Graduation season is right around the corner and we know many of you are getting your graduation party checklists together. As you prepare to send out your announcements and invitations, you’ll want to start thinking about all the details that will make your event special. Establish your graduation party theme, get started on some creative DIY decorations, and put together a list of ideas to entertain your guests.
If your goal is to plan an exciting and memorable graduation party for your graduate, fun games and activities are a must. Games can make for budget-friendly activities that will keep your guests entertained for hours. When brainstorming some games, keep your guests, venue and weather in mind. Will there be a lot of children at your graduation party? If so, consider some easy, family friendly games anybody can play. Will your party be outdoors or at a large venue? Opt for some active games that will keep your guests on their feet. Check out our list of graduation games to find the best activity for your event.
Outdoor Graduation Games
Difficulty Activity Level
Materials: buckets, markers, duct tape, ping pong balls (two colors)
How To Play: Choose five to ten destinations your graduate would like to travel to. Use the tape and marker to label each bucket with those destinations. Place the buckets in a fun shape, like a pyramid or circle, and tape a line about 10 feet away from the buckets. Separate the players into two teams with different colored ping pong balls. Use a timer to give them a set amount of time to make their shots. To make it interesting, assign each bucket with different scores. The team with the highest score wins!
Thanks For The Memories Balloon Dart
Materials: large canvas or corkboard, balloons, five to ten watercolors, water, darts, thumbtacks
How To Play: Mix water with different watercolor mixtures. Fill balloons with various colors and pin them to the board. Have participants stand ten feet away with a maximum number of three to five darts. In the end, you’ll have a beautiful art piece to add to your home decor. If you’d like your guests to take their work of art home, use small canvases and mini water balloons.
Graduation Cap TicTacToe
Materials: square piece of fabric, duct tape, ten graduation caps (two colors)
How To Play: Place the fabric on the floor and create a grid using the duct tape. Divide players into two teams and assign a graduation cap color. Each player gets a turn tossing a cap. First team to connect three graduation caps wins.
Don’t Drop The Tassel
Materials: straws, tassels
How To Play: Separate all players into two equal teams and give them each one straw. Have each team stand in two straight lines facing each other. The players at the front of their team’s line will hold the straw with their mouth and place the tassel on their straw. With their hands behind their back, they will attempt to hang the tassel on the next player’s straw. If the tassel is dropped, the team must start again from the front of the line. The team who reaches the end first wins.
A Toast To Your Graduation
Materials: disposable cups, foam balls, water, timer, duct tape
How To Play: We recommend playing this game outdoors. Fill ten disposable cups with water and line them up at the edge of the table. Players will stand 10 to 15 feet away, ranked by age, and throw the foam balls to knock down all cups. Use the timer to record which team knocked down all the cups the fastest.
Materials: balloons, music
How To Play: This game is played in teams of two. Make sure all balloons are filled as full possible and give each team their own balloon. Players have to face away from each other and hold the balloon between their lower backs. When the music starts, both players have to slowly dance their way to the floor without popping the balloon. The team who lasts the longest wins without popping their balloon wins.
Materials: two small empty tissue boxes, ping pong balls, two velcro waistbands, hot glue gun, music
How To Play: A day before the game, attach a tissue box to the middle of each waistband using a hot glue gun and fill each box with ping pong balls. Divide players into two teams. Have one player from each team wear the waistband with the tissue box behind their back. Play the music and have each player shake all the ping pong balls out of the box. First player to get them all out gets a point and the team with the most points wins.
Kid/Family Friendly Graduation Games
Difficulty Activity Level
Secure the Bag
Materials: dice, six to ten gifts, plate (optional)
How To Play: This game is super easy and everyone can enjoy. Have your players stand in a circle and place the gifts in the center. If you have ten players, we recommend having about five gifts in the middle. Set a timer of five to ten minutes depending on the amount of players. Have each player roll the dice on the floor or on a plate. If the dice falls on a one or a six, they get to select a gift from the middle and get a second turn. If the dice falls between two and five, the next player goes. Until the timer runs out, players can steal from other players or grab from the center. It’s okay to have more than one gift. To make things fun, wrap the most valuable gifts poorly or in small packages and the prank gifts in elaborate gift boxes.
