Celebrate your 8th grader's big move from middle school to high school with a lively graduation bash. Pack the day with good friends, fun party games, and a unique T-shirt design craft for a truly special event. From how to make your own invitations to what games to play the day of, this step-by-step guide has everything you need to make your graduate's day a time to remember.
What You Do:
Make the Invitations
- Fold the sheets of cardstock in half width-wise.
- Cut each sheet in half along the fold. Each half makes one invitation. Place them in front of you vertically (portrait orientation).
- Design the invitations to resemble report cards. Have your child draw lines to separate the invitations into sections using a thin marker and ruler. At the top, write "[Guest's name]'s Party Report Card" or something similar.
- Now add the subjects. Instead of school subjects such as Math, English, etc., make the party activities the subjects. Example: Storytelling (for Remember When Game below), T-Shirt Design, Cupcake Eating, etc.
- At the bottom, write the party location, time, date, and RSVP contact information.
- Place the invitations inside the envelopes, address and stamp them, and mail them out. Address the envelopes as if they are actual report cards, writing "To the parents of..." or something similar.
Play the Game
- During the party, play a "Remember when..." game, a fun and funny way to celebrate the past three years of middle school. Ask each kid to bring at least one item from this time, such as a photo, note, school assignment, etc.
- To play the game, gather the kids together and show everyone the items one by one. Have the child who brought the item explain it, then encourage the other kids to add their own memories and interpretations. For example, if the item is a school assignment, they can each explain their own experience with the assignment or talk about a similar thing they had to do in another class.
- Have an adult write down the memories as kids explain them. After the party, photocopy the list and send a copy to each guest.
- Commemorate this special day by having kids design their own T-shirts that they can take home with them. Insert a sheet of cardboard into each T-shirt and distribute them among the kids.
- Let the kids decorate the shirts with fabric pens and paint in whatever design they like.
- On the back, have kids draw or paint their class year and have each of the guests sign everyone else's shirt with the fabric pens.
- Set the shirts aside to dry.
No matter what you do to celebrate, honor your young graduate and have fun!
Erica Loop has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.