Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stress Free Valentine's Party

Classroom parties stress me out!  Many reasons that you all understand... chaos, sugar, and lack of control!  Oh my favorite line when it comes to classroom parties... "if you send in 5 classroom sets of cupcakes, I will give your kid 5 cupcakes right before they go home!"


Here's my take for a Stress Free Party!

Kids can't read the names on the Valentines!

Valentines are fun, but it can be crazy delivering Valentines to 25+ kids who don't know how to read their mother's handwriting!  You all know what I am talking about.. mom go the list, filled out the cards in cursive, and now they have to go in boxes?!?!

Simple Solution - I have my students only fill out the cards as FROM.  So everyone takes their cards and just puts one in everyones box.

Everyone wants to bring something!

Some teachers assign items to all kids or certain kids, some teachers say no treats.  I never know what to do!  I don't want tons of treats but I don't want nothing!  Oh and everyone wants to bring the cupcakes!  The kids love those cupcakes but not all kids eat them from my experience.  

Simple Solution - Ask for items that can be stored away and used as snacks later.  Sometimes I ask for pre-wrapped carrots, apples, crackers, pretzels, goldfish, and the list goes on and on.  All of those things could easily be stored away and used later.  A teacher once said to me "if they bring it in I am going to serve it."  I don't necessarily agree with this... I don't think the kids are going to notice and if they do you just kindly say "we have a ton of food, could we save yours for tomorrow or later this week as another special snack."  

I personally as a mom feel involved by being allowed to bring items to school for my son.  So for me I don't like to limit who can bring in items.  For some parents this may be the only way they can be involved in class!  

Valentines are everywhere and mixed up!

The kids get so excited about opening their valentines.  But they get all mixed up at their tables and it becomes an argument over whose puppy valentine it is!  Ahhh Gheeez!  

Simple Solution - Some years I let my kids open them and some years I don't... it really depends on how they are at following directions.  If I do not allow, hey they still exchanged them and they will still have fun opening them at home with their families!  If I do allow it, I model my expectation with my own valentines box!  One card out at a time... you can not have more than one out of the box!  

We also store our valentines away from our desks.  We literally line them up along a wall until party time and after.  They grab their box on the way out the door!  

Parties are a mess!  

Trash everywhere, boxes everywhere.  Chaos at the end of the day is NO FUN!

Simple Solution - Pack your kids up before you party!  100% packed up and ready to go.  When it's time to leave you just grab you backpack and box and go.  Butcher paper on your tables is a must.  I love this because it makes the classroom look festive!  Then just roll up the paper and put it right in the trash.  Last is magic trash... tell kids there is a piece of magic trash on the floor and the person who finds it gets a treat.  But - they can't show you or it's not magic.  I literally just keep saying.. "Oh I still see it" until all the trash is picked up.  We talk a lot about being happy for people who get picked and not being able to be picked every time.  My kids now will say things like "Oh good Jack, you got picked!"  (I love it!)


Do you have any tips?  Comment them below!  

Freebie Fridays

10 comments:

  1. Great post! Same as you, parties stress me out! This year I have a child with food allergies and a child with severe diabetes, so the parties REALLY stress me out! I decided this year to have the parents send in juice boxes and prepackaged chips (things that store well), and I am providing cupcakes. If the parents want to send in more, I'm asking for wrapped candy. My kiddo with diabetes has a candy pile just for her.

    Sarah
    Learning is for Superstars
    My TPT Store
    Pinterest
    LIFS Facebook Page

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  2. Great ideas and advice! I love the holidays but they can be stressful. I like having a holiday themed centers or just having a dance party.

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    1. There is nothing better than throwing Justin Beiber on in kindergarten!

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  3. Just dowloaded your freebie packet...again! I think I just downloaded that wonderful thing last week :) anyways, question about mailing yourself to your family....Do you put it in an envelope??? or mail as is??? was confused with the stamp on the forehead thing....use a real stamp for effect, but put in an envelope and mail right?

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    1. I actually collect outdated stamps to use. I have not searched this year for a new stamp.. that's one I just make with shapes years ago. But if you just cut them off your own mail it works perfect! The stamp goes on the head like the poem says. =)

      You know.. I used to mail them, but the price of stamps has become OUTRAGEOUS! Not to mention the fact that they have to go in 8.5 by 11 envelops! Sigh. So some years I do, some years I don't This last year I did because my school paid for it. This year I will not be mailing them but sending them home. (Makes me sort of sad.)

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  4. Thanks Jennifer for the great ideas! Parties stress me out too, especially since I'm a first year teacher! :)

    ~Jessica
    Fun in PreK-1

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  5. Thanks so much for this! This can be applied to almost any party. Pinning this for future reference/reminder/sanity check. ;)
    Shibahn
    www.landoflearning.wordpress.com

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  6. I have been after the Web for such info and just wanted to say thanks to you for the post. By the way, just off topic, how can i get a copy of this theme? Regards
    banquet halls in la

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  7. I love the note!! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Bravo! I have learned the same lessons over the years. Also, I try to enlist at least one parent to take care of snacks/treats; party tables are being set up and I can keep on teaching! Thanks for the cute notes!

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