Archive | May, 2010

Paper Plate Fish & Sharks (with and without teeth)

27 May

My boys really wanted to paint fish today so this was the quickest way I could think of… Then, after the fish were completed, my older son REALLY wanted a shark… This was a little harder, but we figured it out….  My younger son wanted a “non biting shark”  with “no teeth”  he tends to be a little afraid…  Older kids could cut out their own sea animals…  Younger could use finger paints! Here are the directions….

The Fish:  Take a paper plate… Cut out a triangle mouth, staple/tape it on as the tail…  Paint and TADA…

The Shark:  I needed an extra plate. I cut out a triangle mouth, a little skinnier than with the fish… I used this as the “fin”… I then cut out a tail from another plate and used that as the tail…  I did a zig zag cut for the teeth…

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RE-Post… My Top 10 Teacher Gift Ideas & A homemade idea…

18 May

I thought with the end of the year nearing I’d re-post some ideas for teacher gifts…

Being a teacher myself for the past 11 years, I am often asked, “What is a good gift for my teacher? ”  I first want to say that I think it is so kind that my students bring me gifts and really whatever they bring me is a special treat!  Teachers never expect gifts and when we get them it really is heartwarming.  I especially love when I get holiday cards with a picture of your family or a card that is written by a student themselves with all sorts of misspellings and backwards S’s.  I think it’s very thoughtful when I get  baked goodies or treats.  Without being presumptuous here is a list of ‘Some of my Favorite Teacher Gifts”  I’ve received in the past… They are in no particular order!

1. Gift Cards are always very nice.  I think teachers really appreciate being able to spend a little money on themselves since we often don’t take the time to do that…  If you are going to get a gift card, you might think about what it is your teacher is really into..   Do they have any sort of special plans for the holiday or summer break?  Do they have a favorite shopping location or restaurant?  One year I got a gift card to REI because my class knew my family was spending time in the Mountains that summer…

other gift card ideas;  Target, Bookstore, Coffee Shop, Restaurant, Mall, Visa, i-tunes, Grocery store, Spa, Hair Salon, Video store etc..

2.  Magazine Subscription:  I think this is a very fun, creative and helpful gift… You again have to know your teacher, but some suggestions might be; Family Fun, Martha Stewart, Real Simple, etc..  

3..  Class Gift…  Another nice gift I’ve received has been from an entire class.  One parent organizes donations and then uses the money to buy either a gift card or larger item (again personalized) for you.  One year I got a patio heater and a cooler from my class because they knew we had a newer home.  Another year I got a Target Gift Card with the pooled money that said something like “use this for diapers”

4.  Books…  Books either for the classroom or for the teacher are always appreciated

5.  Games…  Maybe a favorite family game of yours to share with your teacher’s family or classroom family.

6.  Time…  Offer to help in the classroom or with projects that you can take home.  I LOVE to send cutting and pasting home with parents who give the gift of time.

7.  A bag of goodies to be used in the classroom…  Many times I find myself spending my own money on craft supplies (the odd ones we don’t have at school like buttons and craft foam), felt tip pens, post it notes, staplers ( I have lost about 20), and adult scissors.  One family brought me a cute canvas bag filled with all sorts of these supplies, it was so helpful.

8.  Handmade…  So many Moms or Dads have special talents these days…  I have received the most adorable handbags (purses), scarves, hats, mittens, children’s clothing (so adorable), jewelry and home goods, and they are always one of a kind!

9.  Movie passes…

10.  A VACATION TO THE CARIBBEAN…  HA HA, just kidding!

If your kids have several teachers and you’d like to do something homemade, here are a couple ideas…

We made Lemon Yogurt Bread for each of the teachers in his class (click here for the recipe), tied it to a cutting board, and added a personalized magnet as a little extra… I had him help make the bread, tell me the names of his teachers and what letter they started with, and sign his name to the card.  It was inexpensive, easy, and he LOVED helping!

To make the clips:

I bought magnetic clips at the local Office Supply Store

I cut out colorful circles and glued them in the middle of the clip

I used scrapbooking alphabet stickers as the “personalization”

I finished it all with a little ribbon to match

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

2 May

My oldest son made sidewalk chalk last year in a summer class he took…  I think it would be a great craft for a summer birthday, BBQ, or The 4th of July…   You could make it in Red,White and Blue… too cute!

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

*  Equal parts of water & Plaster O’ Paris (available at Michaels)

*  Mix together and let sit for a half an hour.  If you would like your chalk to be colored, you can add washable tempra paint at this time.

*  Cover the bottom of a toilet paper roll with foil at this time

*  Pour the mixture into the toilet paper roll and let sit for at least a day!



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