It is getting close to Back To School!
Do you have a Kindergarten student? If you do then you will want to have a Kindergarten Kick-off party!
Honestly, it has been awhile since I have had a child in Kindergarten but this was such a fun memory I just have to share! Are you thinking why should I have a Kindergarten Kick-off back to school party? Well, sending your little one off to formal schooling for the first time is a pretty big deal! And if that is not reason enough, how about having one to celebrate learning and the beginning of a new school year.
When my son was heading off to Kindergarten, we had eight children in our neighborhood going to the same school. I invited those kids and their parents over for the Kindergarten Kick-off. I wanted my son and I to get to know some of the kids that he would be walking to school with or perhaps playing with on the playground.
To make the party happen, send out invites. On the invite I included: title, what, when, time, where and RSVP. Send your invites or e-vites two weeks before the party. We hand delivered our invites with my son taking the lead. We did this together, but he did the talking. This is a great way to foster communication skills and self-esteem. If you are open, you can ask the invited guests if they know of other kindergarten kids and they can bring them too. More kids equals more fun. Just keep in mind that your numbers of five-year-olds can grow pretty quickly and you want to make sure you stay in your comfort zone.
You already have a theme- Back to School! Use the school colors for your party decorations. Keep it simple or go all out!
Now you need to plan your activities. I am a planner and like to have a sense of order, even at parties. Two hour parties are a good way to go — not too little or too much time but just enough and off they go. Decide on some activities but keep in mind, five-year-old children finish activities pretty quickly. Here is a sample of a two-hour Kindergarten Kick-off party:
- 10:00 arrival — grab some sidewalk chalk and draw or write on the driveway (we do this until everyone arrives)
- 10:10 game 1 — what’s missing? Have a tray with 10 school items on it (examples: pencil, eraser, notepad, glue, marker, stickers, school water bottle, apple, crayon box, tape) Ask everyone to sit in a circle and give them a pencil and paper. Show the tray with the ten items. Lift one item at a time and say the name of the item. Carry the tray away from the circle and remove one item. When you return, tell the children you took away one item. If they know the item they may draw it or they can write the name of the item on the paper but they will stay quiet until you ask everyone to share. Repeat this activity removing a different item each time as long as the children are engaged. If more than one kiddo are getting up or you see several are losing interest, it is time to end the game. End with an empty tray. Ask each child to name an item until all ten items are back on the tray.
- We sat for a little so it’s time to move! Let’s have a Kindergarten snack!
- 10:20 Snack time! Since our school colors are blue and green our drinks are color coordinated! Blue jello cups and let the kids put on whip cream and green sprinkles. Green grapes for something healthy and blue fruit snacks!
- 10:40 read aloud- It’s not because I am a first grade teacher! Everyone should here a great story! Ask everyone to come over to the blanket and have a seat. Compliment the group when they are sitting and ready to listen to a story. There are so many back to school stories and even kindergarten stories. Here is a favorite:
- Make sure you read the story one time thru before you read it to the children. Ask questions as you read!
- 10:55 activity- Color Outside Scavenger Hunt- give each child a bag with a paper inside that has 8 colors on it (take the bag, put a piece of paper in it and on the paper draw 8 boxes and in each box put one color) the children have a reminder of what they are looking for. I used the colors: yellow, brown, tan, green, orange, red, pink, and black. Explain to the children where they are allowed to look for items. I used a space in backyard and mark it with cones. I also ask them to look for items already on the ground, not items to pick. Everyone comes back together, sit in a circle and shares what they found.
- 11:30 back inside- show everyone a little jar filled with erasers and ask everyone to share how many erasers they think are in the jar. Write down everyone’s prediction then count the erasers together. Have the child with the closest take home the jar or they can give everyone erasers from the jar.
- 11:35 activity- draw a picture or write a note for your new teacher and give it to her or him when you meet them. Give the children a piece of paper and colored pencils or markers and let them go to town. Remind them to sign their name.
- 11:50 picture time – gather the group and take a few pictures to capture this memory! Be sure to send the pictures to their families.
- 11:55 go back to sidewalk chalk until guests are heading home.
As you see, this party really doesn’t need a lot of preparations or purchasing! Keeping things minimal keeps my stress level at a minimum!
1. sidewalk chalk
2. decorations of school colors
3. kindergarten book to read aloud
4. school color snacks- juice boxes, jello, whip cream, sprinkles, grapes
5. bags – brown lunch bags for the scavenger hunt
6. paper and markers or crayons for writing a note to the teacher
7. tray with 10 items and paper to write down the missing items
As August is here that means school is right around the corner! I hope you celebrate the start of a new year, a new beginning and have a Kindergarten Kick-off Party! Get your little ones off to a good start by celebrating the start of a new year!
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