I love to do crafts and have cute handouts and activities for church (and school, and friends, and - well you get the idea). I don't consider myself creative, but often use the help of others' talents. I decided to share what I'm doing for others just like me. It may be a link to where I found something or it might even be something *I* created. Right now I work as a paraprofessional at my kids' elementary - in special ed (autism). I started creating items for my 3rd graders this year and can't wait to share them with you. I am the 1st counselor in YW (first time in YW is this past year). I also have ideas for cub scouts and sunbeams posted, my previous callings.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

It was Wacky Wednesday for Spirit Week at Sis' middle school.  It is really the only one I helped her with very much.  Next year she is telling me in advance and we are making plans for every single day!  Here she is:

I started her hair similar to Boo's for Dr. Seuss Day.  The idea to do this (or at least the top one) came to me last year, but she wouldn't let me do it then.  This year she was all excited to be wacky.  My girls have thin, fine hair.  Sis has more than Boo, but still doesn't have a lot.  My secret: cones.  Since she doesn't have much hair I just rolled card-stock into the shape of a cone and stapled it together.  If your daughter has lots of hair try using a Styrofoam cone (but be warned Styrofoam costs more than it looks like it should).

Make a part (I did mine zig-zag to add more wackiness) around in a circle on the top of her head.  Insert cone in the middle and pull the hair up around it covering the cone.  Put in an elastic at the top.  I tried to put it on the tip of the cone, but it just slid off.  At the top it doesn't matter so much, just get it as even and tightly secured as possible.

Part the rest of the hair in half.  These cones are a little harder to put it.  It is nice on the top cone that it can just sit on her head.  On the two side cones I actually put in two elastics.  One first at the end of the cone and a second over the cone and hair (near the end).  Tie with some not matching ribbon.

Yes, I did use hair products.  If I had more time (i.e. a little notice about spirit week) I would have tried to pick up some color spiking gel that we used in my son's hair for Dr. Seuss day.  That stuff has some serious hold to it.  I've only used it the once, but I may have to get more and investigate the possibilities.  But, alas no hair color to be had (or purchased) so I used what we had at home: Garnier Fructis Style fiber gum putty and hairspray.  It worked and was still standing strong when she came home from school!

General Conference Kits

It's that time of year again, time to get ready for General Conference.  I decided to not only try to make print off the Internet a packet for my children, but to make a conference kit for my primary class and for the sisters that I visit teach.  I'll share what I did and the links, but sorry I didn't create anything for this so there are no printables.

For my primary class I rearranged our lessons so that the lesson taught the Sunday before General Conference was lesson 9: Jesus Christ Calls His Apostles.  I thought that it would be fitting to learn about Apostles before they had the opportunity to watch them on TV.  For part of that lesson I printed each of my kids these at Costco.  I purchased some photo books at the dollar store.  Now they have a book of the first presidency and the 12 apostles.  They can learn fun facts along with their names and faces.  We didn't get them fully assembled in class so I brought them home and added them to their conference bags.  I actually had planned that they would be a part of their conference bag, but I also I wanted to give them at church on Sunday, but didn't have them ready.  
Their conference kit: First I purchased medium sized gift bags at the dollar store.  Then I printed off some activities for them to do.  Sugardoodle.net has a bunch.  They even have more now then when I started.  I printed pages 10-12 from here and pages 23-25 from here.  I made the plate mobile for them.  I added two individual boxes of cereal, a package of Starburst for the game, and a sucker.  Hopefully it'll bring a little extra fun to watching conference!

The Prophets and Apostles Books

I also saw the idea floating around to make kit for the sisters you visit teach.  I must admit than I haven't been doing this duty as well as I should be lately and I obviously like to make a few things so I decided it would be a great way to let them know I care.  
I printed off age appropriate kits off sugardoodle.  I didn't always use the full kit (I know my kids don't ever color everything in the kits).  Instead of naming everything off I think I'll just show a few pictures.  This family has children of various ages so I'm showing it:

The toilet paper rolls are for an activity found in the Nursery/Jr. Primary packet.  The plate is like what I gave my primary kids.  It is a mobile that has a picture and a few lines to write about the talk of the first presidency and the 12 apostles.  There is a bag of candy for the game in the kits.  A couple candy bars for the sister I visit teach (or if she wants, one for her hubby).  There is one sucker for each person in the family and a couple breakfast/snack type items.  Next conference I think I'm going to throw in lunch items.  The kits I had viewed had breakfast items so that is what I had on my brain at the store.  But then I realized in Virginia conference starts at noon.  Oh well, next time.  The red and black item actually contains a notepad for the sister I visit teach.  

