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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monthly School Idea: Bubbles

I haven't had much time to work on the monthly school idea tags (and I went back to work this week getting ready for school to start next week), but I promise to get them up there.  Make sure you use the recess bag the first month and then you can do them in any order you want (or at least in the order I get them made and posted - hehe).

This tag you have seen before when I requested help with the sayings, but I didn't make it available to download.  There are three different bubble sayings to choose from and they each are done in two different colors/fonts. 

Once I get my tags printed and attached to my gifts I'll take pictures and post, but I want to make sure you at least have access to the tags because I know many of you start school before we do (my kids start the day after Labor day).

Here is what their gifts look like.  Boo thought her bubbles were a bit babyish, but I wanted something that wouldn't spill every time they tried to use it.  I found some scented bubbles to go with the container:

Bugs wasn't sure what his classmates would think of bubbles.  These wands make huge bubbles.  I wouldn't mind using them :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Water Themed Birthday Party

So I'm late finishing this post.  His birthday was today and I'm now going to finish it (hopefully).
My boy (aka Bugs) is turning 10 very soon and today we had a water themed birthday party.  How can you go wrong with that?  Oh I know, plan it for a stormy day.  Fortunately that wasn't us.  The storm hit last night, cooled it down and left it perfect weather for an outdoor party.  The weather man wasn't sure for a bit and since I'm doing my daughter's Candy Land Party in 2 days (yes, one party Monday, the other on Wednesday) I didn't have time for a back-up plan.  Fortunately it went well and the kids seemed to like it.  
The first thing we did was his birthday invitation.  My plan was to laminate the invitation and place it into water balloons, but guess what wasn't working when I went to use it?  You got it, the laminator ~ it isn't heating up.  So this is what we ended up with:

We filled a few water balloons, stuck the invitation in a Ziploc bag in case a balloon or two didn't make it to the front door.  I was really bummed about not being able to put them into the balloons (with a cute little saying you'll see below), but I needed to get the invitations out.  Well, only a few people were home and so when we went out again I did this:

The balloon says: "Wat-er you waiting for?  Pop me and see what is inside."  This time I purchased some large balloons, put the invitation inside a snack size Ziploc bag, sealed it up, and stuffed into the balloon.  Next we added water, wrote the message, and stuck it inside a gallon zip lock back to prevent any water accidents.  We also filled a few small balloons and took those too.  It was lots of fun to deliver the unique invitation.  I wish they all would have been this way. 

I scheduled a two hour party, but it would have been easier to go longer.  In the end it was just fine, but they would have been happy to continue playing in the water.  I decided on an hour of water games, then a break for food: barbecued hot dogs, fruit, jell-o, cake, ice cream, then opening of presents, followed by a water fight/free play.

First the food.  I found several ideas for water themed cake, but in the end birthday boy decided on the Snorkeler cake found here.  

I couldn't find any snorkeling gear so we ended up using swimming goggles ~ it fit the party a little better anyway.  I also ended up using hugs instead of kisses since my son's hair is blond!  I also had some peach food coloring I bought for my husband's cake from Michaels.  I used that with vanilla frosting to make it match my son's skin.  I'm not very good at decorating (especially frosting) cakes, but it turned out cute enough anyway!

Next I saw a beach ball fruit pizza on Pinterest.  I loved how it looked, but didn't need anymore sugar since we already had cake and ice cream so I decided to make it just a fruit beach ball:

