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10 Ideas to Make your Parent Board Come Alive
by Cathy Abraham
- Purchase and paint wooden craft letters, or foam craft pieces, spelling out "Parent Board" and whatever other header you want to include. These look much better than the cut-out letter paper stencils, and should never fade.
- Try fabric as a background. (Use a hot glue gun vs. staples for a more seamless, professional look.) Painting the background and frame is also a low maintenance alternative.
- Try children's wrapping paper for a different, fun background. Keep to one "theme" per board, and a utilize a coordinating color scheme, so the focus isn't diverted from important information.
- Think 3-D. If your Parent Board is in primary colors, hot glue crayons or Legos in primary colors in the corners. If your board theme is puzzle pieces, paint some old puzzle pieces and glue them on around the edges. For ideas, look in the decorative button section of the fabric store, in the wooden craft cut- outs area, or in the Scrapbooking section at a Craft/Hobby store. Experiment with the fun confetti shapes, or sponge paint some shaped sponge prints.
- If you use push-pins, use all the same color. For safety purposes, always use the same number of pins on each item, so that you are aware if one has fallen off.
- Include pictures of the children participating in activities.
- Frame any official or important documents or certificates within a picture frame. Give your state license the respect it deserves - don't tack it up with a push-pin! Make sure frames have background matting if necessary, so that cardboard isn't showing.
- "Frame" other information and notices with a backdrop of contrasting color of paper behind it, coordinating it with the overall board. Try "framing" things with the background piece of paper going at an angle - like a diamond shape. Use clear "sleeves" on notices that need to stay posted for an extended period of time, to keep them looking nice.
- For the "backdrop" of your menu, be creative! Hot glue a placemat onto the bulletin board, placing the current menu in the center. Add a napkin and plastic eating utensils to look like a place setting. Or "frame" your menu with a real menu from a restaurant, a chefs' hat, or a cutting board.
- Try outlining your bulletin board with a coordinating patterned ribbon. Again, it doesn't have to be flat - it can be made 3-D by looping or twisting it. See how a bow looks in a top corner. (Cut your letters out of the ribbon to match.) Try an outline with a swag of plastic foliage or flowers!
What Typically is Included on a Parent Board
- Teacher Biographies
- Lesson Plan(s)
- Emergency Procedures
- Upcoming Events
- Parenting Info/Articles
- Daily Schedule
- Policy Reminders
- Special Activities/"What We Did Today"
- Copy of the Newsletter
Parent Boards Do's and Don'ts
- Put the Parent Board in a highly visible location
- Change the board often enough so that parents know to continually look at it
- Direct the new parents' attention to the board
- Try to include helpful, pertinent information
- Try to convey warmth, and a sense of partnership with parents
- Make sure your Parent Board looks neat, organized, professional, and visually appealing.
- Remember what the purpose is of the Parent Board. It is not for advertising, religious flyers, etc.
- Let the background become faded or shabby
- Let posted items become outdated or expired
- Only write the word "parents" on notes and information - DO include the word "guardian" as well, or "families"
- Put up nasty reminders. Word everything carefully and respectfully
- Post things with typos or words spelled incorrectly
- Leave staples up after removing the paper(s)
- Tack things on top of each other
About the Author:
Cathy Abraham has worked in the early childhood field for 25 years. She is currently a consultant, curriculum writer and
trainer. Cathy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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