By Jeanne Benedict of Celebrations.com
Being 5 years old is great! You're officially a big kid. You know most of your ABC's. And, you get to go to kindergarten.
Parents and teachers know that a good early educational experience can pave the way for scholastic success. So, to recognize the importance of this milestone school year, many celebrate the culmination of kindergarten with a graduation ceremony and party.
Open the graduation ceremony with a poem recited by the teacher, and then bring the kids on stage to for a group sing-along.
Kindergarten Graduation Poems
- Young Poets
- Never Stop Learning
- Graduation is a Time
- Mary's Lamb
- A Nice Collection of Kindergarten Grad Poems by various poets
Kindergarten Graduation Songs
- ABC (listen to song or read lyrics)
- This Little Light of Mine (listen to song or read lyrics)
- I Believe I Can Fly (listen to song or read lyrics)
- What a Wonderful World (listen to song or read lyrics)
- I Won't Grow Up (listen to song or read lyrics)
- America the Beautiful (listen to song or read lyrics)
- Pomp and Circumstance (listen to music)
You don't need the traditional caps and gowns for this graduation, although it's an adorable look. Let the kids celebrate their individuality with a ceremony that's short, sweet, and enjoyable for a 5-year-old.
Teachers and parents can team up on preparations with these ideas:
- Send out invitations with the ceremony time, date, and location information. Make this a class project where the kids decorate a printed invitation page and write their name on it.
- Create a class party sign up sheet for families to bring food, drinks, party supplies, grad game items, and possibly a small donation for the diplomas. List the names and contact info for the parent party coordinators. Post the sheet by the classroom, include it in the invite, or send out an email.
- Prepare programs for the ceremony and the diplomas. Consider fancy diploma paper that you can personalize.
- Rehearse any group ceremony activities, such as a song, and run through the diploma presentation. Kids are at their best when they know what to expect.
- On graduation day, set up the ceremony space with a stage area in front and seating for the kids. Set up audience seating for the families. You may want to let the kids sit with their families until it's time for a group sing-along and the diploma presentation.
- Don't forget the music! Make sure that your sound system is ready to play the classic graduation song, "Pomp and Circumstance," for the diploma presentation or for music during the ceremony.
- Set up the party in the classroom or a common area before the ceremony so everyone can begin the celebration right after the ceremony.
Treat this celebration just like a child's birthday party with thematic décor and party supplies.
Since the party will probably be in a classroom, ease and efficiency are key.
There are some great graduation party products available that are simple to set up and disposable -- perfect for the kindergarten crowd.
- Brighten up the party with colorful grad cap paper plates and napkins and a multi-color plastic table cover.
- Go for a "Sky's the Limit" theme with flying grad caps plates and napkins and a matching scene setter.
- Decorate the classroom walls with a metallic graduation banner and welcome everyone with a Kiss My Class Goodbye door cover.
Engage the kids with some of these kindergarten grad games and activities like making a time capsule, busting open a graduation cap piñata, or decorating a piggy bank for their college savings!
- Make kindergarten time capsules by asking the kids to bring a small photo or trendy trinket to put in their own decorated shoebox or a little treasure chest. The teacher or parents should also enclose a special note expressing how proud they are of the graduate!
- Play a game of "Duck, Duck, Goose!" substituting the words, "Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First Grade!"
- Get the college fund started by giving each child a piggy bank to decorate.
- Print out graduation coloring pages to keep the kids entertained.
- Liven up festivities with a grad hat piñata.
- Send the kids home with a party favor pack of graduation duckies, grad happy face bubbles, graduation stickers, and rotating graduation pens.
Celebrate your child's kindergarten teacher as well by giving her a gift certificate or a big bouquet of roses to thank her for a successful year!