Middle school graduation invitations and a slice of cake on a plate

Your kid is growing up, and with each passing year, their achievements grow. With 8th grade graduation around the corner, this year is extra special. Your grad has put in lots of hard work, learned new subjects, and conquered more challenges. So it’s no wonder you want to host a middle school graduation party they’ll remember for years to come!

With this guide, we’ll show you how to celebrate your middle school graduate in style. Each middle school graduation party idea here acknowledges their achievements, honors their hard work, and sends them off to high school with pride.

14 Ideas to Celebrate a Middle School Graduation

Middle school graduation: graduation caps and confetti thrown up into the air

Why wait to celebrate a high school graduation or college graduation? Getting through those middle school years is a major achievement for young students! Now that graduation day is quickly approaching, it’s time to plan. From low-key grad day party ideas to creative 8th grade graduation gifts, here are our favorite ways to celebrate this milestone. 

1. Decorate Your Home

Show the neighborhood how proud you are of your middle school student by adding graduation decorations outside of your home. Hang balloons, streamers, and tassels outside on railings, fencing, or entryways. You can order a graduation lawn sign featuring a saying like “Proud of Our Grad” or “He Did It!” Alternatively, you can get balloons that spell out their graduation year.

2. Order Custom T-Shirts

Mark the moment by ordering custom graduation T-shirts featuring the guest of honor. You can have a printing company make the tees and wear them to the graduation ceremony or you can give your child a tee with their grad year printed on the front. For a special touch, you can also have the graduation class names printed on the back as a keepsake.

3. Decorate Their Graduation Cap

Get together with your grad for a special moment to decorate their cap before the big ceremony — you’ll love watching them get creative. Plus, the graduation cap will make the perfect keepsake. You can even save it with their elementary school graduation cap and diploma and pass it on to them at their next big milestone — high school graduation!

4. Use Leis for the Graduation Ceremony

If your student is graduating from junior high or middle school, there’s most likely a ceremony to mark the occasion. The students will be given caps and gowns to wear along with honor cords and academic regalia if they’re part of certain clubs. As a post-ceremony gift, you can give them a lei made of flowers, candy, or even money!

5. Plan a Professional Photo Shoot

Contemporary Arch Invitation

Design: Creo Study

Make memories of this special moment by hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of the accomplished 8th grader. Have your grad wear the full cap and gown for the photos and scout locations to find the perfect backdrop for these memorable snaps.

6. Host a Graduation Party

Invite friends, family members, and your child’s fellow middle schoolers to a fantastic graduation party. Consider hosting a pool party where the tweens can let loose and have some fun in the sun. Alternatively, you can host a backyard graduation party and enjoy a cookout with hot dogs, burgers, and other tasty treats.

7. Create a Photo Slideshow

Stroll down memory lane and create a photo slideshow of your child’s biggest accomplishments. From learning how to walk to riding a bike and submitting a science competition project, there are countless moments to celebrate your big kid. Share the slideshow at the graduation party or make a photo book as a graduation gift. If you’re inviting the entire graduation class to a party, you can include pictures of each child from the past year in school.

8. Make a Special Graduation Breakfast

Treat your child to a special morning before they get their graduation diploma. You can make graduation day extra special by going out to their favorite restaurant or cooking their favorite breakfast at home. For a bigger celebration, use these brunch ideas and invite family to celebrate. After the meal, you can head to the graduation ceremony together.

9. Get Graduation Gifts

School Colors Invitation

Design: Owl and Toad

Finishing middle school and heading to high school is a big deal. Make the graduate feel special by giving them a thoughtful gift. Graduation covers for diplomas are a nice way to display their accomplishment and protect their diploma.

A graduation card is another way to show how proud you are. If you like, add cash or a gift card to the sentiments so they can treat themselves to something special after all their hard work. Other popular graduation gifts include picture frames, school supplies, and jewelry.

10. Treat the Grad to a Trip or Activity of Their Choice

Show how proud you are by taking your graduate on a special trip or treating them to one of their favorite activities. For instance, you can go to a professional ball game if your child loves sports or go on a trip to a new city or country. You can go as big as you want and splurge on something fancy or keep it simple with an outing for ice cream or a special meal.

11. Show Them How Much Support They Have

Modern Simplicity Invitation

Design: Shari Margolin Design (photo courtesy of Patrick Nied)

Another special middle school graduation idea is to get a copy of Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Place You’ll Go.” Then, have all of their friends and teachers sign the book with a special note. Your child will love reading the messages of love and support.

12. Get Glammed Up

Want to make graduation day extra special? Treat your child to a glam session before the ceremony. They can get their hair or makeup done or you can set up a custom suit or dress fitting so they look their best on the big stage.

13. Celebrate at a Theme Park or Water Park

If there’s one thing tweens love, it’s adrenaline and theme parks, so celebrate the end of middle school with a trip to a local theme park or water park. You can even make it a bigger trip to Disney World or another famous theme park.

14. Encourage Them to Try New Things

Your child is getting older and each year brings new adventures. Encourage them to explore and try new things by investing in a sport, activity, or subject that interests them. Look for an extracurricular fair where they can discover new interests or connect with people who can support their dreams. Alternatively, help them sign up for classes in the community where they can develop new skills.

Celebrate Your Grad’s Big Achievements

With these middle school graduation ideas, you’ll mark the occasion and honor your child’s hard work. From splashy pool parties to special activities and small gifts, there’s something for every budget and personality.

If you’re planning a graduation party, browse our collection of graduation invitations. You’ll find everything from formal and sophisticated designs to playful and colorful templates that reflect your child’s bright future. Each design is customizable so you can make it as unique as the grad and your event.

For more graduation ideas, continue browsing our Stationers blog. It’s your one-stop shop for graduation party ideas, tips, and tricks.