First I made our favorite fruit dip: a mixture of cool whip and strawberry yogurt.  I used about 12 oz of cool whip (I think, I had a 16 oz container) and about 7-8 oz of yogurt.  I just took the amount of cool whip I thought I needed and gradually add the yogurt until it tastes the way I like it.  Then I took the dip and spread it out on a round platter.  I made it highest where the green grapes are and gradually made it thinner until I hit the end of the platter.  I took a knife and drug it through the dip to give me guidelines of where to put the fruit.  I ended up using mandarin oranges, fresh pineapple, strawberries, green grapes, red grapes, and blueberries. You can use any fruit you want, just be sure to vary the colors.  Also it looks prettiest if the fruit is cut up small.
Next on the menu: Jell-o.  For the jell-o we went with our water theme and used blue jell-o.  I did one large box and followed the instructions for the quick set method (except I added extra ice to make it partially set up immediately.  It pours out chunky, but I didn't mind that fact - we were going for a water look anyway).  I poured the first mixture into a 9x13 inch pan.  My son then added gummy sharks and gummy fish.  It would have been smart to take pictures AS I was making it, but I didn't think about it at the time.  I do have a picture of the bottom after it is finished to give you an idea of what we did.  After the gummys were added, I made another large box of blue jello (quick set method again).  Poured it on top of the fish and stuck it in the fridge to set.  Before we put it out I put cool whip on it.  My son is a BIG FAN of cool whip!  We did dye the cool whip blue to help it look like water too.

Now onto the party games!  After the kids arrived I rattled off the names of the games and let them pick which order to play them.  Of course the water balloon games were picked first. 
The first game was the water balloon toss.
First you get a partner and a water balloon.

You start off close together and at the same time toss the balloon to your partner. 

After each successful catch the person who made the catch takes one step back.

They continue to get farther apart making it a little harder.  If their water balloon pops they are out.

Continue until there is a winner: only one partnership with their balloon still.  We played it once this way and once where they started with two balloons.  Same rules except that they each started with a balloon.  When I said go they had to toss and catch a balloon.  They kept playing until both balloons had popped.

The next game also played involved water balloons.  For this one each person had a water balloon.  I had them stand in two lines so only two went at a time.  We used jump ropes to mark the starting line and the finish line.  The object was to race to the finish line while carrying a water balloon under their chin.  If they dropped the balloon and it didn't pop they could pick it up and continue.  If it dropped and popped then they had to get a new one and start again.

This ended up being easier than I thought.  When they all finished I let them throw their balloons at each other.  
Next we played two games involving cups.  The first one I took two large plastic cups and poked holes in them with a nail.  I was afraid to make the holes very big, but I don't think they ended up big enough.  I didn't want the water all leaking out, but they could have had more leaking out because there was plenty in it by the time it reached the end.  Just remember that they move pretty fast when they are racing.

First they divided into two teams.  The first person filled up the cup from a bucket.

They then had to pass it over their heads all the way to the last person in line.

That person emptied it into a smaller bucket at the end of the line and ran back to the front.  Then process continued until one of the teams filled up their bucket all the way up with water.  It was lots of fun, especially watching their faces when they realized there were holes in the cups!

The next game each person had a plastic cup.  They formed two teams/lines again.  I used the same buckets as before.  I just needed to fill up the starting buckets.  The rules for this game is that the first person fills up their cup with water.  He has to dump the water over his head to the cup behind him.  I told them that they can't turn and look and that it has to be dumped over the head and not the shoulder.  I also encouraged them to talk to each other.

 Sometimes they were too fast and their back ended up all wet.

The team that filled up their bucket first was the winner.  There were lots of laughs with this one too.

The third game we played involved two teams, the same sets of buckets, and 6 kitchen (scrub free kind) sponges. 

One person was the thrower and the rest of the team were catchers.

The thrower would stand at the large water bucket that contained six sponges with his back to the team.  He would reach down and throw a sponge over his head to his teammates.

They would catch the sponge and bring it back to their smaller bucket in the back and squeeze all the water out of it.  Once all six sponges had been gathered the next thrower would take them up to the big bucket and start the process all over again.

First team to fill their bucket was the winning team!

We had one more game to do before it was time to break for food.  First each person picked out a car (hot wheels size).  They then paired up to race each other.  We used the sidewalk as our track.  They started just inside a crack and the first one to reach the next crack in the sidewalk was the winner.  The power to make their cars go: squirt bottles!

