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, September 9, 2012

Bulletin Board Make Over {Teacher Appreciation Week}

I have to preface this post.  I had the whole thing typed up and when I published it, it disappeared.  I had spent hours on it, twice, and I lost everything but my first paragraph and picture.  I was so frustrated I couldn't work on it. It was put off to work on later.  I guess now is later.  It may or may not be as long/detailed as before. 

For Teacher Appreciation week I saw some cute door make-overs over at Skip to My Lou.  I thought that it would be fun to do for my kids' teachers.  I decided to use their bulletin boards and make them over.
I loved the Recipe for Success idea and I had to use that one.   
This picture doesn't do it justice, it turned out much cuter than I can show you.  My plan was to buy a red and white checked table cloth, but I forgot to hit the party store to see if I could find one.  I did have red and white wrapping paper so I used that instead.  The title was cut out with a die cut machine (or cricut or silhouette would do the same thing):
If I had to do it again I would have put plain paper behind it so that it would be easier to read.  I then put on the recipe.
The top says Mrs. Yawberg has the recipe for success!  The recipe says: Take 11 boys and 16 girls. Sprinkle liberally with laughter and enthusiasm.  Marinate with creativity, knowledge and love.  Mix gently in a classroom.  Let simmer for 9 1/2 months.  This recipe make 27 students well prepared for Middle School.
I asked the students to write their own recipes of what make Mrs. Yawberg a successful teacher.  I photo copied their recipes and put them on the board:


I stapled paper plates, plastic cups, and utensils wrapped in napkins around the board. 
The original recipes I put in here:
To make the holder I purchased a 4x6 photo holder from Micheals.  I mod podged paper onto the front.  I attached a coordinating ribbon with a tape runner.  I left a little gap to attach the bow. The bow on there is actually a barrette that I made.  I liked how it looked on it plus if she wanted to stack it she could remove the bow and have more room (or she could even use it in her daughter's hair).  I also put the year down in the corner.
To go along with the board I had the kids sign an apron.
I wrapped it all together with another teacher gift for the week:
The tag says 'We have to Ad-MITT, you are a great teacher!  Thanks for all you do!'  It was tied onto an oven mitt filled with cooking utensils and the apron wrapped around it.

We were going to get all the kids' pictures taken in an apron and chef's hat, but I didn't have the opportunity to go in there to do that.  I wanted to put their pictures on the board next to their recipes.  It would have been so cute and added so much more to it.

The other board we decorated (for our second grade teacher) we used the M&M theme.  I have used this years ago, but it is pretty popular now.  I found a cute poem to go with it.  
Here is the board:

The center of the boards says:
To make the boarder I cut out large circles (as large as I could get on 12x12 paper) in the color of m&m's.  I put part of the poem in each circle:

In between the large poem m&m's I put small ones.  In the center are m&m's that say 'Ms. Millson is magnificent because' and 'Ms. Millson is Marvelous because'.  The kids in her class each filled two of these out and then we hung them up:

For her treat we made her a bucket of M&M's complete with the poem. I found a clear paint can bucket and filled it with m&m's.  I tied ribbon along the side in the colors of the m&m's.
 I also slid in a copy of the poem.
Both teachers loved their boards!  It was a great end of school year board too.  I think there may have even been a few tears.

Download the M&M poem here (as seen in the can)

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I Belong to a Family & I Love My Brothers and Sisters (Primary Manual 1, Lessons 23 & 24)

Sunbeam Lesson 23 - I Belong to a Family
Sunbeam Lesson 24 - I Love my Brothers and Sisters

First take a look at this post.

If I had to do it all again I would spread the chain out through all three lessons in which you talk about family.  Print out the chains (from the link above) and divide them between the three lessons - Lessons 23, 24, 25.  

For lesson 23 color the self link and parents link.
For lesson 24 color the brother & sister links.
For lesson 25 color the extended family links.

It took a lot of time to try and draw bodies on all the links and put them together (plan on teaching them how to draw stick figures the first lesson).  This will cut down on the coloring time and on the day of the last lesson you could have the chains linked together already minus the ones they will make that day.

Lesson 24: I Love My Brothers and Sisters.
We did the chains (above) and read a story about Moses.  They did a lot of talking about their brothers and sisters.  We talked about how to be kind to our siblings and how much we love them.  The kids then got to take a treat home to each sibling and a little note. A Kiss seems the perfect gift for a sister or brother.

