Good friends, good food, sharing memories and sharing future plans; these are classic ingredients for a successful graduation party. But no party would be complete without a few games to get everyone in a festive mood. Here a few graduation party games that will entertain everyone at your child’s party, giving her even more memories as she sets off on her own:

1. “Guess the Mystery Artists” - Art Gallery Walk

Teenagers may think they know everything about their friends, but this game will put that knowledge to the test. Create your own Art Gallery in the middle of your party and your guests will not only learn something interesting about each other, but they’ll also get to admire the cool work their friends have completed over the years. The object of this game is to look at the anonymous pieces of art on the walls and guess who, in the room, is the artist of each piece. It just requires the guests to supply the art work while you supply the wall space and before you know it, you’ll have an elegant art gallery and fun game that everyone will enjoy.

  • On the invitation to your party, ask your guests to please bring their favorite piece of art work that they created from the previous year. It can be anything creative – a painting, drawing, a sketch done in class, even three dimensional creations.
  • Collect the pieces on arrival and make sure the artist’s name is on the back.
  • Label each art work on the front with a number in the bottom right corner.
  • As the party begins, place the pieces of art around the room. Use a non-peeling tack to hang them on your walls so it won’t peel your paint.
  • When you’re ready to start, hand out a small tablet or piece of paper and pen to all your guests. Clink a glass and announce that the Art Gallery is now open.
  • The guests are to peruse the collection of art and guess who is the artist of each work. Ask them to write the name of the artist next to the number on their tablet.
  • Collect the papers toward the end of the party and tabulate who has the most correct answers. The winner gets a prize!
  • Some prize ideas could be a nice set of paints, or artist pencils, or a special print in a nice frame.

This game is a hit because it allows all the guests to see and admire the work of their fellow friends and students. Hopefully, in the process, they’ll learn a little more about each other and have fun at the same time.

2. “My, How You’ve Grown” or “From Yesterday to Today” - Photo Game

Asking your friends to identify you from a baby picture is a lot of fun. This game is great for a high school party because everyone loves to see what people looked like a long time ago. All you need is to ask your friends to bring their favorite childhood picture, and let the guessing game begin!

  • On your invitation, ask your guests to bring a baby photo of the graduate to the party.
  • If you are inclined to plan ahead, you can ask your guests to send you the picture a week in advance. If you have them in advance, you can even take the pictures to a local photo shop and have them blown up to at least an 8x10 size.
  • Place the photos around the room on the wall, or set up a display table with the pictures flat on the table.
  • Be sure each teen’s name is on the back of the photo!
  • Put a number on each picture, somewhere visible.
  • Provide sheets of paper with the numbers listed, and ask the guests to fill in who they think is in every picture.
  • The winner gets a prize – some ideas: a free photo book from Shutterfly, a nice photo album, etc.

The teens will love seeing pictures of their friends before they knew them. You can even give out awards for who changed the most, or who hasn’t changed the most!

3. “Getting to Know You” or “Who Am I?” – The Name Game

Impersonating friends and teachers is a common pastime of teenagers. This game allows the kids to have fun with each other’s personalities and perhaps even get to know some friends even better! All you need are a few pens and some blank white name tag-style stickers and you’re all set.

  • When you’re ready to play, have people line up in one or two lines.
  • Write the names of other guests in the room on the stickers. One name per sticker. You can also use names of people from the school – such as teachers or principals, etc.
  • Don’t let the person see the name on the sticker and place it on his or her back; they have just become someone else!
  • Now it’s time to mingle. Everyone should have the name of someone else on their back.
  • Go around to other guests and ask each guest one question about your new self until you figure out who you are.
  • When everyone has discovered their new identity, the game is over! If you’re using only names of guests attending the party, you can have the people pair up with who their alter-ego was and take a picture!

4. “Give Me an “M!” or “Name that Mascot”

Heading off to college is an exciting time full of new experiences and new places that will have significant meaning in a graduate’s life. Nothing is more important than their new school’s mascot! Along with their school colors, slogan, credo and mission, the mascot gives the school a fun identity. This game helps all your child’s friends get to know the mascots of the colleges and universities and in turn, get to know where their friends are going to school!

  • Starting with the Pac 10 and Big 10 leagues, research and find out the names of the mascots for many of the schools.
  • Try to use as many of the colleges or universities that the kids who are at the party will be attending. (Feel free to throw in names of schools that no one is attending either. That will make it more challenging.)
  • Either write or printout the names of the mascots on a large piece of butcher paper or poster board. Leave several lines beside each Mascot name.
  • To make it even better, if you can, print out the pictures of the Mascots and put them up on an easel or on a table.
  • Hand out pens and pencils and ask everyone to write the name of the school next to the name of the mascot.
  • For instance: Huskies, Bears, Bruins, Wildcats, etc.
  • To make it even harder, have a challenger round where you use mascots from Division III or lesser known schools, like Lords, Ephs, Bananaslugs, etc.

You’ll be amazed how much the party guests will learn about the many and varied universities and colleges out there. To add a challenge element to the game, see if anyone knows the history behind each mascot. They will certainly remember more clearly where their friends will be going to college, now that they’ll have a name like Bananslugs in their mind.

5. Salad Bowl Game

Games that get the kids talking about their favorite memories and their future goals will make your graduation party truly special. This game has them both. All you need is a large bowl, some paper and pens, and you’ve got the beginning of a meaningful game that the kids will enjoy and remember forever.

  • Cut pieces of paper into strips long and wide enough to fit three or four sentences on it.
  • Hand out pens or pencils.
  • Ask everyone to write down either a special memory from high school or a future goal of theirs, depending on what they desire.
  • Some examples could be, “my favorite memory of high school was watching the football team take state championships” or “my future goal is to travel to at least three continents before I turn 25,” etc.
  • Have a large “salad bowl” on a table on the center of the room.
  • Ask each person to crinkle up their paper and place it in the bowl.
  • When the bowl is full, ask everyone to sit in a circle.
  • One person holds the bowl and pulls out a paper. He or she reads the paper and tries to guess who wrote it. Encourage them to express why they think it belongs to a certain person, for instance “I think this one belongs to John because he’s an adventurous spirit,” etc.
  • The bowl is passed around the circle until everyone has had a turn!