new for us friday: help for classroom parents — letters, party ideas, & volunteer spot
And then they’ll be scramblin’ for Valentine’s Day party ideas, and then they’ll be scramblin’ for springtime party ideas.
At least I was, last year–and I was only a co-room parent.
This year, I’m rolling solo for the big man’s Kindergarten year, and although it’s always a little juggling act, it should be a tad easier knowing that I’ve got one year under my belt. Granted, that one year hardly makes me an expert, which is why this New For Us Friday I’m sharing some of the resources we used last year to help out the ‘newbies’ and to offer the seasoned Room Parents a few new ideas this year.
And I’m sharing an awesome, totally free resources from our friends at Volunteer Spot, a company that I have really grown to love, not only for the organization it brings to my life, but for the fantabulous supports it has created for Room Parents everywhere!
Here’s the skinny:
Our Halloween Party letter
- Help for Classroom Parents: There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, and the Halloween party has been done in many forms for years and years and years.
But we can all stand to have some cool ‘new’ ideas each year so that our kids don’t get too bored, right?
The first thing I did this year was send a letter home with all of the kids in Owen’s class–something that looks like this Blank Classroom Parent Letter.
Feel free to download and adjust as necessary. I asked that his teacher email the document to the parents, and I sent a hard copy with the kids as well.
And here’s what we did last year for Maddy’s classroom Halloween party, and it’s what I’ll modify for this year, and it’s what I’ll probably do again next year when Cora hits elementary school (shhhhh!).
- Parade: The school does a parade, and all students participate. We helped them get dressed, then we shuffled them O-U-T.
- Snacks: We had a blast with this part. Spooky snacks are THE best. Seriously. But store-bought cupcakes and cookies are greatlly great, too. The kids probably don’t care. They’ll be overloaded with candy after Trick-or-Treat anyway. But for the classroom party, we had cupcakes, juiceboxes and water, and:
. . . ‘eyeballs’ (small powdered donut with gummy LifeSaver in the middle and a chocolate chip in the center) dripping with blood (gel icing). . .
- Games: With only a short amount of time to rock n’ roll, we had to get the fun on fast.
- Estimation Game: While the kids ate their snacks, we played a little estimating game with candy corn and spiders. The Candy Estimation Game sheet can be downloaded here, and ll you need is a jar of candy corn and a jar of spiders!
The Estimation Game kept kids focused–and thinking!–during Spooky Snacks!
- Mummy Wrap: All you need are two (or more) teams of about 4-5 kids each, and a few rolls of toilet paper. Each team picks one ‘mummy’ and the team works to wrap him (or her) up! The teacher is the judge, and the best lookin’ mummy wins!
- Hot Pumpkin: Like hot potato, hot pumpkin requires a small, silly pumpkin or gourd, some crazy Halloween music, and kids sitting in a circle. They pass the hot pumpkin around until the music stops, and whomever is caught holding it is out of the circle. The winner is the last person without the pumpkin! *For more excitement, and to keep the kids engaged longer, we had 2 or 3 circles going at the same time
- Craft: Keeping it simple is the key here–so we bought a kit from the craft store, and the kids used Foamie stickers to decorate pumpkins and ghosts. Each child had his own set of supplies already separated into sandwich bag so it was easy to hand out crafts, and example crafts sat on every cluster of tables.
- Bingo: Bingo is a great end-of-party game, because it can be played over and over as needed, filling in space or skipping if you run out of time. You can use this Halloween GHOST! Bingo Board if you’d like. Feel free to download and share but please link back! Bingo away!
This is just a starting point–the possibilities for classroom parties are endless, and this summer I had the fabulous opportunity to do some super-fun searching for class party ideas because I wrote the Classroom Parties eBook for VolunteerSpot.
Woot! This Classroom Party Guide covers the entire year. You’re done. Finite. Already planned.
With the help of some incredibly creative crafters and talented teachers and perfectly-perfect party planning-parents, the Classroom Parties eBookis everything Classroom Parents need for the year–it includes:
- tips for Class Parents
- party checklists
- party ideas for the whole year
- class party games, snacks, and fun activity ideas
And what you can’t find in the Classroom Party eBook, I’m betting you’ll find in any of the other resources for Class Parents on the VolunteerSpot website–and they’re all free! Check out the Room Mom Survival Guide, Back-to-School Sign Up Sheets, or the Simple Scheduling for Parent Conferences.
Volunteer Spot allows anyone to coordinate parents and volunteers quickly and easily with free online sign up forms and volunteer scheduling. It’s awesome. I love it. We used it often at our elementary school, as it makes managing sign-ups for the Book Fair, Kindergarten Orientation, Craft Night–you name it–a ton easier.
And that’s it, really–just a quickie New For Us Friday sharing some tools that may work for any upcoming Halloween par-tay along with a site that I think everyone will love, no matter what type of volunteering or organizing they’re doing. Since VolunteerSpot works with PTA activities, church, scouts, sports, or dance activities, conference times, support for a friend, you name it, everyone can use it, and everyone will love it.
fyi: This is a totally unsponsored post; I received no compensation to share my Volunteer Spot love with the world–I just really appreciate the tools and resources it provides for everyone, and I think the people who designed the program are awesome. I was paid to create the eBook, but I am not paid to promote it. Again, I just think it’s a worthwhile resource for parents and teachers.