Ask guests to bring a pre-determined number of each item, such as folders, markers, or notebooks. At the end of the party, each child leaves with at least one of everything.
•Morning rush: Divide the kids into two teams. Place as many sets of adult clothes (shirts, pants, ties, jackets, socks) as there are players in piles. On “Go!” have one kid race to the pile and put on the clothes. The first team with all the clothes on wins.
•Letter hunt: As with an egg hunt, hide two sets of magnetic letters around the house or yard. Once all the letters have been found, the first child who can spell a word with her collected letters wins.
•It's a draw: Provide markers and stickers, and then take and print pics of the party-goers that they can use to personalize their notebooks and folders. If you're lucky, that's one homework assignment already completed.
•Simplify your menu: Serve classic PB&Js.Double Duty Decorations:
These themed decor ideas will also make excellent party favors
Wrap a coffee can with a sheet of letter stickers ($8; officemax.com), then fill it with rulers.
Print out a banner that reads “Stick to the school rules,” and glue it to a paper straw (25 for $5; thesugardiva.com). Glue the straw to the glue bottle.
•Piece of Cake
Glue two 10 by 4-inch Styrofoam cake forms ($15 each; Michaels stores) together. Wrap two blue rubber bands around the cake form. Stick pencils into the rubber bands so they stand upright and cover the entire “cake.” Top red pencils (12 for $7; staples.com) with yellow pencil-top erasers (multicolor 15-pack for $1; target.com ) and stick them into the cake form as “candles.” Cover the top of the cake with red and blue rubber bands to resemble the frosting. Display on a cake stand, like the Mosser Glass Footed Cake Plate ($76; distinctive-decor.com).
Enlarge and photocopy the cover of a composition book on a few 11 by 17-inch pieces of paper. Cut any white edges, and tape the copies together to form the tablecloth.
These “candy” erasers are simple to re-create. Just wrap classic erasers in wax paper and twist the edges.
Line the inside of the top of a lunch box with scrapbook paper. Place Styrofoam in the bottom. In neat rows, stick highlighters or scissors into the foam. Cover Styrofoam with blue paper clips.
Fill a cookie jar or a fish bowl with eraser tops. Provide a scoop so guests can shovel them out.