A better way to "Class Party"

Ya know with Valentine's Day right around the corner I can't help but think about my first year as a teacher and the wonderful, fun, chaotic, crazy class parties I had to celebrate days like these with my students.  Here let me give you an example of what I mean...

It was Halloween of 2010 and I decided that having a classroom Halloween party would be great fun.  I sent home some flyers asking for treats, scheduled a few volunteers to come in for an hour to help, had students make some hats, and printed off a few printables for students to color.  I thought it would be a great way to spend a Friday afternoon.  MAN,OH,MAN was I wrong! 

On the morning of Halloween I received an abundance of candies, cookies, cakes (yes full cakes!) and toys.  Now, this may seem great but it's not, it's more like a nightmare.  I mean who needs that much sugar especially first graders on a Friday afternoon.   I guess I should have been more specific and had an actual sign up.  Rookie mistake I know!

It was time for the "party" the one I scheduled to be an HOUR long with very little planned activities and sugar.  Did I say sugar?!  Oy Vey!  Again what was I thinking?

Not planning out activities or setting clear expectations!  As a new teacher I imagined my 30 first graders sitting at their desks, quietly coloring, as parent volunteers nicely handed out a few treats.  Again... WRONG!  Instead it was more like the crazy scene from Kindergarten Cop but add cake to the mix.  My kiddos were so excited and there was no stopping them once the sugar flowed!  I didn't set clear expectations or really explain how I wanted my volunteers to help and let's just say I was SO RELIEVED when that hour was over and students went home.

Now I could probably continue but let's just stop there.  I mean who needs to hear more about my BIG FAIL.  HaHa  So after this first year I said... NEVER AGAIN!

So what do I do now instead?  Well, that's easy I do Holiday Stations!  Stations are a great way to  have fun and complete holiday themed activities, they just don't include the words unorganized, chaotic, and messy.  Here's the gist of how holiday stations look for me:

Now that's the basics.  Again, my stations are themed, easy to prep, and engaging.  Sometimes I include food and sometimes I don't.  If I do you can guarantee I am specific about what and how much I want. HaHa  I am in the process of creating holiday station sets to make life easier.  Here's a look at the materials I created to use for my Valentine's Day Stations. 

 If you like this idea and what you see, feel free to check them out in my store HERE.  At the moment the only other station set I have completed is for Halloween.  Eventually I'll have a few more.  If you have any ideas or suggestions please leave me a comment.  Thanks and happy stations!

*Sidenote: What about kids passing out Valentine's?  How about lining your bags up against the back wall and then have students pass out their Valentine's throughout the day.  Ask a parent volunteer or upper grade students to help with this and have them call a few students at a time.  Then at the end of the day, after stations, spend the last 10 minutes letting students look at their Valentine's before sending them home. * This also helps to send any treats home that may be attached to the Valentine's. Wink*


  1. LOL! I can totally relate to those first year parties. Live and learn!
    Love your Valentine's Day station ideas (and that you included station signs and directions)!

    1. HaHa I'm so glad to hear that. And I agree! The things we learn. Glad to hear you like the stations :)


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