Nursery Graduation... What's That All About?

6 July 2015

Nursery graduation

I love an excuse for a party, me. But I'm starting to wonder if we're not going a bit OTT when it comes to celebrating every tiny thing kids do. Take graduation 'ceremonies' for nursery-attending children, for example.

This week, as loads of my friends celebrate the end of the school term where we live, my Facebook feed is awash with cute kids celebrating the start of summer. I love seeing pics of friends' little ones clutching awards, certificates and cups which mark their achievements over the course of the school year, but I was surprised by the number of mates whose three and four year olds were celebrating their graduation from nursery. Back when my lads were in nursery, graduation just wasn't a thing.

Now don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that the end of nursery isn't a big deal, nor do I think it doesn't 'count' in the same way as any other end of school celebration does. Of course it's worth marking the moment for your little one, and celebrating the milestone in some special, personal way. I just think there's a difference between celebrating kids' achievements at the end of the academic year, and making a big deal of something - like the end of the nursery year - that doesn't really constitute an achievement in quite the same way.

My kids would have 'graduated' from nursery regardless of whether they'd laid on the carpet wailing for the entire nursery year, or diligently thrown themselves headlong into sucking every last drop out of the learning opportunity.

Some friends' little ones were even dressed up in graduation gowns and mortar boards which is ridiculously cute - but is it really necessary? And don't we run the risk of setting kids up for failure if we make a massive deal out of something like the end of the nursery year by turning it into a graduation?

Surely a graduation ceremony is about rewarding hard work and recognising achievement. My kids all had a blast at nursery but spinning that to equate to something more seems a little strange.

But my friend Sal disagrees. "It's just a bit of fun - how anyone can moan about little tiny kids going through a nursery graduation is beyond me," she says. "Where's your sense of humour? It's a cute, memorable way of marking an important milestone in the child's life, and it gives little kids a sense of ceremony around the end of a chapter of their learning and the start of a new one."

What's your view? We'd love to hear your thoughts on this over on our Facebook page. Did your little one have a graduation ceremony at the end of the nursery year? And do you think nursery graduations are a cute idea or a tad OTT?


TOPICS:   Parenting Tips

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