How to Organize a Class Party

If you are lucky enough to be tapped as Room Mom, one of your responsibilities will be to organize one or two class parties. Instead of freaking out, follow these suggestions to make your life easier.

Keep It Simple

A party in your child's classroom is not really that big of a deal. It's not your chance to prove to all the other PTA mothers that you're really good at planning parties or that you know where to find the best cookies. And contrary to popular belief, not every party is going to be special.

If you have a wonderful idea for a life changing experience that the kids are going to take with them throughout their lives and relay to their grandchildren, then by all means go for it. If however, you are like the rest of us, rest assured that children are actually quite easy to please. They derive great pleasure from cheap snacks and fizzy pop.

Delegate to the Extreme

The first thing you do is get the email list from the teacher and send a message asking for help. The people who respond first are your over-achiever parents. These are your backbone, be extra nice to them. Ask them for ideas. Instead of planning the party, build on the suggestions of those parents who are excited to help. The standard elementary school fare is a game, a craft, and a snack, but go with whatever the enthusiastic parents suggest, as long as they're willing to take charge!

When you are in charge of anything you can count on having to pick up a few pieces at the end. Whether it's the board of a Fortune 500 company or the parents of your child's classmates (or both), someone's going to drop the ball. In the classroom, it falls to the Room Mother to pick it up. Therefore, delegate everything! Your job is to check and double check that everyone is bringing their little part.

If you are a control freak, skip this paragraph. It's my experience that the more you let people decide how to help, the more likely they are to follow through. Since we're going to keep it simple and not obsess about matching snacks and perfect little goodie bags, we're free to let people contribute whatever they'd like. Just keep a list. That way when people ask what you need, you can tell them what you've already got and let them come up with a wonderful idea of what to add.

Remind, Remind, Remind

It may seem like you're dealing with the students instead of the parents, but trust me when I say you cannot remind people enough. The class party is just not that high on most people's list. Send out an email reminder a few days before the party. The night before, call everyone who is bringing something for that final reminder.

When all else fails, remember the southern entertaining mantra. All you need are something salty, something sweet, and a soda.

If you really want to go nuts, make a balloon arch!

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