Planning family events can be both exciting and overwhelming. You want to create an experience that is enjoyable for everyone while also staying within your budget. Whether you’re a PTA or PTO, organizing events for elementary school families, we’ve got you covered with a list of 55 fun ideas that can be tailored to different age groups and event sizes. From game nights to outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone. So, let’s dive in and get inspired to plan some unforgettable family fun events!
1. Bingo Bonanza
Bingo nights are always a hit! To put a unique twist on this classic game, consider giving out books as prizes instead of the usual candy or toys. Partner with a local bookstore or library to get donated books or offer discounted vouchers. It’s a fun way to encourage reading while having a great time with the whole family.
2. Toy and Book Swap
Organize a toy and book swap event where families can bring gently used items to exchange with others. This is a fantastic opportunity for kids to try out new toys or books while also promoting the value of recycling and reusing. Make it even more special by providing tickets to low-income families discreetly, ensuring that everyone can participate.
3. Dance the Night Away
Plan a daddy-daughter dance or a butterfly-themed ball for a magical evening of bonding and fun. Encourage moms and sons to join in as well, making it an inclusive event for all families. Decorate the venue with colorful butterflies and play lively music to set the mood for a memorable night.
4. Parents vs. Kids Kickball Tournament
Take family competition to the next level with a kickball tournament. Divide the teams into parents and kids and let the games begin! It’s a great way to foster teamwork, friendly rivalry, and create lasting memories. Don’t forget to award the winning team with a special prize!
5. Get Active with Fitness Night
Promote health and wellness by organizing a fitness night. Set up different activity stations like basketball, hula hooping, and relay races. Borrow equipment from the school or local community centers to provide a variety of options for kids of all ages. It’s a fun way to get everyone moving and enjoying the benefits of physical activity.
6. Unleash the Scientist in You
Host a science night where kids can engage in hands-on experiments and demonstrations. Reach out to local science professors or experts who can perform exciting shows and teach kids about the wonders of science. From making slime to creating mini volcanoes, there are endless possibilities to spark curiosity and discovery. Take your science night to a higher level by booking the Wacky Science Show for families to enjoy, for more information about the Wacky Science Show CLICK HERE
7. Celebrate Diversity with Multicultural Night
Embrace the diversity within your school community by organizing a multicultural night. Encourage families to bring a dish that represents their culture for a potluck dinner. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn about different traditions, try new foods, and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of your school.
8. Immerse in the World of Books with Family Reading Night
Create a cozy and inviting atmosphere for a family reading night. Encourage attendees to bring books to swap, and set up a bookmark-making station. Collaborate with your local library to provide book recommendations and volunteers. It’s a perfect occasion to foster a love for reading and strengthen the connection between families and literature. A fun reading show would make the night a huge success , schools love the Superhero Reading Show for more information CLICK HERE
9. Unleash Creativity with Craft Night
Let imaginations run wild with a craft night. Choose age-appropriate seasonal crafts that families can enjoy together. Mix in some take-home projects as well as collaborative pieces that can be displayed in the school. Use the collaborative artwork to add a touch of creativity to your school decor.
10. Showcase Artistic Talents with an Art Show
Organize an art show in conjunction with your school or district’s PTA Reflections program, or as a standalone event. Display artwork created by students and promote creative expression. It’s an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the artistic abilities of young minds.
11. Be Amazed by a Magic Show
Hire a magician to put on a fabulous show at your school. Witness mind-boggling tricks and illusions that will leave both kids and adults in awe. It’s a great way to create a sense of wonder and excitement. Awesome Assemblies offer, Character, Reading, Science and “Just for fun” Magic shows. For more information CLICK HERE
12. Goofy Fun with Silly Olympics
In the spirit of the Olympics, plan a silly Olympics event where families can participate in goofy competitions. From sack races to egg-and-spoon races, the possibilities are endless. It’s a lighthearted and entertaining event that will have everyone laughing and cheering for their favorite teams.
13. Trunk or Treat Extravaganza
Create a safe and fun trick-or-treating experience by organizing a trunk or treat event. Block off a parking lot and invite families to decorate their car trunks and distribute treats. It’s a great alternative to traditional trick-or-treating, providing a controlled environment for kids to enjoy Halloween festivities.
