By the time their kids are in 5th Grade, every mom is pretty much an expert in special occasion gifts and school etiquette. This is some helpful information for those new moms whose kids are just starting or will be starting elementary school. There are certain rules and etiquette one must follow during special events at school. I remember when my older daughter started kindergarten. I was completely lost as to what to buy or how school celebrations like Valentine’s Day were carried out. One advice I was given which really helped me throughout the school year was volunteering. Most classrooms will place a sign-up sheet outside of the door with a list of items to bring for class parties.  Or the classroom mom emails everyone and asks for volunteers to help during classroom celebrations. This is a great way to meet and mingle with other moms, see your child’s classroom, see how they interact with their friends and to get to know the teacher. It also helps to meet other moms who have an older child and therefore more experience.

Now that my kids are in 5th and 3rd grade, below are some items that will hopefully help you plan better for school events. I’ll talk about Valentine’s Day since it’s around the corner.

Valentine’s Day is a big deal for kids. They love to pass out candy and cards to their friends and there is usually a classroom party. Here are some pointers on buying Valentine gifts.

First, if your child is going to pass out gifts to her class mates during class time, make sure she has one for every kid in the class. There is nothing worse than not receiving a gift when all your other classmates have. Most teachers or the class mom (who handles all email communication between the teacher and parents) will handout or email a roster with all the kids names. This is a fun activity for your child to sit down and make little cards for her Valentine classmates. You can attach a lollipop or a small candy to the cards.

Second, all major grocery stores and pharmacies like Smart and Final and CVS carry Valentine cards and candy that come in packages of 24 or 26. This is an easy and economical way of purchasing valentines gift for the class.

Lastly, if your child wants to give a special gift to their best friend, you can do that before or after school. This year my daughter bought matching earrings for three of her friends so they can wear at the same time.

Valentine parties are such a fun and memorable time for the kids. These are memories that will be cherished for years to come and pass by so quickly, so enjoy every minute of it!