to-face with the animals they see on TV, and learning about where their food comes from, is a valuable and memorable experience at any age.
Make sure to find out about allergies in advance! And thoroughly go over the plans with the handlers before letting any animals out. Combine the visual and tactile experiences with learning opportunities to teach about our ecosystems and the animals in them.
6. Slip n’ Slide
A low-budget, high-energy, and exciting summer activity to set up is the slip n’ slide. It’s essentially a long sheet of plastic on a slope, made slippery with water and safe detergent, and set up on a gentle slope. The kids do the rest!
It’s possible to set these up by age too. A gentler version for the younger kids and a faster one for the older ones. A good system is to let people use any slide that’s at or below their level so that nobody is pushed to attempt one that’s out of their comfort level. Consider adding water balloons and squirt guns too.
7. Laser Tag
This event can be held outside or inside school grounds, and if planned correctly can even turn the corridors and buildings of the school itself into a role-playing theatre of battle.
Using the same environment where schoolwork is usually performed, and visualizing it in a new light and a venue for either team of free-for-all laser tag matches is a stimulating and engaging experience that will stick with kids for a long time. Kits can be rented or bought for these events.
8. Bouncy Castle
A timeless contribution to school events, and one that often comes along with fetes or sports days, but can be an event in itself. The bouncy castle comes in all shapes and sizes and can be a much larger system of inflatable assault courses for older kids.
Have a range of inflatables and make sure there are plenty of snacks and drinks. Hold speed runs of inflatable challenges or Tv-gladiator-style competitions with inflatable jousting.
There are plenty of games that can be brought into the school for this, or it can be run at a venue with a range of arcade games. Arcades are another heavily stimulating, very engaging event, and appeal to all ages.
Some places might allow you to pay for the room exclusively, but if renting a private arcade is out of the question, arrange for games like buzz wire, air hockey, and foosball to be installed on-site, and have competitions for each of them.
This is another great way to host a stall-based event at the school. Have children bring their best recipes and present them at their stall. You can do this in teams or individually, and of course, parent involvement is a must.
Run these with plenty of seating and perhaps some live music, and have lots of awards ready for different categories.
With any of these events, your students can benefit from the wealth of developmental improvements that come from a well-planned extra-curricular activity. Most suggestions can be customized to suit any budget, and run either inside or out.
The key to a successful event is in planning. From the success of these foundations, it’s even possible to expand or modify certain events into sustained programs to target specific skills and demographics.
However, you go about it, be sure to set a clear goal and budget, choose a venue, and then reach out to sponsors and parents in advance. The rest is simple!
Whichever event you’re running, Curacubby has tools that can help. These cover tasks like registration, payments, and communication and automate the little things so you have more time to focus on what matters.