14. Host a Picnic with Blacktop Bash
Transform your school playground or parking lot blacktop into a picnic area for a casual and enjoyable gathering. Encourage families to bring side dishes and desserts while the PTO provides pizza and drinks. Organize games and activities for the kids, such as a kickball game, to keep everyone entertained.
15. Discover the Wonders of Animals with an Animal Show
Bring the animal kingdom to your school by hiring a local entertainer who can introduce a variety of animals to students and families. It’s an educational and interactive experience that will captivate young minds. Consider turning it into a fundraising event by charging admission or offering photo opportunities with the animals.
16. Get Creative with Cookie Decorating
Host a cookie decorating event, especially around the holiday season. Purchase pre-baked, undecorated sugar cookies from a local grocery store to save time and effort. Families can decorate the cookies together, and you can even turn it into a bake sale fundraiser. It’s a tasty and creative way to bring families together.
17. Let’s Make a Deal Game Night
Bring the excitement of the game show “Let’s Make a Deal” to your school with a fun-filled game night. Adapt the show’s concept and games for a school family event. It’s best suited for middle school and high school students who can fully understand the rules and strategies. Encourage participants to come in costume and compete against their classmates.
18. Enjoy Movie Night with YouTube Favorites
Set up a movie night with a twist by showcasing funny and pre-screened YouTube videos. Borrow a projector and screen from the school to create a theater-like experience. Extend the night by offering dinner options for families to enjoy while watching the show.
19. Make Math Exciting with Math Night
Engage students and families with a math-themed event. Collaborate with math teachers or your district’s Director of Curriculum to plan interactive activities and games. It’s a fun way to strengthen math skills while creating an enjoyable learning environment.
20. Step Right Up to a Carnival
Bring the excitement of a carnival to your school with games, rides, and delicious treats. Planning a carnival event requires careful organization, so be sure to check out our blog post on how to plan a successful school carnival. It’s an excellent opportunity to raise funds while providing a day of entertainment for the whole family.
21. Promote Active Transportation with Walk to School Day
Organize a walk-to-school event to encourage active transportation and promote a healthier lifestyle. Collaborate with organizations like Safe Routes to School and Walk + Bike to School to plan the event. Invite city officials, school administrators, and local media to attend and show support for active transportation initiatives.
22. Pedal to Success with a Bike Rodeo
Partner with your city’s Police Department and other local government programs dedicated to health, wellness, and safety to organize a bike rodeo. Teach kids about bike safety, provide helmet fittings, and set up obstacle courses. It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn important biking skills while having a blast.
23. Savor Sweet Moments with an Ice Cream Social
Treat families to an ice cream social where they can enjoy delicious ice cream cups with a variety of toppings. It’s a simple and enjoyable event that requires minimal preparation. Make it even more special by organizing ice cream-themed games and contests.
24. Share a Special Moment with a Mother-Daughter Tea
Create a memorable experience for moms and daughters with a mother-daughter tea party. Encourage everyone to dress up and enjoy a fancy outing. Provide a variety of teas and snacks, and incorporate activities like crafts or photo booths to make the event even more delightful.
25. Build with Bricks at Lego Night
Bring out the creativity in kids with a Lego night. Set up stations with various Lego bricks and challenge kids to build their own masterpieces. Prepare to be amazed by their imagination and construction skills. Consider partnering with a local Lego store or enthusiast to provide additional inspiration and guidance.
26. Celebrate Special Bonds with a Grandparents’ Event
Celebrate the special relationships between children and their grandparents by organizing a grandparents’ dinner, breakfast, or lunch. Extend the invitation to other special persons in children’s lives to make the event inclusive. It’s an opportunity for kids to show appreciation and spend quality time with their loved ones.
27. Make a Difference with Service Night
Engage families in community service by planning a series of projects that can be donated to local organizations. Create handmade cards, posters, or other crafts that can be given to programs like Meals on Wheels or assisted living facilities. It’s a meaningful and budget-friendly way to teach kids the value of giving back.
