Friday, October 24, 2008

Simple School Party

Olive S. Oyl here.

Not a moment too soon to plan the Halloween party for the kiddo's kindergarten classroom. I emailed all the parents and asked for ideas for a sugar-free, plastic-junk-free celebration. We're still in the working stages, but a bunch of parents corralled me this morning as we walked our kids in the door of the school to talk beverages (vanilla soymilk, kefir, or apple cider anyone?). One parent let me know she has some tattoos and stickers; a few others let me know they can supervise. We reminded each other that we've got a class set of reusable plates and cups. Sounds like we are close to set! And we may even honor what another mother asked: Please let it be simple and be something I can do ahead of time.

I was musing about that last request as I pondered the complicated Halloween-and-fall ideas I've been ogling online: why is it that once I remove sugar and marketing from the equation, I feel compelled to start making the leaning tower of Pisa out of non-GMO, organic, whole-grain breadsticks? I'm guessing it may be a few things: wanting to get the same gleam of excitement from the kids that they'd get from a sugar rush; loving the special celebratory nature of things that by their very pain-in-the-assedness mean you're only going to do them once a year; and/or just being that kind of person.

It's kind of funny, because if you asked me to your party, I really would appreciate the simplicity of a fresh baked piece of bread with some homemade apple butter on it (hey, maybe we're onto something here!). I'd appreciate it if you played pin-the-nose-on-the-pumpkin. Or even pin-the-tail-on-the-black-cat. I'd like the black construction paper spider hats my first-grade-teacher mom suggested (one strip around the head, then staple shorter/thinner leg strips to the headband + decorate). I'd clap along (ok, I'd even sing a few rounds) to Five Little Pumpkins.

Excellent! Who knew it was as easy as pretending to be a guest at your party to take the high maintenance out of my party planning. I guess I'm sharing this since you may have the same gut instinct that I did: that it's not easy or simple to be healthy and green. And yet, it really is. Not that I don't want to make tie-dye pumpkin shirts, it's just that I have to figure out how to make natural color-fast orange dye first! I so totally have to make these caramel apples one night soon. You know I'm all over those savory leaf pies...and CBoy's going to lurve his Halloween muffin tin lunch. But for the party? I'm going to let simplicity be my guide.


Anonymous said...

A Simpleish party game we did with our class last year was a pretzel eating contest...Kinda like bobbing for apples on a string (water bobbing is gross.
Take dental floss or string and hang large pretzels from the ceiling of the classroom. We used the thick sourdough ones for older kids to slow the race down. Regular thin ones would work for the kids...blind fold the kids and have them stand under/near their pretzel - ring a go bell and get your camera ready!

Rosa said...

We had a very small party where we gave the kids apples cut into 8ths & cored (with one of those push-through corer/slicers) and some caramel & sunbutter, to reassemble the apple. I don't know how sanitary that would be in a whole roomful of kids, but it was fun.

If you cut the apples & mix them together, you get funny-looking frankenapples.

Green Bean said...

Simple is always better when it comes to kids, isn't it? For kinders, a Halloween parade and some songs seems enough.

But I do have to admit to not being willing to remove all sugar from our celebrations. Cheap plastic crap? Sure, I'll totally let go of that. Trouble is, my school's gone the opposite - cheap plastic crap so that it can be sugar free. Ah well. The 7th and 8th graders do all the work and this is only my first year at the school. Maybe next year I'll make an inroads on the plastic.

Robj98168 said...

Kool Aid is supposed to make a great dye for hair anyways.


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