Friday, December 14, 2012

Class Christmas Tree Canvas Craft

Here's a cute holiday ornament craft we did this year.  It took about 30 minutes and the teacher used these to decorate her class tree and then we sent them home on the last before winter break.  This goes great with math lessons about graduated sizes.

  1. Mini canvas boards (I bought mine at Michaels - they come in packs of 3-5).  
  2. paint brushes or paint sponge sticks
  3. Six coordinating 3/8 inch spools of ribbon (depending on how big your class is you may need 2 spools of each pattern/ribbon).  I pre-cut each ribbon for every student into the width of the mini canvas board (which for me was 2 inches).
  4. Star stickers - one for each student (I found these in the scrapbook section of Michaels.
  5. Modge Podge
  6. Two spools of 3/8 inch ribbon to hang the canvas with.
  7. Glue gun (to attach the ribbon to hang the canvas with).

  1. Pass out the canvas boards and sponge sticks or paint brushes (the teacher should have). 
  2. Write the children’s names on the back of each canvas with a sharpie (and the date if you like).
  3. Place a dab of paint on the canvas board and the students will cover the board with that one dab of paint.  
  4. The teacher and I each brought in our hair dryers and we helped the drying process along by having the students bring us their canvases and we dried each one quickly. 
  5. After the canvases are dry and the students are sitting back at their desks with them, pass out the ribbon and the star stickers
  6. Explain to the students that they will make a tree with their ribbon on their canvas.  They can do this however they please.  They can cut the strips of ribbon into graduated sizes and organize them in the order they want them on the canvas with the star at the top.
  7. Once they are ready to place the ribbon on the canvas you can either brush the modge podge on the entire canvas for them or you can give them a dab of modge podge and they can use a sponge or brush to spread it over the canvas and then place the ribbon and sticker onto the canvas quickly. 
  8. Lay the canvases to dry again and once they are completely dry I go back over them with more modge podge just to make sure everything sticks on.
  9. Hot glue the ribbon onto the back in a loop so it makes a hanger. 
  10. Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gingerbread House Class Party

For the past 3 years my daughter's teacher has allowed or requested us to host a gingerbread house party.  This is one of the easiest class activities to organize, it always gets great participation from the parents and the kids LOVE it.  Below I've listed the best process to have a successful party.

  1. Edit and send the letter below home explaining what you are doing and ask each child to bring a SPECIFIC bag of candy AND 1 tub of frosting (their choice).  There is a sample letter below, just right click and select download to download this letter, edit and use yourself!  And make sure you send the letter home and/or by e-mail at least one week in advance (and then send a reminder:).  
  2. As the items come in the teacher should write the child's name on the tub of frosting and keep track of what candy was sent in.  You can use the sheet below to track your items.  Again, just right click on the sheet, select download and you can download this document to edit and use yourself.  The reason you label the frosting is so each child can use their own tub of frosting.  And it is easy to see who has brought theirs in and who still needs to send theirs in.
  3. Make the gingerbread houses.  It is so much easier to pre-make these at home and just bring them assembled.  It cuts the class time WAY down and allows the children to do what they love - decorate!  Here are instructions for how I make mine.  Please STOP hot gluing graham crackers to milk cartons!!  I always make a few extra just in case one breaks. 
  4. The day of the party bring plastic table clothes to cover the desks (I buy them at the dollar store), white Styrofoam divided plates to place the candy in (they always sell these at Walmart during the holidays), Popsicle or craft sticks (I buy from the dollar store) the students use these to put the frosting on their house, plates for the students to make their houses on, and gallon size ziploc bags to send the houses home in.  You can also bring in sugar cones for the students to decorate a a tree or you can make this one of the items you ask parents to send in.  

Below I have pictures of how I set my room up and how the students got creative with their decorating.

Monday, December 3, 2012

"Merry-Mint" Holiday Lunch 2012

This year our theme was Merry-Mint!  I purchased a blue backdrop from Shindigz.  (And I still have about half of the roll left after using this much.)  I make the house and the trees and the reindeer out of insulation board (I bought 4ft x 9ft sheets from Home Depot for about $12 a sheet).  For the reindeer we just used a wooden one from a neighbor's yard as a pattern to cut the insulation board  and then I spray painted it white.  For the house and the trees we cut out the insulation board and covered it with wrapping paper I bought (the striped was from Hobby Lobby and the red glitter was from Walmart).  The roof of the house I spray painted white and then used spray adhesive to attach "snow flakes" I bought at Walmart.

Lunch Tables
For the tables I cut red and white table clothes (I purchased from the Dollar Store) in strips (red was 6 inches wide and the white was 3 inches wide).  I sewed 5 red strips together end to end lengthwise and then 5 white strips together end to end lengthwise.  Then I laid the LONG white strip I had made  on top of the LONG red strip and ran it through my sewing machine "pinching" them  together every so often to make it look ruffled.  Then I taped them down as runners across the middle of the table.  The custodians like these because the are easy to wipe off each day.

I also purchased some mint and lollipop decor on sticks from Hobby Lobby to use as centerpieces on the tables.  I purchased Styrofoam cubes and half spheres (to use as anchors).  We covered the Styrofoam in red glitter and then stuck the the mint and lollipop decor into them.  Then we just placed these out on the table and added some peppermint ornaments in between.

