Some of you may be wondering as I do, where did the year go? It slugs by in March and then like a snowball, picks up speed after spring break.
I think it's because there is so much to get accomplished, and such a short amount of time left to do it in!
Well I've got some quickie time savers for you that might help, if you're looking for some things for graduation.
Some schools have a preschool graduation and skip kindergarten and others go all out.
Perhaps you'll find something here to commemorate your child's special day whether your school celebrates this milestone or not.
Certificates: I've designed several for either preschool or kindergarten. Simply fill in the student's name after the word "Congratulations" and then fill in the school, teacher and date. These make nice keepsakes for scrapbooks.
I've also included 12 other certificates for expertise in the various subjects, behavior, perfect attendance and a special award for both a boy & girl that you can make up! Click on the link to view/print the graduation and praise certificates.
I think giving awards is extremely important in helping to build a child's self-esteem. I have over 100 more certificates available. Click on the link to check it out. The money from the sale of this item goes to the prevention of suicide in memory of my twin's son Daniel.
Write them a congratulations note: I like giving my students special notes "from the teacher." It's also another way of building their self-esteem and making them feel special. I call this "Paper Love."
One of my students brought in a notebook for his "Share and Tell" time. He had all of his certificates and paper love notes from me glued in this notebook along with other mementoes from our class. I thought that was really cool.
Click on the link to view/print Graduation NOTES from your teacher.
Make a graduation bookmark: You can have your students make these, or you can make and laminate them as a special gift for your graduates. Click on the link to view/print the graduation bookmark patterns. To make it extra special make a copy of their class picture and glue it under the cap.
For the 2011 bookmark, cut their school pix into an oval, cut a slit under the hat, insert the pix and glue it under the cap and over the globe. (I did the same thing for the other bookmark.) Make them sturdier by mounting them on construction paper using your school colors. Our colors are red and white, so I'm all set.
I've also included a "Congratulations!" graduate-slap bracelet. Personalize them by writing your students' names or the year on them before you tape them to their wrist. Run the sheet through the laminator so they last all day.
Write a class book: Graduation Day can be a crazy day. It's nice to have a fun activity that will also turn into a keepsake. Have each student make a page for this year's kindergarten "These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things" class book. When students are done, laminate and collate the book and then read it to your students.
Make it more personal by including a school picture by their name. Students write a sentence and illustrate their page. Remind them that this is the end of the year so they should be giving you their best effort. Click on the link to view/print a copy for your class.
I've also included a graphing page, Happy Graduation writing sheet, as well as a letter your students can write to next year's kindergartners! You can help them with this or it can be a take-home activity.
Make a Badge, Necklace, or Pencil Topper: I have learned that you really don't have to spend a lot of money to make a child happy and bring a smile to their face.
I buy packs of pencils in August and September + colored pencils and skinny markers when all of the office supply stores are competing with each other and having wonderful crazy sales.
I use these each month when I dream up some cute little pencil topper. I run it off, cut a top and bottom slit, and insert a brand new pencil.
I then have a practical gift that fits the theme or season and my students are delighted to practice writing with a colored marker or whatever.
This master can also be turned into a necklace by punching two holes at the top and inserting a piece of yarn, or plastic lacing string. I buy neon-colored straws, cut them up and let students alternate them with pony beads to make lovely necklaces.
You could also use these for a name badge and make it more of a keepsake by including your students' photo. They would make cute placecards as well!
Click on the link to view/print the graduation master.
Make Invitations: It's probably on your calendar, and you've probably mentioned the day in your newsletter, but most parents today keep some sort of scrapbook, so why not send a real preschool/kindergarten graduation invitation to them. Include an extra for grandparents.
Have your students help you design it and then they can fill it out in their own handwriting! How precious is that! Here's one idea: Have them write the sentence: Come applaud for me at my graduation. Then trace each child's hand for the cover and have them cut it out, or simply paint their hand and press it to the paper.
Have them make eyes, nose and a smile on their hand print so that it looks like a face. I've also included a generic form for you to run off that they can glue to the inside of their card, as well as a sheet of stationery and a graduation day autograph page. Click on the link to view/print the graduation-invitation things.
Make Sashes: You know how college grads wear gold braided honor cords around their necks? You could have your students make their own "honor sashes" to drape around their shoulders and cascade down the front of their gowns or clothes to add that bit of pizzazz.
Use cash register tape! Take a measuring tape and see how long you want them to fall in front of your students, and then cut the cash register tapes that long. Lay them out on the floor on bulletin board paper so that they don't get paint on the linoleum.
Give students a sponge stamp of the theme of your graduation or the mascott of your school. A heart, butterfly, handprint, apple or smilie face also looks cute. Have the students use a rainbow of colored paint.
Let dry and then have a room helper, or the children if you want, write in vertical black marker: 2011 graduate on one side of the sash. On the other sash have them write the name of your school or preschool/kindergarten, or you could write their name on the right side and 2011 preschool/kindergarten graduate on the left sash.
Have a special SNACK: You can make these with your students or whip them up at home and have them ready as a surprise treat for them. Buy a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Make sure these are the small ones.
My husband came home with a package of two and they were too big! Buy a box of square crackers. I used Triskets, but not every child likes those. Wheat Thins are yummy, but a bit on the small side.
You'll also need a bag of Nestles Toll House milk chocolate morsels, and a bag of M&M's + a tube of yellow frosting. If you don't want to mess with melting and dipping chocolate you can always opt to simply frost the crackers with chocolate frosting, but I think real dipped chocolate is worth the hassel.
I melted a 1/2 cup of morsels for 1 minute in my microwave. Experiment as all microwaves are different.
Lay your peanut butter cups on a sheet of waxed paper that is on a cookie sheet. Put a dollop of melted chocolate on the top of the peanut butter cup and then squish the Trisket on top of it.
Using a plastic knife spread the melted chocolate onto the Trisket and then put an M&M in the middle of the cracker.
You could pick out your school colors if you want to go with a color-theme.
I did one grad cap at a time. When you're done, squeeze a ribbon of yellow frosting out of the tube to make a "tassel" on each one.
And finally... READ a book.
My personal favorites are Dr. Seuss' Oh the Places You'll Go and Yay You! by Sandra Boynton
Also good are First Grade Here I Come by Carlson, Graduation Day is Here by Maccarone, and because my own daughter loved Hello Kitty, I'll put in a plug for Hello Kitty's Graduation Day.
I end my own year in Y5's with a re-reading of the Little Engine That Could as well as the sequel I Knew You Could, by Dorfman, because I start out our year with a "We're CAN-DO kids!" theme.
There's really not much out there in the way of graduation books for little ones. If you know of any, I'd enjoy hearing from you. firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you've found some ideas to help you celebrate your special day!
Congratulations to you and your little ones!