5th Grade Graduation Event Ideas

Celebrate your parent group’s rising middle schoolers (or even other grade levels) with these fun ways to mark 5th grade graduation!


Award Ceremony

Hand out a personalized certificate to each student signed by the principal and their teacher; these can be straightforward or customized with fun superlatives, such as “friendliest” or “most likely to share snacks.”

5th Grade Graduation Event Ideas - award ceremony

What you’ll need: Certificate template, list of students with their superlatives, someone who can use mail merge to create and print the files.

Jazz it up: Put together a slideshow of graduates’ kindergarten pictures alongside their current school photo to play on a loop at the ceremony.

Signing Event

Give graduating 5th graders an opportunity to mingle with their friends across classes. Hand out yearbooks, class T-shirts, and any other souvenirs, and have plenty of Sharpies available for signatures.

What you’ll need: A space large enough to accommodate the entire grade, enough permanent markers in different sizes and colors for each student to have one, items for signing.

Jazz it up: Pair the event with an ice cream sundae bar, plus ask a few volunteers to snap keepsake photos with an instant camera.

Lots of balls in the air? Show those year-end PTO tasks who’s boss before summer

Pool Party

Reserve recreational space at a public pool or splash pad for a year-end hurrah and invite the kids to hang out for a couple of hours at free or reduced admission costs. (If your PTO has the budget, you can even give each person a beach towel with the middle school’s logo on it.) Put out snacks and water bottle refill stations.

What you’ll need: Variety of snack foods in individual-size bags, other treats like popsicles, large drink dispensers to refill water bottles, trash bags.

Jazz it up: Set up a karaoke machine or use a Bluetooth speaker to broadcast a playlist of the class’s favorite songs from the past six years.

Tie-Dye Party

Hand out white shirts, socks, or small gym towels, set out liquid fabric dye in rainbow brights or school colors, and laminate a few sets of photo instructions for how to create different designs. (Note: This activity is best done outdoors, on a paved or grassy surface that can handle dye.)

What you’ll need: Small rubber bands (a lot of them), squirt-top bottles for liquid fabric dye, instruction sheets for creating patterns, plenty of resealable plastic bags for taking home dyed creations (one bag for each item), washing instructions for kids to take home.

Jazz it up: Instead of plain shirts, use white T-shirts with the middle school mascot printed on them.

Student Clap-Out

Send off your oldest students like VIPs as they leave the school for the last time: All the other students line the hallways inside the building while parents gather outside on both sides of the exit. As the graduates come down the stairs and out the doors, everyone claps or twirls noisemakers.

5th Grade Graduation Event Ideas - student clap-out

What you’ll need: Good communication so parents know where and what time to gather up! If your school has multiple exits, be clear about which one will be used.

Jazz it up: For high schoolers, try a Senior Parade with vehicles instead. Decorate cars and chauffeur the graduates through town on a prearranged route while community members applaud.

5th Grade Graduation Ideas - car parade


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