Whether you go the family cookout route or pay for a catered event, a party is the perfect time to let your graduating homeschooler enjoy the spotlight for an afternoon. Make the gathering more memorable by hosting some graduation games to get your guests in the celebratory mood.
The tried and true “Most Likely to Succeed” and “Cutest Couple” don’t lend themselves to homeschooling, but you can twist up your superlative options for some good-natured party fun.
Print out sheets with a number of Most Likely and Least Likely options. Let your guests vote on where they think your homeschooler is headed in life. Guests can either rank the options in order. Or, they can pick their top two choices in each category.
Be sure to collect the voting sheets and tally up the scores. You can announce the voters’ choices before cake!
Personalize the superlatives based on your homeschooler’s interests and quirks. Some ideas to get you started, include:
- Be a back-up singer for Lizzo
- Start a new fitness chain called Pump You Up
- Write a science fiction novel
- Create her own fashion line of knee-high socks
- Conquer the Halo Universe
- Be an All American Big Mac Eating Champion
- Win the Nobel Prize in Physics/Chemistry/Medicine/Literature
I Remember When
See how well your guests remember the graduate-of-honor. Print out some sheets that lists 5 milestone events in your high school graduate’s life. People have to guess (within a 6-month window of time) how old the graduating senior was at the time of the event.
After everyone has had a chance to answer the questions, read each one out loud and have random people shout out their answers. Then, let the guest of honor share the real answer.
Pick memorable events that relate to your teen’s personality or a hobby, such as:
- First time your son got a memorable haircut, like a mohawk
- Age when your daughter began playing a certain musical instrument
- Day your son daughter achieved a significant athletic goal, such as nailing a double axle in ice skating
- Year when your son stopped being such a picky eater and tried an exotic food for the first time
- Month when your child earned a special recognition, such as Eagle Scout
In the News
This game will take a little bit more preparation time, but you can make it a fun team game with younger and older guests working together.
Select significant years from your teen’s life, such as when they were born, when they started Kindergarten, and when they got their driver’s license. Pick at least 5 years to make it a challenge.
Research each year and pick one “#1” item for each year. You might want to include top movies, songs, books, or news stories. For example, if you google “1994 top news story”, you’ll be reminded that was the year Nancy Kerrigan was attacked at the Winter Olympics, the English Channel tunnel opened, and the US ended its presence in Somalia.
Create multiple choice questions that get your guests thinking back in time, with a trip down memory lane. Or, let teams come up with their own answers. If you go with this harder choice, be prepared to have some hints that you can throw out to help people win points for their team.
Flip the questions around and give out the answer and see if teams can figure out the date. For example, you could say, “What year did the Smashing Pumpkin’s have a hit song titled 1979? It was the same year Jeremy started talking.”
Picture Match #1
If there will be lots of kids at the graduation party, arrange to have parents bring a toddler picture along with a senior year picture of their children. Create a photo board that can hang on the wall. Draw a distinctive line down the center. Label the left side “Then” and the right side “Now”.
Assign each set of pictures a number/letter code, with the toddler picture being labeled 1, 2, . . . and the senior year picture labeled A, B, . . . Hang the pictures on the appropriate sides of the board. Guests get to decide which toddler picture matches the senior picture. After everyone has a chance to vote, announce the matches by rearranging pictures on the board.
Picture Match #2
If most of your guests will be adults, you can create a similar picture board. Instead of toddler-senior year pictures, have guests bring a photocopy of their high school yearbook pictures and a present day photo for this guessing game.
Name That Tune
Raid your teen’s music collection – or enlist their help to prepare for this game.
Digitally record snippets of their favorite songs using either Mac’s Garage Band or Window’s Media Player. Prepare at least 10 music samples. Start off by recording bits of music that last at least 3-5 seconds for easier listening questions. Make each music sample shorter to make identifying it more difficult.
When you play the game, make sure you have a good set of speakers that allow everyone to hear the music sample so they can guess the song title and artist.
Make the game intergenerational by adding songs from the graduation years of parents and grandparents.
Before the party, brainstorm a number of words that relate to your high school graduate. The terms should be easy to draw. You might choose specific sports, favorite books, favorite foods, hobbies, places visited, or even a quirky personality trait.
During the party have an easel and whiteboard or a pad of paper handy, along with a variety of colored markers. Split guests into teams. The person chosen to go to the easel looks at the term and without speaking, draws the term. The team must guess the word.
Since this is a party game, make as many or few rules as you like. For example, you may let the person drawing touch their ear to indicate “sounds like”. You can also allow them to show a certain number of fingers or tally marks to indicate how many words the team needs to guess. Or, you can allow them to mark an “X” to show something is a wrong guess or they want to start over with a new drawing to communicate the same idea.
The Places You’ll Go
Hang a large map of the United States or of the world on the wall. Provide an assortment of sticky notes, colored paper, string, tape, and colored pens on a table.
Encourage guests to write a note about where they think the graduate may end up in life. Notes should include the name of the city, state, or country and a brief explanation of why the person thinks they’ll end up there. Each person should sign their note. Notes should be fixed to the map or taped off to the side with a string attached and pointing the map location.
Be sure to hang a pre-printed instruction sheet next to the map. Encourage guests to think broadly in both the short term or the long term. Include a few prompts to get guests thinking, such as spring break trips, visiting lands of family origins, seeing a Hall-of-Fame museum, working at a dream job, like the Hadron Collider.
Last modified on April 15, 2020