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.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Fool's Day

I usually do more for April Fool's day than I did this year.  I'm still working on the never ending project of switching rooms.  In order to do this requires much more work than I anticipated which leaves me little time to plan things out.  If I can find pictures (our hard drive crashed and we lost some of them) I'll post what I've done on years back for future reference.
First thing I did that morning was point out that mom likes to play jokes, but they are always nice jokes.  As a kid I hated April Fool's Day because kids used it as an excuse to be mean to each other.  I never have liked mean jokes so I try not to do anything that would make anyone upset.  Hopefully my kids remember this as they continue to get older and think it is funny to play jokes on mom.  
Fortunately my kids know I've been busy so when they asked me if I did an April Fool's lunch I could tell them that I've been too busy to think about it.  I also told them I didn't have any plans for dinner and if they thought of any to let me know (the first joke was a dinner joke).
But of course I did have some lunch plans (but no dinner plans).  I have a friend a couple years back who packed her kids' lunches using their pretend toy food.  She came to the school and brought McDonald's to eat lunch with them.  I loved this idea, but last year I was substituting and couldn't bring in lunch and this year I was working.  I mentioned this to the incredibly great teacher I work with/for (and I'm not just saying this - she is great) and she suggested that I do it anyway and pack them a special lunch to give them.  If she was willing to spare me for a few minutes then I was all for it (besides I didn't have time to plan anything else out).  So I started their lunches before they were up.  For the two in elementary I gathered the plastic pretend food and put it in their lunch boxes with a drink to give it some weight.  I put the food in plastic bags to help it look more real.

It was great to be in the hall when they opened it.  They looked and looked at the baggies pulling them out trying to decide what to do.  I didn't make them wait long.  I popped right in with their lunch.  I packed something to warm up for them since this was the one day all year I'll get to see them during their lunch.  Although they were already suspecting it I added the two things I did last year (which they loved BTW).
First I emptied a small water bottle and filled it up with Sprite.  Fill it up close to the top and screw the lid on tight.  It looks a lot like water.  There are some bubbles, but the kids don't notice.  I never pack water so they thought it was a great treat and then when it was really Sprite it was like hitting the jackpot!  I also bought them the individual bags of chips (which I'm normally too cheap to do - they get chips, but it is from a big bag divided into smaller ones).  I opened the bags at the bottom (as little as possible) and switched the contents.  Seal it back up with double sided tape.  Naturally you turn the bag right side up to open so they never notice.  It is fun to give them a wrapper of chips they don't care so much for filled with their favorite chips.  This year I only had Sun Chips and that isn't as fun since they are so much the same, but like I said as soon as they saw the bag they knew what to expect.  It did fool them last year though.

Open at the bottom, switch contents, and seal with double sided tape.

I did throw something new in there too.  I was going to do this for St. Patrick's Day, but had already made the rainbow cupcakes.  I made some vanilla pudding and then filled a small container half way full.  Then I put two drops of food coloring on top:
Three things I learned: one drop is probably enough (but two was good too), create a little well for the food coloring, and immediately put the pudding on top (for example don't take a picture while the food coloring runs out to the sides of the container).

After the food coloring is in cover it up with more pudding.  When they stir their pudding it suddenly changes color.  The pudding on the right had the blue food coloring run to the sides so I had to make another.  I did a different color for each kid, but I recommend doing blue.  First the pudding is yellow and then as you stir it turns blue, and as you continue stirring it changes to green (because the yellow pudding and blue food coloring fully mix to green).  It was great fun!
Since I couldn't take lunch to my one in middle school so she had a 6 inch Subway sandwich (we bought the night before), the switched chips, pudding, and Sprite in her water bottle.  Apparently in middle school those are lame jokes, but I told her that the boy that said that was just jealous that his mom didn't do anything like that for him.  Besides we are focusing on NICE jokes not mean jokes, right?

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