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Moving up celebrations: the preschool way

It's June and that means that not only are we teachers preparing Father's Day gifts but we are also preparing for moving up celebrations (otherwise known as graduations). Now these celebrations will look different from school to school. However, with preschool there is much debate about whether children should graduate and in what fashion. It's been known that some schools even hold little proms for preschoolers. As a teacher, trying to find the right balance to appropriately celebrate the children's accomplishments can be difficult. The following are tips to make moving up celebrations more fun and interactive as well as a learning experience.

1. Music/Movement: Remember to pick songs that mean something to the children and is easy to learn. Incorporating dance songs can be a joy as well. Why not also re-enacting a favorite book such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear? Greg and Steve have great songs for children as well as Ella Jenkins. Check out their website or find them on amazon.com.

2. Creative: Have children make their own graduation caps. Now some people purchase caps and gowns. However, if you wish to make the whole experience more meaningful, the children can create their own. Beware, there is some assembly involved. We use card stock squares, plastic bowls, yarn and tape. The children decorate the squares which serves as the top of the cap. For further demonstration, check out Pinterest for various ways to make graduation caps.

3. Language/Literacy: Furthermore, while discussing with children that this is their special day, explaining the following terms enriches their vocabulary (something we definitely want to do); graduation, celebration, special occasion, and invitation. Have children create their own invitations or at least write their names.

So you see, this time is quite an exciting time for our little ones. They are aware of graduations because some have family members who may be graduating from middle school, high school or college. One thing to remember about discussing and celebrating graduations with young children is letting them know that it is a time to commemorate accomplishments. Happy Graduation Day to all!!