By Diana Sproveri
Contributor’s Website: Diana Sproveri

This time of year, many parents are faced with the daunting task of planning their child’s graduation party. We’re not talking about that all-important rite of passage from first to second grade. This is the big one. Your son or daughter is done with high school, possibly off to college, and life will never be the same for your family. [Go ahead and get a tissue. We’ll wait.]

Graduation parties are tough to plan because somehow you need to make it enjoyable for your relatives while also impressing your grad’s friends. Not an easy task. Luckily, there are a few fun things you can add to any graduation party setting to make it fun and yet appropriate for all ages.

Graduation parties really have no rules when it comes to what you serve. That said – take the opportunity to be creative with your edibles. Try diploma sandwiches from Taste of Home or these peanut butter cup graduation caps by Bakerella. Have some fun with it!

Teens yearn to be adults. Having a bartender serving fancy non-alcoholic drinks in martini and wine glasses is the perfect way to make them feel grown up. You can also create a cocktail station yourself with some festive drinks from Drinks Mixer.
A lot of guests can be shy about joining in for group games at a party, so having some game stations is a great way to pass the time while giving guests the option to play. If you’re outside, go for croquet, Bocci ball or horse shoes. Inside, try some fun board games. If you want to ensure teen involvement, small prizes for winners like an $10 iTunes gift card from Apple will impress your grad’s friends and give them incentive to join in the fun.

Capturing life on camera seems to fall by the wayside if you don’t plan ahead. Hire a photographer or ask a friend or relative to take candid photos during the party. Even more festive is passing out graduation disposable cameras from Oriental Trading so that guests can snap away.
Signing a guest book with a note is a nice gesture. Something even better that your teen will love is a Guest T-Shirt. Have guests sign their name and a fun note in fabric-safe pen or marker. The shirt will be a fun memento. If your grad is off to college, you can make the t-shirt into a pillow for the dorm room. You can personalize a white t-shirt at any Kinkos or online site like
There will most likely be lots of gifts for your grad, so start them on their way to adulthood with a lesson from Emily Post. Thank you cards should sent be out personally by your graduate the week following the party. Try Paper Source for some wonderful thank you card choices as well as personal stationery.

Don’t forget, at the end of the day this is a time to remember and enjoy. Take a moment to tell your graduate how much you care and wish that all their dreams come true. Chances are, they’ll remember the day, too.

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