 The bag: you'll notice a few pencils for the kids I forgot in the first picture.  Oh, I also made them the Prophets and Apostles book.  I forgot to put it in here so I need to give it to her next time I see her.

Here are a couple views of the notebook for the sisters:

Instructions for these are here.  I slipped a matching pencil in the pocket.  I purchased these file folders in Target's dollar section (pencils too).  They are a little smaller than a normal file folder however.  If I had more time I would have jazzed it up with a ribbon and a label (about it being a Conference Notebook), but I'm lucky just to pull it all together.  They aren't as fancy, but it is a step up from just a yellow notepad!

Now I need to finish a few kits, get them delivered and get things ready for my own kids to do before Saturday!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Day Full of Green and Rainbows - Part 2 (day of fun)

Now for the day of St. Patrick's Day fun.  First the leprechaun comes to visit.  He is never too naughty at our house (although with my house upside down with all the rearranging I've been doing a prank would've probably been to clean my house).  Every year the milk turns green, there are green glitter trails, plastic coins and sometimes a little extra surprise in my kid's shoes.  Leprechauns are little cobblers (hence the fascination with things being left in shoes) and I learned this year in Kindergarten that they make fairy shoes.  Last year in Boo's Kindergarten class the Leprechaun peed green in the toilet so it had to happen here too along with green footprints on the toilet seat.  

The footprints didn't show up so well in the picture and make a note: green food coloring settles so it has to be done not long before the kids come in.

There were green glitter trails to the traps the kids made, footprints along the traps, green coins in their shoes and in the traps, and a battery operated glow stick in their shoes.

Every year we make green pancakes with the milk that was dyed green (I add a couple more drops of food coloring), but we didn't get to do our green eggs on Dr. Seuss Day so I made those instead.  

Lunch is green too (some years more so than others):  Sandwich cut with a shamrock cookie cutter, green grapes, Mix it yourself pudding (Boo loved this one), Koolaid or Capri Sun that had a green label, and a rainbow cupcake shown on the previous post, etc.  Here is how I made the pudding:  In a small container I put in 1/4 cup milk and in a snack baggie I put in 1 Tablespoon pistachio pudding.  I told the kids to add the mix from the baggie to the container and put back on the lid and shake.  It not only turns into yummy pudding (don't forget to tell them to let it sit for a couple minutes - Bugs tried to eat it as a liquid), but it magically turns green.  Boo thought it was great that the Leprechaun could change the pudding green!

After school was the fun for dinner.  I usually make an all green dinner and while it doesn't bother me to eat green food everything green is a little much.  This year I made a rainbow to go with all our green:

It was so yummy!  We love fruit at this household.  Red: Strawberries (and raspberries ~ I considered using these as purple, but they were more of a dark red and there wasn't really room for purple), Orange: Mandarin Oranges, Yellow: Fresh Pineapple, Green: Grapes, Blue: blueberries, Clouds: a strawberry yogurt/cool whip dip (take a container ~or two~ of strawberry yogurt and add a few scoops of Cool Whip to taste).  I thought about adding purple grapes, but wasn't willing to spend $2.49 a pound.  There wasn't really room on the platter anyway.  This is a pretty big platter (I've never filled it before), but I could have used more room.
I also added the green food to the menu.  I made green shamrock jello (instructions below), green rice (add some food coloring to the water), broccoli, pistachio salad and chicken tenderloin cooked in cream of mushroom soup - not green - I refuse to eat green chicken. 

