First let me say.....I can't believe my baby is done with Kindergarten tomorrow!! My other baby is done with second grade on Thursday and moving on up to third.......where does the time go?? I always like to give my son's teachers something at the end of the year just to say thank you for all their hard work throughout the year.
This year my kids' teacher were awesome, especially my youngest son's Kindergarten teacher. Trace went into a special extended day program because at the beginning of the year he was not recognizing his letters or numbers. After taking him for his Kindergarten eye exam we found out he was blind as a bat and could not see anything close up! This was part of his problem but we knew he would still need some catching up. I am happy to say he is reading and writing and knows all his letters, numbers, sight words and more. 360 turn around!!
I think this is becoming my signature gift to the teachers at the end of the year as I keep giving it but they are just so stinking cute!!
Well hello there!! Long time no blog post!! Gosh being back in school full time has become quite the juggling act, but I had to post about some super easy, inexpensive teacher appreciation gifts!!
Last week was teacher appreciation week at my kids school. The PTO at our school decided to have the kids write a note and give a $ donation to purchase a gift card for the teacher. At last nights PTO meeting I got to see first hand how much the teacher loved their notes and gift cards. I, of course, wanted to give my kids teacher just a bit more. It didn't sit right with me that it is teacher appreciation "week" but we did not have something planned for each day of the week for them. So I did a quick search on my favorite sight Pinterest and came up with a few ideas. I came up with five small gifts to give to my son's teachers each day last week (it was super hard to narrow down all the awesome, creative ideas to 5). The best part was I was able to whip all this up for under $10.00 per teacher!!
Glue Sticks - I bought a 6 pack, split it 3 and 3, found this super cute tag, printed, and washi tape it together.
Source: Sweet Rose Studios
Gum - Extra Gum, cute saying, washi tape it all together
Source: Sweet Metel Moments
Nail Polish - nail polish (any kind), cute saying, washi tape it all together!
Source: Teachers Pay Teachers
Crayons - 1 box of crayons, and super cute saying. Washi it all together!
Source: I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Berry Lotion: 1 small tube or bottle of any type of lotion that has the word berry in it. I found strawberry at Bath and Body Works (I really need to stay out of that store!), super duper cute saying and you got it......washi tape it together.
Source: Three Little Monkeys Studio
So I hope you have found and idea or two for your children's teachers as I think they have a pretty tough job and could use some appreciation!
Well my "summer blogging break" is officially over tomorrow when my oldest returns to school as a second grader. Where did the summer go?? I feel like the summer went so fast! Our summer here in Chicago started out cool and rainy but we still did a ton of things on our bucket list.
With the start of the school year I knew I need to get our homework area organized - it was a mess! Last year I watched my neighbors twins three days in the week. The twins and my older son were in the same class so doing homework together was easy peasy! This year I will be watching the twins again buy they have one teacher and my son has another, so homework might be a bit more challenging, but I will figure out a way to "getter done!" Also, add to it, my youngest son will be in Kindergarten with homework as well. So I knew I needed to get our homework area cleaned up and ready to go for the first day.
My youngest son is in Kindergarten all day. He qualified for a program where he will be in a regular Kindergarten class in the morning, and then stay with 12 of his friends to continue working on literacy. He is not recognizing all of his letters. My first thought as a mother is complete failure for not working with him more. Come to find out he is blind as a bat and cannot see near. They believe this is a huge factor but still put him in the program to make sure he is up to speed when entering first grade. I dug through my teacher bin and pulled out all my ABC, numbers, flash cards, worksheets, and other fun activities to help him through out the year.
Here is how our area turned out:
Each child has a seat to work, and supplies are in the middle in a caddy. Our calendar is up and will help my youngest with his counting along with our ABC poster. We also have some fun stuff on the board for seasons, weather and to determine today, tomorrow and yesterday. My youngest always says "Remember last year when we....." instead of yesterday. I will also add fun visuals for each month.
Off to the side I have our ABC/Word and Number/Math helpers. The black drawers hold extra supplies, scrap paper, notebook paper and more school goodies. My white TV cabinet I found at the curb. I removed the doors and spray painted it white. Here I house 3 bins that house workbooks and worksheet for ABC, numbers and math, and the last one has fun activities like mazes, hidden objects, connect the dots and coloring for when the kids are bored. All our markers, crayons, colored pencils, dry erase markers, and pencils live in the pencil boxes. On top is our word wall/sight words, and white paper and construction paper in the trays. The magazine holders hold my calendar markers and miscellaneous items I have used in the past when assisting in doing homework. The crate holds all our flash cards (addition, subtraction, ABC, numbers, sight words). It also holds some games and puzzles related to ABC.
Education is so important to me and having educational items at my finger tips to use in assisting with homework will make it fun for the kids and fun for me!
Happy 1st Day of School to you all!
Wow, these last few weeks of May are flying by! I have so much going on with the kiddos before they get out of school. Just a few weeks ago it was teacher appreciation day. The kids always give their teachers something small to just let their teachers know they are appreciated.
I found the cute printable tags on one of my favorite blogs eighteen25! I love, love their ideas. You can find the printable here on their blog.
For the end of the year gift for the teachers I like to do a bit more to give them a BIG thank you for all that they do. Here is what I pulled together for the teachers last year.
