Relive the disco years of the 70's or the totally awesome 80's by throwing a retro graduation party. Parents can celebrate their child's graduation by paying homage to their own year of graduation. You can help your child see just how similar and different the times were. Show her pictures, play music, and tell stories of what your graduating year was like. Then, ask her to imagine what she and her friends would have been like - way back then! Create hand made invitations, dress up in period costumes, and play games that reflect either the 70's or 80's decades in time. Craft a welcome to the... (fill in the decade here) banner that you can hang up to welcome guests to this blast from the past!

Make Some "Throwback" Invitations!

Choose a decade, either the 1970's or 80's. Try to pick the decade and year that you (the parent) graduated in. The specific activities will vary between decades. Discuss your graduating year with your child. Show her a yearbook and other photos such as ones from prom or a school play. Create each individual craft or activity according to the decade that you've chosen.

Position the cardstock vertically, and fold from top to bottom. For the 70's: Create a disco ball on the outside of the card. Draw a circle shape and cover with glue. Sprinkle glitter over top, and set aside to dry. Brush off the excess glitter to reuse at another time. For the 80's: Go with a pastel "Miami Vice" color scheme and add 80's shades (sunglasses) or a flamingo. As another option find photos of 80's icons such as Madonna on the web. Print these, cut, and collage with glue onto the outside of the card. Add in a caption such as, "Welcome to the 80's" or Back to the 70's."

Open the card and write in important information for guests using a marker. Information to include will be the reason for the party, the party theme, required dress/costumes, date, time, place, RSVP phone number or email address. Place each invitation in a large envelope and mail or hand deliver.

Make Some Decade Decor

Spread out a large piece of butcher paper (at least five feet long) or a cut bed sheet onto an appropriate workspace. Outside work spaces such as the family yard may work best for this project. Use a permanent marker in a dark color such as black to write large bubble letters that say, "Welcome class of 1980". Substitute the specific year for the one that you have chosen. Add in the school name somewhere on the banner and paint the banner in school colors. Set it aside to dry. Hang at the front of the house to greet your guests!

Decade Themed Party Games!

  • Try a variety of time period themed activities. Have a fashion show/costume contest where guests can show their 70's and 80's creations.
  • Try a look a like contest, and invite guests to dress up like a specific character or famous person from one of the decades such as Don Johnson or Madonna.
  • Hold a decade dance party. Play music from the time, hang a disco ball, and try some moves "a la" John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
  • To end the evening, have a special screening of an iconic movie from the time period such as Sixteen Candles, the Breakfast Club, or Pretty in Pink.

Munch on Classic Goodies

Don't forget the food. Munch on popular treats from the 70's or 80's, or try a themed menu. Use a circle shaped cake pan to make a disco ball cake for the 70's, or a pancake and eggs menu to pay homage the 80's high school movie The Breakfast Club.