My youngest child is in kindergarten this year so I volunteered to be the room parent with another mom in his class. Usually I don’t like the whole co-room parent thing, but I really like this mom and we can organize a party together pretty well.
Our first task is of course the Halloween Party. Halloween at our school is a big deal. The students, teachers, admin and even some parents get dressed up after lunch and walk in a parade around the small town. The parade is led by the Fire Department and the middle school band (four instruments playing off key, but cute nonetheless) and is followed by the county sheriff’s car or a couple of motorcycle policemen. The Business Guild hands out candy along the way. Mind you this is all after each class has a party, games and other activities. Thank god the school makes this day an early dismissal day, it is exhausting for the parents, but the kids have a blast.
So for my last kindergarten party I thought I would have some real fun. Our teacher this year is super cute, creative and loves the fun aspect of teaching. So here is our plan…
the children arrive in their classroom and make balloon eyeballs to hang from the ceiling. Other decorations will be provided so they can help decorate the classroom for their party.
Blow up regular white party balloons. Have the children cut out a circle of colored paper for the irises and smaller black circles for the pupils; using tape, secure the paper to the roundest part of the balloon to resemble an eyeball. Use a red magic marker to draw capillaries onto the balloon to make the eyes look blood shot. Hang the balloons from the ceiling with fishing wire or use as decorations anywhere in the room.
The teacher has age appropriate activities like pumpkin sorting and story time…academic stuff just to keep the school day legit. This is a good time for the parents to set up the party foods and stuff.
Games and activities.
My co-room-mom found a great game to play, sort of like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The children have to work in teams. One child lays down on a giant piece of paper and the others trace him/her. Then they have to go on the hunt for bones and use the traced body as the puzzle board and the found bones as the puzzle pieces and re-assemble the body. She found large plastic skeleton parts to use at some party supply store and we will hide them while the teacher is teaching.
The second activity is bobbing for apples. We are using the small “lunchbox” apples and a shallow party tub to keep it easy. We are doing this activity before they get into their costumes and eat lunch. No children with cold symptoms are allowed to do this activity.
11:00am- 12 noon:
whole grain bread and assorted sandwich fillings cut into shapes: fingers, pumpkins, bats, ghosts, etc. (or not, you can just cut them into triangles and squares too)
Severed Fingers and Mashed Brains:
The mashed brains are hummus
. For the severed fingers use your choice of ready-made or homemade dough (bread, pizza or pretzel). Shape the dough into fingers and use an almond sliver for the finger nail. For added effect notch lines in the “finger” for the knuckles and paint the “finger nail” red or green with food coloring. Also serve carrot, celery and jicama sticks with the “mashed brains”.
Just like deviled eggs, but use sliced green olives with pimentos and a light dusting of paprika to make the eggs look like jaundice eyes.
Chips and Dips:
Use your Halloween cookie cutters to cut out shapes in corn tortillas. Brush them with a bit of vegetable or olive oil and season with salt. Put them in an oven heated to 300 degrees and crisp them up, about 10 minutes or so, just keep an eye on them. Serve them with: Black Cat Bean Dip
or Blood Red Salsa
or Goblin Guts
Use your Halloween cookie cutters to cut out shapes in flour tortillas. Brush them with melted butter and season with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Bake them in an oven heated to 300 degrees until crispy, about 10 minutes or so. Keep an eye on them.
Just a bowl of green and purple seedless grapes. Take the grapes off their bunches and wash them well. Put them in a large bowl with a few plastic “blind” lizards around it.
Apple Cider Punch with Floating Hands
-take latex free surgical gloves, about 2 -3, and fill them with diluted cranberry juice and freeze over night. Fill a punch bowl with Apple Cider and dilute with sparkling water or club soda or use sparkling apple cider. Float the frozen hands in the punch bowl. The result will be the look of floating severed hands in a murky liquid. CREEPY!
Our kindergartners get out at 11:50am. The parade starts at 1:30pm. This gives us time to clean up and get the kids into their costumes. For some us with multiple children at school, it also buys a bit of time to catch up with the other classroom parties which will be going on until about 1:00pm.
To organize and coordinate all of this with the other parents we are going to use an online service called Jooners.
I love this thing. It costs $20 for the year and you can do all your volunteer sign up stuff online.
Beth Ann Bentley is the founder and publisher of iLunchBox.com and the mother of four school-aged children.