· Be prepared to meet with your child’s teacher at the beginning of the year so that you can get a list of field trips and parties for the year. Each teacher has different expectations, be sure to reach an understanding of what is expected of you.
· Things to ask the teacher: Do any of the children have food allergies or special needs? How do you prefer to be contacted with questions? Do you have any preferences for the party in terms of structure? Is it okay to set up the room before the party begins? What is the time frame for each party?
· Send out the list to all classroom parents and ask for volunteers. Be prepared to follow-up with parents a couple of weeks prior to the event to make sure everyone is still available.
Classroom Party tips
· Send a message to each parent volunteers 1 week prior to the party to remind them of their time/supply commitment. Assign supplies to parents to prevent confusion/duplicates.
· Create a plan for your classroom party that includes a detailed list of supplies needed. Ask parents to bring important supplies prior to the party to make sure that you have everything you need.
· For younger grades, it is a good idea to break students up in groups and have 3 or 4 “activity stations” for them to visit. Each station should have at least 1 parent volunteer. The kids should rotate between stations every 10-15 minutes
· Be prepared for kids finishing stations a little early, bring coloring/activity pages or an extra craft in case you need to adjust for time
· Bring all the supplies you need for the party, including tape, scissors, glue, markers, crayons, a large trash bag, handi-wipes, and paper towels
· Bring enough snacks for the teachers, too!
· Always decorate for parties. Simple decorations can make all of the difference in the atmosphere of the party. Don’t forget some appropriate theme music to set the stage!
· Bring your camera! Most parents will not be attending the party, help them feel included by sending a link to the pictures you took during the party. These pictures are also fun for the kids and teachers to see later
· Be flexible and always have a back-up plan
· If you are planning a craft or game during the party, try it yourself to make sure that the kids will have time to complete it during the party. If the craft is longer, you can always complete the first few steps of it yourself prior to the party. Make sure that each child labels their craft, especially if there is glue or paint that needs to be set aside to dry.
· Sticky dots are a great substitute for glue
· Always cover the craft area with a plastic disposable tablecloth, it makes clean-up much easier.
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· To help with spills, use small bottled water or juice pouches instead of punch bowls with cups. It is also easy to add labels to these items that match your theme