Sunday, May 26, 2013

Third Grade Picnic

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! In keeping with my trend of being not able to do anything more than just report on my activities because I've been too busy to think, let me tell you about the Girl's Third Grade Picnic. If this is the kind of stuff that holds no interest for you, then just move along (but check out the picture of the ice cream truck menu at the end of the post). On the off-chance that you might have to plan some kind of similar event, then this might be one of those actually useful posts that I write from time to time, mostly by accident. About six weeks ago, someone clued the two other third grade room moms and me that we had to plan a party for the third graders to celebrate their "graduation" from elementary school. The PTA gave us a budget and some minimal guidance and we were on our own from there.

One of the other room moms reserved the pavilion at our local park, which is within walking distance of the school. We kept our fingers crossed that it wouldn't rain because our plan B was to beg one of the churches to let us use their gymnasium for a couple of hours in exchange for allowing them to convert all the children. JK!

Here's a picture of Tim Tebow to make up
for the religious joke.

We had three main categories to take care of for the picnic:
1. Activities
2. Food
3. Giveaways

The kids received two of the giveaways at school before the picnic. We were lucky enough to recruit the father of twin girls to take a picture of the entire class sitting on the front steps of the school. He's a cinematographer, so of course the picture came out great. We had the photo made into a poster and made sure to have lots of white space so the kids could collect their classmates' autographs. The kids received the posters in a roll, secured with a rubber bracelet in the school's colors. After the graduation ceremony, the kids spent some time signing each other's pictures which gave us a chance to set things up at the park.

Tammy was our activity leader and she came up with an amazing schedule of fun games for the kids. As soon as they arrived at the park, they picked a colored bandana and were divided into teams:

The Girl was on the yellow team:

Tammy planned seven different activities:

Cheeto Head involved two kids donning shower caps which were then covered in shaving cream. The other team members had to toss Cheetos at their heads so they stuck. Whichever team got the most Cheetos to stick was declared the winner:

Most of the other games are old reliables: Ball in the Bucket involves tossing balls into a bucket and whichever team gets the most inside the bucket wins the game.  For the Dog Food Challenge, Tammy make fake dog food labels for cans of refried beans and then offered spoonfuls to the kids. Whichever team ate the most won. This reminded me a little of sorority hell week. For Egg Roulette, she hardboiled 65 eggs and told the kids that all but one of the eggs were hardboiled and that one lucky kid would end up smashing the egg against his or her forehead and get covered by raw egg. The trick was that they were all hardboiled except for two that our adult volunteers demonstrated:

The games took about 45 minutes and afterwards the kids had free time to run around, play basketball, soccer, or whatever they wanted to do. Lunch arrived at about 11:15 and we got everything ready to serve at 11:30. I was in charge of food and ordered mini burritos from Moe's Southwest Grill. I sent home order forms about two weeks before the picnic to find which kids wanted burritos and what kind of burritos those kids wanted. We ended up getting 65 kid burritos and 15 adult burritos, plus three ginormous bags of chips and a vat of salsa, which served all the kids, plus the adult volunteers. I had a chicken burrito and it was delish.

We also used lunch to distribute one of our giveaways: frisbees. We put paper plates on top of the frisbees and gave them to each kid when they came up to get lunch.

Moi, mid complaint and holding a pile of frisbees, with Robin and Sara.
We also bought watermelon, oranges, and grapes for the kids. About a quarter of the kids opted to bring lunch from home and we handed out the frisbees to those kids while they ate.

After lunch we had some more free play, plus a station where the kids could get tattoos (with the school's name and logo) and/or their hair sprayed different colors. This was very popular with both the boys and the girls. We probably should have organized another activity in the afternoon for all the kids, because they started getting a little bit antsy. In years past they'd had a scavenger hunt, but we'd heard that it went on for too long, so we decided to scrap it. Maybe in two years we'll be feeling more ambitious and can do it for the Boy and his friends.

Sabrina was in charge of arranging for an ice cream truck to stop by the park so the kids could get a cold treat. We had some hiccoughs in that the truck showed up about 45 minutes early and Sabrina told him to come at his appointed time. When he didn't come back when we was supposed to and didn't answer his phone, Sabrina's husband had to drive around looking for him. Ice cream truck drivers are kind of on their own schedule, I guess. When he finally arrived, the kids all swarmed the truck like a bunch of locusts. The Baby got the biggest popsicle available. In a matter of two minutes the top three inches broke off and fell on the ground.

This was a full-service ice cream truck, as it's menu illustrates:

Yes, you can get "pickle pig feet" for a mere $2.00.
After the ice cream (no one opted for the swine toes) the kids trooped back to the school and we cleaned up the park. We finished just in time to pick up the little stinkers from school.


  1. Awesome! Can't believe there were no takers on the pigs feet! Sounds like it was fun!

    1. I didn't see any takers on the pigs feet, but maybe I missed it. Somehow the hand-lettered sign made it seem more illicit and less appealing.

  2. I took a pic of the menu and planned to write about it. Great minds. You beat me to it. Plus I've been slack in the blogging area. You all did an amazing job planning and orchestrating the picnic. I heard some of the teachers said it was the best ever.

    1. You should still write it. I'll need to have all the documentation I can get for the next picnic in two years! I certainly won't remember anything. I'm glad that the kids had fun. Tammy and Sabrina did a fabulous job with the games and the giveaways. It's a nice way to end the school year.

  3. What a great end to the school year! Thanks for all the time and effort that Tammy, Sabrina and you put into this. All the kids had a great time. It was awesome! And the "pickle pig feet" on the ice cream truck... you just can't make that stuff up! ;-)

    1. We'll have all the kinks worked out by the time the little boys move up in two years. Nothing says summer like pickled pigs feet from the ice cream truck!