Now for the Jello instructions.  I found these for Dr. Seuss Day (and yes, I will blog about it, but I'm so behind).  I took two small packages of lime yellow and added 2 cups of boiling water.  Stir 2 minutes until dissolved.  Stir in 2 cups of ice cubes (not crushed ice).  The original instructions said to stir for five minutes, but I didn't.  I stirred until the ice slowed down in melting (if you have tiny pieces I recommend pulling them out now before it begins to set) and then I ended up adding a few more cubes to keep it cold.  While it was sitting on the counter with ice. . .

I beat some heavy whipping cream.  When it started forming peaks I added powdered sugar to taste (make it as sweet as you like it).  Then I continued beating until it was stiff (but not until it turns to butter ~ close though).  
I forgot to take a picture of the Jello before I started filling the cups, but it will be kind of chunky.  Don't forget to move the ice when it is partially set like this:

First I took the whipped cream and I put it in a Ziploc sandwich bag and snipped the corner.  I made it a little bigger than I wanted, but it turned out to be the perfect size.

Then I took some clear cups (5 since there are five of us) and started making shamrocks.  The method that worked best for me.  Start towards the bottom and squeeze out a straight line going up.  Then I made three circles (if you want to call it that) next to each other until they touched.  The inside looked like this:

Then I rotated the cup and made one on the other side:

Then carefully spoon in the Jello.  Try to work a little fast because you don't want it setting up before you get it scooped in.  Make sure you go around the shamrocks without smearing, squishing, or ruining them.  Don't worry it isn't really hard.

The top will be bumpy because it is already partially set up.  Next year I was thinking of making yellow jello the same way and putting it in black cups like a pot of gold.  (Maybe I'll try that for their lunch boxes).  Be sure to put it in the fridge so it can finish setting up.

Finished product on the plate.  My kids LOVED this!  It was a great surprise.  The best part is that I finished them within 1/2 hour of dinner, but they were set!

Here is dinner ~ a rainbow and various shades of green:

To make it a little more festive the kids had these fun four leaf clover straws and our shamrock table cloth:

I probably left off a few things, but besides running around crazily after school it was fun.  I'm always crazy busy on these holiday, but the kids love it (and so do I) while my husband rolls his eyes and puts up with it.  I view it as creating memories.  And probably future crazy moms!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Day Full of Green and Rainbows - Part 1 (getting ready)

Another Holiday and another day for me to have fun!  My husband thinks that I like the holidays more than the kids.  Maybe he is right, but I get the most joy out of seeing the kids so excited.  I also decided that he probably wishes I put as much effort into cleaning the house as I do in destroying it with all my projects :).
The holiday began on Wednesday.  I decided to make rainbow cupcakes found on familyfun.com.  I think they are SO cute, but they are a little bit of work.  Plus they only make 16 versus the 24 so if you want to make them for school or something similar you may have to make 2 batches.  Although if you don't eat a ton of cake it cuts down on the amount cupcakes you have on hand.  I made them for the kids' lunches plus took them to my scouts.
Here is how I made them:

Make a white cake mix according to package instructions.  Divide into six small bowls:

 By small I don't mean very big.  To give you an idea I used 2 cup containers and it only filled it this much:

Dye each bowl a color of the rainbow.  They have the formula on the link above, but just in case you are lazy like myself and would rather have it all in one place I'll give you what I followed:
Red: 18 drops
Orange: 4 drops red, 12 drops yellow
Yellow: 12 drops
Blue: 12 drops
Green: 12 drops
Purple: 9 drops red, 6 drops blue

FYI - Make sure your food coloring isn't almost gone.  I also didn't compare the bowls to make sure the batter was even (though it was close) so I used the one that I thought had the most as red since that was the top color.

 I used those teaspoons pictured above to put one scoop into the paper cups.  I then used the back of the spoon to spread out the batter.  The purple is spread out and the bottom left corner shows the blue one spread on top of the purple. 

I found that if I used a swirling motion (twisting of the spoon from the middle to the edge) I was able to spread the batter easier and smoother.  Also I noticed that I tended to make scoops bigger when I first started than when I ended so  I varied my starting place.  You won't get more than the 16 cupcakes so make sure you go ahead and use all the batter.  Color order: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red.  Then the top color of the rainbow - red is the top color of the cupcake.