They each raced once, then the winners kept racing until there was one final winner.  I didn't test this game out ahead of time so I wasn't sure how it would work, but the kids loved it!  I left them with the squirt bottles and cars while I set up the food and cooked the hot dogs.

We ate a little lunch and then moved on to blowing out the candles.  I ended up sticking the candles in between the hair.

Birthday boy blowing out the candles.

After cake, ice cream and presents it was time for the water fight and water play.  We had filled a bunch of water balloons and in the July 75% off clearance at Target picked up some water toys.  Some of the toys were for the gift bags and some were for the party.  Two of the things we picked up were water balloon launchers.  The kids were excited about them.  They came with their own yellow balloons.  Since I knew water balloons would disappear in seconds and that everyone would want to use the launcher we made a rule that the yellow balloons could only be thrown with the launcher and you could only throw two before someone else got a turn.  We also had some other water balloons (for tossing) water balls, Frisbees, sling shots, buckets of water, the sponges and cups from the games, and a slip 'n slide.  The kids played with whatever they wanted until their parents showed up.

When it was time to go each child received a Thank You bag of treats.

Thanks again to Target, these didn't cost nearly as much as they could have.  We were able to buy bubble guns (it was a gun that blew bubbles by pulling the trigger, bubbles & it even came with the batteries), a small squirt gun, little packages of gummy sharks and gummy fish (we just took a large package and put two sharks & three fish in a small zip lock bag found at the craft stores).  The whole thing was less than $2 each!

I also attached this really cute label:  I was so excited to find some clip art that went with the theme perfectly!

It was a very successful party and from what I can tell all the kids had a lot of fun too!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Candy Land Birthday Party

My oldest decided that she wanted a Candy Land Birthday Party.  Last year we almost played a live board game, but since we don't have a driveway it didn't seem feasible.  This year we are going to try that out Candy Land style (but indoors)!  First we started with the invitations.  I got the idea here:
First I bought a 12 pack of Altoids at Costco.  My daughter emptied and cleaned them and then I took them outside to spray paint.  I had some pink spray paint left over so that is what I used.  It ended up matching the Candy Land lettering quite well.  I opened them up and sprayed the outside.  I wasn't too worried if it completely covered the edges because I didn't want them difficult to open.  I almost took some sandpaper to them (to help hide the part that wasn't completely pink), but my daughter liked them the way they were.  If I had more spray paint I would've done the inside as well.  I wasn't planning on it, but I didn't realize the Altoids was raised so you can see it from the inside.  And the fact my daughter was put in charge of getting them ready and she didn't dry them as well as she thought and there were little rust marks (they rust very easy I recommend trying to just clean them out with a wipe) inside.
I used a picture online and added a little text to create the lid of the tin.  I cut them down (it was still a little larger than I wanted) and using a little mod podge they were adhered to the top.  

I didn't have old cards from the game to write the invitation on so I made my own.

I used the paper cutter and sliced them into cards.  They were then put inside the tins with some candy.

Once the party is over I'll post what we did.  I have so many ideas, but probably not enough time to get them all done.  Oh well, I'm sure it'll be fun.  Once I get some free time on my other computer I'll also add some printables in case you want to have your own Candy Land party!
Download the picture used on the tin here (made slight adjustment to say 'my' instead of my daughter's name plus it is a little smaller so it'll fit better).
Download blank Candy Land cards to write (type - it is a word document so you can edit it) your party information on here

Monthly School Idea: Recess Bag

So this is the first tag made for the monthly school gift idea.  If you don't know what I'm referring to, go read this post.  The first month of course is going to be the bag to keep all the recess equipment in.  I found the bag below here.  It was only $5.99 and free shipping and it holds up to 8 basketballs.
They come nicely packaged like this so you can tie a cute little tag onto it:

I made two tags.  Well one tag, two sayings.  I haven't yet decided which one I will use yet:

If you would like this tag feel free to download it here.