How to Be an Amazing Homeroom Parent

As a parent of two kids, the season of fall fills our home with a flurry of excitement and many countdown days. It seems no sooner does school begin, the kids start to count down the days until winter break

But, in the middle of it all comes Halloween. Ah yes, the delight of every pint-sized super-hero-wanna-be, every white-haired flawless Elsa, and the “too-old-to-trick-or-treat” teenager. Beggars night, the culmination of a day that usually includes the school Halloween party. A day complete with kids amped up from the over indulgence of sugary sweets and one that quickly turns the most precious princess into a very cranky Cruella deVille.

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Soon, my thoughts of creativity and pending invitation to appear on Cupcake Wars went by the wayside as panic set in. How will I make tofu ghostly and scary? How will I ever be an amazing homeroom parent?

Somewhere between “welcome to Kindergarten” and “but Daphne, no other mom can do it,” I was dubbed homeroom mom. Not just one year, but for seven consecutive years. Rewarding, right? The opportunity to show off my zeal and Pinsperation-mastered treats, my insane creative ability, and no doubt, earning the title of the cool mom who brought the best treats. Ever! And, I would become an amazing homeroom parent.

Wrong.

The first rule of homeroom-mom-assigned-treat responsibility was to learn the word “restricted.” As in, little Timmy is restricted from eating peanut butter blossoms because he has a peanut allergy. Same goes to classmate Willow, whose parents have her on an all organic vegan meal plan, and Bella, who is gluten sensitive.

Soon, my thoughts of creativity and pending invitation to appear on Cupcake Wars went by the wayside as panic set in. How will I make tofu ghostly and scary? Will soy butter taste exactly like peanut butter? What if I used gluten free oats in the homemade vegan-not-chocolate-cookie bars and what if they don’t hold up right?

Happily, the online world is full of suggestions and solutions. Who wouldn’t like meticulously decorated marshmallows that by adding a few pretzel sticks, become gluten-free ghosts? Or the “5 easy ingredient” vegan vampires?

As a stay-at-home mom trapped in a 40-hour working mother body, I found a few simple treat tricks that made my homeroom mom job a whole lot less stressful while also pleasing the pickiest of school-age palates.

1) Don’t over think your creativity

Sure, we’d all like to be hear “WOW” from the other moms huddled in the hallway waiting for the ok to converge into each classroom. But the key here is simplicity.

Treat: Boo-nana Mummies

Ingredients: A few bunches of bananas. Plastic wrap. Candy eyes.

Look at photo: assemble.
Vegan. Gluten-free. Peanut-free.

2) Stay away from “cutesy named anything” vegetable
Kids know. Enough said. You will go home with a full plate of now germy baby-carrot-turned-pumpkin vegetable platter. Instead-

Treat: Witches Sticks
Ingredients: One package of long pretzel rods, one bag of chocolate morsels (vegan or non), holiday colored sprinkles.

Assemble: Melt chocolate. Dip 3/4 of the pretzel rod into the chocolate. Generously shake sprinkles over chocolate.
Peanut-free. Vegan.

3) Stick with useful
Sure, my kids have come home latex-glove filled popcorn snacks, plastic orange spider rings, and countless pencils with fuzzy balls on the eraser. These things are nice, but usually end up in the free junk pile at the summer garage sale. Instead, try this:

Treat: Halloween Water
Ingredients: Bottled water, holiday color yarn, single-serving beverage powder add-in (will need to add a hole punch to the top of each).
Assemble: Cut yarn into 18″ pieces, attach to hole punched beverage mix, affix to the neck of the water bottle.
Peanut-free. Vegan. Gluten free.

As you can see, it is easy to be an amazing homeroom parent. I found that my kids didn’t really remember what treat I made, but that I was the homeroom parent (ahem, amazing homeroom parent). Becoming involved, even for that little bit of time, is well worth the memory and one that your kids and other kids, will remember for years.

Related read: Trick or Treat? 5 Great Ways to Avoid the Post-Halloween Candy Battle

Do you have a homeroom parent tip that you’d like to share? We would love to hear from you and possibly feature your story in an upcoming blog.

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