Here is what it looks like finished (I didn't take a picture of it cut in half, but I think I may have one left ~ If I do I will do just that). 

Here is a top view:

I just added some white cloud frosting and some 'gold' found at the end of the rainbow:  Not the prettiest topping, but I was out of time before scouts started ~ they only cared about the treats anyway.  They did like the rainbow however!

Speaking of scouts (which is where I left off before the cupcake pictures) I also made them these cute little handouts found here.  

We also took a break from the bear book and decided do something fun.  I gathered up some boxes and other containers (can, egg carton, etc), some craft sticks, string, glitter, green and gold paper, and Rolos.  Brought some glue, tape and scissors then asked the boys to make some leprechaun traps.  I even hauled my camera there with all that stuff, but completely forgot to take pictures.  They did pretty good especially since I had my 7 year old with me and I was helping her make one most of the time.  Here is what they came up with (when they had them laid out around the house):

 Boo's Trap: Used a Capri Sun box.  She covered it green paper and put some glitter gold inside.  She decorated the outside with a 4 leaf clover and a rainbow.  She put a Do Not Enter sign on the outside because we all know Leprechauns don't follow the rules.  We took the plastic container the cupcake liners came in and punched a hole in it.  We tied a Rolo to the end and strung the string through the container and up through the box.  The string was taped lightly to the top of the box holding the container up.  When the leprechaun pulled on the gold Rolo he would release the plastic cup trapping him inside.  She didn't catch him, but she did catch a few green coins and he left his footprints there!  She was so excited the next morning.

Bug's creation.  He wasn't too thrilled how it turned out, but he created it himself and used his imagination.  The Rolo was in one of the holes and the leprechaun was supposed to stomp on the paper and fall through getting caught.  As you can see the leprechaun left some foot prints and green coins, but didn't get trapped!

Like I mentioned before all of our activities are at the same time so I brought a treat for those that I visit teach that I knew would be there.  I fully intended on delivering the other two the following day, but I didn't have the time to do it and get my dinner made. 

The saying reads: You are better than any Treasure found at the end of a Rainbow!  It is attached to the rainbow candy: skittles and a treasure candy.  I fully intended to take a picture of the bag the candy came in, but got caught up in getting projects done I forgot.  It is a purple metallic bag.  The pieces are individually wrapped and say Treasure across them.  I wasn't even sure they existed, but went looking specifically for treasure candy and was so excited to actually find some!

I also stayed up way too late making gifts for teachers.  After starting to substitute last year I began to comprehend how much time and effort our teachers put into our child's life.  Face it they are with them for 6 1/2 hours + a day.  That is a lot of time in our child's life.  I decided that I would try to show my appreciation for them a little more often even if it is in small ways.  I had bigger plans this year, but working full time for the first time in years I wasn't able to pull it off.  I have an idea though so maybe I'll try it out next year!  Anyway back on the subject, I scoured blogs and found some fun candies and viewed other people's creative genius at work.  A few ideas popped into my head and this is what I came up with:

These were for their teachers and Boo's paraprofessional.  It had Twizzler's rainbow licorice in a bag with gold candy (Rolos) and Treasure Candy.  When assembling your rainbows remember Roy G. Biv

I made these bags too:

Our schools are lucky enough to have specialists: 2 PE teachers, a music teacher, and art teacher, a computer teacher, and a Librarian (fingers are crossed that we don't lose ANY of these guys with all the budget cuts).  So I made them these (after subbing for them last year I realized how much work these teachers do as well and how little thanks they get AND they have the WHOLE school to teach!):

The tags were modified to say Librarian, Art Teacher, etc.  I filled one of the 4x6 bags with some fun treats just like the other teacher's present: Twizzler rainbow (there is enough in one bag of Twizzlers to do five rainbows and YES, they have the SAME amount of each color ~ that was a great help!), Rolos and a treasure candy.  I had to trim the licorice to fit into the bag.

Then I was thinking that I keep ignoring the middle school teachers.  After all there are 7 (okay 9 since all three PE teachers work together) and I keep thinking that is SO many.  Then I realize that I just made 9 gifts for elementary teachers.  Hmmm, what could I do?  I took what was left of the candy and assembled some more bags:

They had the cut up licorice in it and the candy.  It wasn't quite as cute, but at least they weren't forgotten.  Actually some of them were (PE teachers) since I only had 6.  My new goal is to continue to find cute inexpensive gifts like these for the specialists AND middle school teachers.  I added specialists to the list last year (all my kids were in elementary last year) and now I need to incorporate the new set of teachers.  I'm not sure what I'll do in two years when they all have 7 + teachers!
I had someone say that they didn't download correctly for them.  If that is the case for you, please leave me a message.  I tried on two different computers and they worked for me.  Just in case I uploaded them to a different site.  To try that site click HERE for the same printables as shown above.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Primary Review (Manual 7, Lesson 3-7)

To review what we learned and to have a little fun I made a PowerPoint Jeopardy review game.  It turned out to be a little harder than I thought it may be (they actually had to think).  I made it so the harder questions were worth more.  We took turns picking their question by category and dollar amount.  If they couldn't make a guess someone was able to answer it and receive the money, but if they made a guess I showed the answer.  If they got it right we wrote down the dollar amount, if not we went to the next person.  By keeping score so they were able to use their money for final jeopardy.  
Every week we use the PowerPoint presentation that Ericka Covalt makes and shares on Sugardoodle.net.  I pulled all the information off of those PowerPoint presentations so I KNOW that we covered it.  It was a good review.  We were able to start the next lesson, but we didn't finish it.  We were already a week behind (because I started the calling a week late and they didn't give the Sr. Primary lesson the first week so I gave it the 2nd week) so I'm going to find a way to combine a couple lessons here or there so we can continue to have some review games.

Lessons 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 from the New Testament (Manual 7) 

Space Exploration - Blue and Gold Banquet

For our Blue and Gold Banquet this year we used Space Exploration for the basis of our theme.  The week before we had the cubs make rockets for the table decorations.  Since the February theme is Resourcefulness we gathered items and let the kids use their resources and imagination to create their rockets.  We had paper towel tubes, toilet paper rolls, construction paper, glue, tape, scissors, empty cans, (I can't remember what else because I was at New Beginnings with my daughter and missed the activity).  The Wolf leader bought PVC pipe and had a topper on it already for her boys (those turned out so cute!).
Since I was at work I wasn't able to help with the set-up, but they did a great job.  The pictures don't do justice.

There was a huge cardboard moon painted on the stage.  It was textured and painted with glow in the dark paint.  They also attached a disco ball on the basketball standard.  You can't tell because of my flash, but the lights were off and the disco ball going.  It made it look like the room was full of stars.

The podium had this cute sign that the young woman used for New Beginnings and we borrowed.  Without even communicating with each other it turns out we had similar ideas!

We had blue table clothes and rocket center pieces:

There were stars on the walls and some of them had crepe paper tails.  They were so cute!  This was the only food table.  It had cold water, hot water, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato and relish on it.   The cake was on a table next to it.

When they entered there was a table set up.  There were space badges for the boys.  They took a picture of an astronaut and photo-shopped in the picture of each boy.  I didn't make them so I can't share it with you and my son can't find his so I don't even have a picture (if I find it I'll add it).  On the table were also menus.  The catch of the night was that the menu was in code.  There were two choices in each category and they had to circle which one they wanted without really knowing what they were selecting.  We kept it simple for our purposes.  We gathered the menus and started to fill them in the kitchen while the program began.  For the program we had given the boy an astronaut to research.  Every astronaut was an eagle scout.  They were to highlight their lives.  Unfortunately they were told they had 2-5 minutes.  If you do this I recommend telling them to keep it to one minute (or even giving them the information to present or helping them write it at an activity).  We went way over on our hour time limit and didn't even do any of the activities we had planned.  Another item that delayed us is that we had the families bring in the food and the person that was supposed to bring hot dog buns brought hamburger buns so we had to do a quick run to the store.

