When you're planning a kindergarten or preschool graduation, you want to make this a memorable day for the kids and their parents. We also want children to learn to love learning and feel a sense of accomplishment from their work. And a graduation celebration gives you a perfect opportunity to encourage young students as they move on to their next year of school.
Set your celebration up for greatness by planning a theme in advance. Choose a theme you think kids will enjoy and pick up your preschool graduation supplies early so you won't feel rushed when it's time to decorate. Also, make sure the activities you plan are age-appropriate. Keep the speeches short, plan some fun things to do, and be sure to celebrate each child's achievement.
Pick A Theme
Ideas for preschool graduation and kindergarten graduation themes are almost limitless. You want this to be a special day for the kids, and the decorations you choose should help make that happen. Here are a few themes you could use:
- ABCs: Use this theme for preschoolers ready to show-off their familiarity with the alphabet. Decorate by hanging signs that match letters with specific items. For example, have a “B is for butterfly” sign next to a butterfly decoration and “C is for cookies” sign on the food table.
- Kinder-Garden: Celebrate how your students “blossomed” in kindergarten with a garden themed party. Use bug and flower decorations to create a colorful garden themed setting where you're holding the graduation.
- Nautical: encourage your young graduates as they “set sail” for the next phase in their lives. Fill the room with red, white, and navy colors along with nautical theme decorations.
- Rhymes: Mother Goose, Doctor Seuss, and other rhyming books often play a large role in preschool and kindergarten. For this theme, you can send out rhyming invitations and hand out bookmark favors with a rhyming quote encouraging children to keep reading over the summer.
Graduation caps and gowns sized for preschoolers and kindergartners are available from several suppliers. You can either match school colors or match the theme if that works better for you. Having kids decorate their graduation caps is a fun activity you can do together as a class before graduation.
If you're not planning to have children in caps and gown for the graduation, another idea is to encourage them to dress-up to match your theme. Most preschool and kindergarten graduation themes lend themselves well to creative dress-up. Butterfly costumes work well for a garden theme, sailor outfits are perfect for nautical parties, and shirts featuring quotations or story characters can work for rhyming parties.
Have Some Fun
Graduations for young children should be fun. This isn't the time for long boring speeches or ceremonies that stretch on for hours while everyone stays quietly in their seats. Children are unlikely to sit politely through a lengthy speech and since this is their special day the graduation should be suited to their preferences. Better to keep the ceremony and speeches short and leave more time open for fun activities and eating.
Making individual time capsules is a great idea for a kindergarten graduation. This activity can begin weeks before the graduation with students, teachers, and parents writing notes for the student's future selves. Pictures (perhaps in the outfit the student will wear for the graduation ceremony) also make a nice addition. You can seal the capsules as part of the graduation ceremony.
If the children in a preschool or kindergarten class learned songs throughout the school year, they might enjoy presenting a mini concert at their graduation. As long as the students know the song well and are comfortable singing it, they'll usually have fun sharing their music with parents and friends.
Gift giving and awards presentations are a great activity to include in a preschool or kindergarten graduation ceremony. Make sure all the special recognitions and awards highlight a positive quality in each child. Never try to poke fun at a child's less positive traits at the graduation – it never goes well. And don't leave any of the children out.
When giving out awards at a kindergarten or preschool graduation, there are several ways to create certificates. This website lets you customize printable forms. You can choose from several different themes, colors, and images to make sure the printed awards complement your decorations. The form also allows you to customize text and give your awards titles, add date and school names, and even personalize it with a custom message.
A Few More Tips
Be sure you send out invitations to the graduation ceremony several weeks in advance. You want as many parents as possible to get it on their calendars early so they'll be able to attend. And if you include RSVP requests, you'll get a better idea of how many people to plan for. Also, remember to order your preschool graduation supplies early so they arrive in plenty of time.
The day of the ceremony, make sure you have enough parking space, plenty of seating, and food available for all the guests. And remember to double-check spellings before the ceremony. You want to make sure every child's name is spelled correctly on diplomas and certificates. Also, print out enough programs that every guest you're expecting can have a copy.
Another thing you'll want to double-check is your sound system. Everything will go much more smoothly if the microphone and speakers work so everyone can hear. No one likes straining their ears to hear when their child's name is called or missing out on a teacher's positive comment about their little one.
However you choose to celebrate, make sure to have fun with it and be creative. Choose a perfect theme, maybe get some graduation caps and gowns, include some fun activities, and get all the children involved. Your preschoolers or kindergartners are sure to remember how special their graduation day was for years to come.