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8 Ways to Celebrate Graduation while Social Distancing

This is a bittersweet time for the Class of 2020. While they won’t be celebrating like they thought they would be, it doesn’t mean we can’t get creative and find other ways to celebrate them.

Times are different, that’s for sure. This is new to all of us and we are all doing the best we can, and that’s all we can do. But the kids are still missing out on some big moments. That’s in addition to the sports training and games, play practices and productions, field trips, big school projects and events are things they’ve already missed.

Senior Skip Day, Senior pranks, Prom, Graduation, and Beach Week are a few more of the things they’re currently missing. They worked hard in school, sports, band, chorus, theatre, robotics, art, and so many other areas to get to this point and they deserve to be celebrated. But feeling bad won’t fix it. So I have been looking for ways on how to celebrate our graduating students and have come up with a few to share with you. 

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Make a Sign!

We did this at our house! We went to our local hardware store and picked up

  • Plywood
  • 3 wood garden stakes
  • Some solar string lights
  • 1 can of white outside spray primer
  • 3 colors of outside paint

For the paint we picked 3 colors based on the 2 high schools in our county so the sign could be for everyone. We painted the sign and left a bag of sharpies tied to it inviting any grads who pass by to sign it. We posted it in our online community group to let people know it was there and invited graduating kids of any grade to come sign it if they were passing by.


If you don’t want to make a sign you can always buy a  personalized yard sign, banner or plaster a big face of your kid and put them around your yard to celebrate them. 


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Spotlight your Kid

Literally. Put together all your child’s accolades from their previous years and put it in your doorway and shine a spotlight on it. These powerful doorways are popping up all over and we love seeing them. 




Have a Porch Prom

String some lights up, grab some flowers, put some tunes on and get dressed up. Have the whole family join in and invite your neighbors to have a porch prom on the same night and time and dance the night away with your family and neighbors, from your porch all while social distancing. 




Adopt a Senior

Some states have an Adopt a Senior facebook pages. Community members can pick a Senior and send them motivational messages or small gifts in the mail, making them feel special and honored.



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Organize a Car Parade

Virtually organize the grads to have a social distancing car parade. Decorate the cars with class of 2020 and have them drive through their neighborhoods celebrating. They even have invites on Etsy to invite people to the parade, check them out here. 




Have a Night Out

If you live in a county or near a county with a drive-in theatre, call them and see if they will work with you on hosting a movie night for the graduating class and their families. That way they can all do something ‘together’ without being ‘together.’ 



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Virtual Graduation

Youtube is hosting a Virtual Graduation on June 6. There are commencement speeches lined up from The Obamas, Lady Gaga, and more. There will also be musical and special appearances lined up; it is sure to be an amazing experience.

Oprah is also hosting a Virtual Graduation on May 15th via facebook at 2 p.m. Stars will share speeches and words of advice for graduating students, while Miley will perform her uplifting hit “The Climb.” Colleges and high schools across the nation will be mentioned by name, and various deans and principals will also prepare messages to be shared during the stream. This will be available to stream both on facebook and instgram the day of. 

May 16, a primetime graduation special organized by NBA star LeBron James is set to be televised across ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, and streamed on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok and other platforms.


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Don’t have a senior but still want to celebrate?

Have a Friendly Fight

The tradition in our home is on the last day of school we welcome our son off the school bus with a water fight. We get water balloons (we always get this kind because they are so easy to fill up) and fill them all up in a tub and pull it to the driveway and fill our watergun/weapons up and lay them out on the driveway and wait for his arrival. As soon as he gets off the bus and it pulls away, he’s fair game and the battle starts. It doesn’t end until all our balloons are gone and the loser has to buy the winners ice cream. Though really, we always buy, of course. I’m sure he isn’t expecting it this year, but we are definitely planning to keep our tradition on the official last day of school and surprise him with it. 

Decorate to Celebrate

On most holidays we decorate our kitchen/dining area, so we will continue that tradtion as well. I made it to the Dollar Tree last week and they had several Graduation decor items I picked up. So we will decorate and have a special party at the house with just us and our son’s favorite meals. This is a super afforable way to celebrate the kids all week long. 

Honor your Grad, at any age, in the most Suess way you can!

Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises is celebrating all graduates of any age with their Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Virtual Graduation Celebration. Parents are sharing photos of their grads, some with a bit of information on the places they’re going next, in honor of the beloved book’s title. As for commencement speeches, John Cena took the lead and completely knocked it out of the park with a reading of Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and some touching words for the class of 2020.

“Hello, graduating class of 2020,” he starts. “You’re graduating, and due to the current circumstances, commencement ceremonies have to be adjusted.” Following his reading of Dr. Seuss’s inspiring book, the WWE champion adds: “I know circumstances are not normal, but that’s the way the world is now. Please, do not lose the value of your accomplishment. Regardless of the circumstances that are going on right now, you have set yourself a goal and you have worked to achieve it. Celebrate this moment . . . Remember, this day has value. And yes, there is not some large commencement ceremony where you’ll walk across in a robe and a funny, boxy hat and receive a piece of paper, but don’t lose the value of your achievement.”

Everyone at Chesapeake Family Life is proud of all the moms and dads and all the 2020 graduates. We are always here cheering you on and will continue celebrating you and your family. <3

—Jenny Cardoza

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