It’s been one of my goals to provide more ways to involve families in my family child care and preschool program in an effort to build strong family partnerships.
In the past, I hosted a carnival, parent nights out and offered breakfast to go for moms & dads. To be honest, I’ve put off planning any special events or activities. I felt overwhelmed, sometimes unappreciated and well, like I was doing enough already. I don’t believe the parents were necessarily wanting more events or opportunities to attend but they have really appreciated and enjoyed participating! I have too, and have seen the benefits of involving parents through extra activities and events.
The Pumpkin Patch celebration kit included this step-by step guide to hosting a party or event. Also included:
- thank you cards
- wall displays
- snack idea
- art projects
The kit can be used multiple ways: in a preschool or child care environment, including parents or just a child event, at home with family, friends or neighbors. All activities can be done without making it into a party as well.
That’s the great thing about Mother Goose Time – it’s flexible and adaptable to your needs and wishes. There’s so much provided, you can use what works for you. For me, as a child care provider and a preschool teacher, it really made hosting a family event simple! I appreciate that Mother Goose Time truly supports the work I do and makes it easy for me to do my job professionally.
Mother Goose Time has inspired me and dramatically improved my program this year. In October, a Pumpkin Patch party celebration kit was included in the kit. We always have a child Halloween party but I liked this idea that was really family centered.
Since I just hosted a preschool open house in September, I wanted this party to be more casual. It’s not easy to accommodate everyone in my home at once and I know parents can’t always make a certain date I choose. I decided to invite parents to come at their normal pick up times and stay for a while to participate in the special Pumpkin Patch activities with their child. I chose two dates in the same week for parents to come. Aren’t the invitations adorable?
I added this information to the back:
We decorated with paper chains and our collage monsters.
Fall Preschool Pumpkin Patch Party Activities
Pin the Patch on the Scarecrow: Patterns & Sorting, Spatial Awareness, Social Relationships
Sometimes we need to “teach parents”. By this I mean, we want to explain why we’re doing the things we’re doing. It looks like a simple game but it’s more than play and fun, there’s important learning happening.
We celebrate participation in group games and believe that the joy of learning is key – even if the child misses the mark. This is the foundation to lifelong learning.
Pumpkin Pounding was definitely the hit for kids and parents! Golf tees were included for this activity but I had a collection of wood and plastic tees and hammers, from a preschool sale last spring. So glad I picked them up! Most of my hammers are from the Lakeshore Super-Safe Hammering Set. They are really the nicest hammers I have.
We had 5 pumpkins for this activity – 2 large ones and 3 smaller pie pumpkins. They were out for about 3 days and were well used!
Parents enjoyed this activity along with their kids. Many have never seen or heard of it before and thought it was ingenious.
Using the seed manipulative set, pumpkin counting cards, and counting seeds page, this center focused on fine motor skills, number recognition, and counting.
Pumpkin Seed Search
I loved this deal but I’d have to say it didn’t’ get as much attention as I expected. I think it was just because there were so many other things going on. Fun still!
Scarecrow Coloring Pages
One mom came and enjoyed spending most of her time coloring with her girls at the table. It seemed like she enjoyed the quiet time after work, listening to conversation while coloring. A painted bag pumpkin craft kit was also included but I didn’t put it out due to time and space limitations.
I offered snacks since it was right after school/work but kept it simple – and no sweets. It’s amazing how excited the kids were to have *whole* apples. One 3 year old ate a whole apple, with the skin on for the first time. Efforts to feed children healthy foods in child care do have an impact! No one asked for candy or sweets. Just asked if they could have another apple or string cheese.
Treat bags included a small notepad, stamper and googly-eye ring. A huge hit! A 2-year-old little guy was so excited about his stamp that he stamped all over his arms and legs!
Our preschool Pumpkin Patch party was a huge hit! Everyone participated once again. It makes parents feel welcome, gives them a glimpse into our days and what quality child care and preschool activities look like and connects families, not only with school and other families but with their child.
Other ways to involve families:
- Provide a handbook.
- Offer conferences.
- Provide current information and updates on a bulletin board, in a newsletter, your website or social media.
- Ask parents how they celebrate holidays and birthdays.
- Invite parents to sign up to send in treats, games, books to share on special days.
- Send home an activity for the child and parent to work on together, like our Decorate a Pumpkin activity.
- Invite parents in to share an activity, pet or story.
- Offer a way to receive parent feedback, such as surveys.
- Plan breakfasts, picnics, open houses or group trips.
- Create portfolios, scrapbooks or photo albums to share accomplishments.
- Ask for volunteers for fundraising, collecting donations, or organizing an event.