Tips and Ideas / Nov 01, 2015

The Do’s and Don’ts of Planning a Classroom Potluck


We all know how crucial it is to get to know your fellow school parents. Whether you’re coordinating carpools or just ensuring you’ve got some extra eyes on your child when needed, it is important to form relationships with other parents. While sometimes it may seem impossible to make those connections, don’t worry – we’re here to help!

Classroom potluck dinners are an excellent way to form those relationships with other parents and with the class teacher. These family nights are a great opportunity to get everyone actively involved in socializing and creating a close-knit community. However, an event like this has many unknown variables that can make it hit-or-miss. Here are some tips to help knock your parent potluck out of the park:

Do schedule it alongside another school event.

Lose the stress and utilize that open house or holiday performance as the perfect potluck opportunities they are. Parents have already planned to be at the school and will love the convenience of a built-in meal.

Do assign the food.

Food assignments are pivotal to classroom potluck perfection. Ensuring people know what and how much to bring is essential to a successful, confusion-free evening.

Do advertise in advance.

Last minute notifications could cripple your potluck. Schedule it ahead of time, giving parents extra time to make decisions and possibly save up for groceries they don’t normally buy.

Don’t make it awkward.

The great thing about scheduling it with another school activity is you already have a built-in ice-breaker. For example, you might have games for the kids to play, which takes the pressure off the adults.

Don’t forget the details.

Have a clearly outlined schedule and detailed information sent out ahead of time. Parents need to know when and where to drop off food. Remember to bring food in throw-away containers.

Don’t let it linger.

Have a specific ending time. You might even announce for people to begin wrapping up, cleaning up and heading home. As a school-related event, it needs to circle back to the main focus: the students.

All in all, do remember to have a good time and don’t miss the point of why you are putting this potluck together: You want to give parents a structured, enjoyable opportunity to get to know one another and become a more active part of their child’s educational community.

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