Preschool Graduation Ideas

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Preschool graduation can be a momentous occasion for children as well as parents and teachers! This lesson gives you some ideas for how to make your preschool graduation memorable and help children transition to kindergarten happily.

Why Preschool Graduation Matters

At first, preschool graduation might sound like a silly idea. Do children at such a young age really need pomp and circumstance? Yet preschool graduation is actually very important! Finishing preschool is a major accomplishment for children, and many children might feel nervous or emotional about this ending and their transition into kindergarten. Graduation will fill them with pride and positive memories. Parents, too, might see the end of preschool as an emotional moment that signals their children's move out of early childhood. For teachers, a graduation ceremony can be a time to marvel at their young children, say goodbye, and celebrate all they have learned and accomplished together.

Yet, of course, a preschool graduation cannot be structured the way a college or high school graduation might, with long speeches and formal ceremony. A preschool graduation should be short and fun, and involve children as much as possible. The ideas in this lesson will help you construct a preschool graduation that your students and their families will remember forever.

Put On a Show

If your graduating class is reasonably small, one of the best things you can do is involve them in putting on a show. Choose a picture book that this group of students has really loved over the years. Assign each child one character in the book. If the book does not have enough characters, children can divide the roles, add in extra characters, or act out pieces of the scenery. Spend 2-3 weeks helping children create and practice a dramatic enactment of their book. Involve them in making scenery and choosing costumes. Instead of a traditional graduation ceremony, let your students perform for their families!

Photographs

An especially meaningful addition to any preschool graduation is the inclusion of photographs. Children can change so much over the years they spend in preschool, and parents will be tearing up in the best possible way if you remind them of how far their children have come. You can either create a slide show of pictures of these students over their time at preschool, or you can display them on posters that you hang around your graduation venue. Make sure all children are represented, and try to include teachers and families too. A photograph display can be especially effective if you also intersperse children's artwork.

Musical Interludes

Almost every preschooler loves music, and almost every preschool has some songs they do all the time. Have your graduates practice a few favorite songs to perform for families as part of their graduation. In addition to school favorites, some great ones for children to learn for this purpose include:

  • If I Had a Hammer
  • Inch by Inch, Row by Row
  • Free to Be You and Me
  • Kumbaya

Listening to children sing can be very moving to families, and it is also a chance for teachers to admire the competence and beauty of the graduating group.

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