28. Embrace the Spirit of Fall with a Harvest Festival
Celebrate the arrival of fall with a festival filled with fun activities like hay bale races, scarecrow stuffing, and pumpkin decorating. Incorporate other fall-themed games and crafts to create a festive atmosphere. It’s an opportunity for families to enjoy the season together and appreciate nature’s bounty.
29. Honor and Recognize with a Veteran’s Day Celebration
Pay tribute to current and past members of the armed forces by organizing a Veteran’s Day celebration. Invite veterans from the community, parents who are serving or have served in the military, and school staff members to be recognized and honored. It’s a meaningful event that fosters patriotism and gratitude.
30. Embrace the Magic of Winter with a Winter Festival
Plan a winter-themed event with a twist, especially if the weather in your area doesn’t allow for extended outdoor activities. Create an indoor snowball fight using scrap paper, set up an indoor ice skating rink with paper plates on a gym floor, or organize a marshmallow shooter contest using balloons and disposable cups. It’s a fun way to embrace the magic of winter and keep families entertained.
31. Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday with Whimsical Fun
Let your imagination run wild with a Dr. Seuss-themed celebration in honor of his birthday. Watch movies like “The Lorax,” organize a poetry slam, or create wacky creature crafts. Get creative with decorations by incorporating Dr. Seuss-inspired elements. It’s a fantastic opportunity to promote literacy and inspire a love for storytelling.
32. Get Moving with a 5k Run/Walk
Organize a 5k run/walk event that brings together families from different schools in your district. Consider turning it into a combination fundraiser and fun-raiser by partnering with local businesses and sponsors. It’s a great way to promote physical activity, community engagement, and school pride.
33. Spice It Up with a Chili Cook-Off
Bring families together over food with a chili cook-off event. Invite local community groups to participate and showcase their best chili recipes. Encourage families to taste and vote for their favorites. It’s a delicious and competitive event that adds a touch of warmth to any gathering.
34. Enjoy a Hearty Meal with a Spaghetti Dinner
Gather families for a spaghetti dinner where they can enjoy a delicious meal together. Consider partnering with a local restaurant to assist with the food preparation and keep the budget in check. It’s a simple yet delightful event that fosters connections and builds community.
35. Battle it Out with Cupcake Wars
Host a cupcake wars event where students and families can bring in their homemade cupcakes for judging. Create different categories and have an independent panel determine the winners. After the judging, let everyone enjoy a taste test of the delicious creations. It’s a sweet and competitive event that satisfies both the stomach and the creative spirit.
36. Strut Your Stuff with a Fashion Show
Organize a fashion show event for older kids, especially before homecoming or prom season. Have younger kids act as junior models and escort seniors down the runway. Incorporate music, lights, and creative themes to make it a glamorous and memorable event.
37. Tailgate and Cheer with a Family Tailgate Party
Support your school’s sports teams by gathering families for a pre-game dinner or snack party. Encourage families to bring their own food and drinks and create a festive atmosphere. It’s an opportunity to build school spirit, connect with alumni, and enjoy the excitement of game day.
38. Showcase Hidden Talents with a Talent Show
Organize a talent show where students can showcase their unique abilities and talents. It’s always a favorite event, but it can seem overwhelming to put together. Check out our comprehensive guide on how to run a successful talent show for all the details you need. Use a program template to make organizing the show a breeze.
39. Indulge in Pizza with a Pizza Taste Test Party
Pizza is a universal favorite, so why not turn it into a fun event? Get donations from different pizza places in town and set up a taste test party. Families can sample different types of pizza and vote for their favorites. It’s a delicious and interactive event that will satisfy everyone’s cravings.
40. Have Fun with a Family Game Night
Keep it simple and enjoyable with a family game night. Ask families to bring their favorite card or board games, and let the fun begin. It’s a low-cost, easy-to-organize event that guarantees a good time for all.
41. Make a Difference with an Earth Day Park Clean Up
Organize an Earth Day event by cleaning up a local park or green space. Provide garbage bags, gloves, and hand sanitizer for all participants. It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about environmental stewardship and the importance of taking care of our planet. Don’t let a little rain dampen your spirits; most families will appreciate the chance to be outdoors.
