After a long winter, the days are finally getting longer and – in theory at least – the weather is getting warmer. As people emerge from hibernation, there’s no better time to plan a packed events calendar, and thankfully the season is happy to oblige. Tell parents to grab their diaries and get ready for a whole host of spring events...
Tuesday 14 February
Pop-up café – Turn the school hall into a pop-up eatery so exclusive that it’s only open one afternoon a year – it’s the perfect after-school hangout spot, ideal for children and parents to refuel. Ask children to bring in sweet treats from home in the morning, and sell them in the afternoon. Anything goes – just make sure it’s in line with the school’s allergy policy. Decorate the hall with red and pink balloons and scatter heart confetti on the tables. Find a tutorial on how to do a heart-shaped napkin fold for the perfect finishing touch.
Tuesday 21 February
Pancake evening – Whether you’re a lemon and sugar purist, or you pile yours high with Nutella and mini marshmallows, everybody loves a pancake. Offer a menu with some tried and tested favourites, alongside a selection of toppings so children and their parents can get creative. They’re simple enough for anyone to make, but there’s no point making extra work for yourselves; minimise the hassle by buying in bulk and reheating in the microwave in the school kitchen.
Pancake race – Fancy making it a more active occasion? Get children to race over a set distance and back, while holding a frying pan with a pancake in it. The catch? While they’re racing, they have to flip the pancake a certain number of times – the number itself depends how kind or cruel you’re feeling! Use a cold frying pan for safety, or there’s the option of a play dough pancake and toy frying pan.
Sponsored pancake flip – All you need is a stopwatch and a willingness to clear up a bunch of dropped pancakes. Get children to collect sponsors for the number of times they can toss a pancake in a minute – a lump sum is easiest, but people are welcome to donate per flip. Feel free to use the play dough pancake and toy frying pan option above.
World Book Day
Thursday 2 March
Fancy dress disco – Dressing up on World Book Day is nothing new, but the end of the school day shouldn’t mean the end of the fancy dress fun. Children will love the chance to show off their creativity as they strike a pose under the lights. Anyone with an overflowing dressing up box is welcome to get changed into a second costume before hitting the dancefloor. There’s plenty of fun to be had enjoying the sight of Paddington showing off some moves alongside Hagrid and the Artful Dodger.
Sunday 19 March
Pamper evening – You’d be hard pushed to find a mum who’d turn down the chance of some ‘me time’. Turn your classrooms into treatment rooms, dim the lights and have some tranquil music playing. Offer treatments such as manicures and pedicures, eyebrow threading, a mini facial and head, neck and shoulder massages. See if any parents can offer their services, or contact mobile beauty therapists.
Afternoon tea – There’s something irresistible about dainty sandwiches and scrumptious cakes, all washed down with cups of tea or perhaps even a glass of prosecco. Your school hall might not be The Ritz, but it’s amazing what you can achieve with pretty tablecloths and a string quartet playing through a Bluetooth speaker. Cucumber sandwiches are essential – the ‘which goes on the scone first, the cream or the jam?’ debate is entirely optional.
Sunday 9 April
Easter egg hunt – It’s a tradition as old as the Easter bunny himself. Plan a hunt with hidden eggs and charge each child to take part – sell tickets in advance so you know how many eggs to buy, or hold a non-uniform day in advance and get each child to pay with an Easter egg. Or compile an Easter trail – sell a clue sheet full of questions about the area, or a list of specific activities to be completed, and reward each completed sheet with an Easter egg.
Easter egg bingo – What’s the only thing that makes bingo more fun? Chocolate prizes! Set your bingo caller up on stage with a microphone and a number generator – there are apps that do the job, but get the real deal for an authentic bingo hall feel! Either charge an entry fee which includes bingo cards, or just charge participants for the cards themselves – then offer a small chocolate egg for a completed line (a Crème Egg or similar) and a bigger egg for a full house.
Easter bonnet competition – Children can show off their artistic flair by decorating an Easter bonnet. Let them really go to town! Separate into age group categories to decide the winners, but not before everyone has had a chance to strut their stuff and show off their creation in front of an audience.
Friday 22 April
Scavenger hunt – There’s no better way to celebrate nature and the importance of the environment than with a walk around the local area hunting for natural treasures. Give children a list of things to collect (a feather, a leaf and so on) and a container to gather them in. Take a drink (in a reusable flask, of course) and an umbrella and you’re good to go. Or ditch the containers and go bold with a more adventurous list, which just needs participants to cross off what they’ve seen – think insects, birds and spider webs, or maybe some threats to the environment such as discarded single-use water bottles and crisp packets.