Saturday, June 3, 2017

Water Bottle Teacher Gifts

I made personalized water bottles for our End of the Year teacher gifts this year!  I bought the water bottles at the Dollar Tree and simply added a white vinyl initial and a gift tag.  For the middle school teachers, I added white crinkle cut shredded paper and a variety of powdered drink mixes too!  I used a couple of different tags depending on who the water bottle was for.  The "Thanks for going the extra mile!" bus driver tag can be found HERE.  The "It's so refreshing to have a great teacher like you!" tag can be found HERE.  The "My cup runneth over" tag can be found HERE.  I love a cute and practical gift!

Willy Wonka End of the Year Party

I LOVED this Willy Wonka End of the Year Party!  It was SO much fun!  The teacher read the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl to the class in the month leading up to the party.  Plus, they watched the original movie in the morning before the party, so the kids knew all about it and were so excited about each station!  Here is what we did!

Decorations:
I made a banner that said "Factory" with my Silhouette and hung it between the classroom doors.  The font I used is called "WillyWonka".  Then, we hung purple streamers from the doorway to make it feel like the kids were entering the chocolate factory when they went in the classroom!  I also made "candy" from colored plastic plates wrapped in cellophane.  So cute!

Set-up:
We had 10 stations to do!  Instead of doing all 10 at once, we decided to set up 5 stations at a time so that there would be 4-5 kids at each station.  So, we set up and did the first 5 stations and then set up again to do the second 5 stations.

To divide the kids into groups, I made golden tickets!  Each golden ticket was coded with an "A", "B", "C", "D", or "E".  I randomly handed out the tickets and then the 5 kids holding a ticket with an "A" on it were in one group and so on...  This was a fair way to divide into groups and helped break up some of the kids that can be a handful when they are all together, especially at a party!  Plus the kids loved having a Golden Ticket to keep!  You can download the Golden Tickets HERE.  To make changes to the time and date paragraph, you can add a text box over mine and insert your own text.  I used "HelloBigSky" font in size 10 for this paragraph.  I added the letters for the groups and printed the tickets on gold vellum.

Games:
The games were the best part! Here is all 10!  You can download the place cards with instructions to put at each station: Page 1 HEREPage 2 HERE, & Page 3 HERE.  Print on cardstock, trim inside black lines, & fold in half.  This is what they look like:
  1. Violet's Bubble Blow: Chew a piece of gum.  Can you blow a bubble?  Who can blow the biggest bubble?  Who can make the loudest pop? 
  2. The Chocolate Room: Put Hershey's syrup on a plastic plate that has been taped to the table.  See who can lick the chocolate river off the plate first without using their hands. 
  3. The Inventing Room: Who can get their Gobstopper the smallest without biting it? 
  4. Golden Ticket Challenge: How many cheese balls can you put in your mouth and still say "I've got the Golden Ticket!"? 
  5. Charlie's Fizzy Lifting Drink: Give each child a gulp of Coca-Cola.  Can you burp?  Who can burp the loudest?  Who can burp the longest? 
  6. Veruca's Egg Find: Fill a large bucket with plastic Easter eggs.  Inside one egg place a piece of paper that says "Good Egg".  Who can find the egg with the paper inside? 
  7. The Augustus Gobble: Hang a mini doughnut from a string attached to a pole.  Who can finish their doughnut first without using their hands? (this was my favorite game!)  
  8. Mike's Taffy Pull: Give each child a piece of Laffy Taffy.  Who can stretch their taffy the longest distance? (This game took patience.  The kids had to warm up the taffy in their hands and then slowly stretch or roll it.  I wondered if Air Heads would work better?)
  9. Oompa Loompa Waddle: Waddle with a purple balloon between your legs to the finish line.  Then pop "Violet" without using your hands. 
  10. Willy Wonka Hat Toss:  Who can get the most pieces of candy into Willy Wonka's purple hat? (I got this hat from Amazon.)  
Food:
We didn't have any additional food since there is so much food involved in the party already!   However, I found these cute ideas online and will pass them on just in case: a chocolate fountain with lots of dippers, ice cream sundaes with lots of candy toppings, and a fizzy lifting drink made from soda, pop rocks, and sour candy straws!  We did have waters with Twizzler straws that the kids loved!  (Also, parents sent in popcorn and juice boxes for the kids to have while they watched the movie in the morning.)

Favors:
Favors are completely unnecessary at an end of the year party but I just couldn't resist!  This counted as our end of the year classmate gift and included, of course, a bunch of Willy Wonka candy!  I put Gobstoppers, Fun Dip, Pixie Sticks, Laffy Taffy, purple sucker, Bottle Caps, SweeTarts, and Nerds in a purple bag and sealed them with gold washi tape.  I attached a tag that said "Hope your summer is SWEET!"  You can download the tags HERE.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Amazing Race Birthday Party

We had an awesome Amazing Race-ish 9th birthday party for my son and his friend!  I say Amazing Race-ish because we didn't follow the Amazing Race theme too closely.  Most of the kids weren't familiar with all of the specifics of the show but were familiar with the idea.  We mainly just tried to make it fun and wear them out!  It was a great party!

Invitation:
One of the fun things about this party was that we transported all of the kids from school to a nearby park right after school on a Friday.  The parents loved this!  And, almost all of the kids were able to come to the party because it was so easy and there were few conflicts on a Friday afternoon right after school.  We did have to be very organized to make sure we got all of the kids we were supposed to but it really turned out to be a great idea!  I made this invitation in Excel using some cute clip art that I purchased on Etsy HERE.

The Game:
Again, we did not try to make the game just like the Amazing Race TV show.  My son loathes losing and we didn't really want the kids going off in all directions on their own.  So, we decided to have them race as one team.  They were trying to complete all 10 clues in less than an hour.  (They barely did it!)  We did use the "Pit Stop" idea from the Amazing Race where they would return after completing each clue to receive the next clue.  The Pit Stop was easy to make with poster board and letters cut on my Silhouette.  This turned out to be a great idea too because the moms stayed at the Pit Stop to prepare the next clue if needed and the dads ran around with the kids!  Here were the rules of the game:

  1. Everyone is a team.
  2. They all must return to the "Pit Stop" mat after completing each clue to receive the next clue.
  3. They are racing to complete all 10 clues together in less than an hour.
  4. They must stay together and with an adult.
  5. All friends must be in every picture.
  6. Use your manners.
  7. 5 minute penalty can be made if they are not following the rules.

We decided on our clues based on the layout of our park with many sports related clues because our boys love sports!  We also decided to include several clues that were pictures so we could get some awesome group pictures from the party!  Here were our clues:

  1. Take a picture at the concession stand at the back of the ballpark.
  2. Find a coin dated 2007 (the year they were born) at the bottom of a tree marked with a yellow ribbon.
  3. Take a picture with a dog.
  4. Pop balloons until you find one with this message inside: "Happy Birthday!"
  5. Take a picture of everyone on the playground slide.
  6. Everyone has to score a soccer goal against our goalie!
  7. Take a picture in a baseball dugout.
  8. Eat snacks out of small cups one at a time until you find the drawing of a balloon.
  9. Take a picture in a gazebo wearing a mustache.
  10. Find this baseball card in the pile: Coco Crisp.
Other clue ideas we had were: taking a picture on a bridge, taking a picture by a chalk drawing of a birthday cake, completing the dizzy bat game, completing a nature scavenger hunt, and finding a gnome.

I made the clue cards and put them in envelopes for the birthday boys to open!  You can download blank ones HERE to make your own clues!  The game was SO FUN and the kids were worn out!  They really loved it though!
Decorations & Party Favors:
I made an "Amazing Race" banner with my Silhouette.
 We gave everyone a black bandana to wear during the race.  They looked cute in the pictures! (It also helped the dads figure out who was with our group & who wasn't!)
At the end of the party, we gave everyone a water bottle.  I added their names on the bottles with blue vinyl cut by my Silhouette.  The gift tag said "Thanks for racing with us!" and can be downloaded HERE.

Food:
We kept it simple with pizza, cheese puffs, water, and cookie cake.

Thank Yous: I confess we didn't actually use these because I thought he was old enough to write his own thank yous!  But, I will share them in case you can use them!  Download page 1 HERE and page 2 HERE.


It really was one of the most fun and creative birthday parties we've ever done!  It was a blast!

Silent Auction Fire Pit

This was the easiest silent auction "basket" I have ever made!  Plus it is such a cute idea that you know will sell during the auction!

The fire pit is the best part!  But, I also added marshmallows, graham crackers, and hershey bars for smores along with extendable cooking forks, a cozy over-sized plush blanket, pumpkin candle, fall mugs, hot chocolate mix, apple cider mix, and pumpkin spice cookie mix.  Awesome!

To finish it off, I added orange, yellow, and red tissue paper and tied it all up with cellophane wrap and a giant red mesh bow!

Oreo Balls Teacher Gift

I made these Oreo Balls as a Valentine's gift for teachers but they can be adapted for any holiday!  They are SO yummy!

Here is the recipe:

OREO BALLS

Ingredients
1 package Oreos
8 ounces cream cheese
16 ounces white almond bark
Holiday sprinkles

Instructions
Place Oreos in 1 large ziploc bag.  Place that bag inside another ziploc bag so that the Oreos are double bagged to avoid a mess.  Use a rolling pin or the smooth side of a meat mallet to crush Oreos.  Mix crushed Oreos with cream cheese.  Use a small cookie scoop (2 teaspoons) to form Oreo balls on a cookie sheet.  Freeze balls until firm.  Melt white almond bark in microwave according to package directions.  Dip balls in melted bark and immediately pour on sprinkles.  Let set completely on a cooling rack.

Makes 40 balls

(Instead of sprinkles, I have also sprinkled on extra crushed Oreos or added a gummy lifesaver with a chocolate chip in the center to look like an eyeball for Halloween.)

To package these as teacher gifts, I simply put several balls in a treat bag, tied it up, add a gift tag, and put the treat bag in a cute metal bucket.   

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Halloween Snacks

We had some yummy and adorably spooky Halloween snacks!

We had the Vomiting hummus pumpkin (see post HERE) and the Pig in a blanket mummies (see post HERE) again.  Then we also had Cheese straw witch fingers, Mummy brownies, and Monster sugar cookies!

For the Cheese straw witch fingers, I made my usual cheese straw recipe (see post HERE) and simply added sliced almonds before baking.  Yum!

For the Mummy brownies, I made my usual boxed brownie recipe (shhh!)  Once the brownies cooled, I cut them into squares and placed them on cooling racks with wax paper underneath.  I melted white chocolate in the microwave and used a knife to drizzle/shake the chocolate over the brownies.  Then, I quickly added small eyes.  Cute!

 For the Monster sugar cookies, I cooked place-and-bake sugar cookies (I'm revealing all my secrets!  But, the kids don't care I promise!  The tip to any place-and-bake cookies is to not overcook them.)  I added tinted white icing in between 2 cookies.  For the ones on the top, I added mini marshmallows in between the 2 cookies for teeth, added more icing on top, and then added a large marshmallow to the top for an eye.  I added the eyeball with a black edible marker. Adorable monsters!

Spooky Science Fun Friday

I had so much fun doing a Spooky Science Fun Friday with my 3rd grader's class before Halloween!

First, we made slime!  I ordered the Steve Spangler Green Slime Kit which made it super easy for me! (purchase HERE)  I got small mason jars and made labels for the tops (download HERE).   I added the ingredients and then all the kids had to do was SHAKE!  We let this sit a few minutes to congeal while we did the other experiments.

Second, we did the experiments in the Steve Spangler Ghost Science Kit (purchase HERE).  We watched the "ghost poop" disappear in a cup of water and we watched the "ghost eggs" glow.  For the ghost eggs, I let these sit overnight in water to let them expand and become virtually invisible.  Then, I added the glow dye in the classroom so the kids could see them.  I let them touch a couple at the end and they each got to take one home.  I also let them take home a couple of the ghost poop to show their families.  They loved taking stuff home!  I really enjoyed using the Steve Spangler kits (I'm not paid for these comments - this is just mom-to-mom info!) The kits were easy to use and came with great instructions and explanations to explain the science behind the experiments.  With my order, they sent me a sample of the Steve Spangler Magic Sand (purchase HERE) that was really cool too.  The kids liked touching the sand to see that it was still dry even though it had been in the water!

Third, we played with Screaming Balloons.  I got this idea from Steve Spangler but was able to find the items needed for it at Walmart.  Simply place a hex nut inside a clear latex balloon and blow up.  Spin the hex nut around inside the balloon to create a screaming balloon! (details HERE)  I also let them take home a balloon and hex nut.  They loved it!

Lastly, the kids came up to my mystery boxes and put their hands in each hole to feel the creepy Halloween items!  I had one table at a time come up to feel inside the mystery boxes and the other tables played with their slime while they waited.  The mystery boxes were so fun!  To make them, I bought 2 banker boxes at Walmart.  I cut 4 holes in each box (2 on each side).  Then I sprayed painted the boxes black.  I covered the holes with black foam that I had cut an "X" in.  I added tags (download HERE) and then added the items in bowls on the inside.  Here is what I did but there are lots of ideas online!  Be sure to bring some wipes!
Skeleton Fingers = pickled okra
Vampire Guts = cooked spaghetti with a little oil
Spider Legs = chenille stems
Werewolf Teeth = popcorn kernels & candy corn
Mummy Eyes = olives
Zombie Brain = cauliflower
Witch Hair = corn husks
Ghost Boogers = raisins with honey (definitely the grossest one!)
 



They had a blast!  I enjoyed doing something different for Halloween too!