-have a wish list of things they could donate to our class
-have parents come in as guest readers
-let them come in and tell how they celebrate holidays (good for all of the the December holidays)
Here are mine:
1. Career Day
2. Family field trips
3. Clothes Exchange (clothes that your child can not longer wear)
4. Each Parent that donates a certain amount of time receive a certain percentage off of tuition.
5. Teacher for the day - 1 day a month a parent become the teacher for 1 day
These are all excellent suggestions! You can also try having a parent helper on craft day or game day, or have parents come help supervise for a small field trip. You can also arrange for your class to put on a show and have the parents attend. I love the guest reader idea--the kids would love it! Good luck! :)
Every year we have a Fall Harvest Festival (complete with carnival games and prizes that parents run), a Thanksgiving feast that the families are invited to, several "picnics", a Trike-a-Thon where parents donate money for laps their children do on trikes, a whole-school farm trip, and a Luau at the end of the year. All these things are so much fun, and the families get to spend time with the staff, other parents, and their own children. Parents have such a great time doing all these activities, our only regret is that our center is growing so big it is making it difficult to do them all! Parent volunteers in the classroom are big helps, but sometimes they may want to help but for one reason or another don't feel comfortable being in the classroom. You can also ask them to help you prep activities (such as cutting pieces, gathering collage items), donate items for a party or special project, or be in charge of organizing an event. The more involved your families are in the day-to-day of the class/center, the more they feel like it is truly "their" school.
Good Luck. My youngest just graduated preschool. It was the strangest thing. It was only a half day class, but my dd is special needs so she attended all day. The parents from the morning class, never wanted to get involved with anything. Even when they were just asked to volunteer to send something for a class party. There were times I was the only one to send stuff. Now the afternoon class was just the opposite. They would have so much stuff sent in they wouldn't know what to do with it, and they had at least three to four (if not more) parents there to help with each party.
A parent helper for the day, maybe once a week. Ask for parents to volunteer to come in and do whatever their strong point is. Like reading, or drawing with the kids. stories about whn they were a kid (and bring picture), A guess who day. Have the parent all come in and they each need to bring a picture of when they were a child and te kids have to guess who goes with what picture. Then the parents can teach the kids games they used to play as a child.
Just remember from personal experience. You will have the parents who volunteer for everything, and the parents you only see (if they show) for parent teacher conferences.
I did teacher for a day. I had a like snack made by the kids for the parents. then the parents got to 'choose' an activity to teach.
We have a special song that we sing to the parent that brings in the snack. If you can arrange for the parent to be there to hand out the snack you can sing the song to them. Ask for volunteers-helping with crafts, cooking, computer skills they may have, rag washer each week, calender organizer, field trip organizer. We have a parent for each of those jobs. It is great!
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