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  Kid Themed Birthday, Classroom and Fun Parties

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General Classroom Party Tips


Getting Started:


So you are the Room Mom/Chair...now what??  Read the following tips and check out the links to help you make the most of your year and time as the Room Mom!


How do I get started?


Always check with the teacher to see how he/she likes to run the parties.  You can get times, dates and length of parties for information to pass on to your helpers.  Some teacher are very prescriptive in what they want for each party and others might leave everything completely up to you! (Don't let that scare you though!)


Get yourself a binder, folder, expandable folder.  Get organized!  Keep a file on your computer for room mom stuff.  Save bookmarks on your computer of possible activities.  Start early– one month to two weeks ahead should be good.


If you are working with another parent or co-chair coordinate times to meet and bring ideas.  


See more ideas below about getting organized!


Enlist Help!


The first thing to do is get help from others in the class!  Other parents are invaluable.  Each year, I would send home a note to parents to not only introduce myself (and other co-chairs or room moms) but to ask for help.  The letter would include information about each party.  Times, dates, etc. and then would include boxes for other parents to check for how THEY would be willing to help.   See Examples:


Beginning of the Year Helper Sample letter (This one has you as the room mom)


Alternative Room Mom Beginning Letter Sample  (This letter asks for helpers to do individual parties.)



Also check out: How to Write an Effective Room Mom letter


DON’T FORGET: See Sample Helper Notification Letter.

After you have figured out who can help and when, send home a confirmation letter so all parents can add when and what they will be doing for their scheduled party.  Do this soon after the deadline date for the first letter so everyone gets it on their calendar early.  Keep a master list!


To collect $ or not to collect $.....??


Check with your teacher on how he/she or the school dictates money donations.  Do you have to collect?  Does the teacher collect or do you?  Does the school give the classrooms money? Or are you to find helpers to supply the goods needed?


As a rough rule of thumb, if your school or teacher typically collects party money, find out what the going rate is for your school for the amount to collect.


You can either collect for all the parties ahead, collect per party or simply ask for monetary donations. If you collect money, don't ask for more than is absolutely necessary. Keep your activities simple.


Usually, though a lot of room mom's have a strong desire to ask for more so that they can do fun-zy artsy craft-sy things.  I am willing to go out on a limb and say those things are not necessary for a really fun party and can be a way that cost the parents extra money for stuff that might just end up in the recycle (trash) bin anyway. Just my opinion, however.


I have found in the years (six) of being room mom asking for donations of food and supplies to be the most effective (not money).  People are usually quite willing to help when they hear your voice on the phone and you read them a list of supplies and ask them what they can help with.  Some of the worst experiences, frustrating and costly for me, were when I asked for money from the parents.  Though, clearly it is a individual choice and also how your school and teacher prefers.




Planning for Parties:


Some room mom's find it easier to plan everything and let others help when the party day arrives.  Others find it helpful to delegate certain jobs to others--example: game coordinator, craft coordinator or food coordinator.  Some people have the creative knack to do activities but just not the time to do ALL the parties.  I have had teachers also set it up that there is a a different room mom and helpers who sign up for one particular party throughout the year and they are in charge of just that ONE party.  Decide which would work best for you and the teacher.



Important information:  Do not share stories about others' kids to anyone.  You are in a leadership role; it is always better to take the high road and leave cute anecdotes about others' kids at school.








Plotting the party:







Getting Organized:













Party Day:




Send home or an email to thank all the helpers and suppliers for each party!



Teacher Gifts:


Teacher gifts can be done in several ways.  One way, you take a class collection and get something for the teacher as a group or the other way is to let people give on their own to the teacher.  Typically, gifts are given around the holidays and the end of the year.  Sometimes, room moms also collect for wedding showers, baby showers, new babies. If you take a collection, check with your school or another teacher if there is a policy about gifts and sending a letter home asking for money (monetary donations).  A letter home might need to be pre-approved by the school.  Some room moms set an amount that they would like to collect.  Others leave it up to what the givers would like to give and plan the teacher give around what the money amount actually collect.  (I preferred the latter, but either would work.)




Ideas that are useful include: gift certificates to book stores, teacher stores, malls, restaurants, spas, gas, grocery stores, baby stores, museums, movies theaters, etc.  A grouping of various gift cards to places that the teacher likes put together in a collection-- say, a flower pot or some  other decorative means...this would require some sleuthing on your part for finding out what the teacher likes. Sometimes a colleague of your child's teacher is a good resource! A basket of books (new or gently used) from all the kids in the class (or those able or willing to donate).  Games for the classroom for indoor recess or other times.


Also see Teacher Gift Ideas page for more ideas.



If you collect money for gifts send home a letter to let everyone know what the collection was able to purchase for the teacher within a week of the party.


Related Links:


What a roommom needs to know


Classroom Parties-Getting Organized


Parties for the Classroom


My Allergy Network


Classroom parties 101


Secrets of Successful Room Parents


Room Mom/Room Dad Tips



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