I decided to make treats with a chocolate kiss on top.

Back to School Teacher Gifts

The school year has began and the best way to start it is with a gift for the teacher.  This year I have two in middle school (13 teachers) one in elementary (1 teacher, 7 specialists).  The count is getting much higher. 
I had planned on giving these during open house to the elementary teacher & specialists, but I began work this week and didn't have time (and I found the idea the day before open house):
We made them for the first day of school instead.  I printed the the tags from here.  They had two per sheet and I chose to print them on an 8x11 page four times (8 tags) so each sheet is a little smaller than 2x3.  
Using bakers twine I tied three kit kats to the tag.  These we gave to the elementary specialists.  I didn't take a picture, but for the teacher I put one bag of (opened a bag of snack size) kit kats and three containers of Keurig coffee into some tissue paper.  I tied the top with red and white bakers twine and attached a tag.  We then slid the tissue into a red and white gift bag.
I had one bag of kit kats left.  We tied two kit kats to a tag and gave them to the elementary and middle school office staff and bus driver.  
For the middle school teachers I wanted to give them something useful.  I'm not sure if you know this or not (I didn't until I worked at the school), but Magic Erasers make EXCELLENT erasers for dry erase boards.  I picked some up along with some Expo Markers while they were on sale this summer.  I printed some tags and brought out the bakers twine.  Using coordinating colors I tied on the tags.
I used two different sayings for the tags:

The original idea for the 'spell' tag here
The other tag:
This tag used to say: You have been the write teacher for me!  For the original idea check out here (plus you can download the past tense there).

Each teacher was given one (I even had an extra one for the elementary teacher).  They now have a marker and an eraser to use in class that they don't have to spend their own funds on.  It may not be huge, but they will appreciate it.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Monthly School Idea: Sidewalk Chalk

Sorry for the delay.  There are so many posts I need to do still, and Surprisingly (not really) they are mainly teacher/school gifts.  I guess I have a soft spot in my heart for teachers.  

I recommend giving this gift when it is warm.  It could be in the fall or in the spring.  Since our schools don't start until September and we did the recess bag first, we saved this one for the spring. 
I bought a large box of sidewalk chalk and made some tags.  I attached the tag with lots of bright ribbon.  It pulled all the colors of the tag and the chalk together.  There are two to choose from:

Use your 3 inch circle punch for these.

You could use the top one and attach it to other teacher supplies: pens, markers, expo's, sharpies, etc. 

If you choose to download, please become a follower first (on the right).  I'm happy to share my creations with my followers.  If you would like to leave a comment too that would totally make my day!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Snack Holders

Another item from Pin Land. . .
And another item for the big drive across country!  My kids are a little old for this (at least a couple of them may be), but they liked it anyway.  The good thing about them being older is that the contents DID NOT end up on the floor of the van.  We had tons of snacks, but I wanted the kids to have access to some without me having to dish them out from the front seat.  I also tried to keep their items a little healthier than just candy.

First at Micheal's 40% off sale I purchased beading storage boxes.  Yes, it is worth paying extra money for removable dividers.  At first I thought I would need the big boxes - that is a lot of snacks, even for across country!  As you can see mine had two rows with five sections in them.  Plenty of treats.  Not to mention I had more of just about everything so I could fill them up if needed (I only needed to fill them up for the return home).  Here is what the three looked like.  The boy is picky and won't eat any nuts.  His is the least healthy.

I dug out my vinyl, circut, and gypsy (because on the gypsy you can design multiple cuts at once).  I decided to pick a cute shape and cut the letters out of it.  I also knew it would be easier to apply to the boxes (since I have yet to purchase the transfer paper).  Each kid picked out a color from what I had on hand.  Some had just their name cut out and some had their name and the word snacks.  As I'm thinking about it now if you just put their name they can use them for other things (like those pesky barbie shoes that end up all over the place - we use one of the big boxes for this very purpose).

Fill with snacks that your kids will eat.  It is great to keep in the diaper bag so you always have a variety. Or in the car for when you are gone longer than planned. Or maybe even in your desk at work.  If you have larger snacks just remove the dividers to make a little extra room.  Hmmm, I wonder where I put my extra dividers at?  Might need to find a home to store those.
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Another Travel Post - Personal Hygiene Holder

Have you seen these on Pinterest?
I was thinking it would be a good idea to have.  I can't name how many times my kids have taken their stuff to a sleepover and left it or forgotten to put it back.  I thought this would be a good thing to have not only for our trip, but for future sleepovers.  I love the idea that if the toothbrush is still wet that it is in something that can not only let it dry, but is washable.

