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School's Out ... Celebrating Graduates in 2021

These past 14 months have been difficult for everyone, but notably for students. The flip flopping from in-class to online remote learning, to the introduction of quadmesters and small cohorts has been difficult from both an educational and social perspective. Combine that with the cancellation of events like orientation week, homecoming, team sports, school plays and performances, trips, dances, clubs, music and art programs students have lost out on many important experiences. But out of all the things that students have missed, milestone events such as prom and graduation rank among the biggest. For the second year in a row, the COVID-19 pandemic has redefined school life and what all students work toward … their graduation. As difficult and challenging as these times are, we believe we can still commemorate success, honour all the hard work and recognize the important milestone of graduation.

Whether your child is graduating from kindergarten, middle or grade school, high school or university we all have been looking forward to this exciting celebration. As parents ourselves, our hearts go out to all the graduates who will miss so many events like prom, walking across the stage accepting their diplomas, tossing their caps in the air, the last week of classes with friends, saying goodbye to teachers, getting yearbooks signed and all the fun that surrounds school traditions and graduation rituals. While many schools and universities are, understandably, planning for virtual graduation events, we think that those who are graduating deserve some extra attention, congratulations and some sort of celebration … whatever that may be once permitted.

As an optimistic bunch we believe that with more and more people getting vaccinated good news is around the corner. We hope that small outdoor celebrations will soon be allowed and we believe that with a little help and some creative touches, we can help make the grad in your life feel extra special. An outdoor graduation party doesn’t have to be massive to be exciting. We think the best thing is to tailor the celebration to what your grad will enjoy and what will make the occasion memorable, fun and covid safe for all.

Some ideas for a backyard outdoor graduation celebration include:

  • display a lawn sign and some decor to match school colours

  • decorate with custom signs, 2021 grad balloons and flowers

  • organize an at-home graduation ceremony complete with cap and gown

  • plan a delicious meal or appetizer stations with the graduate's favourite foods

  • for your university graduate set up a "bubbly bar" to toast their success

  • plan the most fabulous graduation dessert table filled with cakes, cupcakes, candy, cookies, ice cream and more!

  • create a collage of photos throughout the years, collect achievements and put together a scrapbook

  • produce a short video of well wishes from family and friends celebrating the graduate

  • zoom in family and friends who can’t be there or if numbers don’t allow

Graduation this year may not look the way any of us planned, but with a little creativity, you can honour your child’s accomplishments, bring together the important people in their life, and celebrate their success .

Congratulations to all the 2021 graduates!

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