Guest Tables & Lunch Line
For the guest tables I used red and white round plastic table covers I bought from Party City.  Then I placed some decorations I bought from Hobby Lobby (a resin Happy Holidays sign and metal gift boxes).  For the lunch lines we just placed "snow" fabric on top and then wrapped boxes in the peppermint striped wrapping paper and used some large outdoor peppermint ornaments I bought from Hobby Lobby on top of the snow.  On the milk line we used the left over insulation board to cut squares and triangles and covered these in the wrapping paper, snow and a string of lights.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Getting to Know You...Getting to Know All About You...

The first step in being a room mom is to get to know your teacher.  Below is a Teacher Profile you can use to help break the ice and begin to get to know your teacher, what he/she likes and what he/she needs assistance with.  Your teacher is a wealth of knowledge so use him or her.  They know best what works in the classroom.  And likewise make sure if you ask them to fill this out you not only use the answers they provide but you share them with the other parents of the class.  I knew of one teacher who wrote on her teacher profile she was allergic to flowers.  The parents of the class sent flowers in for almost every occasion that year.  Now either they really didn't like the teacher, they failed to read the answers she wrote or some sweet parent just wasn't informed of her allergy.  Either way it's the room parent's responsibility to notify and/or organize teacher gifts for the different occasions throughout the year and in doing so you should always provide them with a list of the teacher's favorites. 
Teacher Profile
(Please fill out and return to So & So’s mom)

Full Name:
Family Names (please list spouse, children & pets):

Hobbies or Interests:
Favorite Store(s):
Favorite Restaurant(s):
Favorite Flower:
Favorite Candy:
Favorite Drink/Soda:
Favorite Snack(s):
Favorite Cake:
Favorite Color:
Anniversary of becoming a teacher:
Anniversary of teaching at this school:

What projects, programs or special events can I assist with this year?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back to School 2012

It's Back to School time!  I'm trying to muster some excitement because honestly this summer went by way to fast and I miss my babies already.  I don't like them going back to school, not one bit, but I'm going to put my big girl panties on and deal with it.  In the meantime, we picked up a few things for their teachers to make the first week of school a little easier (because I'm SURE they are SO excited too;). 

I've been making back to school kits for the past 8 years (yikes!).  I have found the following items especially useful and included them in my kit this year:
  • lint brush
  • tide stick or shout wipes
  • mints
  • hand sanitizer
  • advil/aleeve/excedrin (for the headaches that could possibly ensue)
  • cute paper/binder clips
  • thank cards/note cards
  • chocolate
  • mouse-pad tablet (I love these and so many teachers have commented they love them too!  Often their desks are so crowded and it's convenient to have a multipurpose pad of paper.  These cute mouse-pad tablets are in the dollar section now at Target.)
  • Smart water (because it tastes the best and it's smart for school to stay hydrated;)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Soap Clouds

Yet another reason I LOVE Pinterest, the really cool science projects you can do with children!  I stumbled on soap clouds over at  You can make these super cool creations with a bar of IVORY soap and your microwave.  Yep, that is all you need.  Our Best Bites site had lots of ways you could utilize soap clouds including breaking them back down and molding the soap into shapes.  However, I saw their picture and had a different idea in mind...

My youngest daughter has Market Day next week.  Each child has to make 25 of an item (of their choosing), decide on a price (hopefully based on cost), bring it to school and try to sell their item to students from the other classes at their "booth" (or desk).  No real money is exchanged, it's just an exercise for them to learn economics.  Every year we've been able to make food, but for some ridiculous reason we can't this year.  Which left me stumped.  So I decided if we can't make food, we'll make a product that looks like food and I think we did pretty well!  We bought IVORY soap bars, broke them into pieces, placed them in the microwave on high for 27 seconds and viola, soap clouds that we could pull apart into "popcorn" pieces.  This really is a great project that your child can do.  The soap easily breaks into pieces with a dull butter knife and it never gets to hot for them to touch!  It can be a little messy (with the soap pieces), but the kitchen smells good and everything is VERY clean when you are done!  We got about 3 popcorn boxes filled with 1 bar of soap.  I'm so excited for her to show her class and teacher! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Candy Graduation Caps...

I haven't been posting because I am SLAMMED this spring.  Between Teacher Appreciation, PTA, swim team and cancer benefits I can't think straight.  I really don't have time to post this today...BUT these little suckers are all over Pinterest with no instructions and a link to SPAM.  So I figured this was an emergency;)  My daughter's teacher is graduating this weekend and this is her final degree...ever.  So I thought it would be nice to recognize it in someway.  You all know I'm not a great photographer - but I hope you get the picture.  If you want to make the candy graduation caps see below...

Here are the "ingredients" and I use that term oh so loosely.  Then you just use the chocolate icing to "glue" it together.  There are 18 squares in a Cadbury bar however those suckers break really easily when you are cutting them up.  SO do yourself a favor and buy double what you need.  You cut the Cadbury squares and stack them on top of the Reese's Mini's.  Then you pull the licorice string apart, cut them into small strips and use a brown mini M&M for the "tassel".  I squeezed the end of the licorice string so it would be flat and easier to "glue" using the icing on the top with the Mini M&M.  And there you go!