Here is what I did to make them.
Buy a 12x12 wash cloth.  You can get 2 for $1 at the dollar store.  That is what I started with to try it out.  When it worked I used a couple I already had at home.  The picture above sews every 3 inches.  I decided I didn't need a 3 inch section for my toothbrush and made some modifications.
For my son I sewed up the edges first.  
From the left edge I sewed another vertical line 2 inches away (this is huge for a toothbrush,  you can go much smaller if you wanted), then I gave another 3 inches for toothpaste, and the next section was 4 inches for deodorant.  This left 3 inches for a comb.  I used a small comb for him so that it fit in the pocket and didn't extend to get dirty from the wet toothbrush.

For my daughters I took a small piece of ribbon.  I sewd velcro on the ends so it could form a loop.  I took the middle and sewed it onto the edge of the washcloth:

Then I basically followed the same as for the boy. I used a tail comb for the girls so that the comb part fit in the pocket and didn't extend to get dirty from the wet toothbrush (the tail did, but that shouldn't get in their hair or can be easily cleaned before use).
After that I attached the ribbon.  Since the pockets aren't snug I pictured everything sliding out so I made another change here too.  I sewed ribbon on the edge at the middle and at the top.  The middle ribbon is 2 feet (I did smaller on the boys and it is a little harder to tie) and 18 inches on the top.  I just did a straight seam with the wrong side down facing the outside.  
I also heat sealed my ribbon so it wouldn't fray.  To do this just run the edge of the ribbon quickly through a flame (candle or lighter).  Then just roll it up and tie the ribbons.  
After this trip they will be used for sleepovers.  Everything they need will all be ready to go.  And when it gets wet or dirty, just throw it in the laundry!  Gotta love that!

Now that I have traveled here is what I have learned: you can make the sections smaller.  If you add more sections you made need to add length to the ribbon closures because they will be adding stuff and that will make it thicker when rolled.  My girls found all sorts of things to add and could have used more pockets.  My oldest ended up putting her comb behind her toothbrush (not sure if it stayed clean that way because she uses a brush most the time and probably could have left the comb out) and put some perfume where in the pocket.  My youngest doesn't wear deodorant so she used the pockets for perfume and body glitter.  To think at first I was wondering what to put in all the pockets, the girls figured it out for me.  I LOVE the loop to hold elastics.  That was very handy.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012


Well, I survived the drive across country.  We left about 5 pm Wednesday night and traveled 2200 miles arriving at our destination by 7:00 Friday night.  We are planning on it taking more than double that time to get home.  One of those days will be spent at Nauvoo sight seeing. 
I hoped to do a little blogging while I was here, but my laptop wouldn't fit in the over-crowded car.  I even downloaded and edited pictures so they would be all ready to go on it. 
So far we have had lots of fun with cousins - parks, dinners, amusement parks, baseball games, family pictures - and had the opportunity to attend two wedding receptions. 
I will only be home a week before I have to go back to school so hopefully I can get some posts done before then (along with the unpacking, laundry washing, school shopping, etc).
I hope you are enjoying your summer and will post as soon as I can, but probably not for another 10 days or so.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Car Organization

More travel posts.  We have traveled a few times across country and one of the things that I hate the most is the mess!  Every time the doors open stuff falls out.  Coloring books, crayons or pencils scattered across the floor, headphones to the DVD player - you get the picture.  To help combat that problem I searched for ideas online.  I found this tutorial to make an organizer on the back of your van seats.  As you learned in this post, I don't sew.  Apparently I'm not too bad at it because these projects have turned out.  If I can do it so can you!

