Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Parties?
We all know the holiday season gets so hectic, but if you are planning a little fun check out these links to help you get started. You can keep your kiddos and their friends or cousins entertained! If you are looking to save a little money, games tend to be more active but usually cheaper than crafts!


Kaboose Christmas Party Games

Christmas Cookie Party

FamilyFun Christmas Party Games

PartyGameIdeas- Christmas Games

Party Game Central- Christmas Games


FamilyFun New Year's Party

Kaboose New Year's Eve Party

 Visit Simple Fun Kid Parties for Helpful Hints!

Stock picture from:  123rf

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Have you tried Pinterest?

Like I need another activity on the computer!  I have recently discovered an awesome visual bulletin board like a "favorites" button for your favorite websites.  If you have ever saved anything to your "favorites" on your computer, you know you really don't get back there all that much unless you are really organized and can remember website names!  Pinterest is cool (well, I think, anyway!) because you can post things in categories you select. It will post your link to the board by picture with a little space for a description underneath.  It links you back to the original post from a blog or a page from a website.  I have mostly teaching things on my boards now but I could totally see using it for party planning or any multitude of uses.  I highly recommend giving it a try (and purchasing a timer with an alarm to remind you that you have other things to do! Helpful Hint # 687.)

Happy Party Planning!

Stock picture from:  123rf

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Classroom Parties

The beginning of the school year is a hectic, crazy time for many school age kids and their parents.  School meetings, functions and activities ramping up to near frenzy level sometimes.  Some parents love helping out with the elementary parties, and others aren't sure what to do. If you are new or a seasoned room mom, you can, with a little planning, organizing and delegation, pull off some pretty fun parties.

Tips for getting started:
  • Talk to the teacher
  • Get school policy on classroom party policies
  • Buy a binder or folder to get organized 
  • Check out Room Mom Corner on for general tips, specific party ideas, etc.
  • Decide whether to ask for monetary donations from the parents or donations of supplies (ask the teacher for guidance)
  • Send home a letter asking for volunteers, donations, supplies
  • Gather or create a list of class volunteers' emails and phone numbers (put those in your binder with your volunteers for each party)
  • Get school policy on food options (some schools have pretty strict policies these days due to allergy issues)
  • Arrange for helpers to come in (It is helpful to send home a confirmation note telling volunteers a time and place.)
  • Start planning party according to teacher input and school policies
  • Plot out all items needed for games, crafts and food
  • Keep party decorations to a minimum  (Keep it simple-it takes time from the fun part of the party if you have to put up a bunch of decorations and then take them down.)
  • Gather or shop for items needed. 
  • Collect the items for the party in one spot of your house (use a bin or a box) 
  • Stay within budget (otherwise the room mom ends up with a huge donation)
  • Do test runs for crafts and games
  • Make sure all parts for crafts or games are assembled in advance of the party
  • Plan where to do each activity in the spaces given in the classroom (Sometimes our plans tend to be bigger than the space given and so head that off before the party.)
  • Talk with teacher to plan on a time that you can come in to set up
  • Arrive on time with everything you need (don't rely on the teacher to have things for you to use)
  • Delegate, delegate, delegate
  • Stay within the party time frame (including clean up!)
  • Note: If you can instruct volunteers ahead of time to what they will be doing and give them clear instructions ahead it will help the party run smoothly.
  • Special Note: Some parents like to chat with each other or the teacher which is awesome, but not necessarily when you are trying to run a party and keep it to the teacher's schedule.  Keep your volunteer numbers to enough to be a help but not so many that they don't much to do and take up chatting. :o)
  • Clean up the room (you can enlist kids to help--many are awesome helpers)
  • Send a thank you note to all the volunteers after the party (email is good)

See Room Mom Corner for more ideas

Please share your ideas!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Arghh... Summer's Almost Over...

Ahhh...the relaxing summer time...schedules possibly less stressful and hectic (or more). Vacations, warm (or sizzling) summer evenings.  Though by August most become over-shadowed by the daunting (or exciting) thought of school resuming.  When my kids were young I was sad when summer came to an end.  Then through the middle years, I have to admit it brought me secret delight to having my kids shipped off to someone else for quite a few hours a day... if just to reduce the squabbling, entertainment issues, and to actually finish something around the house.  But since my kids are getting older, as teenagers, it brings me back to the thought that these days are numbered as they make plans for after-school activities, friends, summer or after school jobs, and eventually college, makes me sad that summer is coming again to a close. 

