24 Activities to Get Parents Involved in Schools


There are many ways that schools can engage and involve parents in the school community. If a school’s effort in family engagement is generic, they will get surface level involvement in return. Schools can work harder to understand the wants and needs of the community they serve and tailor the involvement opportunities to meet their time, interests and demands. 

Create the Conditions for Parental Involvement

If parents do not feel welcomed in their school, involvement will be low. Schools must first take the time to build authentic relationships with families as a foundation before requesting their attendance at different programs or asking for activities to be completed. Schools must be cognizant that parents’ schedules are busy and try to plan functions during different times of the day to allow for more involvement. Below are ideas that build from beginning, intermediate, and advanced level activities for schools to build relationships and get families truly involved.

→ See how a school reduced detentions and suspensions with Family Engagement

Build Relationships for Family Involvement

Beginning Level Activities to Build Relationships for Parental Involvement:

  • Host an Open House before school begins for students and parents to talk to their teachers in person
  • Send fliers home with dates of field trips with spots to volunteer to chaperone
  • Communicate event times and dates like classroom parties where parents can choose to volunteer

Intermediate Level Activities to Build Relationships for Parental Involvement:

  • Complete summer introductory phone calls by teachers when rosters are complete
  • Conduct home visits during the summer to start building relationships and understand student’s homes and communities
  • Call families for positive behavior events as well as negative events to maintain communication 
  • Train staff to communicate with language, cultural differences and respect in mind
  • Have an open door policy for parent volunteering so that they can come to assist the teacher in the classroom whenever they have availability

Advanced Level Activities to Build Relationships for Parental Involvement:

  • Send a questionnaire to parents asking the days and times they are available to volunteer as well as dates for classroom parties, functions, and class trips
  • Create flexible volunteering opportunities like different days, times, tasks, grade levels based on the questionnaire responses 
  • Create regular, positive communication streams with families about their children’s academic, social, and behavior progress

Activities to Boost Parent Involvement 

Once schools have put in the time and effort to create the conditions for parent involvement, there are many fun and engaging activities that can be done to involve parents in their children’s education and school community. Here are activities at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels for schools to use to get families involved in schools. 

Beginning Level Activities to Get Parents Involved in Schools: 

  • Assign a reading journal or log for homework where parents have to sign when it is completed
  • Send a class newsletter home weekly or monthly with curriculum themes and highlights 
  • Send student work home with notes on what they did well and where they can improve
  • Host Muffins with Moms, Donuts with Dads, and Grandparents Day with light refreshments and a craft to do together in the classroom

Intermediate Level Activities to Get Parents Involved in Schools:

  • Hold a Literacy Night where families can learn different reading strategies to help their child at their current reading level and complete fun activities together
  • Ask parents to present to their children’s class or different grades about their profession or business
  • Send supplementary material for parents to work with their children on at home
  • Host Family School Lunches where families can come and eat with their children in the cafeteria or other spaces each quarter or month
  • Plan talent shows, engineering nights, movie nights, award ceremonies, book fairs, dances, and more for parents to attend

Advanced Level Activities to Get Parents Involved in Schools:

  • Assign family STEAM projects to be completed at home
  • Create classroom website pages for families to receive curriculum tips, knowledge, announcements and more
  • Host parent workshops where they can receive information from different service providers and educators 
  • Create a parent resource center where parents can find a variety of information

No matter which level your school is at, there are many things you can do to increase family involvement at your school. Creating a committee to oversee family engagement is a great way to tap into your staff’s creativity and passions. National Parental Involvement Day is on the third Thursday of November and is a great time to plan some spectacular activities for parents and students to engage in together. Remember to first focus on building strong, trusting relationships with families and then increase parental involvement activities.