The post has great instructions, but I will tell you about the few changes I made on mine.  The seats in my car aren't as wide as the tutorials so I made them a little more narrow.  It ended up being about 16 inches wide and the same length.  
The top of my seat aren't as deep either so I added another row of pockets.  This top row is only 3 inches tall (with 2 inches between each row). I sewed it in half so each pocket is 8 inches wide.  I haven't figured what will go here yet, but some ideas are pencils, sunglasses (or glasses case since they will be doing a lot of sleeping), or glow in the dark bracelets.  My second row has 3 pockets instead of 4.  I didn't think much could fit in 2 inches so I eliminated that one.  I made one 7 inches (for a project I'm hoping to get done), one 5 inches, and one 4 inches.  The bottom row of pockets has one at 10 inches and one at 6. 
I also added a Velcro loop on one side to hold the headphones and two button holes on the other side to attach carrabiners.  This is just an extra option to hold things in cases: DS, cameras, PSP, etc.  Their pillows already hold their iPod touch, or in my daughter's case my old iPhone that doesn't have service but still has games.
Post coming soon on an item I'm making to be stored in the little pockets :).

Travel Activity Books

How do you keep children entertained in a car for days on end? Hopefully I found some helps. I stumbled across this wonderful site: Prepared Not Scared. She has some absolutely wonderful stuff (most of which I have yet to discover, but I will take the time in the future to read more)! But for my purposes today I'm going to share her road trip items. She did a beautiful job!
I decided to go with the 4x6 book. I know a lot if people are using these in an 8.5x11 binder, but I wanted something smaller that will store easier in the car. I purchased some inexpensive photo books from Dollar General, printed out her creations, cut them out, and slid them in the books. I let each cold pick out their favorite color car for the cover. 
I haven't done it yet but my plan is to attached the tic-tac-toe game to a sheet of adhesive magnet. I would have it done, but I purchased the wrong kind of magnet (one you print directly on).  I don't think it is strong enough to attract magnets. I also plan adhered the tokens to magnets. I will put them in a snack sized Ziploc bag and stuck them in an extra pocket in the back. I figured it would be easier to retrieve them without ripping the pages if they were in a bag.
There are extra pages in the book. I could search for more games, but I'm thinking that I may have some of of the pictures from our trip printed while we are there and they can look at them on the way back home.
To find the printables go to her travel post here.  For some reason the link to the multiple games in the 4x6 size only shows one game.  If you go here you can find all the travel printables.  Or you can get to them by going to the travel post and at the top right clicking on Folder Three.

The Teen's 'Stache Bash

The oldest is just a teeny tiny obsessed with mustaches.  And while I told her last year that that was her last birthday party (until 16), I got a little excited with all the mustache items out there.  While most parties I viewed were little man parties, I knew we could pull off the teen party with similar items.

First the invitations:
We began with the invitations.  And while I type this I find out I didn't take pictures of the invitations, oops.  I do have a copy of the front of the invitation (because of course it will be available to download).  I cut blue card stock in half and on the front I glued:
On the back I put in the party info and I designed it subway art style.  I can't share it though because my computer crashed and I lost all my fonts.  Now it doesn't show up the right way since I didn't save it as a PDF. 

I used my Cricut to make most of the accessories/gifts.  I ordered the mustaches and glasses from the Cricut Craft Room.  I cut out a bunch of mustaches and made a curtain with them:
The colors of the party were black and white highlighted with blue and pink.  I cut most of the mustaches out on black paper with a few on white, pink, and blue.  Here is a close up of my son being silly, but you will also be able to see what I did.

I took two of the same mustache, some clear beading line, and a tape runner.  I attached the mustaches together with the tape runner, securing the clear line in the middle.  The pattern on each string was: two black mustaches and then a different color, two black, another color, etc.  I tied the strings onto an inexpensive tension rod and hung it in a doorway.  The kids LOVED the curtain.

The supplies I purchased for the party included a large mustache mold, a mustache ice mold, finger tattoos, adhesive mustaches, and chocolate sucker molds:   

 Oh, and I forgot to add the mustache sandwich cutter:

 Let's start with the gift bags:
Here is a close up of the tag on the bag (well all except one word, read on):
I actually saw this idea here.  I emailed her and she sent me her creations, but then I needed to change the colors to match the party.  So I used the same saying and created my own.  After I did so my daughter wanted it to say I instead of we.  You see the original was used at a one year old party so it was a gift from the parents and child.  My daughter wanted it to be just from her.  So I changed the we to I and we used the tape runner to put them on the front of black and white bags.

Inside there was a 12 inch mustache magnet (see below), an adhesive mustache (see picture collage above), a mustache glass filled with m&m's/reeses pieces and chocolate mustaches on a stick.
To make the glass I cut out mustaches on black vinyl and adhered them to the glass.  They now are hand wash only.  I put them where I thought it would look like they were wearing a mustache when they took a drink.  If I had to do it again I would put it a little lower.

