‘Donut Party’ and Much More

We had our year-end event with families this week.  It was the first time in two years that families, children, and teachers were all together.  It was wonderful.  Children called it the ‘Donut Party’, because they knew doughnuts would be served for snack.

They had no idea what was to come.

What we did was different from all the other classes.  They had a singing program, followed by award certificates and ice cream.  We had children and parents interacting with pillowcases.  Really.  All of the research pinpoints that the last words a child hears before they go to sleep are what they remember.  What if those words, the ones that mean the world to children, are written on a pillowcase?  What if those words are read aloud every night to a child?

Yes, it makes all the difference in the world.

This was our event, and families were deeply engaged with their children, writing words on pillowcases.  Teachers walked by, looking along.  Families didn’t notice.

This was powerful, important, and a wonderful family event.  We also presented families with children’s portfolios, a year-long collection of art, writing, photos, and much more.  Oh boy, the tears flowed, in the best of ways.

Here is an email from a parent about their child’s excitement over the ‘Donut Party’:

Hello Teachers,

Early this week we learned from Kiansh that there will be a “Donut Party” next week and he feels excited for it.

Your email communication early this week did confirm the same!

So yesterday he decided to write it down on his calendar so we don’t miss out!

And below is a picture of what he note down on his calendar for June 13th 😊. I just thought to share with you 😊

Have good weekend!


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Family, Inspiration, Love, Teaching young children and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to ‘Donut Party’ and Much More

  1. A 2 week long donut party sounds great to me! 🙂

  2. Darlene says:

    What a great Donut party! I love how the student wrote the event on his calendar. So sweet. The pillow case idea was very good.

    • Jennie says:

      It was both fun and heartfelt. There is a consultant who works with the most troubled children and families, and the pillowcase idea started with her. It has changed lives. When the parent sent us a picture of the calendar, it meant so much. Thanks, Darlene!

  3. beth says:

    oh, I love this idea and love the calendar writing!

  4. Ritu says:

    Oh, how lovely!

  5. LOL! I love the idea of the pillowcase message, and a two week donut party WOOT! That calendar entry is so cute!

  6. I remember the pillowcase activity from one of your previous posts! How wonderful that it was able to return this year.

  7. quiall says:

    What a wonderful idea! Pillow prose. It is always exciting to see parents interacting with their children in their world. That is a bond that should never be broken.

  8. Don Ostertag says:

    You just keep astounding me, Jennie, with your posts about these cool things I never heard.

  9. Another great thing to do. Lovely to write on pillowcases. For any age a good idea. Thank you Jennie.

  10. How cute. The pillowcase idea is a great one.

  11. Wow, I love your donut party (I must say that I enjoy donuts regardless of whether there’s a party or not 😉 )
    The pillowcase idea is really wonderful! I bet the children and families had lots of fun.

  12. Kiansh knows how to celebrate! Lol. A wonderful way to end the year, Jennie. I hope you got a donut too to acknowledge another year of wonderful learning.

  13. sjhigbee says:

    What a wonderful, wonderful idea, Jennie! I think so many young parents aren’t fully aware of just how important it is to constantly tell their children how much they love them. If I could go back and change one thing about my own parenting – it would be to tell them just how much I loved and admired them…

    • Jennie says:

      Like you, I would do exactly the same thing with my children. I wish I’d had pillowcases with words back then, too. Best to you, Sarah.

  14. petespringerauthor says:

    One of the things you do better than most other teachers I know is involving the parents in meaningful ways. These connections between the school and the home are everything! A parent would not have shared that calendar with you unless she respected what you do for children. What a fabulous end to the year!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Pete. Why did every other teacher have a staged singing performance for their year end event- especially this particular year when parents couldn’t come into classrooms? All that parents wanted and needed was to be with other parents and children and teachers. I’m so glad I took the other path. It was a wonderful end to the school year. And yes, the parent who shared the calendar…a big wow to making those important connections.

  15. What a brilliant idea about the pillow cases Jennie, inspired and they will be kept for years and probably passed along to another generation along with the bedtime ritual. Loved the calendar, that is what you can joyful anticipation.. Lovely post thank you. ♥

  16. Dan Antion says:

    What a wonderful way to wrap up the year, Jennie. I’m so glad you’re getting back closer to normal. The pillowcases is a great idea.

  17. You are a great entertainer, Jennie! During the holidays you and your team should make a little holiday park offer. 😉 Best wishes, Michael – P.S.: Have you read: A company in New Hampshire is going to produce whiskey out of green crabs: https://formuchdeliberation.wordpress.com/2022/06/18/unusual-news-new-hampshire-distillery-turns-invasive-crabs-into-whiskey/

    • Jennie says:

      I wish you could have been there as I talked with parents and told them the story behind the pillowcases. You could have heard a pin drop. Your idea is a good one! And, who would think of crabs in whiskey? Those New Englanders don’t throw anything away and use everything. 😀

      • To the last one first: New Englanders are strong to their origin on isles. 😉 Don’t waste what the sea wouldn’t give back a second time. 🙂 I also think so, the idea with the pillowcases is great. But you need to have such ideas first, and this comes from your heartfelt love to teach, Jennie! xx Michael

      • Jennie says:

        Thank you, Michael! And you make some good points.

  18. beetleypete says:

    I want to go to a doughnut party! They are my favourite cakes! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      Oh, the doughnuts were a huge hit. We served doughnut holes, or munchkins.
      Here in America we have Dunkin’ Donuts, which is now simply Dunkin’. They are only on the east coast, and people here who move to California freak out when they discover there is no Dunkin’. It’s far better and more popular than Starbucks. Pete, now you’re ‘in the know’.

  19. I want to do this for the kids I nanny now! One of them in particular could use some words of encouragement! ❤️

  20. Pingback: ‘Donut Party’ and Much More –

  21. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Weekly – June 2022 – #Dogs Darlene Foster, #Family Pete Springer, #WIP D.Wallace Peach, #WPGremlins Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Recipe Robbie Cheadle, #Schoolsout Jennie Fitzkee | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  22. dgkaye says:

    So adorable Jennie. And I love the pillowcase idea! ❤

  23. Norah says:

    Donuts and pillowcases – a fabulous way to end the year – sweet dreams!

  24. What a beautiful idea. Very true about the last words before bed, that is why I take a moment to give my children a little blessing to close down the day. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading more of your work!

  25. bosssybabe says:

    Hahaha I can feel Kiansh’s excitement on that calendar 🙂 how sweet – I’d be the same!!! 🙂 Charlotte had an ice cream party at daycare last summer and every day leading up to ice cream day she mentioned it just about a million times lol I was so excited for her I asked the teachers to remember to take pictures!!!💕 So adorable!

    • Jennie says:

      Those moments and parties are the things children will never forget. You have no idea how many times the children asked, “When is the donut party?” Ha! I’m so glad Kiansh’s mom sent me his calendar photo. I hope Charlotte’s teacher got some good pics of the ice cream party. 💕

  26. Hi Jennie, this sounds wonderful. Writing on a pillow case is a marvelous idea.

  27. Carla says:

    Who wouldn’t love a donut party. I love that pillow case idea. I think that will be a summer project for my grandkids and me.

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