It’s that time again! Children are rearing to go with new shoes and backpacks to take on the school year. Though your child’s school readiness is a priority, it’s just as important to know how you will be involved in the classroom. Keeping open lines of communication and working with educators will provide the complete educational experience for children as they find support both inside and out of the classroom. Here are three simple strategies for getting involved in the classroom with an already hectic schedule:
Be a Guest for Open House Night!
Who wouldn’t want to cover all of the bases with one event? Open houses are a great way to not only get to know your child’s teacher, introduce yourself, and see adorable examples of student work, but it is also a prime opportunity to learn what is needed in the classroom and how you can help. Many times, educators will have specific items or tasks needed displayed in an easy-to-navigate table or calendar. You can simply pick up items you know you can easily provide or sign up for time slots when you know you’ll be free. Already pledging your support at the beginning of the year before life gets even busier is a great way to add classroom commitment to the calendar.
DIY Projects That Can be Used in the Classroom
Who says you have to be in the classroom to contribute? Taking on simple DIY projects at home can go a long way in providing support to your child’s educator. Communicate your intentions with the teacher and come up with a plan for what’s needed. Here are three creative ideas you can carry out with your child at home that will allow them to bring in the finished product to be used in the classroom for lessons or volunteer projects:
Making playdough is fun and can be done by any age group. Once made, children can bring it into class to be donated to children in the hospital or homeless shelter. It can also be used for arts and crafts time or to teach lessons in the classroom! Here is a simple recipe for making playdough together with children:
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups salt
- 6 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- food coloring (you choose what color!)
Bake Homemade Goods
Cooking is a fun and educational process when completed with children! Baking goods is no different and it has the added bonus of resulting in something that be used for a donation, classroom picnic, or even classroom bake sale. Whatever it's used for, baking sweets is a great DIY project you can use to get involved.
Get Creative: Greeting Cards & Labels
Teachers need cards and labels for everything! Gather children together and break out the markers. Having an hour for arts and crafts time where your finished products go toward the classroom will make any educator happy! Hint: ask your child’s teacher what is needed beforehand to be most useful! Resource: The Busy Family’s Guide to Volunteering
Suggesting a Classroom Picnic
Picnics are a great meet-and-greet activity that you can easily become involved in and use to better establish lines of communication with your child’s teacher. Discuss the idea with your child’s educator and come up with a time that families will be most likely to come, whether it’s during lunch breaks or on the weekends. Make it an event! You can either help create invitations or spread the word to other parents. Once there, encourage children to use their senses. A great book to go along with picnics is Chris van Allsburg’s Two Bad Ants. Exploration and closer classroom ties are sure to make picnics well worth the effort! Resource: Partnering With Parents
We hope you found these suggestions helpful in approaching the new school year and your plans for getting involved! For even more creative back to school ideas, check out our Pinterest board!