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Preschool graduation is one of those things that some think to be silly – “Oh it’s just preschool!” they’ll say.

And I can’t help but question if they’ve ever had preschoolers, because let me tell you – the friendships they form at 4 or 5 years old are some of the sweetest, strongest bonds. It’s especially hard if their class will be going on to different kindergartens, which happens to be the case for my first born and his preschool classmates.

Now I’m by no means an expert in this area. In fact, as I’m writing this, we’re still five days away from graduation, but what better way to share my insight than in real time.

How to Prepare Your Child to Graduate from Preschool

One thing that I’ve noticed with all the little ones is that they’re all struggling in one way or another. One of the silliest in the class is suddenly somber. One of the calmest now acts out. And oh the tears…lots and lots of tears.

My son in particular has been exceptionally emotional, which is actually what prompted this post. This morning we were watching TV and one of those “save the dogs!!” commercials came on. I didn’t even realize he was paying attention until he started sobbing. We were able to talk it through and sure enough the root of it all is that he keeps thinking about graduation.

Expect Big Emotions

These little ones have some of the biggest emotions.

So if you’ve got a little one preparing for the end of the school year (even if s/he’s not graduating!), expect that their emotions may very well be harder to control than normal. Even those who cannot fully explain their feelings can sense a change coming in their routine. And let’s face it – change in routine is hard, no matter the age!

Preparing for Graduation Day

We’re very lucky in that our school does hold a small ceremony to celebrate those moving on to kindergarten. The program calls it a “Celebration of Our Stars.”

It’s very important to frame graduation day as just that – a celebration.

Because let’s be honest, the preschoolers aren’t going to be the only ones struggling with their emotions. So while there will almost certainly be tears (heck, I can’t even get through this post without crying!) it’s important to remember what a fun day it’ll be.

Whether it’s a full cap-and-gown ceremony or a simple potluck-style celebration, it’s sure to be a memorable day for everyone. Talk to your little one about what to expect on the day of. While the teacher will of course be walking them through the set-up of the day, you really can’t go wrong reinforcing the expectations.

Preschool Celebration Ideas

Whether your school is doing an actual graduation or not, there are many ways to celebrate! Honestly one of the best ways to help with the transition from school to summer is to commemorate it as a family.

If you have a big family or friends looking to join in the celebration, potluck is always a great way to go. If your school isn’t doing an actual graduation ceremony, you could also reach out to the parents of the other kids to see if they want to potluck together.

A slideshow is also a fun way to celebrate. It doesn’t have to be something super time-consuming, especially if you already have an album (on Facebook or otherwise) that’s documented some of their best times at school.

And even though this site is about leading you to a richer life, I do recommend you consider buying a small gift for your child to celebrate the day. If they’re moving on to kindergarten, consider taking them to pick out their backpack for next year. Books are of course also a great route to take!

Regardless of how you celebrate the day, don’t forget to take a moment to soak it all in. If these last five years have taught me anything, it’s that time really does go by so much faster than any of us ever realize.

Quote box with the days are long but the years are short

Do you remember the day you graduated preschool?

Comment below, I’d love for you to share your memories!