Many of our nearby elementary schools host kindergarten graduations, but our elementary school doesn’t. Our elementary school is huge (over 1600 students and 12 classes per grade), and some events are difficult with a large number of students. Some of my neighborhood friends and I were bummed we wouldn’t see our cute kindergartners graduating in tiny caps and gowns. We decided to host our own kindergarten graduation in our neighborhood clubhouse for all the kindergarten kids in our neighborhood and their families.
I offered to make a candy buffet for the kids to enjoy during the party. I’ve made candy buffets for several parties before, often going with a specific color theme for the candy. Our school colors are red, black, and white. There aren’t a ton of candy options that are available locally in those color schemes, and we were planning this party with less than a weeks notice. I didn’t have time to special order candy. I decided instead to go with graduation themed candy in whatever color it naturally came in and use labels in our school colors.
I started the planning by finding some cute Graduation Buffet Labels that would work with regular store bought candy I could find last minute and locally. I was able to purchase these labels, download them immediately and print them myself on cardstock.
The Graduation Buffet Labels I purchased also included a cute sign that I could use in the center of the candy buffet. The sign read here’s to sweet endings and new beginnings. I put the sign in an 8x10 picture frame from the Dollar Tree and added a small graduation cap I also found at the dollar tree.
Once I had the labels printed, I went to the store to buy candy that would go with each label. I ended up buying: Ring pops, Kit Kats, Blow Pops, Pirouette Cookies, Swedish Fish, Jolly Ranchers, Starburst, Dum Dums, gummy worms, Reese cups, Tootsie Rolls, and Animal Crackers.
After I had the candy I came home and searched for clear glass vases/jars/bowls in a variety of shapes and sizes to hold all the candy.
The day of the party I started by placing a black tablecloth on the table, and adding some red Pom Pom garland to the front of the table. I placed the picture frame with the sweet endings sign in the center and scattered the vases/bowls/jars around the rest of the table mixing up the shapes and heights. For jars/vases that had a flat side, I attached the label with Glue Dots. For round bowls I placed my cardstock label in Place card Holders beside the bowl.
For the class rings label, I added Ring Pops to a bowl and placed the class rings label in a place card holder.
There was a label that said study break, which reminded me of the old, “give me a break”, Kit Kat jingle, so I filled a bowl with Kit Kats (the wrappers are red, yay), and added the study break tag to a place card holder. For the so long suckers label, I filled a vase with Blow Pops (I knew these were a favorite of some of the neighborhood kids).
Pirouette Cookies look like little rolled up Diplomas, so I placed them on a clear platter and added the Diploma cookie sign with a place card holder. I stuck the O-FISH-ally finished label to a tall jar with glue dots and filled it with Swedish Fish (More red candy, yay!) I also attached the Feels JOLLY to be graduating label to a tall glass vase with glue dots and filled it with Jolly Ranchers!
On the other half of the table, I filled the same tall glass jar with Starbursts and attached the Reach for the Stars label. I used a Styrofoam Hollow Half Ball to press a bunch of Dum Dum suckers into and added the You’re no Dum Dum label beside with a place card holder.
I filled a bowl with Reese Cups and sat a place card holder in the center of the bowl holding a Reese-ently finished sign. For the book worm label, I filled a vase with gummy worms.
For Honor Roll, I filled a bowl with Tootsie Rolls
Lastly, I added animal crackers to a large bowl and labeled it Teacher’s Pets
I wanted to add a little more visual interest and height to the candy buffet table so I decided to add a couple Balloon Table Stands using leftover balloons from our balloon arch and a couple of foil K balloons for kindergarten. I love how easy these are to set up and they give the same appearance as floating balloons without having to buy a helium tank!
We knew the candy buffet was more candy than the kids could (or should) eat in a single sitting, so we lined the back of the candy buffet with White Take-Out Favor boxes so the kids could fill their box and take some candy home!
The candy buffet was a big hit with the kids, and I plan to make another similar buffet when my oldest daughter graduates high school later this year!