Your child has done all the hard work to claim that cap and gown, and now it’s time to celebrate! Make sure the party is legit, not lame. Check your shopping list against these must-haves.
Cake – the cake becomes the centerpiece for any graduation party. You can go with an inexpensive grocery store sweet featuring an icing depiction of a cap, or splurge on a cake boss style masterpiece in the shape of books or a mortar board with a tassel.
One popular option is the photo cake, which allows you to put an edible picture of the graduate across the top.
Paper Products – the last thing you want to do after a big celebration is dishes, so be sure to stock up on fun, graduation themed plates, cups, plastic flatware, table cloths and napkins. Party City has a great selection in a wide variety of hues, so you can match your grad’s school colors. They’re advertising 50% off graduation party essentials right now.
This time of year most grocery and variety stores carry some kind of graduation tableware, including: Walmart, Target, Big Lots and Dollar Tree.
Decorations – your teens may have outgrown crepe streamers and balloons but party stores and importers are great sources for fun and unique decorations and favors they will love. Online importer Oriental Trading Company offers funky options like: smiley face graduation suckers, class of 2014 bubbles, printed tumblers and water bottles, a more than life sized wall hanging that says “2014,” graduation cup cake liners, graduation matchbook mints, graduation hat confetti, graduation fans, graduation cupcake holders, even graduation trash can covers.
And yes, they have balloons. They even have yard signs, so you can let people know where the party is.
Munchies – even if you’re not serving a meal, you’ll want to offset that cake with something to subdue the sugar rush. If catering isn’t in the budget, try a party tray or two. A lot of grocery stores have specials on their meat, cheese and veggie trays at this time of year.
HEB sells large party trays for $29.99 to $39.99. Each tray feeds 20 to 25 people, so you can feed a small group with one tray and some chips. Walmart also makes a wide variety of platters to order. In addition to the standard meats and veggies, you can get a chicken wing platter, an appetizer platter and a shrimp cocktail tray. Prices range from $14 to $48 depending on contents and size.
Drinks – if you don’t want to mess with cups and ice, just get a cooler and fill it up with canned or bottled sodas, teas, water and juice. You can reduce the number of half consumed beverages you find all over the house later by putting out some stickers for the guests to affix to their drinks.
This is a great way to get rid of all the old Spongebob Squarepants or Dora the Explorer stickers your grad has outgrown. As long as there aren’t too many duplicates, your guests should be able to pick their drinks out of the pack (and they’re fun).
MORE FROM THIS CONTRIBUTOR:
Teaching Teens and Young Adults Effective Phone Communication Skills
‘She’s Hitting Me!’ – What My Siblings Taught Me About Life
First Person: Modern Universities Educate Video Game Generation, Ground Helicopter Parents