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Unique Ways to Celebrate Your High School Graduate 

Graduating from high school is a huge milestone in your child’s life. As a parent, you want to mark the occasion and make sure your graduate knows how proud you are of them. But figuring out how to celebrate high school graduation can be tricky—especially if your senior isn’t the type to want a huge party.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways parents can make their graduate feel special on their big day that go beyond the traditional graduation party.

High school graduation events

One of the best ways to celebrate high school graduation is by hosting an event that brings family and friends together—but it doesn’t need to be anything extravagant! Sometimes a trip to your senior’s favorite restaurant with a few of their close friends is just as good as throwing a huge bash. If you’re at a loss for things to do to celebrate graduation, here are a few ideas.

Start graduation day off with brunch

Start the big day off right by surprising your senior with a buffet of their favorite morning eats. Make it extra fun by inviting a handful of friends and family members to join you. Check out this DIY bagel board that you can customize with other breakfast goodies!

Host a barbeque

Barbecuing is an easy, relatively inexpensive way to bring people together. Use a backyard big enough for guests and add in some graduation party games and decor. If space is a problem, consider hosting a small party at a local restaurant. Many restaurants have small rooms that can be rented out for events. Bonus, you won’t have to cook or clean up!

Take your senior on a special outing

As you brainstorm high school graduation ideas, think about activities around town that your senior enjoys. Do they like concerts or plays? Do they enjoy being pampered at the spa? Invite their closest friends and family members along for memories that will last. 

Take a family vacation

Is there anywhere your senior would love to visit? Plan a family trip to that location to celebrate their high school graduation! Whether it’s a week-long overseas trip or a weekend getaway to the next city over, take advantage of the time you have as a family before college life interferes. 

High school graduation gifts

Cash and gift cards have their place, but if you’re looking for a more meaningful type of gift for your graduate, check out these high school graduation gift ideas. 

Create a memory quilt

Instead of throwing out or donating old t-shirts, sports jerseys, dance outfits and other clothing your senior doesn’t wear anymore, make a memory quilt. If you’re not handy with a sewing machine, there are companies that will create the quilt for you—all you need to do is mail them the clothing you want to include. This wearable set of memories serves as a cozy and creative reminder of your graduate’s childhood.

Make a scrapbook

Do you have a lot of old photos, ticket stubs, performance playbills, and other memorabilia living inside a box? Put it to good use and create a scrapbook. It’s a flippable, tactile reminder of how far your graduate has come. Need a little assistance? Services like Shutterfly or Snapfish can help with templates, fonts, and colors to produce a printed book that is artistic and polished. Alternatively, you can create an online version that is more portable—and less likely to get lost.

Write letters to your graduate

Have close friends and family members draft letters of congratulations, well wishes, and humorous anecdotes to your senior. Try using upgraded stationery and package the letters in unique ways, such as using a custom wax seal. Another option is creating a personalized set of postcards that friends and family can send to your graduate. 

Put together a college gift basket

College might still be a few months away, but it’s never too early to start preparing. A gift basket filled with essentials for college life is a thoughtful gift that will definitely come in handy once your graduate starts school in the fall. Consider filling the basket with items like laundry detergent, desk organizers, and a reusable water bottle. You can even throw in some gift cards to your graduate’s favorite fast food restaurants. 

High school graduation decorations

Even if you aren’t hosting a graduation party, decorations can liven up your graduate’s exciting day! Try these simple decoration ideas to show your support for your graduate. 

Dress up your car

Give your senior a one-of-a-kind ride into graduation! Fill a basket with streamers, balloons, poster board, and window markers that they can use to decorate their car. Need some inspiration? Check out this article.

Create a centerpiece with pictures of your graduate

If you’re hosting a get together, create centerpieces that remind everyone of your graduate’s journey. Include childhood photos (preschool, kindergarten, first grade, etc.) along with recent photos and put together a “then and now” bouquet with some wooden rods and a vase. Another option is creating a photo banner that chronologically displays your senior’s progress in pictures.

Deck out your graduate’s door

Another fun graduation day idea is surprising your graduate by decorating their bedroom door with balloons, silly string, poster board signs, glitter, and removable stickers or decals. Enlist younger siblings, friends, and family members to put their own stamp on it. 

Add some decorations to your front lawn

Decorations like lawn signs or banners are a great way to show your neighborhood how proud you are of your graduate. You can personalize your lawn decorations by making your own or by using a service that custom prints signs with your graduate’s name and picture. 

Whether you go somewhere special, give gifts, or decorate to the nines, graduation is an important milestone for your senior. Celebrate in a way that feels right for them and for your family. Remember, it’s all about recognizing your senior’s hard work and enjoying the moment.

Congratulations to all of the seniors who are graduating this year! To read more about BASIS Charter Schools’ high school program, click here

Amy Licht
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