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It seems that as soon as winter is upon us we are already looking forward to the first signs of green & all of the fun that comes with spring!
We know we are not alone in that anticipation, but we also know that, for Parent Groups, spring comes with plenty of holidays & events that need ample planning time to pull off.
That's why we have put together this helpful Spring Save-the-Date(s) blog post! This way you can have all of the important dates in one place, plus useful timelines & other fun stuff like little-known facts & great tips for planning the perfect spring parties!
Below we've listed the 8 biggest springtime events that most Parent Groups include in their roster of events/parties. Of course, the remainder of the school year is also a great time to host events like family movie nights, winter festivals, & your winter/spring fundraiser! We suggest holding a meeting with your Parent Group to plan out the rest of the school year and pick & choose which events/holidays you want to go all out for and which ones will suffice with simple decorations on your PTO/PTA board. Don't feel the need to make each holiday/event a MAJOR party at your school. This could quickly cause burnout for yourself, your group & your volunteers. We hope this article will help you create that schedule & make spring another great season in your school!
Ready to dive right in? Let's begin with a few holidays that technically take place in winter, but deserve a place on your calendar, nonetheless.
Valentine's Day: February 14th
When to Start Planning: Early January
When to Have Your Event: Feb. 11th or 12th
Valentine's day activities & events are best if you host them before the actual holiday. This gives your students a chance to make cards, gifts, mementos, notes, etc. to give to loved ones on the 14th. Also, if you are thinking about going the charitable route for this holiday, such as donating goodie bags made by students to the local shelter or gifting chocolates to the staff at your community nursing home, it's best to have these already created so you & your volunteers can deliver them the weekend leading up to Valentine's Day.
Fun Fact: In the Middle Ages, men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their special Valentine. They wore this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression "to wear your heart on your sleeve."
Presidents' Day: February 15th
When to Start Planning: Mid-Late January
When to Host Activities: The Week of Feb. 15th-19th
We find ourselves in the midst of Black History Month & just wrapping up with Valentine's Day when Presidents' Day is upon us! This is a great opportunity to provide resources & activity ideas to your teachers so they can easily incorporate fun into this important holiday. This is also a good reason to update your Parent Group bulletin board with fun facts about past presidents. Don't feel the need to make this a big event, most teachers will incorporate this holiday into their lesson plans. However, do take this opportunity to present your Parent Group as a resource for teachers, such as offering to provide the supplies for any President Day art projects or to help facilitate any in-school activities such as skits, presentations, or multi-class events.
Fun Fact: The 18th President Of The United States, Ulysses S. Grant, was given a $20 speeding ticket for riding his horse too fast down a Washington street.
Easter: March 27th
When to Start Planning: Early February
When to Host Event: Few Days Prior to Your School's Spring Break
For most schools, the Easter holiday coincides with Spring Break. This makes it an ideal holiday for celebrating the changing of the seasons (even if there's still snow on the ground!). Consider hosting an indoor Easter egg hunt (outdoor if the weather allows) with colorful snacks & drinks and a station for students to decorate their own Easter egg baskets. You can host this the afternoon before school lets out for vacation as a fun way for kids & teachers to celebrate having a few days off!
Fun Fact: When devouring a chocolate bunny, 76% of people eat the ears first, 5% go for the feet and 4% for the tail.
Arbor Day (AKA, Earth Day): April 29th
When to Start Planning: Mid-Late March
When to Host Activities: The Week of April 25th-29th
Arbor Day is the perfect opportunity for your Parent Group to host activities & events that bring your school and community together to improve Mother Nature. We suggest hosting an afternoon Earth Day Party on April 29th (a Friday), featuring opportunities to plant flowers & trees on your school grounds (in approved & set-aside lots), learn more about nature from teachers or other presenters, and grab some goodie bags full of seeds, gardening tools & green treats. You can also create a competition for the students to try and find the tallest tree around the school, or help them create a skit about the importance of protecting our earth and present it to the attendees of your event!
Fun Fact: In December 2004, Congress passed legislation designating the oak as America's national tree, after the oak won 101,000 votes in the National Arbor Foundation contest.
Mother's Day: May 8th
When to Start Planning: Early April
When to Host Event: The Week of May 2nd-6th
We've actually put together a PTO's Guide to Mother's Day & we suggest checking that article out for any ideas on parties, activities, and crafts/gifts for students to make for mom. If you do choose to throw a special party, we suggest sending out the invites no later than the second week of April. If you have an updated email list, consider sending out an e-vite so moms can RSVP and you can plan accordingly. We also suggest your Parent Group give out bags of homemade cookies or other sweets to the moms who work in your school!
Fun Fact: 120 million Mother's Day cards are given annually in the United States.
Memorial Day: May 30th
When to Start Planning: End of April
When to Host Event/Activities: May 26th or 27th (days leading up to the long weekend)
Memorial Day marks a time to observe & honor the men & women who have lost their lives defending our country. As a Parent Group, it's important that you do your part in helping students understand what this holiday stands for and how they can be a part of this national event. Many families throw parties over the weekend, so consider hosting an afternoon of activities for students to learn more about Memorial Day and take part in crafts, projects, educational opportunities & whatever else your group decides. For a list of great ideas, check out this article from the National Education Association.
Fun Fact: In 2000, Congress established a National Moment of Remembrance, asking Americans to pause for one minute at 3 p.m. as an act of national unity. The time was chosen because it is typically when "most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday."
Father's Day: June 19th
When to Start Planning: End of April (it's best to hold a single meeting for both Mother's & Father's Day)
When to Host Event: Anytime Before School Ends
Technically, Father's Day takes place once school is already out for the summer. But, we think it's unfair that moms get to be celebrated in school & dads miss out. So, we suggest hosting a special day for dads before school lets out for the summer. Consider taking the time to personally thank any dads who volunteer for your Parent Group, host a party for kids and their fathers (or father figures), or supply some crafts for students to handmake a gift for Father's Day. This is also a great opportunity to unveil or promote your Dads' Club!
Fun Fact: Hammers, wrenches, and screwdrivers are at the top of the list for Father’s Day gifts in the U.S.
Of course, a great event for your Parent Group to host is a Spring Festival, and you can do this anytime the flowers start blooming and the snow has melted away! If you've never done a festival before, we suggest starting small with just a few activities (outdoor, preferably) and food tents/trucks. This is a great event for the entire school and a perfect way to connect with parents again before the school year ends.
4 Spring Festival Ideas:
We are excited to continue the conversation on prepping for spring events in the comments & on Facebook! :)