School is just getting started. That means room parents everywhere are gearing up for another school year filled with parties, field trips, and events. Their goal is to help the teacher make the kids’ schooling fun and educational without breaking the bank.
Here are 17 crafty room mom ideas perfect for all of the classroom parents out there.
Be Frugal and Green
- Don’t put the money burden on yourself. Ask parents for donations. Every family’s situation is different, so don’t feel offended if someone doesn’t donate. Keep track of your expenses and receipts.
- Think “dual purpose” to get the most out of materials. For example, Valentine’s Day conversation hearts are fun to eat and also make excellent bingo markers.
- Save your toilet paper and paper towel rolls; encourage the other parents to do the same. Repurpose them into apple trees, monsters, turkeys, or Leprechauns.
- Other items to save include shoe boxes, cereal boxes, shredded paper, used wrapping paper, soda bottles, egg cartons, newspaper, and magazines. Recycled crafts are fun and cheap.
- Shop after holidays when everything is 70-90% OFF. After Halloween, you’ll find plenty of cheap orange, black, and purple everything. Later, you can find cheap Christmas (red and green) and Easter (pastels) materials. Plan ahead to incorporate these colors into future events.
- Meet with the teacher. See what his/her preferences are and how involved they want you to be. Check out this list of questions to ask the teacher.
- Connect with the other parents by sending a room parent introduction letter and using SignUpGenius’ free virtual sign-up platform. Parents (or even local grandparents) can sign up for specific volunteer time slots or to bring in snacks or supplies.
- Who better to ask for help than your kids? Have them tell you more about their classmates’ interests and test out crafts. It’ll even make them more creative! Ask about what they’re learning and build off of that as you plan parties.
- Follow room mom boards on Pinterest.
- Help connect the classroom to the community at large. At a holiday party, consider having children make cards for kids in the hospital, veterans, or those in nursing homes.
Play It Safe
- Get an allergy and food sensitivity list from the teacher. Some common ones include dairy, latex (think balloons), peanuts, eggs, wheat, and soy.
- Plan more activities than there’s time for. If you run out of time, read a book or sing a song. Choosing the book could even be the prize for a student who won a game.
- If there are costumes involved, bring along some safety pins and fabric glue just in case.
Keep Things Organized
- Save yourself stress and plan ahead. The internet is full of resources and ideas, including various room parent handbooks and binders that include master calendars. It’s easy to plan ahead once you talk with the teacher and figure out dates, food restrictions, and more.
- Dedicate space at home for organizing your supplies and crafts for upcoming parties. Keep them separate from your supplies if you used donated money. Rolling storage carts are especially helpful.
Prepare for Clean Up
- Doing a messy painting project? Cover desks with plastic tablecloths from the dollar store.
- Always bring an extra garbage bag, pair of gloves, disinfectant, paper towels, and dust pan along.
School Halloween Party Ideas That Won’t Break the Budget
- Paper Spider Hats- Younger grades will love this fun spider hat. It’s a cheap craft and will make for some great photos that you can send home. Mix up the colors for extra creativity.
- Clementine Pumpkin Snack- Kids get enough candy from trick-or-treating; add in a fun and healthy option. Peel the clementine and then stick a small celery stalk into the middle to create a “pumpkin.”
- Day of the Dead Masks- Make these Day of the Dead crafts while teaching students about the Mexican holiday. You could even read the kids a book about the holiday too.
What are you some of your crafty room mom secrets? Share them in the comments!
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