Get Movin' Blog

Title search:

5th grade grad

Graduation from elementary school is a significant milestone for students and definitely a cause for celebration!

As PTO/PTA leaders, you have the opportunity to create a memorable and meaningful event for students and their families. This guide provides a wealth of ideas for planning the perfect 5th-grade graduation, from exciting event themes to thoughtful gift suggestions and even some fundraising opportunities. Whether you are organizing a themed party, an outdoor picnic, or even a virtual ceremony, these ideas will help ensure the graduation is a special occasion.

With just a little planning, you can create an event that provides a positive and encouraging send-off for students as they move on to the next exciting chapter!

Event Ideas

1. Themed Graduation Party

Themes add a fun element to any event. Here are some popular theme ideas for an elementary school graduation:

  • Future Careers: Encourage students to dress up as what they want to be when they grow up. Decorate the venue with props and posters representing various professions.
  • Hollywood Red Carpet: Make students feel like stars by setting up a red carpet, having “paparazzi” (volunteer parents) take photos, and giving out awards.
  • End-of-Year Carnival: Set up carnival games, a popcorn machine, and face-painting stations for a festive celebration.

2. Ice Cream Truck

An ice cream truck is a fun and memorable treat for graduating students. Many schools have successfully used Kona Ice for their events. Consider inviting them or another local ice cream vendor to your graduation celebration. Combine the ice cream truck visit with a DJ or a music playlist to keep the energy high and the students entertained!

3. Outdoor Picnic or BBQ

Arrange for a casual picnic where parents or a special guest can join the students. Provide picnic blankets and set up food stations with pre-packaged meals or snacks. Include a music playlist and speakers for added fun! Volunteers can supply classic BBQ foods and supplies for lawn games like sack races, tug-of-war, and cornhole.

4. Award Ceremony

Recognize students' achievements with an award ceremony:

  • Certificates: Present students with certificates for various accomplishments, such as academic excellence, leadership, and perfect attendance.
  • Medals and Trophies: Give out medals or small trophies for specific achievements or character traits like kindness, perseverance, and teamwork.
  • Teacher Awards: Allow teachers to give out personalized awards to their students.

5. Memory Lane Walk

Create a sentimental journey for students and families to enjoy during your graduation celebration.

  • Photo Gallery: Set up a gallery of photos from the school year or throughout the students' elementary school years.
  • Memory Wall: Have students write their favorite memories on paper stars or other shapes and display them on a wall.
  • Video Montage: Compile videos from teachers, students, and parents sharing their favorite moments and congratulations for the graduates. You can play this before/after the student awards.

6. End-of-Year Activities

Incorporate fun activities to end the school year on a high note! This isn't just for the graduating students, it can be for the entire school.

  • 5th Grade Dance: Host a dance for the 5th graders, where they can celebrate with their classmates. 
  • Battle of the Classes: Organize a day filled with mini-games and competitions. The winning class gets a special prize like a catered lunch.
  • Field Day: End the school-wide event with a traditional 5th grade Tug O War.
  • Ninja Warrior Course: Set up a Ninja Warrior course for a fun and challenging activity that students will love.
  • Craft Stations: Include craft stations where students can engage in creative activities during the celebration.

Morningside Elementary

Gift Ideas

1. Personalized Items

  • Custom T-Shirts: Design a graduation t-shirt with the school logo, class year, and students' names. You can also provide t-shirts representing the middle schools students will be attending.
  • Photo Books: Create a photo book with pictures from the school year and personalized messages from teachers and staff. Think of it as a 5th grade-only yearbook.
  • Engraved Items: Consider items like engraved keychains, bracelets, or pens with the school name and graduation year.

2. Middle School Survival Kits

POPULAR IDEA! Create kits with items that will help students transition to middle school. Parents can create an Amazon Wish List for donations, and any remaining items can be funded by the PTO/PTA.

These kits can include essentials like a school map, a list of important dates, and contact information for counselors. Add fun items like stress balls, colorful pens, notebooks, and personalized notes of encouragement from teachers or parents. Including practical items such as locker organizers, combination locks, and a school planner can also help students feel more prepared and confident as they move to a new school environment.

3. Fun and Creative Gifts

  • Autograph Bears: Give each student a bear or stuffed animal that their classmates can sign.
  • DIY Kits: Provide kits for activities like tie-dye, painting, or building a simple craft that they can do over the summer.
  • Time Capsules: Encourage students to create time capsules with letters to their future selves, small mementos, and photos.
  • Lawn Signs: Celebrate the students' achievements with personalized lawn signs that they can proudly display at home.
  • Yearbooks: Cover the cost of yearbooks for each student, ensuring they have a tangible memento of their elementary school years.
  • Keepsake Photos: Create and frame grade-level pictures with the class year they will graduate from middle school, giving them a cherished memory to look back on.
  • Commemorative Coins: Custom coins with the school emblem and graduation year can be a unique and treasured gift.

middle school survival kits

Fundraising Opportunities

Graduation events can be costly, but they also present opportunities to raise funds for the school. Here are some fundraising ideas that can help offset costs and raise money for next school year.

1. Custom Merchandise Sales

  • T-Shirts and Hoodies: Design and sell graduation-themed apparel featuring the school logo, class year, and students' names. 
  • School Spirit Items: Offer items like water bottles, hats, and tote bags with the school colors/logo.

2. Event-Based Fundraisers

Combine fundraising with your graduation event. The donation period can culminate with your event, where you can celebrate the graduating students as well as the funds raised for next year. Announcing the total amount raised during the celebration can provide a powerful and emotional moment, highlighting the collective support and dedication of everyone involved. Additionally, you can set up donation stations around the event venue, making it easy for attendees to contribute on the spot. This approach not only helps cover the costs of the graduation event but also sets a positive tone for the upcoming school year, showing students and families that their efforts directly benefit the school's future!

  • Fun Run/Walk: Organize a Fun Run, Color Run, Bubble Run, or Walk-Athon where participants raise money for their participation in the event.
  • Talent Show: Host a talent show with an entry fee, inviting the community to watch and support the talented students.
  • Movie Night: Set up an outdoor movie night with a big screen, popcorn, and drinks. Charge admission and sell concessions to raise funds.

5th grade grad

Organizing an elementary school graduation is a rewarding experience that can leave a lasting impact on students and their families. By incorporating creative event ideas and thoughtful gifts, you can create a memorable and meaningful celebration for graduating 5th graders. As PTO/PTA leaders, you have the honor of collaborating with teachers and admin to make this a standout event that students look forward to as they prepare to transition to middle school!


Share Category "Parent Group Guides":