Saturday, July 26, 2008

Throw A Back To School Party!

As a new school year approaches, I thought I would share this great idea with you guys in case some of you wanted to use it. Now is the time to make your plans, send out invites, and gather your supplies. This is a great idea for homeschoolers and moms who have kids in school-- just adjust the plans according to your situation. This idea came from Julie Druck, who sends out a free monthly newsletter that is always chocked full of devotional thoughts, great ideas for moms and kids and recipes, etc. To subscribe, just send a blank email to: and tell her that I sent you!

It’s back-to-school time again! Below you’ll find some ideas from the back-to-school party we had last year at the little, old schoolhouse down the road from our farm. Maybe these ideas will entice you to do some back-to-school celebrating of your own! (By the way, these games and activities were done with a group of 7 children, ages 9 – 13.)
* Back-to-School Cones – For a craft project, decorate schultute (SHOOL-tur-tuh) or school cones. German families have been making such cones for the last 200 years. On the first day of school, children are presented with paper cones filled with school supplies, candy and other treats. We used sturdy thread cones that were picked up at a yard sale, but you could easily fold cones of cardstock. Before the party, hot-glue a ribbon to each side of the cones so that they can hang from a doorknob. The kids can decorate the cones with back-to-school stickers and markers. We filled the cones with neat pencils, colorful pens and old-fashioned sticks of hard candy. (adapted from “Family Fun”)
* What’s In the Bags? – Label a dozen lunch bags with one letter of BACK TO SCHOOL on each bag. Then fill each lunch bag with an item that begins with that bag’s letter and has something to do with back-to-school. Tape or staple closed and have children guess what’s in the bag by feeling it. For ideas, the items we used were: B – book; A – art supplies (crayon, paint & pom-pom in bag); C – calculator; K – Kleenex (I gave them a clue that this was something that might be found in the backpack of a child that goes to school.); T – tape; O – couldn’t think of anything that started with “O” so left bag empty!; S – staples; C – crayon; H – hole punch; two O’s – empty; L – lunch money (again explained that this might be in a backpack). (adapted from “Family Fun”)
* Eraser Toss – Hand each child 3 of the small pencil erasers and have them try to toss them one-at-a-time into a basket at the front of the room. They get to keep their erasers after the game. The kids especially enjoyed this one!
* Back-to-School Word Search - Simply print off a back-to-school word search from the internet, make copies, pass out pencils and let kids complete.
* The Rotate Game – Before the party, wrap up gifts of school supplies – one per child. (Mini-staplers and mini-calculators were very popular!). Have the children sit in a circle and hand them each a gift. Explain that you will read a story that contains the phrase “Back-to-School” many times. Every time they hear that phrase they are to pass the gift they hold one time to the right. After the story is finished, they open the gift that they received on the last rotation. For the story, simply make up a funny little tale that contains the “Back-to-School” phrase a bunch of times.
* School Kits – Our last activity for the day was a little service project. We made up school kits for children in various countries that don’t have the means to purchase school supplies. Before the party we picked up handmade, drawstring bags at the Mt. Joy Gift & Thrift. These bags were made by ladies for the Mennonite Central Committee to have for people to take and fill school kits. There is a label on each bag that tells you what to put in the kits. We purchased these items ahead of time and on the day of the party, each child filled a kit. You can also choose to fill health kits as well. (Marybeth's note: you could easily contact local charitable organizations who are doing school supply drives to take these to.)
* Brown Bag Lunches - For lunch you can serve packed lunches that were made up ahead of time. Decorate a brown paper bag with back-to-school stickers and each child’s name. In each bag, place an individual container of applesauce, a stick of string cheese, a fun plastic back-to-school cup (found cheap at Walgreen’s), a plastic spoon, napkin, bag of chips or cheese curls and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Have someone provide a thermos or two of drinks. Have another provide a yummy finger-food type dessert.
My friend, Rachel, made Ginger Crinkle Cookies and Back-to-School Cupcakes for our party. On top of the cupcakes, she placed Strawberry Newtons that she made to look like little books by writing the name of different subjects on each with an edible writing pen. She said you can purchase these pens at the grocery store in the baking section. They are pens but you use them almost like a paintbrush. Really neat!
Pin It!

No comments: