Our children’s elementary school hosted a Back to School Carnival as part of Back to School Night the other day. I thought this was a brilliant idea! What a better way to encourage families to come to Back to School Night. The children can come, so both parents can be there and take turns meeting their children’s teachers. And on top of that, the children want to come – this motivational desire helps my family get out the door much easier.
The carnival offered a spinning ride, several different types of bounce houses, a soft jousting arena, a football challenge, and a water slide. All, but the spinning ride, were blow-up houses. And it was just a great time mingle with parents and have children celebrate the start of school. The icing on the cake – the carnival was free!
Okay, the carnival wasn’t entirely free. The children had to earn their wrist band to get into the carnival by reading over the summer. If the child had read 1,000 minutes (a bit more than 16 hours) over the summer vacation, then the carnival was free. If the child had read some over the summer, then the carnival was $5, and if the child hadn’t read then the carnival cost $10.
I was a little dismayed when I heard the prices. For my family, $50 is quite a lot for 2 hours of entertainment. We were transplants from a different state – not to mention school district and school, so we didn’t have the reading tracker that was handed out to everyone at the end of the year last year. I asked if we could count the reading our children had done over the summer. We’d been holding summer school for at least six of the weeks. We were graciously told yes! Whoop-y!
My kids bounced themselves to exhaustion. My preschooler was a fan of the bounce house that looked like a castle. For our friends in Las Vegas – pay attention to the name of the castle. My husband and I both thought it was ironic.
My preschooler also really enjoyed the bounce house that was a huge obstacle course. She was a little too small for it, but the kids in the house with her were great to help her along. She also spent a lot of time at a bounce house with a snow board theme. She loves slides of any type.
My second grader and Kindergartener also spent most of their time at the obstacle course bounce house. Toward the end of the evening, my Kindergartener did a very unselfish thing. Dad told the kids it was almost time to go. My Kindergartner waited in line with his brother, because they were assigned to be buddies, so that his brother could go on a ride. The Kindergartener didn’t want to go on the ride, but he wanted his brother to have the chance to go. He used the last of his time at the carnival waiting so his brother could do what he wanted. I was one proud Mama when I heard that story.
Our fourth grader met up with a pack of friends from school and “hung” with them for the carnival. They played at the jousting bounce house and at the football challenge. She also orchestrated an opportunity for her brothers and her to go on the spinning ride together. She was very proud that she was the jousting champion for most of the carnival.
And the baby – she hung on to Dad’s head the whole time, just happy to be there.