Last Thursday, the day before Halloween, the kids' classes had Halloween celebrations. As I am one of the room moms in both classes, this was a little daunting. I have not had to help organize these events before, but I know how much the kids enjoy the day, so I gave it a go. Actually. This whole 'being a room mom' idea is still daunting in itself. Last year, and previous years, I tried to volunteer as much as possible - it was hard when I still worked - and someone else did all the organization. This year, even though the job looked hard, I volunteered to be an actual room mom. What I am finding is that many parents want to help... they just do not have time to sort everything out. The calling, emails, etc. When we send out emails for assistance, or hang up a sign up list, we always get very positive response from the childrens' families.
The internet is a blessing. Ideas for crafts and games galore. If you have access, the Oriental Trading Company is an awesome resource for supplies and crafts kits. I picked out a picture frame craft for the kindergartners and sticker crafts for both. I was also able to find some nice decor, and other party supplies.
I managed to convince Brad to take a day of leave and come join the parties. I could have managed on my own, but I was glad to have him with us helping out, and I think that he had fun helping out.
For the kindergarten class, we started off making the more complex picture frame craft. I highly recommend Glue dots for party crafts for little kids. There's no drying time, although it may be slightly difficult for the little ones to figure out how to handle them - they figure it out quickly. The pictures were taken and printed out in advance, so the kids had a fully finished keepsake to take home.
Next we did a sticker craft. Each child had a sheet of stickers and a piece of construction paper to make their own scenes.
One parent sent in cookies, and I brought in frosting. Two regular-sized white frosting cans from the store, divided into 4 containers, 4 colors - orange, purple, green and white. Another parent sent in a variety of edible candy sprinkles. We divided the class - half decorated cookies, the other half played a cakewalk game with monster tiles for the kids to walk around in tune to Halloween music.
Parents brought in fruits and other snacks, and we ordered pizzas for lunch. The party ended with a Halloween story read by one of the parents. Then, the kids went off to art class and regular school activities, and Brad and I headed off to 3rd grade.
We got to Brian's class as the kids were being released for for lunch and recess. The 3rd grade parent volunteers set up snacks, cupcake frosting, and the same sticker craft as we had for the kindergartners. Stickers are stickers, and are magic for kids.
The 3rd graders also had a game that required a number of words to be written on the board. Each kid was given a small bag with 10 candies. Any time someone heard another say one of the words on the boards, they got to take a candy from the kid who said the word. At the end of the party - candies were counted, whoever had the most candies won. We chose words we thought the kids would be likely to say: Halloween, candy, cool, the teacher's name, etc. Brad had a good time trying to get the kids to mess up and say the words from the board.
Another good elimination game was "Four Corners". Each corner of the room was labeled "Ghost", "Witch", "Pumpkin" and "Skeleton". The kids had to choose a corner and stand there, one of the corner names would be chosen randomly from a stack of 4 cards. Anyone in that corner, had to go sit down. Then, everyone would go to a different corner and a card (from all 4 cards) would be chosen again, etc. until only one player is left - and wins.
The children also played, and enjoyed, "Murder by wink" although it would have been better in a bigger place to play.
After the party, and costume photo opportunity, the whole elementary school gathered on the field for parade. Each class marched by around the track - waving to friends and parents. It was fun to watch. We were very tired by the end of the day, but I thing it was a success, and I know we had fun.