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Creating Your Own Medals for a Preschool Graduation Ceremony

written by: Elizabeth Wistrom • edited by: Tania Cowling • updated: 5/15/2014

Creating your own preschool graduation medals is a fun, easy and inexpensive way to commemorate the end-of-the-year festivities Children can even help with the ideas provided in this DIY article!

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    The end of the preschool years is an exciting time for families, and should be celebrated! Make the festivities even more special by making custom preschool graduation medals. Below are a few ideas to get you started.

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    Let's Give Them a Hand!

    Someday, your students and their families will look back on their preschool graduation and remember how cute they were when they were small. Little handprints are a wonderful keepsake, and can even make a terrific memento when they are incorporated into preschool graduation medals.

    Materials:

    • Clay (Model Magic works well for a project like this)Model Magic 
    • Large, round cookie cutter or template you can cut around
    • Unsharpened pencil
    • Wide ribbon
    • Black Sharpie Marker
    • Scissors
    • Paint or markers (optional)

    Use a lightweight modeling clay such as Crayola's Model Magic. Shape the clay into large, round circles using a cookie cutter or a template that you can cut around. Be sure to have one circle for each child in the class. Use the unsharpened pencil to create a hole near the top of the circle. Be certain the hole is wide enough to string the ribbon through. This, however, will not be done until the mold has dried completely. Next, help the children create a handprint in the center of the circle by pressing their hand firmly with fingers spread slightly. Model Magic typically air-dries within 24 hours, so plan accordingly. Once dried, students can use paint or markers to decorate their handprints. Use the black Sharpie marker to write the child's name, graduation date and name of the school or facility, and teacher's name on the back. When all is complete, string the ribbon through the hole created with the pencil. Tie the ribbon at the ends, so that it forms a large loop and the medal may be worn around the neck.

    Image credit Crayola.com

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    A Picture is Worth One Thousand Words

    Most likely, the children in your classroom have formed a bond of friendship over the last year. Some may have even spent several years together at the same preschool or daycare facility. Capture that with a group photo or formal class picture. Remember to include the teacher, for she or he is also a special part of that bond.

    Materials:

    • Foam frames
    • Colorful paper for backing the frames if none are provided
    • Black Sharpie marker
    • Glue stick
    • Wide ribbon
    • Class photo
    • Scissors (if needed to trim photo)
    • Stickers, foam shapes, markers

    Trim class photo with scissors as needed, so that it fits appropriately inside or behind the foam frame. Insert photo into foam frame. If no backing is provided, glue colorful paper to the back of the photo and foam frame. Using the black Sharpie marker, write the child's name, the name of the teacher, the name of the preschool or daycare facility and the date of the preschool graduation on the back. If there is room, you may also wish to include a brief message to the child, or write the names of the other classroom friends in the photo. If desired, decorate the outside of the frame using stickers, foam shapes or makers. Finally, use glue to attach the wide ribbon to the frame, so that it may be worn around the neck as a medal.

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    You are Special!

    Each and every one of the children in your preschool class is special. Tell them why with a very personalized preschool graduation medal - similar to a Valedictorian award.

    Materials:

    • Cardboard or tag board circles
    • Gold or silver foil
    • Wide ribbon
    • Glue
    • Black Sharpie marker
    • Scissors

    Cover the cardboard or tag board circle with the gold or silver foil. Smooth the foil and secure it in the back - either by twisting it into place or gluing it down. Think of something the child is good at, or an accomplishment the child achieved during the year. These will become their class award. For instance, one child might be a "Super Friend" because he made an effort to engage his peers often. Another child might be "Best Classroom Chair Helper" because her favorite classroom job all year was putting the chairs up at the end of the day. Yet another child might be awarded "Terrific Reader" because he or she started reading during the year. The awards are only limited by your imagination! Use the black Sharpie marker to write the information on the front of the graduation medal. On the back, include the name of the child, the name of the teacher and the preschool graduation date, Attach the wide ribbon so that the preschool graduation medal may be worn around the neck.

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    Preschool graduation medals may then be presented as part of the graduation ceremony, or simply as a graduation favor on the last day of school. Either way, your students are sure to love the special attention they receive!

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