Anchors away graduates! It’s time to set sail for a party that celebrates your journeys in the classroom.
1. InvitationsAn easy invitation idea for a nautical-themed Kindergarten graduation party is to create a sailor’s chart. Draw the chart by hand, or use image graphics to add a compass, boat and destination points. You can even design the course to sail from kindergarten to first grade. Additional suggestions:
- Cardstock cut into the shape of a sailboat or sea creature.
- Notecards decorated with anchors.
- A message in a bottle.
- Postcard photo of your child in sailor’s suit.
Your party space can be easily decorated with a blue and white color scheme and some beach party decorations. To emphasize the sailing aspect, combine them with a few of these items:
- Make a sail from an old sheet and write “Set Sail for First Grade” with fabric marker or spray paint. You could also add a congratulatory note and the names of the graduating students. Hang the sail on a wall or from the ceiling as a backdrop to the party space.
- Balloons that are shaped like boats or sea creatures, or simply colored to match a nautical theme, anchored down with toy boats or anchors.
- A combination of nautical decorations, whether purchased from a sporting goods store or homemade,(cut from foam board and decorated by hand), such as life rafts, anchors and ship’s wheels.
- A large toy boat is a simple centerpiece idea for the party table. Place a smaller toy boat at each place setting as complementary decorations that can also serve as party favors.
- Inflatable sea creatures, pool rings and palm trees, scattered around the party space.
3. Games and Crafts
Since they can’t actually take off on the high seas, your little sailors will need to be entertained. Arrange for some of these nautical-themed games and crafts during the party.
- Race to ring the ship’s bell: Set up an obstacle course and have kids race to see who is first to reach and ring a ship’s bell at the end of the course.
- Sailboat race: Place toy sailboats in a baby pool. Have kids blow on the boats to race them across the pool.
- Purchase or make a kite that resembles a ship’s sail. Use an anchor as the handle. Head outside to “sail” the kite.
- Play hot potato with a toy boat or plush sea creature as the “potato.”
- Boat bottle art (fill plastic bottles with colored sand and miniature boats or sea creatures. Glue the bottle cap on when finished.)
- Make Juice box boats like these from Skip to My Lou.
- Make pinwheels (in nautical colors).
- Make paper sailor hats.
The first thing that springs to mind for a nautical party food is a variety of fish and shellfish. However, since we are catering to Kindergarteners, perhaps the closest acceptable option is fish sticks. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a menu worthy of the sailing theme. Suggestions for pleasing young palates include:
- Fish crackers
- Fish and boat shaped sandwiches, cookies and brownies.
- Pizza life preservers (pizza bagels, in the shape of life rafts).
- Pizza sails (crescent dough pizza, baked in triangle shapes).
- Watermelon or pineapple boats.
- Buckets of pasta (pasta dishes, such as macaroni and cheese, poured into beach pails and served with the shovels).
- Barbecue favorites, such as sliders and hot dogs, decorated with toothpick sails.
- Seafood favorites, such as shrimp cocktail , can be added to the menu for the adults in attendance.
- Sail boat cupcakes.
- Ship cake.
Crafts made at the party are enough to serve as the parting gift. However, additional suggestions include nautical-themed favors, or items intended for use in the next grade or on summer vacation.
- Toy Sailboats.
- Individual bags of fish crackers.
- Sailors’ caps or captains’ hats.
- Fishing net favor bags, filled with school supplies for first grade.
- Beach pails and shovels.