8th Grade Graduation Party Themes

Students holding sign

A graduation from middle school is a big deal so make sure the celebration is something to remember for your 8th grader. Not only does a theme add an element of fun to the big day, but it is an ideal way to tie the entire event together. Gather up some friends and family and have some thematic fun!

Glow-in-the-Dark Dance Party

Try something different and go with a glow-in-the-dark graduation theme. This theme is easy to pull off and doesn't require much work. You will need a black light, dance music, and a few supplies.


Hang neon streamers and balloons filled with glow sticks around the party area. Hang a banner written in neon that says something such as "Congrats on Your Graduation." Make sure the banner glows under the black light. Set up tables with bright colorful table cloths with contrasting neon-colored plates and napkins. Keep in mind that anything white or neon will glow under the black light. You can even add a colorful strobe light for a special touch.


Ask guests to wear neon or white clothing so it stands out when you turn on the black light. Mention that it will be a dance party so everyone wears comfortable clothing.

Fun Activities

Glowstick bangles

Provide plenty of upbeat music for the kids to dance to all evening. Have available glow sticks, glow necklaces and bracelets, and glow-in-the-dark paint.

You can set up an area for the kids to make up a skit about the fun things they did throughout middle school. Be sure to make a video and post it online so they can all watch it and share.

Hold a dance contest or a lip sync contest as part of the activities. If there is a song that captures middle school for the grad, be sure to play it as well.

Multicolored cupcakes

Menu Ideas

Keep the food and drinks simple since the kids will be dancing and having fun. Finger foods and snacks, like pigs-in-blankets and chicken fries, are ideal. Consider items such as colorful cupcakes and neon cake pops as dessert.

To complete the menu, make a fun summer punch with lemon-lime soda and rainbow sherbet.

Country Hoedown Graduation Party

If you are looking for a laid back yet fun-filled theme, consider a country hoedown. This theme is ideal for a backyard celebration and can be easily pulled together.


The decorations will be the center of this party. Spread picnic blankets around the party area for guests to sit on, cover the tables with red and white checkered table cloths, set out red and white napkins and plates. For a special touch, have a few bails of hay set up. You can display signs throughout the party with messages such as "Headed to High School Hoedown," "Stomping Past Middle School," and so on.


Have guests wear plaid shirts, jeans or denim skirts or shorts. Cowboy boots and cowboy hats are optional.

Country music and dancing

Fun Activities

Set up different activities at various spots around your party.

  • Backyard party games, such as horse shoes and cornhole, are ideal.
  • Play country music and have the kids try country line dancing, two-stepping, or square dancing in an area outlined with hay bales.
  • Set up an area as a photo booth and have the kids take photos with a variety of props from cowboy hats to oversized sunglasses. Be sure to post them on their favorite sites with a catchy hashtag such as #CountryGradParty or #HeadedtoHighSchoolHoedown.

Menu Ideas

For this party, be sure to have a grill ready and serve favorites such as burgers and hot dogs. Beverages, such as lemonade and iced sweet tea, are the perfect complements. For dessert, have a cake decorated to match the country theme and be sure to have the guest of honor's name written on it as well. If you are holding the party towards evening, build a bonfire and roast marshmallows to make s'mores.

Wacky and Wet End to Middle School Party

Cool off in the summer with this party theme. The grad and his friends can have a blast saying goodbye to middle school at this wacky party. If you have a pool, great, but don't fret if you don't. You can hold this party in your backyard and incorporate plenty of crazy ideas.


Couple next to kiddie pool

If the party will be mostly outdoors, set up lawn chairs and baskets of beach towels. You can add a few beach umbrellas and beach blankets as well. Colorful balloons and streamers will add a fun touch. Set up kiddie pools everywhere if you don't have a pool - they add ambiance and most kids will at least dip their toes in!

A banner featuring the grad's name written in a wacky font can be displayed on a wall or fence. Post signs with sayings such as "Splash Toward High School" or "Too Wacky for 8th Grade!"

Display a few pictures of the group doing silly and candid things throughout their middle school experience. Funny photos are a must. If this group of kids has some crazy sayings, be sure to post those as well.


Clothing that is made to get wet is ideal. Swimsuits, shorts and casual clothes are a must. Encourage kids to mismatch their t-shirts and suits or wear goofy flip-flops - the wackier, the better!

