Like Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day the end of the school year is known for one thing, class parties. Some of a child's favorite school memories will be of homemade Valentine's and a school day spent on crafts instead of math. But if you're the helpful parent tasked with putting together the class party it can be a little stressful. We have some tips, no matter what the season.
Involving Others One of the hardest things about planning a class party is the other parents. You may be tempted to simply plan the whole thing yourself, but keep in mind that other parents have a right to participate as well. On the other hand, you may feel like other parents should be contributing more in terms of time, cash, or supplies, but you don't know everyone's situation. The parent you're angry with for not wanting to help with the party may spend hours a week helping the school in other ways. The parent you think is cheap for not offering to bring in juice boxes may really be struggling financially. You have to walk a fine line between only working with parents you know and expecting others to help you in ways they may not be able to or want to. Start off the planning with an email asking for suggestions and ideas, and asking people how they'd like to participate (help plan, help at the party, send food/drinks, give money). As your plans become firmer, continue to send out emails to all the parents, but don't worry if some don't respond. If you can't get help from ANY of the parents, then you'll need to keep your plans small. Ask the teacher for help getting volunteers the day of the party, but don't bite off more than you can chew in terms of planning or finances.
Keep food to a minimum A lot of schools now ban classroom treats like cupcakes and candy. Some classrooms have allergy restrictions. All in all, it will be easier for you if you think of the party as being about entertainment and activity and not food. If you do want to include food, make sure to check with the teacher about any restrictions.
Go Pro! No, you're not going to bring in a professional party planner for a 4th grade end of year party, but you might think about a little professional entertainment. Face painters and balloon twisters are surprisingly affordable and can work in small spaces like a classroom. If the class has been studying a specific culture consider bringing in a dancer or soloist for a brief performance and info session.