With the end of the school year fast approaching, I’m slowly checking things off my end of the year to-do list… memory books, student awards, countdown activities, and our end of the year celebration complete with an end of the year slideshow! I’ve spent a considerable amount of time over the years looking for the perfect end of the year slideshow songs. I wanted these songs to be kid-friendly, reflect friendship and growth, somewhat upbeat, but still strike a sentimental chord with parents. After listening to a gazillion songs, I’ve narrowed my list to these Top 10 End of the Year Slideshow Songs!
Top 10 End of the Year Slideshow Songs
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#10 – “On My Way” by Phil Collins
Making the cut at #10, the lyrics at the beginning of “On My Way” say it all:
Tell everybody I’m on way.
New friends and new places to see.
With blue skies ahead, yes I’m on my way.
And there’s no where else that I’d rather be.
I’m telling you, this song is perfect for the end of the year. It screams graduating and moving on to a new grade. Plus, it’s happy and upbeat, and I’m sure many kids will recognize it.
#9 – “If I Didn’t Have You” by Billy Crystal & John Goodman
“If I Didn’t Have You” from the movie Monsters Inc. secures spot #9. It speaks about the necessity of friendship, and would work well with pictures of groups of students working or playing together. I’m thinking pictures of centers, recess, play time, collaborative groups, etc. My guess is most kiddos will know this song and want to sing along.
#8 – “Let Them Be Little” by Lonestar
Holding the #8 spot… “Let Them Be Little” is a bit more sentimental. This end of the year slideshow song is entirely for the parents. I don’t know any parent who doesn’t want to keep their child little forever, and this song is certain to bring a tear to their eye.
#7 – “Small As Me” by Damien Jurado & Rosie Thomas
“Small As Me” is a song that you may not recognize, but the melody and lyrics sold me. It’s such a sweet song that tells of the wonders of childhood. Again, it is sure to stir up a few emotions with the adults and it certainly earns its #7 spot.
#6 – “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars
My students love to sing along with “Count on Me,” taking the #6 spot on the Top 10 End of the Year Slideshow Songs list. It is a great song to accompany group shots of students working together. I use this one for pictures of play time, STEM challenges, and final countdown activities.
#5 – “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Coming in at #5 is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. The combination of the ukulele and tender voice in this version of this classic song get me every time.
#4 – “We’re Going to Be Friends” by Jack Johnson
Grabbing the #4 position… “We’re Going to Be Friends.” Jack Johnson’s rendition of this song can be found on the Curious George soundtrack. The lyrics tell the tale of a child’s first day at school. Trust me… the melody and tone give it a sentimental feel for the adults, but the song still has a playful touch for the kiddos.
#3 – “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman
“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” is always the last song in my end of the year video. As it plays, I show pictures of the students playing together at recess. At the very end of the video, I show a class picture of my students holding up the letters to spell “KINDERGARTEN CLASS OF 20–” For this picture, I arrange the students into two rows. I print thick, block style letters one to a page. The back row will stand and hold the letters to spell “KINDERGARTEN.” The front row will sit cross-legged and hold the letters to spell “CLASS OF 20–.”
#2 – “Dream Big” by Ryan Shupe & The Rubberband
A very, very close second… “Dream Big” is probably my most favorite end of the year slideshow song! Gives me goosebumps every time I hear it! I went back and forth as to whether I should list it as the number one song, which it is in my book. However, from the viewpoint of my students, they would say What I Am is the number one end of the year slideshow song.
#1 – “What I Am” by Will.I.Am.
“What I Am” is a Sesame Street hip-hop song about pride. My kiddos become quite familiar with the lyrics, as we play it each morning towards the end of the year. Elmo, Zoe, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Big Bird are just a few characters who appear in the music video on YouTube. Hearing them sing this song is literal music to my ears. It’s just precious! This is the song that kicks off my end of the year slideshow and earns the #1 spot on my Top 10 End of the Year Slideshow Songs!
More End of the Year Slideshow Songs
Here are just a few songs that didn’t make my Top 10 cut:
- “Have It All” by Jason Mraz
- “Slow Down” by Nichole Nordeman
- “A Million Dreams” from the Greatest Showman
- “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
- “Never Grow Up” by Taylor Swift
- “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
- “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” by James Baskett
- “These Are the Days” by Keith Urban
- “Best of Friends” from Fox and the Hound
- “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
An end of the year slideshow is a great way to commemorate the year! Don’t get me wrong… they require a little bit of work, but the look on the kids’ faces as they watch the show is priceless! I always show my end of the year video to my students on the second to last day of school. It’s fun to see them get excited and listen to them reminisce about the pictures. Then, we’ll watch it again a few more times on the last day. I email a copy of the video to the parents for them to watch at home too. Our end of year slideshow usually lasts about 15-20 minutes, just long enough to hold my kiddos’ interest… and if you’re wondering which end of the year slideshow songs I use… #1-7!
You can check out more end of the year celebration ideas here!
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