A college or high school graduation is a major accomplishment, so celebrating with a party is always appropriate. Parents of graduates or the graduates themselves should create a plan for the graduation party, detailing the menu and activities. Writing up the program can make the event run smoothly and minimize any chaos during the party.
Create a budget. Graduation parties can get expensive when the cost of food, decorations and party favors are added up. Come up with a maximum cost beforehand so you can determine how the money can be spent and if you have to cut corners on any part of the party.
Send out invitations. When sending invitations, include an RSVP phone number and deadline. This will determine the number of people so there is enough food for the party. You can also ask guests for special diet concerns, such as a vegetarian menu or food allergies.
Select decorations and party supplies. The decorations can range from balloons attached to the mailbox so that guests can find the location of the party to streamers and graduation-themed plates, cups and napkins.
Choose the menu and food options for the party. There are several ways to plan the food. You can have the event catered, make the food yourself -- or do a little of both. Plan the menu as soon as possible, but wait to order from the caterer or buy the groceries until the RSVPs have been counted.
Plan the activities. For example, select a sports game like basketball or baseball or a party game like a piñata or bean bags. The activities you choose are partly dictated by the number of people at the graduation party, the age of the graduate and guests and the budget. Activities can also include karaoke, hired entertainers or video game competitions.
Create a estimated schedule. Once the activities, food items and number of people are determined, write a party program. For example, a starting time for the party might be 5 p.m., when appetizers are served and some quick games are played. Set the main course or meal for the party at a specific time, like 6:30 p.m., especially when using a caterer. Plan major entertainment either before or after the meal, depending on the amount of activity required. Plan some down time between activities for chatting and relaxing.
Set up party favors and prizes. Party favors for a graduation party might include candy or other sweet treats, small graduation caps or little personalized items. Prizes for games could be slightly more pricey and might include graduation-themed plush animals and gift baskets.