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So, Preschool Graduations Are A Thing Now

{ My friend’s adorable daughter looks better in a cap and gown than any college graduate I’ve met. }

Today, Heels in the Hills’ resident mommy blogger Barbara King is writing on a topic that I initially thought was a joke… PRESCHOOL GRADUATIONS. Not a joke. Real. Guys, is this a thing everywhere or only in L.A.? Also, I LOVE IT and all I want in this life is to attend one. Blasting Graduation (Friends Forever) as I read this magic!

This unforgettable time of year is dedicated to proudly celebrating our remarkable graduates who have worked tirelessly to achieve their complex and demanding academic goals. These young go-getters have methodically chosen what schools they will be attending in the fall and now can finally take a break from their intense, hardcore studies and enjoy their graduation ceremonies and the luxurious parties that follow. After all, graduating from preschool is an extraordinarily big deal, right?

Yup, I’m talking about preschool graduation season when the invites start pouring in months in advance. (OK fine, I only got one invite, but still.) I’m not sure if it’s a thing everywhere in America, but graduating from preschool certainly is a thing here in L.A… And I kind of love it.

Every preschool celebrates their petite graduates in their own way. Some with lavish diploma ceremonies, some with musical numbers, some with an effortless picnic in the park. Since my daughter’s preschool is French-based and very small, their “ceremony” will be a simple yet meaningful gathering to celebrate their graduating class of three.

I don’t remember graduating from preschool, elementary school, or even junior high. I don’t know if we did ceremonies back then in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania and if we did, my parents failed to take any pictures. But I do remember my high school graduation and how a week before the ceremony my European mom realized that Americans have parties for that sort of thing. She hastily invited about 4 of her friends to my house for some marzipan, cake and Diet Coke.

Part of me shares my mom’s simplistic European point of view, so I’ve always been a little resistant to big showy celebrations for kids. I guess I get scared that all this festivity and praise will make kids apathetic later in life. Even the dance studio I attended for 10+ years did not believe in costumes or clapping.

Now that I’m a mom I still think some of this is kind of ridiculous – from the extravagant after-parties to the cap and gown photos… But it is also all ridiculously cute. The kids get to have fun while the parents get to hold onto their babies for one more day before they are off into the real world of reading their own books and wiping their own butts.

I haven’t even thought about what my family will do after my daughter “graduates” from preschool. Realistically, I’ll probably pour myself a glass of wine and shed a few tears. Not because of the momentous milestone, but because preschool ending means she is home all day for the summer and that is scary as hell.

I’m curious to know if parents had these graduations when they were kids. If so, were they as extravagant as the ones today? What kind of ceremony does your child’s preschool have for its “graduates?”

Barbara King-Wilson is an actress and writer living with her family in Los Angeles. Follow her @TheBarbaraKing and visit her at!

More from Barbara:

How I Didn’t (But Really Did) Find The Perfect School

10 Things That Cost The Same As Private School In L.A.

Three Schools You Can Only Find In L.A.

26 Questions To Ask On A School Tour

How I (Almost) Lost My Mind Applying to My Kid’s Elementary Schools

10 Questions L.A. Kids Have Asked Me

3 Signs You’re Ready To Be A Mom

Mommy Choices

2016 Resolutions Reality Check

My Minor Obsession with the PERFECT Holiday Photo


  • Clare Larkins says:

    Cute kid! ;) I don’t remember having a preschool graduation myself, but I didn’t really go to preschool. We had universal “junior kindergarten” for all 4-year-olds, then “senior kindergarten” when we turned 5. I do remember our elementary graduation–all the 5th graders got up on stage in the auditorium after a regular assembly and the remaining classes (in the audience) serenaded us with “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You” (lololol) while we filed out. By 8th grade, we had a real ceremony, at night. No cap and gown yet, but we girls all had to wear tea length white dresses.

    Anyway, I didn’t expect to care about preschool graduation at all, but here I am, totally here for it. And when the preschool makes a big deal, it makes you feel like making a big deal, with a cake and a party, etc. I can’t even believe my life sometimes.

    • Annie says:

      Ha!! Love this, Clare (especially the tea length white dress requirement. Like, who came up with that?!) And love this sentiment – I thought it was funny, too, but at the same time can’t WAIT to have a kid and go through this myself one day :) Thank you for reading!