As the ultimate celebration of educational achievement, graduation parties are a highlight of the schooling experience for any student.
However, graduation parties can be tricky to organize. Sorting out a venue, catering, activities, and music—it can all be a bit much.
In many cases, it can be difficult to figure out exactly where to start!
Luckily, we have plenty of ideas when it comes to how you can kickstart your grad party plans.
Whether it’s gifts for graduates, activities for the party itself, or ideas for food and drinks, we’ve got the inspiration for you.
In this article, we’ll be looking at:
- Activities and games you can use at the graduation party
- Ideas for the party’s food and drinks
- Decorations you can use at the party
- Souvenirs that graduates can take home to remember the event.
Let’s get into it!
Graduation Cap Toss Game
Grad caps being tossed in the air are an iconic symbol of graduation, but it’s not quite the kind of tossing that your party attendees will be doing here!
Get your hands on a few bean bags or hacky sacks and an upside-down grad cap, and you’ve got yourself a great game of cornhole. How’s that for a backyard party idea?
If you want a more classic board to throw the bean bags into, simply decorate one in a graduation theme!
Pictures of the graduate’s experience in school work great here, as does a simple “Class of [Year]” monogram.
Decorate with Photos of the Graduate through the Years
What better way to help the star of the party remember their educational journey than to put it on a wall in front of them?
Seeing a selection of photos of the graduate at various stages in their educational journey will bring back some great memories and provide the opportunity to tell some awesome stories.
Whether you stick them to the wall with blu-tack or peg them to strings that you hang across the room, displaying photos of the graduate is a great way to add an extra special touch.
Personalized Graduation Party Favors
The guests at the graduation party will also want something to remember the event by!
Preparing personalized party favors is an excellent way to make sure everyone has fond memories of the celebration for years to come.
These can be in the form of something unique to the party’s star graduate, like a small football magnet or sticker for a football player – or even a favorite book!
Alternatively, you can also get something that represents the connection between each guest and the graduate (this obviously works better for a small party).
Either way, having personalized party favors can enhance the experience and make the celebration even more heartfelt.
Rent a Photo Booth
A photo booth rental is an excellent, unique way to improve any party. Definitely a graduation party. By renting a booth, your guests will be able to take high-quality photos without the stress of having to find and hire a photographer!
Of course, it can also feel a bit strange to have a photo booth operator at a personal graduation event – so self-operated booths are an ideal option to take amazing photos quickly and easily.
You’ll be able to do away with the hassle of having extra people around and focus solely on enjoying the party! There are plenty of DIY photo booth options to choose from, such as a animated GIF photo booth, Black & White photo booth, Green Screen photo booth or just the Original photo booth.
Create a “Class of [Year]” Backdrop for Photo Ops
You’re going to be snapping plenty of pictures during the event to keep those memories fresh for as long as possible. Why not make sure that they’re themed appropriately as well?
Even a simple photo backdrop with “Class of [Year]” written in permanent marker at the top can make a huge difference to the photos you take.
These photos will then feel more unique and exciting, and more likely to jog memories when you see them again later down the line!
Personalized Graduation Photo Booth Backdrops and Props
Photo booths also allow attendees to have a bit of creative fun with their pictures.
Using props and custom backdrops with a photo booth allows guests to enhance their experience and showcase their individuality!
Not all photo booths are created equally for customization, however, so you’ll need to pick carefully.
In case this sounds too complicated or expensive, there is the option to add customization to every single photo which means a little personal design such as a logo, phrase or small image that reminds you of the graduate.
Did your photo booth interest get sparked? Here is a blog post with Everything you need to know about renting a photo booth.
“Advice for the Graduate” Guestbook
Why not prepare a souvenir for the graduate that will be genuinely useful in future years?
If that’s something you think they’ll appreciate, then an “Advice for the Graduate” guestbook should make for an excellent gift!
Whether it’s genuinely useful advice or in-jokes with friends, the graduate will get a blast from reading the guestbook in the weeks and years to come.
Additionally, the people filling it in will also feel like they’re contributing something lasting and meaningful to the event.
Have a Themed Food and Drink Station
Food and drink are the backbone of any event, and a grad party is no exception. However, instead of simply deciding what you’ll serve to the guests, try matching to a theme instead.
By planning the food and drink around a central motif, you’ll make the party feel even more cohesive and complete.
In a way, this will subtly remind the guests of why they’re attending the party in the first place – and it’s fairly easy to incorporate, too!
For instance, you could have plates with graduation imagery on them (or even ones shaped like the silhouette of a graduation cap), a tablecloth decorated with “Class of [Year]”, or anything else you think would fit.
Another fun idea is to come up with creative names for your snacks and drinks. Perhaps a mix of soft drinks and juice (or something a little stronger) can be called the “Straight-A Student”?
“Keys to Success” Wall Decor
Your graduate will go on to achieve great things, so why not give them a physical representation of the keys to success that they’ve got hidden within them?
Setting up a decoration on the wall with literal “keys to success” on there can be both a fun thing for guests to look at and a symbol of the graduate’s achievements and potential.
DIY Confetti Cone
Confetti to celebrate a graduate’s special day is something that can add a splash of color (and whimsy) to any event!
And what better way to sprinkle it into the occasion than by using homemade confetti cones?
Making these isn’t particularly difficult, and it's easy to find a variety of instruction sets online to help you piece them together. Creating them according to the graduation theme with the graduate’s name will help take the occasion to the next level.
Craft a Graduation Money Wreath
If you’re planning to give your graduate some money to celebrate the transition from schooling into the working world – don’t just hand it to them in an envelope!
Instead, go for something a bit more dramatic by crafting a graduation money wreath. This certainly doubles as a good statement of style as well.
Whether the graduate wears it or hangs it on a wall, it’s sure to be a gift that looks and feels extremely special.
In addition: not only does a money wreath show that you care enough to gift them something they can use in the near future, but also that you took the time to make it by hand!