Mustache Suckers: I also made a bunch of chocolate suckers.  The light brown ones are peanut butter, the dark brown ones are mint, and the black ones are milk chocolate with black dye.  You have to use an oil based dye for chocolate.  Each glass has three chocolate suckers in it.  I had two molds (as you see in the above collage).  One mold made four of the same thing and one made three different ones.  We ended up with lots of the one style, but that was also the style we used the most throughout the party.
12 Inch Magnet Mustache: With the cricut I also made jumbo magnets.  I bought a roll of adhesive magnet and adhesive felt.  I cut a mustache out of both at 11 inches and stuck them together.  Here is what I learned: You can't put them together before hand because it is two thick and will slice up whatever item is on top.  The cricut does not cut through felt well, but if you use adhesive felt put the paper backing up.  It will cut through it and part of the felt.  You will have to trim it up, but it is a lot easier that way.  I didn't take a picture figuring I would take one of my daughters.  Well guess what, she doesn't know where it is.  Funny since that was her favorite thing!  When it turns up I will add a picture.

With the extra material I also made some small magnets and some stick on mustaches to go with the ones I purchased.

We had lots of Mustache shaped food.  
We had a large Jell-o mustache, large Rice Krispy treat mustaches, large mustache cake, I used the mustache sandwich cutter (pic above) and cut out thick sliced ham, bread, and cheese.  The kids then assembled their own mustache sandwich with the toppings they liked best.  There was a platter of chips, and water bottles for them to 'wet their whiskers':

But we also had glasses with mustache straws:

To make the straws I used the good ol' cricut again.  I cut out mustaches, punched a hole in the middle and then slid it on a blue or pink straw.

I also made some some cup cakes to go along with the mustache cake.  I didn't take a picture of the inside of the cake, but it was a zebra striped cake - black and white to go with the color theme.  I frosted the cupcakes in white and added a chocolate mustache on top.  To make the chocolate mustaches I put some melted chocolate in a squeeze bottle.  I laid mustaches under wax paper.  I outlined the mustaches with the chocolate squeeze bottle and then filled it in with chocolate.  I also dragged the tip through the chocolate to give it texture.

I kept cutting out mustaches on the cricut.  This time I hot glued them onto dowels:

We used these for our photo booth.  I spray painted a large frame pink and they held the frame in their pictures.  We went outside with the woods as the background and took pictures of the girls with their mustache disguises.
Games: As the girls arrived they decorated shirts.  I tried the bleaching the shirts idea.  I bought, shirts, bleach pens, some letter stencils and then I made mustache stencils and set the girls loose.  I had cardboard or thick newspaper in between the shirt.  I also put a plastic table cloth on my table.  The girls were very creative.  Some things to note: we bought black shirts and when bleached turn more of a rust color.  I would recommend a lighter colored shirt.  Don't use too much bleach.  I think the girls thought they needed a lot and they piled it on.  That only presented problems when we washed it.  Since they had so much extra it got on other parts of the shirt.  We started with this activity so I could wash them during the party.  Sorry no pictures I was a little occupied at this point.  
The next game we played is like Headbandz (I'm assuming this is how you play Headbandz anyway).  I used to play it where you put a character or item on your back and you would walk around asking yes or no questions until you figure out who you are.  It is a good mingling game.  Well, the oldest wanted to play it where you put the character on your forehead and went around in a circle asking yes or no questions.  We chose to play it Mustache Style of course.  All the cards had a character from a movie that had a mustache.  To make it easier we mainly used Disney movies or similar animated movies(but not all the Disney movies were animated).  I had the name of the character and the name of the movie to help the girls answering the questions.  The movies in blue are Disney movies and the ones in pink aren't. Again, no pictures of the girls playing the game, but I do have it for you to print and use.
The last game was Truth or Dare.  I HATED this game as a kid because everyone chose mean/evil things.  To prevent this there were questions made up ahead of time for them to draw out of a truth bag or a dare bag.  I used the internet for ideas and then printed them out.  Some of the dares below: wrap yourself in a roll of toilet paper, eat a teaspoon of mustard (three choices she went with mustard), have the person on your left do your hair, have the person on the right do your makeup while wearing a blindfold, take one bite of a sandwich that has one ingredient picked out by each member of the group.  They had a blast.  I had this game last so they could play until parents came.
Here are your downloads:

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