Our PTA Hospitality threw this Back to School Appreciation Luncheon for our teachers a couple of years ago, and I have been so excited to share what we did with you!! I went on the hunt for the pictures of the event, …. only to find out that the pictures are awful- UGH!! Totally grainy! So, I decided to set up everything I could in our dining room to show you what it was supposed to look like. End Result: Back to School Party for Teachers (or Kids).
I will be writing this post in 2 parts:
- Back to School Teacher Luncheon (school party) in the FIRST part, and
- Back to School Kids Party (house party) in the SECOND part.
***All of the information can be used for both events, just scale up or down to fit your needs.***
Back To School Party For Teachers (Or Kids)
A Back to School party is a perfect way to welcome teachers for the upcoming school year.
- It lets them know how much they are appreciated, and is a great introduction to what they can expect from the parents who support their schools and community.
We threw our luncheon a week before school began, when the teachers were having their pre-school inservice and workshop days.
- It gave them a much needed break between their meetings, and it was the perfect time for fellowship with all of the new teachers.
Here is one of the pictures from our school event below. (Sorry it’s so grainy)!!
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon:
And here is a picture that I set up in our dining room below. Much better quality – right?
At Our House:
***This post contains affiliate links which means that I will receive a small compensation if you purchase from these links. Please see my disclosure and privacy policies below. Thanks for your support. :)***
Back To School Party For Teachers (Or Kids)
I just wanted to give a shout out to the bloggers/websites who sparked the inspiration for the luncheon. Check out their posts – they are crazy good!!
P.S. (The last link is broken -sorry. The blogger may be updating her website. Check back with it later).
Back To School Party For TEACHER LUNCHEON
The Planning Stage:
I’m going to keep this part as simple as possible. There are all kinds of factors that go into planning a school event like this:
- Number of Teachers/Staff: Ours = 150
- Venue: Ours = School Cafeteria
- Budget (private info, but enough for catered meal)
- Food: Ours = Catered BBQ Meal
- Decor: Ours = I bought things personally and used items I already owned, to keep decorating costs to a minimum
I always do a rough sketch so that I have an idea of spacing when trying to plan decorations, food & drinks, etc. for large events like these.
Remember to ask you school rep what they like for events like these (food and decor), and don’t forget about function.
- In other words, don’t OVER DO the decorations!!
- You are serving and appreciating the teachers, not impressing other moms – LOL 😉
Decorations Test Run:
Since our school rep told us to keep decor to a minimum, I planned out our decorations at my house first.
This way, I would be able to see how much room they took up on my own kitchen table.
- You don’t want to block sight lines (keep things low), and
- They need enough room to put their plates and drinks down (without a lot of stuff to move around).
- I even sat in one of my chairs at home to see if I could see over the decorations.
Here is a picture of some of the decorations so that you can understand the layout sketch (above) better.
Here is what it looked like (again sorry these are so grainy)!
Keep scrolling down for the better pictures at my house.
***NOTE*** FOR BACK TO SCHOOL KIDS PARTY – KEEP SCROLLING DOWN
SUPPLIES FOR 150 TEACHERS/STAFF LUNCHEON
- ROLL OF BLACK CRAFT PAPER, here or BLACK plastic RECTANGULAR TABLE COVERS
- 12 LARGE RED APPLES (for tables)
- 1 YELLOW DAISY BUSHEL (pulled off individually for red apple toppers)
- 12 MASON JARS (with red gingham ribbon 7/8″– optional)
- 96 YELLOW PENCILS
- PAPER RULERS – 4 SETS (copy paper, packing tape, ruler, black marker, 6″ number stencils)
- 4 RED GINGHAM FABRIC TABLE SQUARES or (plastic table covers), runners
- * RED RIC RAC – optional *
- 2 WHITE PITCHERS – 8″H, 10″H
- 2 MINI CHALKBOARDS WITH RED GINGHAM RIBBON – 3/8″ (for pitchers)
- WHITE CHALK
- 2 YELLOW DAISY BUSHELS (for pitchers)
- 2 WHITE CHALKBOARD CRATES, similar – (with 2 empty shirt boxes each)
- 10 RED NAPKINS (for crates), red check napkins
- 5 BAGS OF FUJI APPLES (for crates)
- * 3 RED CHECK RIBBON (BOWS) – optional *
- BLACK CRAFT PAPER, here, OR PLASTIC TABLE COVERS – (backdrop for lunch bags)
- 12 BROWN PAPER LUNCH BAGS
- CHALK *(and/or chalk marker – use on BAGS ONLY, NOT ON CHALKBOARD)*
- JUTE STRING (for lunch bags)
- 12 PAPER CLIPS (for lunch bags)
- CLEAR TAPE (for lunch bags)
- * 3 RED DOT PAPER LANTERNS, red & white paper fans, – optional *
- MENU FLOOR CHALKBOARD, similar
- * LADDER – optional *
- * HANGING WELCOME SIGN OR HANGING CHALKBOARD – optional *
- Spring Creek BBQ, Katy, TX (they were incredible to work with!!)
- APPLES WITH DAISIES – Gently pull off one yellow daisy from the bushel for each apple. You will need a bushel with 12 yellow daisies if using 12 apples for decorating. Just set the yellow daisy on top of each apple.
- MASON JARS/PENCILS – I used 8 pencils per mason jar for the luncheon and added a small red gingham ribbon (optional). We let the teachers take the pencils with them (if they wanted).
RED GINGHAM FABRIC –
- I cut 4 pieces of red gingham fabric (squares) with shearing scissors (just so they wouldn’t fray too much) ~34″L x 21″W.
- Then, I added red ric rac trim with hot glue to one side only (to save money) on 2 of them.
