Who's looking for school party ideas?
Well, for starters...your students! Why do kids want to have a classroom party at every holiday? Even when they already celebrate the same holidays at home? That's easy, but you have to ask the questions correctly first:
Why do humans want to have work parties at every holiday? Even when they already celebrate them at home?
You see, it's human nature to want to socialize with the people with whom you spend a lot of time. So the urge to party is not unexpected in elementary school. Our job as teachers is to keep the school party ideas focused on school as much as the party.
You can find a million school party ideas on the internet. I'm going to talk about how to take those ideas and manage the kind of party you want to have in your classroom.
"Par-tee! Par-tee! Par-tee!"
Most of us work in public schools which serve a multi-cultural society. We are using the tax dollars from all residents within our district to run our schools, and we must be sensitive to the beliefs of the families of all students.
CAUTION: No matter what your personal values or beliefs are, DO NOT assume that everyone (or even anyone) has the same way of looking at things...or of celebrating holidays.
Some cultures or religions do not celebrate Halloween, some do not celebrate Christmas, and some do not celebrate anything, even birthdays. But these families are all taxpayers and members of the local school community with the same rights. School is about learning, and a party or celebration that diminishes learning for any child in your room is a non-starter.
Your district very likely already has a policy on holiday celebrations. Be sure you know it. Even if you find that your building's school party ideas bend district policy, I still strongly encourage you to follow the appropriate guidelines and the classroom party ideas I'm laying out.
The most-common reasons for having parties at schools in America are holidays: Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, and the last day of school (the beginning of the summer holiday, I guess). In fact, I can't think of any good reason to have more than four main parties plus birthdays.
If you are going to have parties, the first step is re-branding (or re-theming) them:
NOTE: I have never experienced anyone pushing for an Easter party. If for some reason you need to have a party in the spring, do it for Mothers Day...or just Spring.
And now...on to the party! There's much more here to help you succeed as a party planner.
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Making School Party Ideas
Work in Your Class
Classroom behavior vs. the classroom party
The School Birthday Party
The birthday bonus: cupcakes and lessons in politeness
The School Halloween Party - Part 1
Accommodating cultural differences and managing costumes
The School Halloween Party - Part 2
Fun classroom activities without the candy
Christmas Classroom Activities
Cozy fun and educational activities for the winter holiday
Fun Classroom Activities for Valentines Day
Avoiding hurt feelings on the holiday of love
Your End-of-School-Year Party
Fun parties that reflect your students' personalities