As our little ones are leaving preschool, we figured we'll all be wanting to celebrate this important milestone in their lives. After all, this is their last year coming to an end before big school starts. So we have come up with the 10 best ideas we can possibly think of for preschool graduation celebrations, and why they are the finest way to enjoy these special moments.
- Make a graduation hat
Because it just isn't graduation without the hat! To make your own preschool graduation hat, you will need: black card, a pencil, a ruler, scissors, fabric measuring tape, a hot glue gun (or just normal glue), a stapler and a gold paper fastener. For the tassle: black skinny string.
- Start by drawing a 10 x 10 inch square on of the black card with your pencil and ruler.
- Take the square top of the hat and find its center. Pierce it with your gold paper fastener.
- For the next section of the hat, measure your child's head and cut out a strip that is long and thick enough to form the side of the hat.
- About an inch from the edge, fold this piece of card over lengthways. Cut out triangles every few inches along the fold (so that it can easily be bent into shape around the head and stuck to the hat later on).
- Next, staple together the two ends, making a circle.
- Take your glue or hot glue gun, and glue the two sections together and leave to dry.
- To make the tassel: take some of the skinny black string and cut enough to make a small tassel and then fold it in half.
- Tie the string in the middle with a few other pieces of black string and fold in half once secure. Make sure the string is long enough to be able to attach it to the top of the graduation hat.
- Tie another piece of string about a centimeter down from the fold, to make sure the tassel is secure.
- Trim down the ends so that they are all even.
And there you have it! Your very own mini graduation hat. Ready for the special day.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can put some pretty pastel designs on the top of the hat. This could be anything; from a picture of their favorite animal, to an inspiring quote from Dr. Seuss.
- Take a photo
Graduation photos are sweet as they are, but you can also choose to make your photos a little bit novel, if you like!
We love the idea of using a white box for your preschool graduation photos, to mark this milestone in their (and your) lives. You can include other preschoolers in the mix, or just go it solo. All you need is a white box, a camera and a photo-editing software to fit all of the boxes together in the edit, leaving you with a fun feature for your wall.
- Make a certificate
Print out your own preschool graduation certificate and fill in the blanks. There are many templates online, so just find one that you like, or alternatively, make your own. Once made, give your kids an official ceremony and handshake, complete with grand and dramatic music playing in the background. Think about what you are most proud of them achieving. This is the perfect time to tell them.
- Graduation food
Surprise your kids with a bounty of graduation-themed foods, ready to munch on once they return from their last day. These will also make great snacks at any preschool graduation themed party.
Graduation fruit cups are funny and easy to make, and not all that unhealthy, either. Simply take a cup of fruit and turn it upside down. Add a flat square of black card and stick it to the top (or what is now, the bottom!). Next, add some card around the cup's 'head'. Take a permanent marker and draw on a silly face. If you have them, stick on some googley eyes. Repeat.
(And if you're in a really silly mood hide them about the house as little graduation visitors just waiting to be discovered in cupboards and above the bed.)
Have a treat for dessert on the night of graduation with a few banana split bites: Prep a few bowls ready with sprinkles, melted chocolate and some nuts. Next, cut up some bananas ready for dipping and place them in a bowl. Let the joy commence!
Use mini mason jars to fill with sweets and top them off with mini graduation hats and your child's name written on the side. What a treat!
Or, if you're into baking, add squares of chocolate on top of homemade chocolate cupcakes. Add a round sweet of your choice on top, along with a small string of licorice or sour sweets for a tassel. Glue them all together with some melted chocolate. Yum yum.
There are a few books that are just perfect reading for this moment of transition:
I wish you more is a cute picture book that teaches a message of hope for the future and encourages kids and parents alike. It is the perfect read for graduates of any age and its lessons can always be revisited. In a starred review, Booklist notes: “Seuss’s message is simple but never sappy: life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all ‘There’s fun to be done.’”
Its message will help to teach children and adults alike, to follow our hearts, reach for the stars, and to never let anything stand in our way.
This is classic is a story all about how a young crab has outgrown his house and has to find somewhere new to live. It's a gentle way of introducing the themes of growing up and transitioning into a new part of your life. Filled with colorful illustrations and a charming tale to go with them, this tale is set to inspire.