You can find my post about it here. I got wonderful feed back from the teacher on how much they loved them. This year my boys gave me the best Mother's Day present created by my Mom. I loved them so much I decided to make them and give them to the boy's teachers.
Aren't they so stinking cute??? They were so easy to make. All you need is a pair of rain boots, rocks or gravel, dirt, and herb plant of your choice. I also added the colorful duct tape for more color but it is not easy to put on with out any kinks! My husband drilled holes in the bottom of the boots for drainage. I filled the bottom of the boots with rocks to weight them down and then filled with dirt. Planted the herb, gave it some water and attached a to/from tag to it. My son who was in preschool is finished now and his teachers absolutely loved them!
What are you giving the teachers for the last day of school? I would love to see. Feel free to link up your gifts!
This week I worked on the playroom. My kids are the luckiest kids in the world as we finished the basement in our new house just for them. They pretty much have the run of the basement, for now.
Clean up time can make or break us! My youngest always needed direction when cleaning up, what to pick up and where to put it. I dreamed about the day that I could say clean up time and my boys would just do it.
Well that day has come, after some organization happened. So let's dive right in. Here is the playroom area before me moved in. A lot of space and I knew if it wasn't organize it would be a sea of toys in no time.
In comes Ikea. I love their goodies! My husband and I went there for my scraproom and the playroom. We have a lot of Legos here.....I mean a lot! My son is a Lego engineer, and is always building so I knew I wanted a space for him to store, display, and build. So we created a Lego area.
I love the Ikea piece I picked out. It has bins for all his legos, and he can display what he has built on top. My son and I separated all his Legos by color, and gave them a bin. I then label by color so the youngest can find the color, and put the right color Lego in the bins. We even have some empty bins to grow the Lego collection. The table from Ikea is nice and wide and gives both of them plenty of space to build.
I am currently in school to become a teacher so of course I have a school area! After school, and after snack, we come down to do our homework. Each child has a bin (labeled with their name) with a pencil, dry erase marker, eraser, scissors and glue stick so we don't waste time getting our supplies out. Next to our table I have a 4 drawers that hold our supplies, markers in one, other supplies in another, paper in one, and our learning flash cards in the bottom drawer. I use clear plastic bins to hold our coloring items, and the other two hold our school workbooks. The kids seemed to pull out coloring/workbooks when they can see them. The kids get their homework done and out of the way giving them more playtime later and I fulfill my passion to teach! Even my youngest saves his preschool homework so he can do it with the big kids!
The next area I had to conquer was the the toy area. Before we moved we had bin after bin after bin of toys! As we packed our old house I had the kids go through their toys, and pick what they were ready to give away. They did great at this! In our old house I had used one of the Ikea Expedit bookcase and laid it on it's side. I purchased baskets and all our toys went in there. It worked for us so I knew I would be using that system again. We purchased two of them, put the baskets in, and filled them with toys. Each bin contained certain toys, and I wanted the boys to put them away in the right bins. I searched the internet for a picture of the items that belong in that bin, printed it out, cut, laminated, and tied them onto the bins. The kids love it! The picture helps my youngest one know what items go in the bin and my oldest is starting to read so he love to read the tags. When we change the toys in the bin we change the tag! It also helps when our kid's friends come over!
I also have my DIY chalkboard table. That was such a fun project and you can go here to read about it, and see my before and after pictures. The kids love to draw on the table, and their easel is near by to continue their imagination.
What's behind door number two.....storage. We kept part of the basement unfinished for storage. In here is our old Expedit and I have filled most of the bins with toys. When the boys are bored with the toys in the toy area they can just switch out the bins. The shelves hold all of our games, some larger toys too big for the bins, and the plastic bins hold toys that we can rotate into the bins when we do a toy swap.
I love how our playroom is evolving. We still have ideas that we want to put in place but my main focus was to give my children a space of their own and organize it in a way that would make it easy for the kids to take care of their space. Clean up time is no longer a struggle
(well we have our days here and there).
Well my kids are officially out of school! Time to start our summer fun. This year I have decided to keep things a little more simple. We will of course have our bucket list but our "school" work will be a little more laid back (see our bucket list here). With me in school this summer my time is limited. So I decided to run with a theme each week, read books based on the theme, an arts/craft project, 2 letters of the alphabet a week to practice our writing, one fun activity and maybe a stick from our bucket if it correlates. Here are my themes for the 12 weeks:
I wanted to find something for my kids teachers that wasn't the typical thank you gift. My husband and I absolutely loved our son's teachers this year! They were wonderful and we wanted them to know it! I found this idea on Pinterest (who doesn't love that site).
So I copied the idea and modified it a bit to add my personal touch. I got most of the items at Walmart and Meijer. Each gift cost about $13.00!! I printed a little note and had the boys sign their name. Here are the supplies I started with.
I put it together and thought it needed something refreshing. Water maybe??
Nope....didn't like it. The water was too heavy and I could totally see my boys losing the water bottle and then trying to jam it back in and wreaking the whole gift. While in Meijer grocery shopping I saw these cute little cups....perfect! Here is the final outcome.
All three together
I am happy with the outcome and can't wait to give them to the best teachers!