It's that time of year!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by wyvern, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Apr 12, 2014

    It's the end of the school year. Our program will not allow us to use a "graduation theme" as in hats, gowns, diplomas and such. But we have a two hour family day where we celebrate our year. What kind of things and in particular activities do you use to celebrate this time of year with families?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 12, 2014

    In other years I have compiled pictures throughout the year and created a slide show presentation highlighting the school year. I then give every student a silly award (Most Humorous, Most Artistic), etc. Sometimes we have a potluck or meet at the local park to play.
     
  4. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Apr 12, 2014

    I can't stand this time of the year. I wish we didn't have to do a "graduation". It's the most inappropriate thing we do all year. Caps, gowns, diplomas for preschoolers is just ridiculous.
     
  5. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Apr 17, 2014

    We don't do a "graduation". But it's a family day. I'm just looking for some new family day activities. There's necklaces of course and frames and pictures....I'm t thinking maybe a scavenger hunt based on the hungry caterpillar, and some kind of caterpillar craft. Just looking for ideas. I have parents and families for the day, no ceremony, but need good activities to keep the day going and interesting.
     
  6. TrainerJoni

    TrainerJoni Rookie

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    Apr 21, 2014

    Here's some info I found in an article that might be a help:

    "#1 Reconsider Your Focus.
    Most preschool pageants, ceremonies and graduations are put on to entertain and impress the parents. Sadly this often comes at the expense of the children. All year long you worked to have a preschool program that was developmentally appropriate, why should the last day be any different? This means involving the children as much as possible while keeping in mind both their capabilities and interests. Let the children choose the theme and help select performance numbers. Children can also participate in designing a set or backdrop, creating costumes, sending invitations and more. Also remember to let their age and abilities determine program length and complexity.
    #2 Keep It Simple I have found that a good rule of thumb for performance time is twice the average age of the group. This would mean that a group of four-year-olds would perform for approximately 8-10 minutes. This is plenty of time for a short skit or two or three songs. When you add on time for announcements or awards you will have a full program that does not tax the attention span of either the audience or participants. Elaborate costumes are often poorly tolerated by preschool children and quickly forgotten by parents. Simple hats or props designed by the children usually work well and serve the same purpose.
    #3 Reduce Stress Graduation is a time for transitions and good-byes. You will go a long way in reducing stress by preparing the children will in advance for this big day. Set aside a time before the show to take care of business issues, pack up belongings and say tearful good-byes. Performing in front of audience can be stressful for young children as much as it is for adults. You may wish to have a simple practice or dress rehearsal. Be flexible, the world will not end if Kyle refuses to wear his wings or Angie forgets the words. And most of all remember-preschool graduation is a time of celebration. Have fun!"
     
  7. brightstart123

    brightstart123 Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2014

    I think you should try with games like one minute games which are somehow related to the kids and played by parents. You can have ball games in one minute activity while you can try balloon games for kids while parents are busy playing their ball games. And the ideas given by Swansong is also good, giving rewards to kids and have a slide show presentation of the pictures of kids or the school.
     
  8. TchrMelissa

    TchrMelissa Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2014

    I have taught for over 11 years and for the past year, I've worked at a school that caters to the "elite" families of Chicago - specifically downtown. These families expect a graduation and all the bells and whistles. I am so not use to this! Last year, we held it a fun venue that had loads of dramatic play areas. The children wore caps, sang a song, received a diploma and then played the rest of the time. This year, I invited our music teacher to come and sing two of their favorite songs. We will only recognize those kids moving on to kindergarten. (I have 3 - 5 year olds and some are in this class for TWO years.)

    The group that is graduating is actually very excited. They know they are getting diplomas and caps and that they will be going to big kid school soon. That makes it more fun and meaningful.

    In the past, when I haven't done graduation, I compiled photos through out the year and put them on a CD for each family. I attached a quick note that reflected on the year and gave my well wishes. Simple and still felt like a way to celebrate and send off. Parents really liked it!
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Apr 26, 2014

    We have always done the caps and gowns, diplomas and party. I don't think it's age appropriate, but in general, all of our graduations have been wonderful. I feel sorry for the kids who are timid and don't want to sing in front of a bunch of strangers.
    This year will be my last one as I am retiring in May. We are singing 3 very cute songs and at the end they recite a poem.
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Apr 26, 2014

    I don't want to sound stupid, but I'm just curious-why is the graduation thing not appropriate? My last child is starting preschool next year, and I was just wondering. Honestly, I'm not sure what our preschool does (it's public school based), but our kindergarten does a graduation. They wear hats and each of them recites a favorite poem.

    I guess, as a parent, I've never thought of it as a bad thing! Sorry to hijack.
     
  11. TrainerJoni

    TrainerJoni Rookie

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    Apr 28, 2014

    As part of a graduation theme in the past, we've done some non-graduation specific things that could work for you.

    I know some have likely been suggested already but here goes.

    Come up with a slideshow with pictures taken through the year.

    Have each child tell those in attendance what they liked best about the past year.
     
  12. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    May 4, 2014

    I don't know why it's "Inappropriate". But in my program, it's not ok, and we don't call it that, even though parents do. But that's not really my question. I like the slide show. I have done great ones in the past, but it's too late now. I think I've got it down to the activities now. Coffee filter butterlies, necklaces and scrapbooking and making bookmarks. There will be a moment for a song to sing to the parents.
     
  13. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    May 4, 2014


    Which songs?
     
  14. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    May 5, 2014

    Hap Palmer Songs

    Songs from Hap Palmer's "Getting to Know Me," Sammy, Won't You Be My Friend, and Feelings, also adding a poem they memorized.
     

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