Hey everyone! It is that time again…those precious kiddos will be heading back to school and immediately bringing home volunteer paperwork. The last few years I have found myself as the head room mom or at least one of the main volunteers… I’ve done it enough times now to feel like I can pull of a decent party…decent enough the kids get to leave happy, full & tired! I was soooooo nervous the first year I had to get this figured out and decided I would love to share a couple tips to take the stress right on out of it. Yeah right…I stress about 100% of things in my life BUT maybe it will at least help take the stress down a notch! There is actually a lot of planning that goes into keeping 20-25 kiddos happy for an hour…and I do want them to genuinley enjoy themselves! Here’s a couple of pointers that hopefully are worth your time.
#1 – Enlist help! Do not try to do this all yourself. Actually, correction do not try to plan and buy and bring everything yourself. My experience leads me to believe the most fool proof way to party plan is to make the entire plan yourself (or do as I do and have Pinterest figure it out) and then ask other parents to bring/send needed items and to come actually help with the party.
#2 – Be specific! Most parents can’t attend the actual party themselves but would be more than happy to send something. The thing is…if you say please send a snack, you will end up with 8 dozen sugar cookies. And let me tell you, you do NOT want 20 children to consume 8 dozen sugar cookies while you are there! I generally come up with a list of three or four snacks and then text each parent individually. Ex: Hi, Joe’s mom…this is Gracie’s mom. Would you care to send in cheese sticks for the class party? And, 9 times out of 10…I get: “Sure” as a response! At my daughter’s school, I get a list of parents’ names and numbers at the beginning of the year that have volunteered to either be there or send something. So, about 2 weeks out from the party, I try and send the initial texts out & then again a reminder a day or 2 before. I also generally ask that everything be sent in a day or two prior to the party. That way I can ask the teacher to let me know what all she has so I can pick up anything that might have been missed.
#3 – Plan to have stations. I generally try and set up 4 stations…This keeps everyone moving and makes the games more doable in a group of 5 or 6 than it would be in a group of 25.
Food is quite possibly the most important station! Kids love to eat and they really LOVE sweets so I try to have a drink (juice or something), cheese sticks, fruit cups or yogurt and then a cookie or cupcake for everyone! They feel like its all special food but its not straight sugar…win/win. Then I go for a craft…making a card or crazy hat or something and then two game stations. Normally one kind of crazy game…minute to win it stuff that makes them be silly and then one that they can at least do sitting down. The stations normally take about 15 minutes a piece and I try to have at least one of the volunteer parents at each station.
I will send out ideas for the games and supply lists as the parties approach this year if anyone wants a little shortcut in the planning! So please be sure and check back around that time!