Fun Ideas to Help Your Class Party Be More Green!
By: Lori Krein (Adapted from Suite101.com)
Classroom parties can be great fun for kids, teachers, and parents – and a great way to teach kids about reducing waste, healthy eating options, and exercise. Here are some ideas for making your next classroom parties eco-friendly; what a great way to teach kids about going green!
Fun Games and Activities
During a class party, kids usually have high energy levels. Instead of trying to keep them under wraps, bring them outside and let them play! Organize jump rope or hula hoop contests, let them play leapfrog, kickball, or even duck-duck-goose! Have the kids bring in some old clothes, and let them dress up, quietly, while thinking of a story they can share about who they are dressing up as. This could be someone they admire, a superhero, or a character from their favorite book or movie. This encourages creativity and gives the kids a chance to practice talking in front of a group.
Eco-Friendly Party Decorations and Music
Just one plastic tablecloth can fill up a trash can all by itself! Make the party feel more cozy by asking a few parents to bring in real tablecloths. Instead of buying pre-made paper decorations, have the children make them during the party, as one of the activities. Have them collect scrap pieces of paper in the weeks leading up to the party, from other classroom projects, then use the scraps to make collages, paper chains, and snowflakes they can hang on the walls. They will be so proud to display their own creations.
Kids love to sing and make music. Instead of simply playing some CDs in the background, have the children bring in empty oatmeal containers, tin cans, and utensils so they can make their own music! Have them experiment with different combinations of drumming and singing their favorite songs while marching around the classroom. Encourage solo performances too!
Party Food for the Classroom
Often, busy parents bring store-bought food to the classroom party, filled with sugar and preservatives. Unhealthy chips, cupcakes, cookies – all encased in plastic or cardboard. Before the next classroom party, discuss some healthy snack ideas with the class, and have each child sign up to bring healthy snacks to the party. Examples include:
- veggie tray with dip, home-made banana bread
- cut up fruit on kabobs
- popcorn balls
- apple wedges with peanut butter or yogurt dip
- trail mix
- oatmeal cookies
- cheese shapes (use cookie cutters!) and crackers
- pumpkin or zucchini muffins
- cereal and yogurt clusters
- home-made sweet potato chips
- hummus and pita bread
- banana chips
- popcorn (home made, please! Store-bought is filled with sodium and fat)
Drinks for the Classroom Party
Instead of individual juice boxes, cut down on trash (and sugar intake) by assigning one or two kids to bring in a pitcher of lemonade, and ask each child to bring their own cups from home. Then at the end of the party, they can rinse them out and bring them back! Children can also being their own cloth napkins to the party to reduce the amount of trash generated.
Following these eco-friendly classroom party ideas will teach the kids about eating healthy, exercise, and reducing waste. And imagine how happy the custodian will be when he sees an empty (or nearly empty) trash can!