So the 2 ric rac squares went with the pitcher centerpieces, and the 2 plain squares went with the white crates (for the luncheon tables).
WHITE PITCHERS –
- Take 2 white pitchers and fill with one bushel of yellow daisies to each pitcher.
- I tied a mini chalkboard with red gingham ribbon, and wrote Daisies $ .25 for fun.
WHITE CRATES & RED NAPKINS –
- Take one of the crates and line the inside with red napkins – I used 4 napkins for this part.
- Then use 2-3 shirt boxes that can fit inside, and top with another red napkin (total of 5 red napkins/crate).
- Repeat for 2nd crate.
Fill your crates with bags of apples.
- I think we used 10-11 bags (5 each crate) of apples to fill our crates for the luncheon.
- The yellowish/pinkish apples look really pretty in here, just to make it look more authentic.
We gave the apples to the teachers after the luncheon.
For the teacher party, we used 2 large red gingham bows (see below picture) to tie onto each crate.
They were used as accents to bring in a little extra red and white to the top of the crates.
PAPER RULERS –
- I split mine up into 2 parts: (1-2-3) and (4-5-6).
- I wanted to be able to have options when decorating, and also to make transporting them to school easier.
Use 3 sheets of copy paper and tape together (at long ends) with packing tape. With a ruler, mark 11 inches on the top and bottom of all 3 sheets (will be where you taped). See picture below.
3 Sheets of copy paper = 1st part (1-2-3), 3 Sheets of copy paper = 2nd part (4-5-6)
*** NOTE: The top 3 sheets of paper aren’t taped on the picture below – I just wanted you to have a visual reference. Make sure you TAPE the ends together BEFORE marking measurements. Otherwise the marks will not line up correctly!! Trust me 😉 ***
- Mark 5.5 inches on top and bottom of all 3 sheets.
- Then mark 2.75 inches, and 8.25 inches on both sides also.
- * See picture below for closeups *
*** In these pictures, I have mine marked on the BOTTOM of the 1st sheet. You will repeat the same steps for sheets 2 and 3. Then you will do the same markings again on the TOP part of all 3 sheets. Hope that makes sense. ***
***TIP*** Put marks on your actual ruler (with a pencil) so that you don’t have to remember the different measurements each time. It will save you LOTS of time!!
* Here below, you can see there are lines that are not labeled. They will roughly be 1.25 – 1.5 inches (I just marked a middle spot – eyeing it without measuring for mine). *
Once you have all of your measurements marked on both sides of your paper, you will draw ONE line for the 11 inch markings only.
The other markings are at different lengths to make it look like a real ruler. Here are the lengths that I used:
- 5.5 inch marking = 1.5 inch LONG
- 2.75 inch marking = 1 inch LONG
- 8.25 inch marking = 1 inch LONG
- 1.25 inch marking – .5 inch LONG
STENCILS: Now, use your 6 inch number stencils, and mark your numbers a little to the left of the 11 inch marking. Use your black magic marker and color in all of the numbers AND go over ALL other markings. They will need to be dark to see through the tape.
TAPING: You will use your packing tape to cover your ruler – going in vertical strips (top to bottom). This is very time consuming, so if you can laminate, go that route!! haha!!
***TIP*** I recommend tearing a long piece of tape off that will cover the front part and the top and bottom edges. Then after the FRONT part is done, turn over to tape the BACK SIDE.
Just a FYI – there will be ripples in the tape sometimes. So, don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect. The main thing is that the ruler is protected for those “spills” that WILL happen. LOL!!
- PAPER BAGS (BACK TO SCHOOL SIGN) – Sketch the letters by hand (or use stencils) onto the front side of your brown paper lunch bag, and use chalk or chalk marker to fill in. Use random strokes to make it look more like a chalkboard.
Tuck jute string underneath the top flap fold (on back side) and secure with paper clip. This will help you be able to slide the bags for spacing preferences, and will help hold the bags from sliding down the string.
Tape on the wall in a “smiling” curved u-shape. See pictures further down the post.
- For the teacher luncheon, we taped black craft paper against the cafeteria wall for the “blackboard” backdrop. Then we added red polka dot tissue lanterns to tie in our red and white colors theme, and to add contrast to the wall.
- For my house kids party, I used my navy wall as the backdrop, but used the red gingham bows as accents. These were the bows that I used for the white crates (teacher luncheon).
FLOOR DECOR: (FOR TEACHER LUNCHEON)
MENU CHALKBOARD – I used this chalkboard to list all of the menu items for our teachers. Since we were having a BBQ dinner , I thought it would be cute to let the teachers know what all of the “fixins” were – LOL!!
I couldn’t remember exactly what we served, but oh well!! I just wanted to show it to yall anyway. 🙂
LADDER WITH WELCOME ARROW SIGN –
- We also used my blue ladder and welcome arrow sign for the “Welcome” Back To School Wall behind the food tables at our teacher luncheon.
- It has little lights on it, so it just added a little whimsy to our BBQ-themed lunch.
Here it is in my house – see picture below.
Now, let’s move on to the Back To School Party For Kids!
Back to School Party FOR KIDS
Use the same LIST (ABOVE) for the teacher luncheon and pick out the things you would want to use for your back to school kids party.
- You can use the pictures below to help plan your house party.
Here are pictures of the decorations that I set up in our dining room.
Or With Bows:
2 Sets of Rulers:
Or 3 Sets of Rulers:
This is where the ruler split into 2 parts, comes in handy.
I was able to put them at the ends to make a frame.
Lunch Bags Flat:
Or Lunch Bags Open:
I hope that you have found some inspiration, ideas, and helpful tips for your Back To School Teacher Party or Back to School Kids Party!
WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL!!
LOVE & HUGS 🙂