Some of the best school memories are those made during a classroom party. Not only do kids love class parties, but they’re also great for parents and teachers to work together to create a fun and memorable event for students. Class parties can be simple and easy and still a ton of fun with a bit of pre-party planning. Here’s a few tips for organizing a fall themed classroom party.
Before the Party
Check with the classroom teacher to determine: the party timeframe; student allergies; if kids can wear their costumes; if younger siblings can attend (with volunteers); how much time to set-up and clean-up for the party; and where volunteers can park.
If you are the homeroom parent organizing the party, you will want to send out an initial email or sign-up form, so that the party volunteers can sign-up for different tasks. You may also consider having parents sign-up to donate items to the party like plates, napkins, craft supplies etc. This is great for parents who want to help-out but cannot attend a party.
During the Party
Keep it simple, keep it moving and keep it light! Most classroom parties last less than an hour, so it goes by quick. Also, keep in mind that it is a party and doesn’t have to be perfect. A great way to keep the party moving is to break the party up into “stations”. Kids get divided into smaller groups and then move through each activity. Snack, Craft, and Game, work well for the party station activities. You can also add in a Service station.
After the Party
Make sure to clean-up and leave the classroom in the same shape you found it in. You may want to have someone donate a couple of trash bags. Classroom parties can create a lot of trash and there may not be that many trash cans in the classroom.
All volunteers that helped out in the classroom and those that donated items need to be thanked. The homeroom parent or whoever is organizing the party may also want to send a class wide email to parents letting them know how the party went, what activities and snacks the kids enjoyed and attach a few pictures. (Unless this is something the teacher typically does.)
Party Planning Checklist
It’s best not to concentrate too much energy on classroom party decorations. However, plastic table cloths are awesome for protecting work surfaces and make for easy clean up. You can push everything to the center of the table, pick up the table cloth and put it in the trash!
Divide students into small groups, rotate them through three or four activities that are 10-15 minutes each, and have at least one parent volunteer per station. When planning the party you will want to keep in mind that there is usually limited time for set-up and clean-up and remind volunteers to keep activities simple, especially for younger students.
Again, double check for food allergies and many teachers also encourage parents to provide at least one healthy snack option. This is a great station for donations including: paper plates, cups, napkins and food and beverage items. Some fun fall themed food items:
Ingredients: Apple Slices, Caramel Syrup, Chocolate Syrup, Sprinkles, Raisins and Whip Cream. Plate up the apples and let kids add their own toppings.
Ingredients: Halved Bananas, Popsicle Sticks, Melted White Chocolate and Raisins or Chocolate Chips. Have kids put the bananas on sticks, dip them into melted white chocolate (in a crockpot) and add two chocolate chips for eyes.
Consider using materials that aren’t too messy or elaborate and make sure to have all the items needed to make the craft. Don’t assume the teacher will provide any of the items. Make sure to ask for donations, if needed. Some fun fall themed crafts:
Fill a toilet paper roll with candy or trinkets (or not). Wrap white crepe paper around its top, bottom and middle, glue on two googly eyes.
Paint the inside of small mason jars with non-flammable paint and secure jar. Add face stickers to the outside of the jar.
Kids get so excited during classroom parties. This is a great station to burn off some energy. Before deciding on games, find out how much room you will have and if you need to stay in the classroom or if you can go out in the hallway. Even with older kids, it’s best not to get too elaborate with the games. Some fun fall themed games:
Poisoned Apple or Poltergeist Pumpkin
Play just like Hot Potato.
Sweeping Witches & Wizard
Each team needs a black pointy hat, broom and a large sheet of newspaper crumpled into a ball. Each team member sweeps the ball to a fixed point down and back and then hands the hat and broom off to the next player. To make the game more challenging add obstacles like cones or chairs for players to sweep around.
This is a great opportunity for kids to do a service project for the community. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Kids can make cards for the elderly or military or they can donate canned goods to a local food pantry. Other ideas include making baby blankets and collecting books to donate. The key is that the parent volunteer in charge of this station will need to be prepared to collect items and drop them off.
Some parties have a “goody bag” or provide prizes at the Game station for kids to take home. You will want to find out if this is something that is typically done at classroom parties at your school. Favors can be included with the party donation items. Goody bags DO NOT need to be elaborate. Pencils, erasers, a sweet treat, from the dollar store would be more than adequate.
Ask a parent volunteer or teacher to take photos of the classroom party and share with the parents that can’t attend.
It’s a good idea to bring along some back-up items just in case you need to fill a few minutes. You can throw in a book to read alourd to students, coloring sheets a bingo game, etc.
And, remember to relax and have fun! The elementary years go by quickly, so enjoy the moment with your kids!
What are your tips for hosting a fall themed classroom party?