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new for us friday: help for classroom parents — letters, party ideas, & volunteer spot

halloween class party ideas

It’s almost Halloween time, which means that all around the world, Classroom Parents will soon be a-scramblin’ for Halloween party ideas.

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:

class party help for classroom parents

Our Halloween Party letter

  • class party help for classroom parentsHelp 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:

class party help for classroom parentsBoogers on sticks (cheese-wiz with green food coloring). . .

class party help for classroom parents

 . . . ‘eyeballs’ (small powdered donut with gummy LifeSaver in the middle and a chocolate chip in the center) dripping with blood (gel icing). . .

class party help for classroom parents. . . and ‘fingers’ — carrot sticks with almond slivers as nails (glued on with cream cheese)

class party help for classroom parentsmade the kids totally creep out at the party.

  • 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!

class party help for classroom parents

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!Classroom Party Guide VoluneerSpot free eBook ideas
  • 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.

Classroom Party Guide VoluneerSpot free eBook ideasWoot! 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.

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Comments

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Comment (14) | Leave a comment

  1. Hi Amy – I love your site, thanks so much for all your great info!
    Can you tell me where the Halloween Bingo Board is? I was hoping to create something like that for our class party, thanks!

    therese

    Reply
    Therese
    09/10/2011
    • Therese!
      I’m sorry–I must have forgotten to upload it to scribd when I sent this post live! Thank you, thank you, thank you for reminding me!! Here’s Halloween GHOST! Bingo for you, my friend!

      Reply
  2. Thanks Amy! Just signed up for the volunteer spot to organize my daughter’s class Halloween party. How simple!

    Reply
    Kelly
    10/10/2011
    • Kelly!! YAY! So happy you are using it–let me know how it goes, my friend!!

      Reply
  3. great ideas! i’m room parent again for jack’s class, but in hoco, it’s totally hands off! it feels like the school says, we want your help, but not really! we have a list of food items that are allowed (because of allergies, which i appreciate, but i love your cute ideas!) and only room parents are allowed to come to the party to help. and the ‘party’ consists of eating the snacks. no games. nothing. i like your estimation games though–maybe i can ask the teacher if we can try them! -d

    Reply
    • Oh man. . . so funny how different school districts can be SO different, even though they’re neighbors. I wonder–is it a county thing? school thing? teacher thing?

      Reply
  4. Cheers Amy,

    I am a primary school teacher with a primary 3 class in Scotland (kids are 7). We are having a whole school hallowe’en dress up day next week so I thought I would make it a bit more special for the kids in my class.

    Thank you so much for your AMAZING food ideas, I love them all and I am sure the children will love them too.

    Thanks again

    Craig

    Reply
    Craig Hooper
    19/10/2011
    • thank you, thank you my friend! SO glad I can help–and so excited to see what you come up with!! Happy Hallowe’en dress up day!!

      Reply

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