The class of 2020 will certainly have a senior year to remember, one like no other. While plans have changed from going to prom, graduations and celebrations, it doesn’t mean that the situation can’t be turned into something really special. Still plan that party to celebrate the accomplishments of your loved one, by organizing a big event, virtually. Hear us out, there are some great ways to have a lot of fun doing this, and something in person can always be planned down the road. This is what is needed to plan a virtual graduation party.
A Gorgeous Photo Backdrop
Setting a festive scene for your celebration is important. Balloons, streamers and confetti are traditional options, or use some Pinterest inspiration. Cut out their name in cardboard, and use a white string of Christmas lights to literally have it all in lights. With the same concept, many people successfully create blossoming letters with silk flowers. Think about your graduate, and their style, then go from there.
Select a Video Chat Platform
Next you’ll need to decide on your platform. Ask around to see which one grandma, aunts, uncles and so on are most comfortable using. FaceTime, Skype and Google Hangouts are all strong apps to use for successful long distance video calls.
Make a Grand Entrance
Maybe the school will have a ceremony later in the summer, but if that cap and gown is on hand, why not use it? If your grad is into making an entrance and relishing in this big milestone of life, have them enter the party scene with that well deserved traditional get up.
Opt for Traditional Invitations
Invites can still stay traditional, especially if you’ve already had them printed. (Although some clever editing may be necessary.) Yet a lot of money can be saved with a virtual invite. You could create something personalized in Photoshop, or even within a versatile meme maker. Senior photos can be used as a cool background to each emailed invite. Creating a Facebook event could help further spread the word.
Dress in Fancy Threads
While asking guests to dress up, also be sure your graduate has something new or significant to wear for the party. A stunning dress, a button up shirt with a tie featuring the school colors—it’s all about making the party feel official, and giving graduates their time to shine, for all the hard work.
Play Video Games
Every mom is probably rolling their eyes hard right now, but video games are a phenomenal resource for teens to connect with friends during social distancing. Maybe your senior has been asking for a new game all of his or her friends have—this would be an awesome time to give them the gift of hanging out where their friends online, while doing something they love.
Play Regular Games
Games are a must! And graduate trivia can be a hilariously good time. Mom, dad, siblings, come together and create trivia cards with funny and quirky info about the star of the show. Maybe they love Elvis music, or they have goals many family members don’t know about (be sure your student approves of the material!). Make it multiple choice and keep up with the points. Winner gets a prize in the mail.
Make a Memory Box
Reach out to attendees before the virtual party, and ask them about their favorite moment with the graduate. Fill a festive box with the written memories, and who each one is from. A lot of laughs and happy tears are likely to ensue when read aloud.
Mail Out Goody Bags
What’s a party without goody bags? Fill gift boxes with candy, commemorative trinkets and such, and send them out early. Ask everyone to wait until the party day to open them up.
Play a Slideshow of the Grad
Slideshows are a staple to all graduate celebrations. A progression from babyhood to eighteen should be displayed. Pictures of accomplishments, vacations, holidays are just a few ideas as to what to include. Some chat platforms will allow you to play a slideshow on everyone’s computer via a screen share feature (Zoom is one), but if not feeling to techy about it all, gather your photos and show them physically in front of your camera.
Picture Show and Tell
Now it’s time for everyone to show off the pics mom and dad might not have! A picture show and tell will allow the rest of the loved ones to show off snaps they’ve held on to over the years. It’s another amazing reminiscing moment that will bond everyone, no matter how far away.
Gift Cards for a Future Gathering
The promise of a future gathering will give all something to look forward to. Go ahead and purchase gift cards from the graduate’s favorite restaurant, and decide unanimously that everyone will get together once able to do so. So technically, your kiddo gets two celebrations, and that’s a pretty sweet deal.
Save the Big Surprise for Last
If you have a big surprise gift planned, it will truly round out the festivities. Perhaps you’ve been saving for years to surprise your hard worker with a solid vehicle to transport them to and from a college campus. Slap a bow on it and be sure everyone can see the reveal take place. Not thinking quite that big? Maybe everyone is cool with tossing some cash into a pot so one heck of a check could be presented. Uncomfortable with that idea too? Get creative with a homemade gift like a fun poster board, original song, or choreographed dance in honor of the grad.
Dinner for the Graduate
After the festivities end and everyone hangs up, it’s time to spend time together as a family, and reflect on the surprising success of your virtual celebration. Prepare a favorite dinner, grill some steaks, gather by the fire pit, present a super cool cake. Rounding out the night with a great meal with those you love couldn’t be a better ending to this unique, yet memorable, graduation celebration.