I have always enjoyed being a room mom. I was able to be one for each child’s kindergarten class and now again for my oldest 4th grade class. I had to step down from so much volunteer work for the school earlier this year, but I held on to that position tightly. I know I am very lucky to be able to be there for my children in this capacity and I am always grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their academic life.
I have always had a co-room mom that shares the responsibilities. I have been very blessed to be partnered with really amazing women over the years. Whenever the class is scheduled to have a celebration or a treat day, we scour the internet looking for great ideas to incorporate along with what the teacher is looking for, so I figured it was about time that I started to share some of my experiences to help give other room moms ideas and tips too.
I’m going to say right off, that the earlier you start planning — the better your class party will be. Unfortunately, that is never me. One of my biggest flaws is procrastination, so I’m going to own that right up front. Since I do things late, if I wish to order supplies from a company like Oriental Trading, I pay the extra shipping costs out of my own pocket. I also don’t get the chance to find things on sale. All things you will not have to deal with if you start planning at least a month ahead of time.
So, for Mrs. K’s 4th grade Spring Fling, Nature was our theme. The children are working on short stories based on an animal. My son chose a camel while others in his class came up with hamsters, pigs, elephants, sharks and dinosaurs. I poked around my Oriental Trading catalogs and then on Amazon and finally decided on these masks: Design Your Own Masks.
So here is what the plain mask looks like (all photos taken with my iPhone):
For my example piece, I chose a cheetah:
And here are some of the ones that the children were working on.
I liked the paper-maché material over the plastic masks because it allowed for more versatility over what medium they would use to decorate them (markers, crayons, paint), even though it made it a little on the expensive side. We were only doing one craft and one treat, though.
Mrs. K liked the idea of the Dirt Cup and it fit with our nature theme beautifully. To maximize the children’s enjoyment, we did the Dirt Cups instead of cakes and this way they could do their own layering and add in which treats they wanted:
What you need:
- Clear Plastic Cups
- Plastic Spoons
- Chocolate Pudding
- Oreo Cookies
- Gummy Worms
- Jelly Bean Rocks (optional, I found them at the Treat Boutique in the mall)
We have almost 25 children in the class and while I had enough pudding, two packages of Oreos was not enough.
I want to note that the masks did not come with strings. You can easily add a thin ribbon or encourage them to hang their works of art on a wall at home where it will be safe from harm.
If you have any questions about what we did, please let me know.
xoxo ~ Melissa