Back to School Celebration Idea! (+ a Freebie!)

My teammates and I love to spoil our kids at the beginning of the year with a fun Meet and Greet. Beyond the typical Open House (which I will write about later 😉 ), we do a party in the park! Keep reading to find out more about how we welcome our kiddos to their first grade year!

Once upon a time, we did home visits at my school. Over time, we moved away from home visits and shifted towards a variety of approaches. Our school now affords each grade level the opportunity to decide how they want to approach meeting their new students during the back to school season. Some grade levels opt for phone calls, some still do home visits, others send letters, but we opt for…A POPCORN PARTY!

popcorn invite

(Sorry – I can’t share this postcard with you because I do not own the rights to the fonts I used. However, if you’re interested, I used: KG Melonheadz, KG Behind these Hazel Eyes, and KG Geronimo Blocks. You can download them HERE. The clipart is from EDUclips. Popcorn Clipart!)

After our class lists go home, we send these postcards to our families. On the first blank, we write our last name.  This is just to clarify – HEY, YOU’RE IN MY CLASS! 🙂


We host this party 1 – 1.5 weeks prior to school and a few days before our open house night. The park is a safe, fun, and non intimidating environment for us to meet our students and their families. Think of it as a first grade reunion!


Isn’t this playground AWESOME? We set our command center in the green space next to the playground so that the kids can make a quick bee-line to their ultimate destination. 😉

The postcard tells the students to look for a specific balloon. This is because some of these students have NO CLUE what their teacher looks like! All five of us teachers are standing beneath a tailgating tent with balloons tied above where the individual teacher is located. This way, students know to “look for my balloon!”

When they find the balloon, it’s a quick meet-n-greet.  Parents write their e-mail so that I can cross reference the one given to us in our school system, the kids get their popcorn, then they go PLAY! This is not a time for long-winded conferences and completing paperwork. The goal is to meet parents and let them know you’re a human who is invested in their kiddo!

Click here for your own sign in forms!


To keep it easy on us for prepping, we asked for donations of popcorn from local movie theaters. The plan is for them to give us a MASSIVE bag of pre-popped popcorn that we will go ahead and portion out into brown paper bags for the kids. We won’t be adding any cutesie tags to these bags because 1.) the kids won’t care and 2.) they’re going to be thrown away shortly afterwards.



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