Here’s one easy idea that will excite your kids: a coloring party. A trip to the dollar store could easily suffice for decorations, like multi-colored paper plates and accoutrements. Try party favors such as homemade crayons, while the little ones can nosh on colorful cakes and candies. Have activity tables like coloring stations and colorful games (like Twister) to keep the little ones entertained for hours.
One way to highlight their accomplishments would be to theme a party around shapes. The kids will love pointing out the stars, hearts, and other shapes they've learned during their school days, and the décor and menu potential is limitless. Hang colorful hearts in your archways and sprinkle stars throughout your food tables. Further incorporate shapes throughout the party with flatware and distinctly shaped foods.
Has your little one learned to love letters? Let everyone know with an alphabet party. Use letter blocks as centerpieces and hang cut-out letters wherever you can around your home. Feeling ambitious? For your food spread, include an item from each letter of the alphabet or just use cookie cutters to make letter-shaped snacks like mini pizzas, breads and, of course, cookies. Kids will have fun making name bracelets that double as take-home party favors and playing games like chalkboard pictionary.
Some of our favorite childhood memories come from the books we read over and over again. Your child can make memories of their favorite characters with a book party that covers all the classics. Your spread should feature cute foods from book favorites like Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham or a Crock-Pot of meatballs for the classic Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. For the décor, draw inspiration from book pages and hang quotes around the room — this can easily be turned into a game in which the children guess which books they are from.
Keeping a bunch of 11-year-olds entertained indoors can be a challenge. Take them outdoors for a recess party all about your kid’s favorite subject. Schoolyard games can inspire your décor, food, and activities. After the kids are done chalking up the pavement, they can munch on hopscotch cupcakes and tic-tac-toe-inspired snacks. A game of kick-the-can can provide a cute centerpiece that can hold flowers or various candies. Send the kids home with a recess care package full of jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, and bouncy balls.
If your kid is one smart cookie, reward them with an end of the year party that will tickle the sweet tooth. A cookie party starts with an impressive cookie buffet that is a gorgeous spread and great for party favors. Decorate your buffet with chalkboards (made from chalkboard paint) that display the cookie menu or congratulate your grad. Old-fashioned milk jugs and cookie jars can serve as centerpieces or simple canisters for other munchies.
The ascent into high school — a tumultuous time of fear and excitement for both you and your not-so-little one. Hold on to childhood for one day longer and provide a bash that celebrates their last summer before they’re thrown in the big pond. Transform your backyard yard into a summer campsite that your kid and fellow graduates will love. Sticks and foliage can make for great decorations. For table covers, think plaid or burlap to give it that genuine camp feel. Pitch tents in the backyard where your preteen can huddle with friends while snacking on trail mix. Offer graduates bug juice and set up obstacle courses for the kids to enjoy before they get too cool for such pastimes. Have guests bring sleeping bags and host a sleep-away camp party just for them after all the adults have gone.
Believe your kid is truly a star? Take the classic "reach for the stars" theme to a new level and throw a party featuring celebrities’ high school graduation photos. Dig up your graduates’ favorite celebrity’s high school photos and incorporate them into the décor with blown-up pictures or transfer them onto tablecloths. Combine this with flashy star décor and notable snacks and you will have your graduate feeling like the celebrity they are on their special day in no time.
Between exams, SATs, proms, and homecoming games, your graduate was a part of their school through activities that reflected and developed their interests. Throw a themed party based around your kid’s favorite high school activity. Raised a quarterback? Decorate the place in the team’s colors, and offer football-shaped snacks and tailgate décor. For your thespian, throw a party fit for the stage by emulating that year’s play and accent it with theater-themed props and snacks.
Your grad is all grown up, but before they face the real world, throw them one last crazy college night with a toga party. Your guests should arrive in their own creative togas, but instead of having Animal House-like destruction, turn up the Greek class. Have an olive bar for Grecian snacks and provide traditional Greek drinks and games. Of course, you can always keep it casual with kegs and Greek pizza, but don’t forget to pay homage to the Greek gods and philosophers with creative Greek décor.
As your graduate embarks on the rest of their life, welcome them into their new career with a party all about the future. Nursing graduates will love medical backdrops and fake syringes loaded with their favorite flavored "shots." Future teachers will adore an adorable, apple-themed party and school supply centerpieces. For the business school grad, have a party with playful "pie charts" and fake money trees scattered around for fun. Whatever your grad’s future holds, just pull from their future tools and trades for food and decoration inspiration.
This could be the first time your kids are separated from friends, so throw a bash that captures the moment. Have plain white T-shirts for all of your guests and colorful markers so they can write messages on each other’s shirts. Make your own photo booth and have the graduates play with props for silly pictures. For decorations, have a garland of your graduate’s school year photos and hodge-podge photo copied yearbook pictures on vases for fun centerpieces. Think of photo-friendly food spreads like "develop your own sliders" stations and "picture yourself punch" for a truly memorable bash.