42. Foster Scientific Curiosity with a Science Fair
Engage students and families with a science fair where they can showcase their scientific experiments and projects. Collaborate with your school’s science and STEM/STEAM teachers to make it a part of the curriculum and expand the school day to include families. It’s a fantastic way to promote scientific curiosity and celebrate the achievements of budding scientists.
43. Celebrate Parents with Muffins for Moms and Donuts for Dads
Update the classic event of muffins for moms and donuts for dads by making it more inclusive and gender-neutral. Designate a day for a special persons’ event, inviting students to bring someone special to school to show off and spend time with. It’s a heartwarming occasion that strengthens the bond between students and their loved ones.
44. Share the Love with Special Persons Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Similar to the previous event, designate a day for a special persons’ event, but this time, make it even more inclusive and welcoming. Serve a continental breakfast if you choose a morning event, or organize a lunch or dinner to celebrate the special persons in students’ lives. Advertise the event well to ensure maximum participation.
45. Let the Music Play with a Lip Sync Battle
Bring out the inner performers in students and families with a lip sync battle. Encourage participants to choose their favorite songs and give it their all on stage. It’s a lively and entertaining event that guarantees laughter and applause.
46. Embark on a Family Field Trip
Organize an off-campus family field trip to a museum, science center, aquarium, zoo, or other attractions available in your area. Arrange for pre-sales of discounted tickets and see if the venue is willing to give a donation back to your group. It’s a fantastic opportunity for families to explore and learn together.
47. Get Fit and Flexible with Zumba/Yoga Night
Invite a parent who is a Zumba or yoga instructor to lead a fun and energetic dance or yoga session for participants. It’s a great way to promote physical fitness and relaxation. Reach out to the school community to find instructors who are willing to share their expertise and get everyone moving.
48. Unleash Creativity with Pumpkin Carving
Host a pumpkin carving event where families can create their own masterpieces. Provide disposable tablecloths to make cleanup easier. It’s a fun and artistic activity that allows families to express their creativity while enjoying the Halloween season.
49. Celebrate the Magic of Pi with “Pi” Night
March 4th is known as Pi Day, so why not celebrate with a “Pi” night? Serve different pies or pizza to honor the mathematical constant. It’s an excellent event to combine with a math night to promote both learning and delicious treats.
50. Dodge, Duck, and Dive with a Dodgeball Tournament
Organize a dodgeball tournament where kids go head-to-head with adults. Divide teams and let the games begin! It’s a high-energy and competitive event that brings out the inner athlete in everyone.
51. Shoot Hoops with Basketball Night
Host an informal basketball night where kids can gather to play basketball. Arrange for a three-point contest or simply let the kids enjoy shooting hoops. It’s a simple and enjoyable event that promotes physical activity and friendly competition.
52. Unleash Creativity with Pottery Night
Bring out the artists in families with a pottery night. Provide air-dry clay or collaborate with a local pottery studio to allow families to paint their own pottery pieces. Negotiate a deal where your PTO receives a portion of the sales. It’s a creative and hands-on event that allows families to express themselves through art.
53. Encourage Entrepreneurship with a Kids’ Bazaar
Announce a kids’ bazaar event well in advance to allow kids to create and make items to sell. At the event, kids can set up their own booths and sell their creations. Consider partnering with a local business school or Small Business Development Center for additional support and guidance. It’s a fantastic opportunity to foster entrepreneurship and showcase kids’ talents.
54. Jammin’ Fun with a Mother-Son Event
Plan a mother-son dance or event with multiple activities to keep the boys entertained. Set up a photo booth with superhero props, play booming music in the gym, and even organize a paper airplane contest. It’s a wonderful opportunity for moms and sons to bond and create lasting memories.
55. Foam Partry
Great way to cool off during the summer, and foam parties and safe and fun for all ages. Hire a professional foam company like Arizona Foam Fun which only uses foam that is safe for anyone attending your event for anyone. Their foam is non-toxic, bio-degrdable and non-staining. For more information CLICK HERE
With these 55 fun family event ideas, you have a wide range of options to choose from when planning your next PTA or PTO event. Whether you’re looking for educational experiences, physical activities, or creative endeavors, there’s something for everyone. Remember to tailor the events to the age group and size of your group, and don’t forget to have fun and create lasting memories for families in your school community. Happy planning!