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!

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