What Are Your Favorite PTO Activities?

Updated on June 17, 2012
P.S. asks from Houston, TX
8 answers

Hello. I have accepted a position on the PTO Board at my child's school for the upcoming school year. As we start to think about the year, I want to survey you experienced moms who could provide me with some helpful feedback. What are your favorite PTO activities? Are you a teacher, and if so, what do you appreciate most.....lunches, school supplies, etc? Are you a parent who loved a certain special event? What stands out to you? Thanks for any comments you might have.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

Bingo night was fun

HATE HATE HATE movie night

ice cream social is fun, but you should also have another activitiy - you can do it along with the ngiht of the book fair

At Christmas a tree was put up with tags and suggestions for teacher's gifts - as a parent I appreciated this, the teachers weren't too fond of it because they didn't like asking for items

More Answers



answers from Cleveland on

scholastic book fair,

special actities for kids during state wide testing week,

that sort of thing

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

One of the most helpful things is for PTA/PTO to sponsor special parent child learning opportunities, maybe in conjunction with a school. Maybe a science night where kids and parents could do experiments together and parents could get helpful hints and resources and info on how to work with their child on science. OR A MATH NIGHT, or a reading night.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I hold a position on my kid's PTA Board as the recording Secretary. My favorite activity we planned was the annual gift auction. We had a celebrity appearance and sold a lot of tickets and raised a lot of money for the class trips and events for field day. I also loved our Book Fairs. We have a fall and Spring Book fair. The Spring Book fair is our BOGO (Buy One Get One Free book) sale. Sell a lot of books and receive free books for our library and classrooms.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

The back to school ice cream Social, is held the Friday before school starts.

We give everyone an ice cream treat, the classroom rosters are posted, we sell the new tshirts. It is fun to see everyone.

We give the teachers $50. In the fall and then again n the spring to reimburse a small fraction of what they spend on their classroom supplies.

The weeks that end each 6 weeks, we give them a catered lunch with homemade desserts.

We run the talent show for the last day of school. We have landscape committee that is amazing.. Those saturdays they meet for the workdays are tons of fun.

Of course the annual Halloween Carnival really brings everyone together. Putting up the haunted castle facade on the front of the school gets everyone excited.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Think outside the box of social events for the kids and gifts for the teachers. Are "PTOs" part of the national PTA organization? If so, any school can participate in a national PTA program called Reflections (go to http://www.pta.org/2032.asp). The PTA/PTO at the local school level sponsors it for your school.

Reflections is a national arts program. The kids are given a theme (for 2012-2013, the theme is "The Magic of a Moment") and the kids do some form of art on that theme -- it can be visual arts (drawing, painting) or it can be a short film, an original dance, a musical composition, a poem, story or essay. The national PTA has rules about things like length of a dance or song, or size of paintings, but the kids really have total leeway on how they interpret the theme. Then the school finds some local judges (teachers at other schools usually are very willing to be judges) and has judges decide which entries in each category are the outstanding interpretations. Those entries move on to judging at other levels (county PTA level, state, national).

It's a competition, yes -- but the emphasis is very strongly on just having kids participate and be creative! We have had success with getting more kids to participate each year. Kids do this totally on their own, in their own time, and it gives them a huge sense of achievement whether or not they get an award at the school level. We have a nice PTA-sponsored event in the evening, invite all the participant kids and their families, and display every single work of art; every piece of literature; have the dances playing on a DVD loop on a laptop and the musical compositions playing on a CD; and so on. There are refreshments and then awards -- parents love to come, bring the siblings and grandparents, and take photos as we call each child's name to come up and receive a participation certificate or award medal. You definitely don't have to have as big a ceremony (our previous school did it during the school day and just handed out lollipops --not my choice but cute -- to everyone, and medals to the three levels of judged entries, and that was it). But the best thing about Reflections is that it gets kids who otherwise might not think they're artistic or creative and gives them a place outside art class or music class to express themselves with no one telling them their ideas are right or wrong!

Another thing a PTO/PTA can do is "cultural arts" assemblies. Kids at our school LOVE these. These can be almost anything you want and can find in your area. Here are some we've had, though what you could do depends on what's available in your area and on your PTO budget:

--Fourth grade saw a baking demonstration by a person from the King Arthur Flour company; King Arthur provided all materials for every fourth grader to take home a bag with two kinds of flour, yeast, and directions to make two loaves of bread, and kids brought back one loaf; the loaves were donated to a local food bank. I believe King Arthur does these events for free.

--Fifth grade heard a terrific presentation about medieval grave brasses (brass portraits) and then did brass rubbings of some beautiful copies of real brasses from England. A firm in the US actually does this kind of presentation just for schools!

--My daughter's dance school and other dance schools in the area perform for local public schools as part of a program called CAPs (Creative Arts Program). CAPs brings dance, music and drama into the schools directly. PTA cultural arts program chairs decide about booking CAPs acts for their schools. If your school system does not have something similar to CAPs, why not try having your PTA find a local small dance troupe or good dance school willing to come do a show? (Or bell ringers, or the city chorus, or a theatre group, etc., etc.)

Those are just a few of the kinds of things PTAs/PTOs can do if they try. We love the ice cream socials and movie nights and stuff, but it is great to do more enriching things that either feed the curriculum or expose kids to new things like baking or dance performances.



answers from Washington DC on

I run the book club for the school - I coordinate the parents who run a book club for each grade

There is a school carnival each year which is a big fund raiser

The PTO also coordinates the collection of box tops to raise money

The PTO runs a big outside 1k and 5k race with sponsors. There is a fee to enter the race...big fundraiser


answers from Austin on

The first school my son was at they did an international festival, planted flowers at the entrance to the school, helped pay for field trips including one for the pre-k to do build-a-bear and pictures with Santa, and a fall carnival. At the 2nd school, the PTA does family movie nights(shows a movie and sells pizza, popcorn, and drinks), helps with book fairs and field day, and does a fine arts night and a carnival.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions