Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gift Crafty for Gift Giving...and...It's Almost ELF Time!!!

I am so thankful for this weekend...it gave me time to....
prepare and finish Thanksgiving gifts for my sons' school friends!

I always like the boys to give their friends a little gift each holiday- not just Christmas.  I didn't want to overload them with candy after we just escaped the MOUNDS of Halloween candy, so I decided on play dough...ok...my original idea was those cute 'Turkey Toes' you see on Pinterest, but since I didn't plan far enough in advance and buy the harvest corn in August when it came out, there was NONE to be found!

These were actually VERY easy to make!

Step 1: Gather supplies!
I used the 'medium' size play doh containers.  I used Educlips Build -A-Turkey clip art to make the printable and some tape!
(Did you see the 'hyperlink' on printable?  YUP...I have it for you!!!)

Step 2: Make 2 tape rolls- one on lid and one on container 

Step 3: Stick the turkey body on the tape. 

Step 4: Center the feathers on the container 

Step 5: Secure each side of the feathers with a piece of tape! 

DONE!  See....so easy! 
 I saved the boxes the dough came in for 'safe travel!'
 They are packed in good and tight!

And about 1.5 hours later (start to finish including cutting) an entire 'flock' of 56 are ready to be delivered!

But my gifting didn't end there...I need to show the teachers, daycare providers and bus driver we are so THANKFUL for them too!  I found these packs of Starbucks Hot Cooca in Christmas Tree Shoppe for $1.29 each.  I whipped up a little tag and they are all set to go! 
I still had some 'spare time'...and you know who will be arriving soon.....
Our Elf!!!

Check out my guest post on The Primary Pack (it goes live at midnight 11/24) which details how to make this adorable Elf Craftivity 
You can download all the pieces to make him, along with an adoption certificate and Magic Elf Dust poem for FREE from my Teachers Pay Teachers store:

I LOVE having the elf do fun things around the house and leave things for the boys...and somewhere between doing laundry, dishes and cleaning this weekend, I thought of having the elf leave them 'Elf Hat Candy!'
Naturally I had to give it a try to see if my 'vision' would work...

So I gathered the supplies...
Hershey Kisses would be the 'hat' and they would be covered with some festive chocolate.  I thought the candy wafers would work as the base, but they were too small, so I improvised...see below!

Unwrap the kisses (you can also 'cheat' and purchase the candy cane Hershey Kisses- throw them in a bowl or on a plate and call then Elf hats- I won't tell that there was another, more time consuming, way!)

Melt the chocolate- if it is too thick, add a touch of vegetable oil to make it thinner!
 Press the kiss into the melted chocolate...

And to make them more festive, dip in sprinkles! 

Be creative..there is no wrong way to make an elf hat candy! 
 

Now to my improvise...I simply 'blobbed' chocolate onto waxed paper!  Add a few sprinkles if you want! 

Before the 'blobs' harden, drop the Hershey Kisses onto the blobs- WALAH!  You have a hat! 

You can add a 'blob' of chocolate to the top as a tip, but not necessary! 

If you are in a rush, slide the wax paper onto a tray and put it in the fridge or freezer to harden.  Otherwise you can leave them out to harden.  

Once hardened, it is time to have your elf serve up a sweet treat: 



And here is a close-up of one of the hats...HOW cute are they???!!! 

As for me....I must now go hide the evidence!  That pic of our elf Rudy was taken down in my basement on the sly...he doesn't make his appearance for another week.... he looked quite upset that I shoved him back in the box and covered him up with stockings and placemats!  SORRY RUDY!  I promise...it is almost time!!!!

Don't forget to download the elf craftivity!
I'd love to hear about some of your elf fun!!!
Until next post,
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All I Want for...Black Friday!


I'm joining my blogging buddies from The Primary Pack for another fun adventure! We are celebrating Black Friday in a fun way (and a little early). There is no word yet if there will be a Black Friday (or any site-wide) sale but regardless, we are sharing a few of our most wish-listed items in our carts and our stores. We are also a HUGE Black Friday Giveaway, check it out below, you don't want to miss it!


My wishlist is FULL...some with freebies I have yet to download, but mostly with items I know my students will enjoy and are really great deals!  And....of course...it would not be complete without some clip art to feed my addiction...I mean...add to my collection!

Here are some of my 'must haves':
1. Gingerbread Math & Literacy Centers from Mrs. Payton's store!  It is full of adorable activities for both ELA and Math that are Common Core aligned (so I can justify it to my admin) but are super fun for the kids.  They will think they are playing- I will be the wiser!

2. Build Your Own Bundle from Differentiation Station Creations' store!  WHAT a fab idea....she lets you choose 5 of her Roll, Say, Keep packs that best work for your class/themes!  I still am not sure which 5 I am going to choose!!  We just used one of her fall sets- the kids LOVED it!

3. Comprehension Cubes from Kelly and Kim's Kreations' store!  These look like SO MUCH FUN!  I can see myself using them in small groups, guided reading, whole group and more!  She has them so reasonably priced too....just $2!

4. Who's In Santa's Selfie? from Brenda Tejeda's store!  This JUST came across my feed as a new product and it looks SO CUTE!  Kids are so familiar with 'selfie' they are going to eat this up!  PLUS it is an interactive powerpoint- a definite to keep their attention during the hustle and bustle of holiday wiggles & jiggles!

5. Christmas Counting Mats from Melony White's store!  We are just finishing 0-5 and are beginning 6-10 so this set is perfect!  I can use them in math centers- as well as a fun party station!  What I also love is that I can use it in my sensory bin...I am thinking of putting bows in the bin for this one!

6. Santa Numbers Clip Art from Scappin Doodle's store!  As I said above, we are working with numbers.  My wheels are turning on how I can use these clips for some fun holiday math goodies!

7. Gingham Paper Pack from Aisnes Creations' store!  I just love this paper- I can use it to fill in letters/numbers, use it for backgrounds, frames and more!  It is a pack I can use with every season!

8. Winter Message Board Kids from Classroom Doodle Diva's store! This is just 1 of the many sets I have from this new seller on my wishlist!  I plan to use these for task cards, center activities, matching games and more for winter!  GO check out her stuff- it is ultra cute!

9. Winter Ice Skating from Whimsy Clips' store! This is from one of my favorite clip sellers...her stuff is so cute I have a hard time saying no!  I have just a few ideas on how to use this set this winter...without having to slip and slide on the ice!!


If your wishlist isn't too full and you are looking to add a few more goodies, can I suggest some of my most wishlisted and best selling packs?

My number one wishlisted item, and part of the Primary Pack rafflecopter you will find at the end of this post, is Interactive Notebook A to Z.  You can read all about how my kinders use this pack on this post,  I also have 'Aa' for free!  If you are into interactive notebooks, I also have a Holiday & Seasonal bundle!

My number one seller is Hibernation and Animals in Winter pack!  It has had 3 make-overs since I first posted it 2 years ago!  I also have a hibernation freebie that can be used in conjunction with the pack!

Next up is my Sight Word Readers mega bundle!  This was one of the first things I posted on TPT and it had a HUGE makeover this summer!  I even have a sampler for free!  My students use these books every week!  You can read about how I use them in my classroom in this post!

Some of my best selling holiday items are my Winter Holiday Morning Work and Reindeer packs!  Both had major makeovers last summer and I have always received such wonderful feedback!

If you are planning any elf fun in your classroom this holiday season, you will want to check out my Elf Mega Bundle!  I am also going to be posting more elf fun on The Primary Pack tomorrow, so be sure to check that out!  The Mega Bundle is 5 elf packs bundled into one- PLUS has some 'extras' you can only get by purchasing the bundle!  You can also find a free sampler of the mega bundle!

Two of my newer holiday goodies that you might want to check out are Old Lady Swallowed A Bell listening response pack and Silly Rudolph Shape Book!  The Old Lady pack is part of my growing bundle, so if you plan on doing more old lady stories, be sure to check that out too!  The earlier you purchase the more you save!  

Now for the gift....
Primary Pack bloggers have each donated their MOST WISHLISTED item to this amazing prize pack!  One lucky winner will win all of this...


There is a resource from almost everyone in The Primary Pack, perfect for all primary grades!! Good luck, friends and happy shopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now It's Your Turn To Join The Fun! 

Just a few rules to follow and your on your way:
1. Download the images above!
2. Add your favorite sellers products in your TpT cart to the "My Black Friday Wishlist"
3. Add your own products to the "For Your Black Friday Wishlist"
4. Link up below to share your Black Friday Wishlists!
5. Don't forget to enter our fabulous giveaway above AND visit others linked up below!




Until next post,
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Make Festive and Fun 2-Sided Playing Cards!

I can't believe I have not posted in nearly 3 weeks!
I have so many pictures of all the fun that has been going on in my classroom, but have not had a minute to post!
Today I am home with my little one who is sick with a fever- he is resting so I am going to take a few minutes to post pictures of a way to make your holiday (or any) playing cards more festive and fun- without using TONS of printer ink!
Clip purchased from Whimsy Clips

First gather some scrapbook paper- I have had this HUGE pack of Christmas 12x12 paper for years!  You can also purchase 9x12 size paper.  Make sure whatever you use has a blank white side- some papers have the company's logo on the back.

Cut the scrapbook paper down to 'copy paper size'- 8.5x11- so that you can feed it into your printer. 

Depending on how your computer takes paper, place it so that the images will print on the white side (for me I have to place the paper 'colored side up' for it to print on the blank side. 

And when they are all printed you will have a set of double sided playing cards- without using TONS of ink!

Here is what of one of my best purchases ever- an 'at home' laminator!  This one is from 3M and I purchased it from Amazon for $25!!  I think it is about $30 now but it is SO worth the money!  You can buy laminating pockets in 3ml or 5ml.  I use the 3ml when laminating cardstock and 5ml when laminating copy paper.  It makes the copy paper just as stiff as cardstock!  SO- when using the scrapbook paper, I opted for 5ml to make the cards sturdy for play!


Here is my Christmas Game Cards all ready for play!  You can see the 'backs' are fun and festive and there is no way they can 'peek' through the cards when we use them for Memory, Go-Fish or Old Maid!  


This is a brand new set that I just uploaded!  I am so excited the Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs is now making counting and ten frame clip art sets!  It made this so much easier to put together!  

There are 4 types of playing cards- counting cookies, counting Santas, identifying the number and 'reading' a ten frame for numbers 1-10.  It also has an 'old maid' (Mrs. Claus) so that the cards can be used for 4 different games all holiday season long!

I would love to give a set away so that you can try out scrapbook paper printing and/or play with your students!  Leave me a blog post comment with what you are most looking forward to doing with your students this holiday season!  I will have one of my 'elves' select a winner Friday evening!
You can see the set you may win by clicking here:

 Hoping to find some time to catch up on all we have been doing in my classroom soon!
Until next post,
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