Even though your students may love the autonomy that comes with going to school, many still feel connected to their parents and miss being away from them during the day. Encourage and celebrate this bond with activities that promote the parent-child relationship both inside and outside of the classroom.
Hosting a career day for your class is a popular parent-child activity that will teach your students about various careers and also help them get to know the parents of their peers. Over the course of a few weeks, invite the parents of each student to give a 15-minute presentation on what they do for a living. Encourage them to come in uniform when applicable or use props if possible. Be sure to leave plenty of time for questions and answers following the presentation.
In a school newsletter or at your parent teacher-conference at the beginning of the year, ask the parents of each student to write a special letter to their child, perhaps detailing some of the things they love about their child and outlining their hopes and dreams for their little one. Ask them to mail it to the school in a sealed envelope, and distribute the letters to each student on the last day of school.
Around the holiday season, ask your students to bring in two copies of a favorite picture with their parents. Tack one copy of the photo onto a classroom bulletin board -- students love seeing pictures with their families and will enjoy gazing at pictures of their classmates with their families as well. Create a picture frame during art class for the second copy of the picture, and encourage your students to give the photo and frame to their parents for a gift during the holidays.
Host a Parents Day in your classroom and invite the parents of your students to attend class for part of the day. Students will enjoy playing "tour guide" and showing their parents all of their favorite things about their school. Select activities for class that day that parents can do with their children -- such as creating a family tree or collage together during art and playing a game of baseball or soccer during gym class. Put on a special performance for the parents. Students may wish to perform individual acts, but end the program by having the class recite a poem or sing a song together that is dedicated to their parents.
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