We usually kick off the summer with a "Let Summer Begin"party...but it can be equally fun to have a "Out with a Bang"--Summer party.  In our city, they do a fireworks display every Labor Day weekend- an end of summer party for the city.  To start a tradition in your neighborhood and beat the "summer-time ending" blues, work on a end of summer party with your kids.  You could host it at your house or just on your street or at a local park.  You could plan it like a carnival, or have stations or just let the kids mill around and have some fun activities set up or games they could play.  Water is usually pretty fun thing in the scorching August be sure to include some water fun activities.  If you have access to a public or private pool, that would be a wonderful locale...just be sure to plan to have your own life guards to help watch the kids!

Some ideas to get you started planning:
Simple Fun Kid Parties (theme ideas and links)
Kaboose-Summer Party-games
Family Fun Summer Games
Party Game Central-Kids games
Party Game Central-Outdoor Games
Party Game Central-Pool/Water Games

Ideas and Suggestions welcome!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Birthday Cakes

I love watching Cake Boss with my kids and wish I were that creative and skilled!  My cakes would never come out looking so cool and fun. However, that doesn't stop me.  I have made a few pretty cute cakes over the years.

I try to keep in mind that no matter what the cake or decorations look like it is the fun and activities that are most important at a birthday party. That is most definitely also what the birthday child and friends remember too!

If you are willing to give it a try or you have a dear friend who is awesome and creative (and you are willing to trust) or you are just looking for an idea to take to a bakery, you could have a pretty cool cake for your child's birthday!

Many party websites have cake ideas. Here are a few fun finds!
Family Fun Birthday Cakes
Coolest Homemade Birthday Cakes (for ideas or to find a bakery)
Parenting-Birthday Cakes
Cake Central (photos+)

If you child isn't a cake eater or your are tired of the traditional cake route. See Alternative to Birthday Cakes post in this blog.

Have ideas?? Please share!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Birthday Cake Alternatives

Cakes can be a great way to add to your theme of your birthday party. Some can be fancy and store bought. Some are homemade. There are a lot of really wonderful cake bakeries and homemade theme cake ideas. But what if your child doesn't like cake or in my son's case doesn't like icing. I know most kids prefer the icing to the cake...for those perhaps a tub of icing will suffice. Getting creative is something I enjoy doing so I came up with some other ideas to the traditional cake route.

Some creative cake alternatives:
Brownie Sundaes (popular with the chocolate fans)
Make your own Sundae (popular with the non-chocolate fans)
Ice Cream Floats
Rice crispy cut-outs (with or without icing or sprinkles)
Fruit Pizza
Your child's favorite dessert
Ice Cream popcicles
Fancy kid desserts
Cupcakes in a theme (keep a few not frosted)
Homemade Ice Cream (let the kids help make!)
Fruit Kabobs or candy kabobs (you can get creative with the sticks so they aren't too sharp for younger guests)
Have more ideas? Please share!

Find more fun food ideas at

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Valentine's Day Teacher Gift Idea

Looking for a great idea for a gift for your child's teacher, friend or neighbor and a way to keep it low cost?  Search out some Valentine specials at local stores. Sometimes the stores like Target, Walmart, some department stores, and craft stores may have their sale bins filled with Valentine's goodies closer to the Valentine's Day.  While you are out shopping look for things like: candy making goodies, or cookie making goodies, or crafters Valentine's goodies-note pads, Valentine stamps, stickers, etc.  Sometimes you can find a cute basket or box (wire, wooden, gift box), sprinkles, cookie cutters, heart shaped candy molds, spatulas,  or stamps, stickers, paper, cards, etc. in the dollar bins closer to the holiday.  Let your creativity and wallet guide what you want to put in your basket.  You can always divide up treasures among several baskets/box.  Use tissue paper as a filler at the bottom and organize your goodies in the basket.  Wrap the gift in celophane and tie it with a flourish of something valentinesy (a heart shaped cookie cutter, a package of heart stickers).

Another option is to wait until after Valentine's Day is over and do your shopping of sales and collect in a Valentine's tub for next year! In January, stores like Walmart and Target seem to have a plethera of left over Christmas storage tubs--if you don't mind the Christmas colors, you can purchase one at a greatly reduced price and then fill it with your bargain shopping goodies to be used for various school holidays. This is a great way to save even more and you can keep it organized for stashing things as you see them come on sale!  Purchase the non-perishable items after the holiday this year and then next year it cuts your cost to add the more perishable items.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos