From glow dances to reading pledge drives, it's time to get planning! Get tips and tools 👉

Can you get through this list without wanting to do at least one?

by Kerri Beauchesne


With so many groups doing so many downright epic things (and sharing them on social media), we just had to package ’em up and deliver them with a big bow for you and your PTO besties to try out this year. Which one of these will you give a whirl in the new year?

1. Plan a cereal drive domino run

Hold a cereal donation drive to support your local food pantry. Arrange donated cereal boxes for a schoolwide domino run on National Cereal Day, March 7!

@ptotoday Loving the energy of this Cereal Drive Domino Train! 📸 Lake Murray Elementary School in Chapin, SC #cereal #fooddrive #PTOlife #ptopresident #ptapresident #schoolvolunteer @generalmills ♬ original sound - PTOToday ✨ School Family Media


2. Just when you thought you couldn’t one-up spray-painting the grass with a giant Twister board for field day, there’s this: a human-size version of Hungry Hungry Hippos.

We’re betting it’ll be your most popular game at field day or Family Game Night!


3. Introduce your board members to your school community in a fun way using social media.

@ptotoday Big welcome to all the PTO and PTA newbs this year!! We habe lots of free resources to help your group help your school at 💪 #ptolife #schoolpto #ptoparent #ptomom #ptamom #ptodad #ptadad @tylerrakay ♬ original sound - PTOToday ✨ School Family Media


4. Skip splurging on a splashy teacher appreciation lunch and gifts; instead, spread the love throughout the year with a “woot woot” wagon (also called a treat trolley).

Fill a cart with goodies donated by parents and the PTO—then take it for a spin down the hallways. With so many themes to choose from (thanks, Pinterest), it’s easy to change things up each month: popcorn, seasonings, and soda (“just poppin’ by”), school supplies after winter break, and flowers and chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Get teacher treat trolley themes, including a list of snacks, supplies and Canva templates

@ptotoday Teacher Trolley Goals 👏 📸 Brookwood Elementary PTO in Enterprise, Alabama #teacherappreciation #ptomomsoftiktok #ptopresident #PTOlife #treattrolley ♬ son original - Whoxver


5. Talk to your school’s food services director about making a food share table in the caf.

Students place unwanted, unopened, prepackaged items from their school lunches on the food share table, and those without a snack or lunch can help themselves—no questions asked.


6. Leave positive affirmation sticky notes on restroom mirrors for students and staff to brighten their day!


7. Raise funds with a competitive penny wars fundraiser (sometimes called coin wars).

A penny war is an easy way to make some quick cash for your school or another cause. We've seen all sorts of themes, from Mario Brothers to "Lucky Leprechaun" coin challenges. Here's how to run a school penny wars fundraiser.

@ptotoday This popular #schoolfundraiser is easy to organize and can raise a LOT of money quickly! Learn how to organize one at #pennywars #ptopresident #ptapresident #fundraiserideas #ptolife ♬ SHIMMY SONGTRADR 30 HIT WONDER - Artist manager manager


8. Deck out the school restrooms with words of wisdom painting on stall doors.

Middle school can be tough—especially for girls. Help spread messages of kindness, strength, and positivity by commissioning your art teacher or a talented parent volunteer to paint or adhere inspirational murals in the school restroom.


9. Plan a Stuff a Mascot event to build school spirit.

Here's everything you'll need for a stuff a mascot event at school, from supplies to Canva templates (including mascot birth certificates!).

10. Give your holiday shop head honcho a break by letting the kids take over.

With a kid-run holiday market, everything is made—and sold—by students. Kids not only learn valuable business skills but also take pride in selling what they’ve made. And, hey, if you find an eggshell in your banana bread, at least you’ll know why. Get school holiday shop decorating ideas

11. Spice up your PTO meeting invite with a parody video.

Hey, you and your PTO peeps know how to have fun—and get stuff done. Tell parents (in your best rap or Taylor Swift-style voice) why they should come to that 7 p.m. meeting instead of folding a mountain of laundry while catching up on Love is Blind. Share it on your school’s Facebook or Instagram page for some can’t-miss entertainment in parents’ feeds.


12. Stock the teachers' lounge with snacks and bevvies teachers will love.

Looking for a theme? Try teacher memes! Here's everything you'll need to stock the teachers' lounge (meme edition)

@ptotoday Stock the Lounge vibes 📸 Cogburn Woods PTO in Milton, Georgia #PTOlife #ptomomsoftiktok #teacherappreciation #stockthefridge #ptopresident #schoolvolunteer ♬ When I Ride - Ashley Mehta

13. Make a candy monster to get candy donations for Trunk or Treat.

@ptotoday If you’re not on your school’s PTO or PTA yet…you’re missing out on a heckofalotta fun! 📸Quail Glen PTA, Roseville CA #trunkortreat #candymonster #hungryeyes #ptolife #ptapresident #ptopresident ♬ Spooky, Scary Skeletons (House VIP Remix) - Crystal Knives & Lex Allen

14. Get a book vending machine to encourage reading at your school.

Here's everything you need to know about book vending machines.

@ptotoday PTOs do amazing things. 👏 #nationalreadingmonth #readacrossamerica #PTOlife #ptomomsoftiktok #ptopresident #ptomom #schoolvolunteerlife #ptapresident ♬ original sound - PTOToday ✨ School Family Media

15. Gift every teacher her very own Secret Santa with adopt-a-teacher.

Before the holidays, give teachers gift tags and ask them to write down items needed for their classrooms. (Tip: Include a number on each tag so you can identify each teacher later on!) Hang the tags on a tree during a school event and invite families to take one. Then distribute the gifts to teachers before the holidays.


16. Keep recess equipment organized (and get your PE teacher stoked) with a recess cart. Or, provide teachers with an indoor recess cart full of board games and other activities. 


17. Try a glow dance or glow run as a school fundraiser.

Get the scoop on planning school glow dance or glow run, along with a shoppable list of glow decor, glow merch and supplies, activities (like Tic Tac Glow), free glow event Canva templates, fundraising ideas, and more.

18. Thank your board members and volunteers with funny awards and gag gifts.

Perfect for end of year board gifts, National School Parent Group Day in September, or National Volunteer Appreciation Week in April! All that's required is a sense of humor and a pen - gag gifts optional, but we've got you covered with lots of ideas! Get our free set of 18 editable school volunteer awards and silly gag gift pairings

@ptotoday Thank you board members and parent volunteers 👏 Perfect for #volunteerappreciation week (April 16) or end of year board gifts. #PTOlife #ptopresident #ptomomsoftiktok #ptapresident #awards #schoolvolunteer ♬ Cheering and applause - Official Sound Studio


19. Help teachers survive every full moon that comes their way with free moon pies.

Get our list of every full moon throughout the school year, plus a free editable treat tag, in our free appreciation mega bundle.

@ptotoday Moon pies + our free teacher treat tag printable! Get the dates for every full moon during the 2022-23 school year at #teacherappreciation #teachertreats #fullmoon #ptolife #ptalife #ptomom #ptamom #ptamomsoftiktok #ptamomsbelike #ptomomsoftiktok ♬ Halloween ・ cute horror song - PeriTune

20. Sensory path

Sensory paths can be done indoors (in the hallways) or outdoors on the school playground or blacktop to keep students moving and engaged throughout the school day. Here's everything your PTO needs to know about making a sensory path at your school.


21. Help parents learn how to keep their kids safe online by hosting a free Internet safety event.

With kids online more than ever thanks to classroom tech, social media, and gaming, now is the time to think about holding an Internet safety event in the new year. With our free Family Tech Talk event, parents get the chance to learn what kids are doing online from an Internet safety expert and how they can help them use the Internet in a safe and positive way.

Even more stuff to love about this free event:

  • It's offered in multiple languages
  • Satisfies Title I parent and family engagement requirements
  • You get to pick the event date and time that works best for your school community
  • Parents can tune into this presentation and live Q&A from their own devices at home, or your group can host this event in-person (select cities only) 



22. Grab your board members and head to a PTO Today Expo event.

Spend the day with your PTO besties (and make new friends from other PTO and PTA groups in your area) at a PTO Today Expo. Check out fundraising and arts and enrichment companies, live presentations and demos, and more.

23. Use memes and reels to get more parents' attention on Facebook and Instagram.

Using memes to promote upcoming PTO meetings, volunteer opportunities, and school events is a great way to boost engagement on your group's socials. Get our free mega bundle of 40+ memes.


Originally posted in 2017 and updated regularly. Family Tech Talk Night™ is a trademark of School Family Media®.

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