Of course, teachers celebrate holidays with classroom parties, but why wait for a holiday to throw an epic party for your students? Tie a party in with something you’re learning in class or use it to reward students for powering through their standardized tests.

Parties are more than just plain fun. Classroom parties build relationships and social skills among your students, help them work toward a common goal, and bring positivity into your school. Surprisingly, parties can boost academic achievement, as well. Doing something fun at school releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, which can make learning more enjoyable for students long after the snacks are eaten and the balloons are thrown away.

Here are some epic party ideas to get you started.

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1. Glow party

Turn off the classroom lights and have some fun with glow in the dark! In addition to fun, you can bring in some academics by practicing sight words made with glow sticks or use glow in the dark beads as math manipulatives. Have the kids wear white t-shirts, add some black light bulbs and music for even more fun. Grab some glow-in-the-dark balloons and glow sticks and get this party started.

2. Pizza party

But not just any pizza party – a pizza parlor party! Your students can enjoy a pizza lunch while also practicing restaurant skills. They can practice reading a menu, making a pizza topping choice, and ordering their meal. Bring in a little math by giving the students a budget and having them order a meal within that limit. Decorate the desks with red-checked tablecloths and use pizza-themed tableware to make it extra authentic.

3. Dance party

This can be a quick 5-minute party idea that doubles as a brain break or a longer party that includes snacks and song requests. However you decide to have this party, you’ll need a disco light and a dance party button!

4. Pajama party in a bag

Let’s face it – kids live for pajama day! Turn the day into a party with a PJ party in a bag activity. Fill the bags with snacks, add a book, and you’re ready for an afternoon of lounging in the classroom. Don’t forget your pajamas!

5. Popcorn party

This is a quick and easy party – just pop a bunch of popcorn (for age-appropriate kids, of course!) and provide some toppings, such as butter, salt, sprinkles, candies, crushed-up cookies, and powered flavorings. Serve the popcorn in authentic boxes and put on a movie for an epic party.

6. Mad Scientist party

Give your students safety glasses and lab coats and conduct several hands-on science experiments. Mix vinegar with water for a bubbling concoction or make elephant toothpaste with yeast, hydrogen peroxide, and soap. Whatever experiments you include, this party is sure to be a blast.

7. Art party

Get all the random craft supplies you have and let the kids have at it. They can create anything they can dream up. Extend the fun by having an art show. Invite other classes and parents to come view the masterpieces.

8. Caramel apple bar

Celebrate the start of fall or all the things your students are thankful for with a DIY caramel apple bar. Apples and premade caramel are a must, but let kids customize their apple with mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, and whipped cream. Tip: Slice the apples ahead of time to make it easier for your students to eat them. Send leftovers home in these cut apple-shaped containers. You can also change this party up by having a frozen yogurt bar instead.

9. Bubble party

Make bubble wands, blow bubbles, and chew bubble gum at this epic party. Have a bubble-blowing challenge with gum or see who can blow the most bubbles with one breath.

10. Movie party

This is a classic party idea for classrooms across the country, but for a good reason. Kids love the chance to watch a “just for fun” movie at school. Prepare a rolling cart full of delicious movie snacks and let the show begin.

11. Out with a bang party

This is a great theme for the New Year or the end of the school year. Collect as many items that make a sound, head outside, and make a bang! Balloons, slapping sticky hands, and popcorn are some inexpensive things to get you started. This party is also an educational way to learn more about the science behind sound.

12. Slime party

This is a great opportunity for your students to get messy. Provide premade slime and a huge supply of things for students to mix into their slime to customize their mess. Novelty erasers, googly eyes, beads, and glitter are some easy mix-ins.

13. Painting party

Set up a few canvases, fill palettes with washable paint, and encourage your little artists to create something beautiful. This is a great way for art teachers to end the school year.

Parties are the perfect way to celebrate big wins in the classroom. With a little prep and few supplies, your students will make priceless memories of their time with you as their teacher.

13 epic classroom parties to throw for your students