An elementary school open house event allows parents to meet the teacher, tour their child’s classroom and gain a general idea of the types of work the students will be doing throughout the school year. Teachers often prepare the room by decorating it with various student projects. They also provide parents with information on the daily schedule and goals for the year. By including some fun projects and activities in the open house agenda, teachers can help give parents an interactive experience that will engage their attention and make the open house interesting and educational.

Family Photographs

Take digital family photographs of your students and their parents/siblings in their classroom. Send one copy home with the family and display the other copy on a special bulletin board in the classroom. Students can create special frames for these pictures by gluing four craft sticks together into a square frame and embellishing it with stickers and cut-out pictures of their “favorite things.” Place these on the student’s desks as a special gift for parents.

Tour Guides

Many open houses take place a week or two after the beginning of the year. Students usually know the rules and procedures of the classroom at this point. Appoint your students as tour guides for their parents. Decide on the projects and routines that your class wants to share with their parents. Make special hats for them to wear and let them spend the evening showing their parents the classroom and talking about their daily routine. Send students home with a “thank you” card at the end of the evening and perhaps a picture of them acting as a tour guide.

Classroom Scavenger Hunt

With your students’ help, create a classroom scavenger hunt for parents to complete. Reward participants with a special prize for the students, such as a “no homework” pass. Require parents to locate various student projects (such as their desks or journals), books and special areas of the classroom (reading corner, word wall). If your whole school wants to participate, you could expand the scavenger hunt idea to the entire building. Parents could find a band aid from the nurse’s office, a straw from the cafeteria, a visitor’s badge from the front office and so on.

"Who Am I?" Posters

Ask students to make self portraits on a large sheet of white butcher paper or poster board. Instruct them to write five facts about themselves under the picture, such as “I have two brothers,” or “My favorite color is red.” Alternatively, you could ask students to create a collage of their favorite things using pictures cut out of newspapers and magazines. Cut the letters to form the words “Who Am I?” out of magazines. Place these posters on each student’s desk at open house night and let parents attempt to find the correct student’s desk by using the clues provided on the posters.