I wish I knew how to post a picture of the menu without taking a picture, but I don't so if you want to see how cute it is you'll have to download it!  The font is blue and we printed it on yellow paper (for the blue and gold part of the night).
Main Dish: Space Shuttle = hot dog, Flying Saucer = hamburger.
Salad: Alien Elbow = macaroni and cheese, Moon Craters = Potato salad.
Side 1: Haley's Comet = half banana, Crescent Moon = sliced apples
Side 2: Crispy Clouds = potato chips, Crunchy Stars = flavored chips.
Drink: Astronaut Juice = Fruit Drink (from the cannery, but it looked like Tang), Big Dipper = Hot Chocolate.

We followed it up with birthday cake like we do every year!

Having the families bring in the food left a few obstacles (besides bringing the wrong buns).  We hoped there would be enough fruit (that is why the bananas were cut in half) and one family was supposed to bring potato chips while the other brought corn chips or Doritos or something other than potato chips, but we ended up with all potato chips (but at least one person brought flavored potato chips).  It all worked out and was lots of fun!

The activities we didn't have time for (but we did the next week at the activity) was making constellations (passed off a bear requirement) and playing an asteroid game.  
The asteroid game: We blew up balloons and they had to keep them afloat without letting them touch the ground or anything else (walls, tables, etc).  You could play it to music, but we just let them volley them up and when some were eliminated we made them sit down and stand back up in between each hit.  We also played it with partners were they had to hit it back and forth with their partners.  They could only touch it once then their partner had to touch it while keeping with the same rules.  This one was a little bit harder.
Constellations: We printed some constellations for the kids to copy.  They used start stickers to make their constellations and then put some glow in the dark paint on top of them.

Here is a picture of Bugs presenting his astronaut (as they presented they had on the big screen a picture of the astronaut):

*****UPDATE: due to some questions, I reached out to my dear friend who is no longer living in the same state as me to find out where she pulled the astronauts from.  She found them here:
http://usscouts.org/eagle/eagleastronauts.asp  ******

Table Tennis Belt Loop

We are going to be earning our Table Tennis belt loop.  In our Stake everyone meets for one hour at the church on Tuesday or Wednesday (or whichever day we are assigned) ~ young men, young women, cub scouts, activity day girls (only twice a month).  That way all the people that have to travel are able bring everyone at once to the same location.  In order to earn the belt loop one must: practice for 30 minutes, tell an adult the rules, and play in one game.  Obviously we can't get all that in an one hour session.  So at the end of our last activity we went over the rules.  Next week will hold the activity at a member's house in order to use their ping pong table.  Since we are changing the time (in order to allow kids to be dropped off for cubs and at the church) and location I made invites:

There are three to a page.  I cut them out, glued them on card stock (which was cut in 3 1/2 x 8 1/2 strips), and then glued a ping pong ball on top of the ball in the picture. I changed the invitation to just say Date, Time, Place if you would like to use it.

I also made rule books for each person.  Hopefully as we work on belt loops I can make more books and they will have a little stash for future reference.  If you have any ideas of something for the boys to store them in I'd be happy to hear them.

I just copied information from this website that had the rules listed.  Hopefully it is okay to share the book with you and I didn't break any plagiarism rules (if so let me know and I'll remove it).  I did list the website in the book.

Here is how to print and assemble them.
  1. Print page 1 onto colored card stock.
  2. Print page 2 on one side and page 3 on the back.
  3. Print page 4 on one side and page 5 on the back.
Here are some pictures to try to show you what it looks like.  When assembled:

First you will fold the paper in half.  Use the pictures as guides.  Fold the cover so the print is on top, the next page should have Terms & the Blank side on the outside of the fold (with Service & web address in the center) and the next page should have What You Should Know and A Good Return on the outside (Point & The Order. . on the inside):


When you put it together it should look like this: Obviously the cover on the outside (that picture was posted above), When you open it you see the Terms page:

 Turn the page and you'll see Service and A Good Return:

Turn the page and there is A Point and The Order of. . . 

Turn the page you have What You Need to Know. . . and the web address.  This is the summary of the basics of the rules (the pages before are more in depth) and the web address I used for the rules:

I also stapled them together.  Staple close to the fold so you can still see the words easily when you open the book.  Hopefully that all makes sense.  If there are questions, let me know!