Fun Activities

For those with a pool, you can have a variety of traditional pool games set up along with items such as diving sticks, pool noodles, and floats. If you have a pool, create a silly swim contest - whoever comes up with the wackiest stroke wins a silly prize like oversized sunglasses.

Feature some crazy games such as blindfolded water balloon fights and water gun battles. Set up a slip and slide and play fun music for the kids to slide along with. Silly string is also fun and can be added to the mix.

Have a pinata hanging in the yard. Teens are sure to have a blast "wacking" away at it! Fill it with items as rubber ducks, silly stickers, rubber bracelets, and candy.

Menu Ideas

Light and fresh foods go well with a water party. Serve fresh fruit and vegetables with dips, cheese and crackers, and ham and cheese sliders. For a wacky twist, cut the vegetables and cheese into fun shapes. For dessert, set up an ice cream bar with crazy toppings such as gummy worms and "dirt" sprinkles made from crushed Oreos and a variety of candy toppings. Have the kids create silly names for their dessert creations.

Awesome Emoji Graduation Celebration

This party is ideal for the teen wanting to have fun while showing their silly side. With this theme, get ready for plenty of fun and laughs.


Go for emoji everything! From banners with the grad's name to the invitations, emojis are all the rage. You can find products at any party store or print your own. Use yellow balloons and draw an emoji face on each. Display signs with hashtags such as #8thGradeRocked, #PartyTime or #MSGradParty.


Anything goes for this party. Casual, relaxed clothing is most appropriate. If you can find tee shirts with emojis on them, wear those as well. Consider handing out cheap socks or hats for kids to decorate with emoji faces and wear.

Fun Activities

Graduating teenager with mother

Of course, texting with emojis and posting on social media will be a must at this party so make it fun and set up different areas to take fun selfies at throughout the party. For example, make emoji masks out of paper plates with sticks to hold or have a wall covered in emojis as a background. Many sites carry emoji props to use for photos.

In addition, you can have the kids create fun scrolls featuring awards to each other such as Funniest, Best Athlete, Biggest Flirt, and Best Dressed.

Menu Ideas

Biscuit on table

Snacks and finger foods that can be eaten while hanging out are ideal for this party. Popcorn, candy, and pretzels are easy to eat. Set up a nacho bar with chips and all the fixings and have the teens create their own nacho platters.

For dessert, have a cake with an emoji on it. You can also have cookies or cupcakes decorated with emojis.

We Survived Middle School Party

This party theme is a fun way to end the middle school experience and welcome high school. You want to make this party a joyful event featuring accomplishments and special moments.


Congratulations poster

Have your grad make a list of the top ten ways they survived middle school and put them on a poster for display. Write things such as having great friends, playing football, sitting by Marc at study hall, eating pizza every Friday with the team, etc. Put each one on a poster and have them scattered throughout the area. You can also hang signs or banners with sayings such as "You Did It!" and "Congrats on Graduation, You Survived!"

Mix in plenty of balloons, streamers, and confetti. Make it a fun celebration.


Anything goes for this party. The more comfortable, the better.

Fun Activities

Set up a game based on funny memories or notable events that happened during middle school. Either ask the questions or have them written down and ask the kids to write their answers. Alternatively, create a large poster and write the responses under each question. This game is sure to get a ton of laughs. For example, ask questions such as:

  • What was everyone's favorite song this year?
  • What television show reminded you most of 8th grade?
  • What food was the worst in the cafeteria?
  • What celebrity reminds you most of the guest of honor/math teacher/basketball coach?

You can also play clips of music from their middle school years and ask guests to guess the song or artist.

Menu Ideas

Keep the food simple and serve pizza with a variety of toppings. If you have the room and the time, kids could even make their own personal pizzas once their trivia fun is over. A cake with wording such as "I Survived Middle School" will be a great touch.

Reflect Your Teen in the Theme

No matter what theme you choose, your grad is sure to have fun. Be sure to announce the party in advance so everyone invited can attend. Go with a theme that reflects your teen's interests and personality and it will be a hit. For extra inspiration, consider some school dance themes to see if there's something that could be adapted for an 8th grade graduation party.

8th Grade Graduation Party Themes