It’s official, my son is a kindergarten graduate! I cannot explain how proud I am. I swear the last day was harder on ole’ Mom than the first was. It’s the realization that he is not a baby anymore. Next thing I know he is going to be bringing home a girlfriend. ::Shudder::
At the beginning of the year I was overly excited like I always am about new things, so I signed up for PTA, to help out in the morning with breakfasts and to help be a Room Mom. Like I have nothing else going on at home… ahem, crazy toddler. Sometimes I get way too overzealous. But I did stick with the Room Mom job. It was actually a lot of fun and I learned a lot along the way. Here are my Kindergarten Room Mom Cliff Notes from the year.
- Two other moms signed up for the whole year. One mom could not be there for two of the parties and so we were able to get help from other moms who volunteered along the way. Make sure you always accept help if it is offered! The more people there the smoother the party will go. Trust me, at the last party we were a bit short staffed for a minute and it was total chaos, like Kindergarten Cop style.
- With a class size of 27, we found it best to separate the kids into four stations and rotate once they were done. Originally we chose a time limit of 15 minutes, but make sure the stations will take equal length. For example if you are doing a bean bag toss station, it cannot rotate with a craft station because the crafts will take a lot longer. Match up your stations that are going to rotate based on how long the kids will need to be there.
- Make sure you have a movie for the kids to watch while they snack so they stay seated and quiet.
- Make sure the snacks you choose are allergy safe and within the school’s guidelines. I was just informed that the school district my son attends is going to ban sweets next year. What is this world coming to?! Merry Christmas, here’s your broccoli floret. I digress.
- We sent out a letter in the beginning of the year asking for an optional $5.00 donation toward the room parties, which most of the parents sent. It was a mistake asking for a specific dollar amount. At the end of the year, I planned the teacher gift and sent out another letter asking for any kind of donation they would like to give. We received anywhere from $5 to $30. Explain the donation will be used for games, crafts, food and drink for the ‘X’ number of parties throughout the year. If the parents are overzealous like me they will empty their wallets for you!
- Plan on spending your own money. There is little chance the donation money will cover all of the parties. We received about $120 and so we saved it for the final party, where we had a face painter and a hot dog lunch.
- Use Pinterest to find unique ideas which look easy or enjoyable for you to assemble. This will make the task of getting ready for the party less grueling and more fun.
Party #1 – Halloween:
- Here’s what we did NOT do. Omg, why!
- One tip is make sure the kids have a LARGE bag to take home all the treats they give to each other. We had brown paper lunch bags and they were not big enough!
- Here is a collage of some of the things we did. If you click it, it will take you to my Pinterest board for the Halloween Party ideas. Follow me on Pinterest while you are at it! 😉
Party #2 – Christmas:
- Here is another photo collage of what we did. Click to link to my Christmas Party Pinterest board for more ideas. The decorate the snowman game was my favorite by far. The kids had a blast!
Party #3 – Valentine’s Day:
- Another lovely photo collage. We did pin the lips on Mrs. Valentine and surprisingly the kids were okay while blindfolded!
Party #4 – End of the Year!
- We kind of made loose plans about what we were going to do for this party. We had a luau theme and our games chosen; limbo, a conga line, a dance-off, bean bag toss, fishing for magnetic fish out of buckets (super cute and the kids loved it) and a face painting station. Here is what really happened. We had the face painter (one of the room moms with an art background) pick one child at a time to paint. Of course there was a constant swarm of kids around her watching because they were excited for their turn. The rest of the class played a few rounds of pass the beach ball. While they were sitting out they played bean bags. This transitioned to a wild beach ball free-for-all. There were beach balls bouncing off heads and electronic equipment, kids tripping and falling… it was pretty nuts. We got them organized for limbo but soon had to turn on a movie until lunch because they were so excited. We served a hot dog and potato chip lunch. We ordered from a restaurant owned by a family that also goes to our school and they gave us a great deal. All in all, a success! It was days like these that really made me grateful for my son’s teacher. She is the epitome of patience!
While it can be a bit costly and time-consuming to be a room mom, I think it was entirely worth it. My son will always remember that I was there and I got the chance to get to know his teacher, other moms in the class and even the students on his class which I loved! I was lucky to be paired with some great moms who did a lot of work and had great ideas. I may not be signing up next year but I will definitely consider doing it again in the future.