As a busy teacher (and mom), there are many things I’d love to do for my students and my classroom, but just don’t have the time in my tight schedule. From ‘homey’ touches to class decorations, crafty lesson enhancements to party favors, these ‘special touches’ often get lost in the shuffle.
But, throughout the school year, it makes my day when parents volunteer to help do all those extra things I don’t have time for.
If you’re creative, with a little bit of time and a heart for service, contact a school to see how you can get involved. No matter if you’re a crafty mom, dad or grandparent, here are 10 ways to help your child’s teacher:
1. Create cozy touches – I would love colorful, crafty curtains to hang in my classroom windows. A cheerful, patterned lampshade would brighten my desk. A brightly-colored mirror would look great on my wall. A bouquet of handmade flowers would enhance my sterile room.
Do you have the knack for making crafty home decorations? If so, donate to your child’s teacher and help turn their teaching space into a cozy ‘home away from home.’
2. Hang bulletin boards – Bulletin boards are necessary, but they’re a drain of creative energy. If you’ve got time and some creativity, help hang classroom bulletin boards for your child’s teacher (they’ll love you for it).
3. Display photos – Help a teacher by taking photos of their class during special projects, field trips or holidays. As a bonus, print the photos and display in colorful frames around the room.
4. Make decorations – Whether you construct a heart-shaped Valentine’s card box, paint a life-sized school mascot, or cut a hundred snowflakes for winter; crafty moms can help teachers by decorating classrooms for holidays, events or seasons.
5. Storage crafts – Efficient classrooms are organized. But systematic organization can be ‘boring.’ As a teacher, I’d love colorful storage containers with fun lettering. Paint cardboard or wooden boxes in fun designs to help a teacher store paper or books, or decorate recycled cans to store pencils, paintbrushes, or scissors.
6. Classroom party crafts – Elementary moms know that classroom parties are a big deal. Whether it’s a birthday, Thanksgiving buffet or Valentine’s party, kids love to celebrate. Help your child’s teacher by crafting cute party favors, decorations, fun plateware, games or sweet treats for their next party.
7. Prepare supplies – Teachers often have lots of materials to prepare, and don’t have excess time to get it done. I’ve enjoyed when a mom would volunteer to help cut paper for upcoming projects or refill my glue bottles.
8. Lesson enhancements – If your child’s class is reading “James and the Giant Peach,” why not craft a giant paper-mache peach with accompanying figures? If the art teacher is introducing a unit on jewelry-making or stained glass, help them by making visually-attractive teaching posters.
9. Fun book covers – Nearly all schools insist students cover their textbooks at the start of each term. Help your child’s teacher by helping students cover their books. If you’re crafty with decoupage or scrapbooking, show students how to make fun book covers with collage or scrapbook paper.
10. Recycling bins – Help your child’s classroom go green this year by crafting bright, colorful recycling bins. When recycling looks fun, students are more prone to make the effort.
If you’re a mom who loves to craft (or even if you don’t), your child’s teacher can use you, your skills, and your time and effort. They’ll be so grateful. So go out there and pitch in, and make a difference in your local school.
– 5 Back to School Crafts for Kids
– Crafting for Charity: 9 Ways to Give Back
– 10 DIY Kid’s Toys for Crafty Moms