This year, the first grade at Smunch's school had the distinction of having the first end-of-year party. Traditionally, the kids all walk to a nearby park for food, fun and games and then walk back to school for popsicles. As one of the room parents this year, I had some responsibility for organizing this event. The other organizers must have recognized the dazed "overvolunteered" look on my face because the tasks that fell to me were...getting butcher paper from the work room and procuring some pens and crayons from the classroom. Despite the fact that these were ridiculously easy things to do, I still felt like maybe it was all too much for me to handle. Duh.
I ended up going to the park early to help set up. That meant I got to see the inordinately cute sight of a line of 80 first graders parading into the park with their teachers and chaperones. We were ready for them too. There were building materials, spin art, face painting, Wedgits, fishing, velcro darts, and, of course, drawing materials. Not to mention pizza, lemonade, fruit and Rice Krispie treats. There were also field games. Smunch participated in one or two of those before lunch, but seemed to prefer some of the other activities. After all, they saved the best for last! You might remember that last year, at the kindergarten picnic, they had this hilarious game of getting the kids to eat donuts hanging from strings, with their hands behind their backs. This year, that game was replaced with the Whipped Cream Relay.This game, which was clearly met with much enthusiasm, involved having the teacher sit at the far end of the field with a spray can of whipped cream...which she used to cover chocolate Hershey's Kisses on little plates. Each kid had to run down the field (see Smunch, above), dive into the plate with their hands behind their backs... (O.K., not quite behind his back, are they?) and eat through the whipped cream to get to the Kiss.I think Smunch took about four turns at this relay. Obviously, everyone won!
Just before leaving, the kids all played "Splash Ball"...getting as wet as they possibly could while soaking their classmates on the other side...or the parents running through the middle, whichever was available. Last, but not least...for me anyway...we made a presentation of the year-end gifts to Smunch's teacher. She was very pleased and loved the pot. After working my butt off to make sure everything was ready for giving the gift at the picnic, I realized just how ridiculous it had been for me to stick to that artificial date for gift giving. I think many of the classes waited until the last day of school rather than doing it at the picnic. And with the first grade picnic falling a whole week and a half before the last day of school, it was totally unnecessary to give the gifts there. But it was done and I was off the hook...at least until the Author's Breakfast at the end of the week!