This book is written in rhyming couplets and is accompanied with beautiful artwork. There's no pressure for kids to grow up fast here, only to embrace who they are. This is excellent mind food for your youngsters, as its positive message and words laced with love, will certainly encourage them. And in all likelihood, you, too.
Print out these adorable end of year bookmarks to make any book you gift extra special.
- Give them an (educational) present
In recognition of this educational landmark, we suggest buying your kids a treat that develops their skills or interests. If they seem like the inquisitive type, then maybe a science experiment might be just up their street, or if they are visually minded, perhaps a kids camera would do the trick.
If they are caring, perhaps they will enjoy a spot of gardening. Whatever it is they seem to enjoy learning, give them the chance to do more of it.
And if you're feeling extra generous, you might consider buying them that toy they have been eyeing up every time you are in the store, as well.
You don't want to spoil your child, of course. But a little treat now and again is fun for the both of you. Especially as a positive way to start the summer.
- Plan a day out
Why not plan a day out for all the hard work they've put in?
If your child is more on the shy side, you could make it a small gathering with a few friends from preschool. If they are nervous about kindergarten, it doesn't all have to be about the milestone or what is coming next. It can simply be a way of kicking back and relaxing, now that the summer is here.
Maybe take a trip to the aquarium or the zoo, the park or the beach. Anything that you will enjoy together. This is an important milestone for the both of you, and an easy-breezy way of marking it is with a pleasant day out. Pick their favorite place to visit for a sure bet.
A sweet surprise following their preschool graduation, is to give them a beach pail filled with all of the beach necessities: sunglasses, sun cream, sand toys, a kite bubbles and water balloons. This sets them up for a fun summer in the sun.
Or, if you're planning a different trip, you can buy a gift themed around where you will be visiting (for example, going to the zoo, give them a safari pack with kids binoculars, a tiger toy and a lion mask).
- Throw a party
Have a gathering of friends over for a themed party! You could go with a traditional graduation party, complete with hats and robes. Other ideas are:
An ABC party
A Dr. Seuss inspired party
An animal dress up party
School's out for summer
Unicorns and dragons
Make sure you have a few party activities planned, such as pass the parcel, hide and seek, chanting and singing graduation songs, and throwing up their hats and capturing that all-important preschool graduation photo.
Another fun idea for an activity, is to take photos of their aspirations and dreams. First of all, find a pretty looking backdrop and ask each child to tell you what they want to be when they grow up. Write down their response on a chalkboard and take a photo of them holding it. Who knows, maybe one of them will become what they're dreaming of! This can make for an adorable keepsake and some of their responses might well surprise and delight you... "What do you want to be when you're grown up?" "Big!"
Another really cute activity is to set up a runway, ready for the 'walk of fame'. Gather all of the kids together to watch and ask each of them to write down what they are most proud of that year. Put on some encouraging or uplifting runway music. You can then announce their achievement while they strut up and down the runway. To make it even more special, have certificates nearby to hand out with their achievements written down. This makes for a really special party favor.
- Give them a new mascot for next year
Before summer starts, give your child their very own, brand new, mascot. This fluffy new friend can be their learning buddy for next year.
Give them their new mascot long before the new school year begins, so that they have time to bond with their new little friend. This will make them a comforting companion when September and kindergarten swings around.
- Make a scrapbook
Make a crafty scrapbook with them of their friends, art work, what they want to be when they grow up, and make sure to include a page for all caregivers and their teacher.
Try cutting out and sticking pictures in with your child, so they can practice their scissor skills ready for kindergarten. If they are particularly sad to leave their class, this will give them a way to remember all of the fun times they had at preschool.
Once you have all photos of friends and their teacher, too, you can ask some of their favorites from the class to sign the scrapbook and to paint their handprint as a surprise.
This preschool graduation present is a sweet keepsake that you'll want to return to again and again.
So this has been our ideas for the best possible preschool graduation you can make. We really hope you loved some of them enough to try them out and make your kids' day (or year!) Enjoy your summer, and good luck for the future, little ones!