Rolling Down Memory Lane
Materials: plastic wrap, prizes, pair of oven mitts, dice
How To Play: Gather as many small and medium sized graduation themed prizes. This can include anything from a pack of erasers to a coffee shop gift card. Grab the most valuable gift and wrap it in plastic wrap. Start adding more prizes as you wrap. Every few gifts or so, cut the plastic wrap and change directions. In the end, you will have a massive ball filled with surprises. During the party, have all players stand around a table. Going clockwise, one player will wear the oven mitts and try to unwrap as much as they can before the player next to them rolls doubles. Everything that falls out while they’re unwrapping is theirs. Once doubles are rolled, the player who rolled the dice takes the mitts and it’s their turn to unwrap.
Materials: fun photo booth props, camera, cute backdrop It’s not exactly a game, but a photobooth is a hit at any party. Use a fun, personalized filter to go with your graduation party theme. Create some funny props and you’ve got yourself an entertaining activity that will capture tons of fun memories.
The Makings Of A Leader
Materials: Prints of your graduate (two copies of each) at different ages, two buckets
How To Play: Separate all players into two equal teams. Place a copy of each photo in both buckets and set a timer. Have each team place all photos in chronological order. As they’re placing the photos, feel free to tell them which photos are placed wrong but don’t tell them where it goes. The first team to guess the order correctly wins.
Who Are We?
How To Play: Have one player step outside and the rest of the players decide on one character to personify as a group. Once the group decides on a character, have all players sit in a circle and bring the outside player back to sit the middle. The middle player can ask each of the players three yes or no questions until they guess the character.
The Key To Success
Materials: whipped cream, aluminum pie pans, keys, buckets
How To Play: Divide the teams into an equal amount of players. Place a key in each pie pan and fill with whipped cream. Make sure you have a pie for each player. With their hands placed behind their backs, have one player from each team find the first key in the pie and place in the bucket. Once they place the key in the bucket, the second player can start looking in their pie. First team to get all keys wins.
Funny/Brain Teasers Graduation Games
Difficulty Activity Level
Superlatives Guessing Game
Materials: large chalkboard, tape, chalk.
How To Play: Place the chalkboard at eye level on a blank wall. Choose a player to go first and have them stand with their back towards the chalkboard. Have the rest of the players go up and write a superlative about the unknowing player. Whether it’s “most likely to spill on their shirt” or “most likely to beat everyone at video games,” hilarity will ensue. Once everyone has written something, set a timer and have the player guess their superlatives. Other players can give clues without explicitly using the words on the board. Whoever guesses the most superlatives wins.
Materials: paper, pens, one bowl
How To Play: Have all players write at least one quote from their favorite novel or make their own quote. Place all the quotes in a bowl. Each player will read a quote out loud and everyone, aside from the one who wrote it, has to guess whether the quote is from a novel or made up.
Are You Smarter Than Your Graduate?
How To Play: Prepare a list of academic and pop-culture questions in advance. Separate players into two teams, preferably teens vs. adults. Use the questions you prepared to see which generation has the brains in the family.
Likes & Dislikes
Materials: paper, pens, one bowl
How To Play: Have each player write a list of their likes and dislikes. Place everyone’s lists in a bowl and have all players sit in a circle. As you read each list out loud one by one, have players guess who wrote it and place the list in front of who you think it belongs to. Once a list is placed in front of a player, it can’t be moved. Once everyone has been given a list, everyone can reveal whether the list was guessed correctly.
Your Graduate’s Success Story
Materials: small coil notepad, pen
How To Play: Have all players sit in a circle and pick the first player to write down the opening sentence to a story about your graduate. Each player then gets a turn to contribute their own sentence. The game ends once everyone has had their turn. Read the story out loud for a good laugh.
Materials: pens, free printable, timer
How To Play: Scattergories always keeps people on their toes. Pick some fun categories centered around your graduate and roll the dice to select a letter. You can also search the internet for a virtual letter dice. Set your timer for three minutes and have each player write down a word or phrase for each category beginning with the selected letter.
Who Knows You Best?
Materials: pens, free printable
How To Play: Want to see who knows your child best? Select a few contrasting categories for each player to guess which one your graduate prefers. If you know your child loves dogs, one question can be “Dogs or Cats?” The player with the most correct answers wins.
To make your game planning a breeze, we created these fun printables for you to use during a game of lightning categories or a round of “Who Knows You Best?” Print enough copies for all of your guests to play and add a few categories and questions of your own.
Whichever theme you have planned for your child’s graduation party, games can always be incorporated in your event’s entertainment. Whether your graduate prefers outdoor activities or brainteasers, these games are sure to get the party going. Once you’ve settled on a few games, you can move on to the last bits of your party planning like putting together your thank you cards and writing a graduation message on your child’s congratulations card.