In addition to the PTA's featured "educational family nights," here's a quick list of some easy, inexpensive and fun ways that PTAs are getting their families involved. Do you have a favorite free event or tradition at your school that you think others would enjoy? Let us know about it so we can add it to the list!
Arts & Crafts Night: Set up a tables with different crafts. Make sure you include pictures of the craft at various stages or have a parent that can show the families what to do. Check out our Pinterest page for ideas. This is a good event to hold near the winter holidays when many cultures exchange gifts. Consider giving students a card they can stamp for each craft they create (so you limit each student to e.g. 3-5 crafts). An alternative is "Messy Arts Night" - invite the kids to make pottery, build with wire, create mosaics or make tie dye shirts.
Astronomy Night: Invite a local astronomy club to visit your school and bring their telescopes so you can observe the planets and moon. Include hands on science activities and glow in the dark toys. It's nice to schedule this when there is a unique astrological event or launch to view.
Assembly Night: In addition to supporting assemblies during school hours, consider holding one in the evening that parents can come to enjoy with their children. A circus company, musician, magician, science experiments, travel planetarium, animal wildlife or math mats are fun favorites.
Bike & Car/Truck Show: Invite kids and families to bring a unique bike or car, and ask your local fire company, construction companies, antique or hot rod car club to come show off their cars and bikes. Ask the kids to vote on their favorites. Consider setting up an obstacle course for bikes/scooters/skateboards and asking the Sheriffs Department to teach a short class on bike/road safety and hand signals. You may also like to hand out the PTA's Bike Safety Flyer and visit the Walk & Bike to School website for event ideas. National Walk to School Day is October 4, 2017. Bike to School Day is May 9, 2018.
Creative Arts Career Fair Family Night: Connect an interest in the arts with potential career paths by hosting a Creative Arts Career Fair. Set up careers, with professionals that students can stop by to meet. Remember the Arts also has many applications in science, technology, engineering and math related fields too. Reference the National PTA's Creative Arts Career Fair Family Night Flyer for tips.
Family Dance: Invite a local dance instructor to teach your families how to do a special type of dance. Include some themed snacks or crafts to ensure everyone stays engaged
Game Night: Ask Families to bring their favorite board game to play and share with other families. Make it fun with themed snacks and a few group games, like Twister, or a life sized Candyland, Scrabble or Yahtzee.
Ice Cream Social: Buy a few 3 gallon tubs of ice cream from your local ice cream shop, buy some cones/cups and invite families to enjoy getting to know each other. You may like to also play some music or include some fun games on the field (Hula Hoop Dance Freeze anyone?). You can also invite an ice cream truck to visit your school to serve the treats.
Movie Night: Get a movie license and serve popcorn. Ask families to bring blankets to enjoy the movie together in the gym. Add some themed decorations or special snacks to make it more memorable (See Hot Topics for licensing tips)
Button Sewing & Tying Ties: Invite families to join you to teach their kids how to sew on buttons or tie ties.
Talent Show: Let your students show off their unique talents at a talent show. Make sure you give the kids plenty or time to prepare and a time limit.
Lego Block Party: Dump out Legos on the gym floor (maybe add a station of K'nex or other building blocks) and let the kids and families have fun creating.
Instrument Petting Zoo: Invite a local music shop, orchestra or band to perform, and then let the families touch instruments and listen to how each one sounds. You can also play different types of music to help children recognize different music styles (ragtime, bop, swing, and fusion).
Eco- Friendly Fashion Show: Kids created clothes made out of recyclable materials and then hold a fashion show. A local salon may also provided hair and makeup services.
Puzzle Night: Buy some 500 piece puzzles or ask families to bring one (with a lot of detail and contrasting colors). Group participants into teams with at least 1 adult on each team, see which team completes a 500-piece puzzle the fastest. Allow the winners to take home a puzzle.
Hunt District PTA - Serving Clarke, Frederick, Loudoun & Warren Counties & Winchester City in Virginia