Monday, April 18, 2016

It's THAT time

It doesn't matter when Easter or your Spring Break falls, whenever it is that you come back from that particular break - or long weekend, it inevitably dawns on you tit is now time to think about graduation.  Whether you love it or hate it, preschool graduation (or even end of the year parties) tend to be quite the production.  It's the perfect time to showcase all of the hard work that the children have done throughout the year but organizing and displaying said work is, in itself, a lot of work!

One of my most popular posts is Everything You Need to Host a Preschool Graduation, so I thought I'd share it again!

Yup, it's that time of the year, time to start planning your preschool graduation ceremony.  Do you do the same thing every year? I like to switch it up and plan something new and special every year, but of course, that means I have to plan something new and special every year! So over the last few years I've put together a template of sorts that makes things just a little easier.

I include the same elements;

  • Introduce the students
  • Read a letter to the graduates
  • Read an inspirational story
  • Present class awards
  • Handout diplomas
and then each year I just swap in a new letter to the graduates, a different story that goes with the theme of the celebration, and cute stories about the kids to go with each of my awards.  I've found that this helps keep the actual ceremony short and sweet, and then I do a reception afterwards for the children and their families to enjoy. 

I always write a letter to my kiddos and include it in their End of the Year Memory Books. Sometimes I get really personal, sometimes I use a poem or letter that works for all of them, and sometimes I do a little of both - start with a poem and add a couple of personal sentences for each student.  Last year was the first year that I read the letter during the graduation ceremony and it was a really sweet way to let the kids and families know that I will miss them.  It made the ceremony a little more personal, and I'll definitely keep this as a part of my ceremony for years to come.  If you need a little inspiration, here are a couple of cute letters that you could use as a starting point;
I've used a number of inspirational books over the years, including (all Amazon links are affiliates);
There are SO MANY ways to share a story during your graduation celebration.  You could get the hardcover book and have each child in your class sign the book, and then read it during the ceremony (then it would be a cute keepsake for you). You could take video of yourself reading the story, and then project the video on a large screen so everyone could see it, or you could use a you tube video of someone else reading the book.  Last year I just took a photo of each page and put the photos into a power point presentation, but each of the books listed above is available in kindle format, so you could hook your laptop or tablet to a projector and use kindle to read the book.  The same book that you read during the ceremony would be a meaningful (and easy) gift for each of your graduates. 

My favorite part of the graduation ceremony is presenting the awards.  I use the End of the Year Award Ribbons that are available in my TPT store for a couple of reasons.  They're easy I just have to print them and cut them out. I usually put a rolled up piece of tape on the back, and then the children can wear them all afternoon.  These award ribbons make it really easy to find a personal reward for each child because they focus on character traits, and they make everyone feel warm and fuzzy. They can also easily be put into the End of the Year Memory Book, so families can keep them forever. 

Handing out diplomas is usually the photo opp of the ceremony, so during our rehearsals I encourage the children to take a minute and look at the audience so that Mom or Dad can get a picture.  They usually wave and it's absolutely adorable.  I have a diploma freebie in my TPT store that matches all of my decor, memory books, and awards. You can download it HERE.

I hope that my resources will help you with your planning. Check in later this week because I'm going to have ideas for decorations and snacks too!

** Here are some other posts with great graduation ideas:

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