So you’ve either volunteered or been “voluntold” as Room Mom or Room Parent to be charge of planning the classroom parties for your child’s class this year.
Now what? Do you just jump right in and make all the decisions?
Nope, instead get a meeting set up to talk with the teacher before you start planning your party or purchasing party supplies.
Otherwise, you may plan everything ahead of time and then come to find out that a student has an allergy or that certain decorations or activities aren’t allowed.
And that’s no fun since you’ll have to totally start over and re-work your plans!
So avoid that situation entirely by contacting the teacher to get the guidelines for the celebration.
But what should you ask to make the most of your time with the teacher?
Here are seven examples of fantastic questions to ask and answers to get before you start planning the class party!
Does any student have food allergies?
Starting off with a questions that absolutely must be asked in order to ensure the safety of all of the students is a smart move!
The teacher will know if any child in the class has food allergies, and then you’ll know what ingredients to avoid for not just edible treats, but also for activities as well.
If a child is allergic to gluten, then you’ll want to steer clear of any food containing gluten (or provide a gluten-free alternative) but activities involving play doh as well since it’s made with gluten (who knew?).
Don’t rely just on the word form the teacher though and check with the children’s parents via the party parent letter to be doubly sure.
Are there any food items that aren’t allowed?
Sometimes certain foods aren’t permitted during classroom parties due to allergies, other health considerations and the mess factor.
If treats aren’t allowed to be eaten in class, ask parents to provide wrapped treats that can be taken home in a goody bag.
Sometimes a parent really wants to donate a particular item that they feel will make the party, but it’s not allowed per the teacher, so sending it home for later consumption strikes the perfect chord to keep everyone happy!
Are there any decorating restrictions?
Most teachers recommend not bringing balloons because of possible safety issues (like latex allergies), but if they are allowed, they make for quick and easy decorating.
Simple decorations are best since there’s limited time and space for the party.
Cutting into the instructional time of the teacher isn’t a smooth move!
How long will I have to set up before the party?
Plan on having 10-15 minutes for party setup, including activities, treats and goody bags.
Use this time wisely and plan ahead so the party can start on time to maximize the time for fun!
Do you allow holiday specific themed parties, or do you prefer general holiday parties?
Some teachers prefer to stay away from the specific holiday and steer more towards the general season to be inclusive of all students, so be sure to double check before setting the theme of the party.
Even if the teacher prefers to have just a seasonal theme, you’ll probably be able to throw in some holiday ideas too.
For example, your teacher may want to stick with a Fall theme instead of Halloween, but a take home ghost lollipop is probably just fine.
Are classroom supplies available to use for the party?
If you need to use items like glue sticks, tape, or scissors for your party craft, don’t assume that the teacher will let you use the class supply, especially if it’s a consumable supply.
Many teachers pay out of their own pocket to ensure students have the need supplies for work during the school year and the teacher may not also want to foot the bill for the parties as well!
This question also applies if you want to play music in the class during the party.
The teacher may have a CD player in the class, but be sure that you will be able to use it.
Bottom line: Don’t assume the answer with be yes.
Ask to be sure!
How many parents can come to the party?
Different teachers have varying comfort levels of the number of adult party helpers allowed in for parties, so be sure to ask.
While some teachers don’t care (usually those with larger classrooms), some are very strict and limit the number.
To give all parents a chance to come in to help with the parties, be sure to open up as many slots to make that happen.
Only offer a slot to a parent who’s helped before only after other parents have declined the opportunity.
Additional Resources You’ll Love
Hope this article gives you a solid idea of what types of things to to talk over with your child’s teacher about regarding the classroom parties!
But know that this just nicks the surface of how to plan the best party and what questions to ask the teacher to be fully prepared and minimize the chance of something going awry.
For the complete list of all of the recommended questions, check out the Room Parent Success Kit!
This kit come stocked with everything you’ll need to plan the perfect class party, including an editable letter to parents, donation request forms and much more!
You’ll also find the structure for a Room Parent Program to improve communication with parents and more fully organize class parties for your entire school, making the kit an indispensable resource for you and your PTO year after year.
Also be sure to give How to Be the Best Room Parent a read for even more tip, tricks and mistakes to avoid!