Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cheap Halloween Tradition

OK let's get something straight, I'm not a big fan of Wendy's. Their "chicken" nuggets are the worst fast food item on the planet as far as processed food goes and I really don't like their Frosty's (for some reason I think they are like drinking Vaseline mixed with chocolate syrup). However, all kids love them and every once in a while I think it's not going to kill them to have a small "treat".

SO, every October Wendy's sells these coupon books for $1. It's 10 FREE Jr. Frosty's coupons for $1 and the money goes to an adoption charity. The coupons are good until December 31st of that year. It's for a great cause and I can give a coupon to every child in an entire class for $3 at MOST. That's my cheap Halloween tradition - what's yours?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spooky House Cookies

Today in class we are making spooky house cookies. I love this project because I work with the teacher to have the children write a story to go along with the spooky houses. Sometimes the teachers have the children write the story before I come in to do the cookies and sometimes they write the story after they make their cookie. It's a great literacy activity and it works for any grade.

Below are two examples I made, but the children are free to decorate the cookie however they wish. I learned a great tip from my Kindergartner's teacher a few weeks ago. Instead of making 20 piping bags full of icing (which is pretty messy and hard for the little ones to control), she just gave each child a plate, a popsicle stick and put a glob of icing on their plate. Then the children used the popsicle stick to spread the icing. So, I am definitely going that route today and then I plan to put each child's decorations in their own Halloween paper muffin liner (they are cheap, very cute and hold each child's individual candy decorations so they don't go rolling all over the place). Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christian Pumpkin

My baby boy came home with this pumpkin today and I thought it was so cute. The teacher's filled it with pumpkin seeds so it made noise (which means he never put it down:). Enjoy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ITBS Testing Snacks

ITBS testing starts tomorrow!! As room parent, I always work with my teacher on testing snacks. Below is a run down of what I usually organize as well as my "schedule" of planned snacks and treats this week. **This week I got a lot of items sent in so I modified my original plan to go with the flow and accept the help I was given.** What snacks or ideas do you have for testing week?

    Game Plan for Testing

  1. First, the week before the test I ask parents to send in HEALTHY items for "breakfast" that will keep in the classroom like clementines, bananas, granola bars, fruit bars, mini bagels, etc. That way the teacher has a "stash" of food he or she can offer the children each day before the test. Most kids either don't eat breakfast or are hungry by the time they get to school.
  2. Then I usually work with one or two other parents to provide snack. Each day I pre-packaged each snack in individual quart size bags (each quart size bag contains a grain, a snack bag of fruit or a veggie and some sort of dairy). I do this so that it's easy for the teacher to pass out and gives the kids plenty of time to eat. If the children don't like a certain food included in the snack they may ask the teacher to "trade out" for one of the breakfast items. Each day I send snack in a cooler bag with my child. If you know anyone who sells Thirty-One they have great bags!! Like this one that holds all this stuff and is easy for my child to carry!

  3. For BIG tests I will then send in a daily "treat". This may be smarty pants, smarty grams or whatever else I may come up with. I try to include an encouraging note. These are passed out AFTER the test to give the children something to look forward to each day.

Snack Schedule:

Day One - Snack: Pretzel sticks, cheese stick, carrots and cucumber slices with ranch dip. Treat: One Smart Cookie Day Two - Snack: Goldfish crackers, apple slices & colby jack cheese (not pictured) Treat: "Smartie Pants" (and yes smartie is spelled like the brand:)

Day Three - Snack: Pretzel sticks, grapes, cheddar cheese Treat: Nerds (Have you heard NERDS are the best? Especially ones who take the ITBS test!)

Day Four - Snack: Homemade granola, carrots & celery sticks, string cheese Treat: "Smartie Pants"

Day Five - Snack: Goldfish crackers, carrots & cucumber slices, organic fruit snacks Treat: Swedish Fish or you can use Goldfish crackers (You are O"fish"ally done with ITBS) I got this idea From eighteen 25 here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October Food Activities Fest

If you are looking for some quick food activities for your class this October here are a few...

"Indian Corn" & Nutter Butter GhostsFor the Indian Corn you use Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, spread icing on the cookie, stick Reese's Piece's OR the new Fall Color M&M's to make the corn kernels and then add pretzel sticks (with icing) to make the "silk" at the top.

For the Nutter Butter Ghosts you melt white chocolate in the microwave and dip the cookies into the melted white chocolate (or you can just give the kids icing to spread on the cookies) and then add 2 regular chocolate chips for eyes.

Candy Corn Wreath Cookies
For the candy corn wreath cookies you use a ring butter cookie, spread white icing on the cookie and then add the candy corn. Thanks to Ms. B for the idea!!

Ghost Glass of MilkFor the ghost glass you simply use chocolate syrup to make eyes and a mouth on a plastic clear cup. Chill the cup for at least 10 minutes and then pour milk into the cup.

Orange Jack O'Lanterns from Martha Stewart website This picture is from the Martha Stewart site. You can click here for the directions. I have also in the past let the children just draw faces on the oranges and then I used a citrus peeler to remove the rind where they drew eyes, a nose and mouth. It's a lot easier - because then they can just eat the orange when you are done. But Martha's idea is super cute too!

Witches Hat from Martha Stewart website This picture is from the Martha Stewart site. You can click here for the directions. Isn't it so cute!

Goblin Cheese Ball from Food Network website
For a goblin cheese ball here is Paula Deen's recipe and photo from Food Network

Pumpkin Bracelets - you can click here to get directions and make your own!