Hi friends! I can’t even explain how or why I’m still awake…we had our field trip today that ended at the park for a picnic and LOTS of playing. I haven’t played so much freeze tag and hide and seek in years!!!
I’m SO excited for our Valentine’s party on Friday…it is one of my favorite holidays, and probably my favorite to celebrate in class! I love that it promotes kindness and friendship, and is such an easy tie in to classroom community and relationships!
I wanted to stop by and share a few tips for your party…I hope they are helpful to you! I remember my first year…the main stresses were parent conferences, field trips, and parties! How in the world do I plan a party? What should we do? Do I get parents to help? Should I do it myself??? So many questions!
First, I have found that the best way to get parent support with snacks and materials is through Google Docs. Of course this works best if parents have access to email, but with smartphones most of them do. 🙂 Sending papers home usually ends in some getting lost, and it’ always hard to coordinate who brings what. I know that tons of teachers have success with Sign Up Genius, but I like the ease of Google Docs! I add the snacks on the side, and parents can choose something in thier budget! I like this better than assigning because some parents like to send in a lot, and some are more comfortable sending in a bag of chips or something. 🙂 It also makes sure that no one HAS to. Parents can sign up for 2, 3, or none if they aren’t able. 🙂
This is my favorite part! I have seen SO many adorable non-food ideas for gifts on Pinterest! Be sure to check those out, especially if you hav allergies or dietary restrictions. 🙂 This year we don’t, so I went the traditional route. But truly, you can find little things in the dollar spot! I found some 12 packs of silly putty for $3.00 in the Target Valentine section! I also use this time to write a personal note to each kiddos. I try to be good about kind words and notes throughout the year, but this ensures that everyone gets at least one from me!! It also sets a great example for them on how to write encouraging notes to each other! 🙂 If you’re trying to save money, I truly think the note will mean just as much! 🙂
I don’t remember who told me this tip early on in my career, but it something I do every year! Every year I have a few kiddos who forget or are unable to bring cards for their classmates. I always get them early so I have some good choices and keep them safe. I already had a parent email me to tell me they couldn’t get any this year, and I’m so glad I already have some set aside for that sweet baby!
I seriously almost forgot this…GASP! But fortunately, I had a premade little template in my Valentine’s Day Packet and just had to type in their names! You could even attach this to the Google Doc if you wanted! 🙂
I know this isn’t possible at every school, but I really do try to encourage my families to come in during our parties. It DOES make it a bit more complicated but parents love it and more importantly…the kiddos love it! I included this in the Google Doc for easy sign up, but you could also send a note home! 🙂 I have mine come in during recess (our recess is at 12:15-12:45) to set up decorations and then the party can start when the kiddos get in. Some schools don’t let you have your party until the very end, so you could have parents come in about 15 minute before and let them do stations, games, etc! 🙂
And finally…the fun part! Planning the fun activities! These are the activities I have planned for us! Pin the Kiss on the Frog and Bingo will be whole group games! Making cards, playing Draw a Heart, Candy Towers, and tons of printables are choices they can do on their own! Parties are a great time to do rotations too!
You can find all of these printables in my Valentine’s packet! 🙂
I LOVE teaching nonfiction...especially how accessible it is to all learners! Strong readers can dive deep into the text, and we can have such fun conversations about what they learned. 😍 My favorite though? Watching my little readers who struggle study the photographs, diagrams, and illustrations! They feel like SUCH readers and can’t wait to share what they READ! 🐧 You can grab this free penguin activity over on the blog! 👏🏻❤️