Invite the girls for Movie Night

Movie Night with the GirlsThe kids are back in school. Life is falling back into a routine. At last there is time for me! I know a lot of moms who lose touch with their friends over the summer and in the fall are looking for ways to reconnect with fun girls’ night out ideas. We’ve all tried the book club. But how about a movie night?

Once a month, for the past year and a half, I have been getting together with three of my best friends for a Movie Night. Maybe that doesn’t sound too exciting, but to us, it’s heaven. Every month we choose a date that works for all of us, we vote on which movie we should watch and then divvy out the meal.

We rotate houses and meal assignments, so someone brings the main dish, someone a side of bread, someone a salad, someone dessert. But the best part is, it’s come as you are. We don’t even wear makeup. It is meant to be a stress-free, kid-free, night to relax. We talk, we watch our movie, we talk some more. We absolutely LOVE our movie nights. In March, three out of the four of us had babies. But we didn’t miss movie night.

Lately we’ve started trying to incorporate more ideas into our nights, like trying a new recipe, or making a dish that we know one person in the group has never tried. Next month they’re going to make me try quinoa. Last month, we incorporated a craft that we could all make. (Note to self: we may be getting a little too ambitious.)

Of course, we always lose track of time and end up getting home pretty late. That’s why we try and plan it for a Thursday night, so that we go into it knowing ‘it’s Friday tomorrow.’ Movie night is fun, easy, and the one commitment in our busy lives that we have never regretted making.

Plan a Classroom Potluck

Kindergarten PotluckSeveral of us, here at Pear Tree, have spent time volunteering at our kids’ schools, whether in the classroom or as a member of our parent teacher organization. One of the most demanding but rewarding jobs is that of the room parent, in charge of organizing volunteers and coming up with classroom party ideas. Having been a room parent for several years in my boys’ classrooms, I learned that the key to having a smooth year is to get the other parents in the classroom committed to helping you early and often.

At our school, one of the best ways to make this happen was to host a beginning-of-the-year potluck. Both parents and kids should be invited–here we’ve shown a kids birthday invitation, re-purposed for a potluck get-together. The potluck can be held at the school or at a parent’s house, inside or outside, even a nearby park, if picnic tables are available and the weather cooperates. All you need are a few tables and chairs, and everyone brings their favorite dish to share (or you can assign them).

Name tags are essential, to help parents and teachers put names to faces. The teacher is always grateful for the opportunity to meet families in a casual setting. As the room parent, this was my chance to enlist helpers for all of the various classroom needs and events planned throughout the year. I typed all the volunteer opportunities on a sign-up sheet, and had it prominently displayed at the potluck. And I always went home with every position filled. A little peer pressure goes a long way, when parents see others helping out. But more importantly, classroom party ideas like this potluck fostered a spirit of camaraderie that carried throughout the school year. If you’re looking for a fun way to kick off the year and get parents involved, send out the party invitations, bring a sign-up sheet and go, girl!

For more fun kids ideas, keep reading our blog. Or shop now for party invitations that will get your classroom parties off on the right foot.

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