Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Over 15 Teacher Appreciation Ideas and Printables

If you have read my blog before you know that I believe teacher are underpaid and under thanked.  Through the last few years I have tried to come up with some thank yous for our teachers.  Most of my ideas are fairly inexpensive.  I want to thank all my children's teachers, including their specialists.  Now that I have two in middle school that is at least 21 teachers.  It does add up, but I believe they deserve a little thanks too.  Actually I haven't been good about thanking the middle school extras (like the librarian) and I often forget their counselors and the nurse.  I do what I can.  
Here are some things (and links) to things I have done in the past and each item has a free printable you can download.  Please become a follower before you download.

I like to give one gift every day.  Here is some things I did last year:

This is one of my favorites, and I'm thinking I may do it again.  You can attach it to a box of brownies or a plate of brownies, but I'm thinking about attaching it to a mug of mix that you put in the microwave (just have to find it on pinterest again).  Then it is a serving for one and they get a cute mug!

This is one of my most pinned, most popular posts. 

This is an easy, expensive and cute gift.  Easy to do for lots of teachers, specialists, and staff.  You can also dress it up with a flower pot and garden gloves.  You can even go a step closer with a trowel and other gardening supplies.
 Word Play on "mint" coming soon {I guess I forgot to post it last year}.

This is tied in with a bulletin board idea and a box of recipes the kids wrote about their teacher.

 A Poem explaining the colors of M&M's and a bulletin board idea.


Attach to pens, pencils, chalk, expo markers, etc.

Can be made for as a birthday present or for as a teacher appreciation gift.

Attach the bag to a pair of sunglasses.

Or try one of my monthly gifts I did last year (I didn't quite make it each month).
I've hit a home run being in your class
Your a hit above the rest
You have hit every situation we have pitched right out of the park
 I'm glad to pitch-in for some fun

If you used these for teacher appreciation instead of a small gift you could attach it to baseball tickets or merchandise.

No Picture - Attach to football item.

I hope that you can find an idea or two that will be able to use.  Please remember that 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!

Linking to parties listed above on the Link Party tab including:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lego Birthday Party - Games - Part 2

The party was a hit and the kids had a great time!  I had plenty of games, in fact we didn't have time for one of them and there are a couple I wanted to do that I left out completely.  As the party goers arrived they went into the kitchen to decorate a Lego Figure Head.  It was just the head on yellow paper.  I did have this picture up on the computer to give them some face ideas.  These would be used later in the game of pin the head on the Lego Man.  After they did that they made a guess of how many Lego's were in this jar:
I had slips of paper with their name on it (in Lego font of course) so they just needed to write their estimation on it.  This jar and an empty jar to place their slips in were on the party table.  After most everyone arrived we played the hit of the party, especially among the boys!  
It is similar to Pictionary and they do sell it as a Lego game called Creationary.  I spent some time on YouTube checking it out.  First of all I wasn't going to invest more into this party (the game isn't cheap) and second, the reviews weren't great.  They said the idea behind the game was good, but there weren't enough bricks.  So I decided to create the game myself.  First we sorted our Lego bricks by color.  I used a party tray (veggie tray) to store them in.  Next I made the cards.  I made 9 cards in five different themes.  We had animals, nature, vehicles, buildings, and food.  I printed the pictures off on white paper and then I printed number cards on colored paper with each number having its own color.  I cut all the cards out and glued a picture to a number card keeping all the same theme with the same number/color of paper.  For example all of the nature themed cards were on green paper with the number 5 on the back. I then laminated the cards for durability.
These are the building cards.
When it came time to play I was able to let the kids know what numbers/colors went with what theme.  Nature is green 5, vehicles are purple 3, buildings are blue 6, etc.  We divided into two teams.  Each team rolled one die.  The number on the die was the card they picked.  So if they rolled a 5 they picked the card with a five.  Their team could guess as many times as they could in two minutes.  After two minutes the builder had to stop building and each person on their team got one guess.  If they guessed correctly they received a point.  If they didn't the other team could guess it correctly and steal the point.  The cards were numbered 1, 3, 4, 5, 6.  I left out 2.  If they rolled a 2 they got a chance for double the points and the other team got to pick the category.  Amazingly enough 2 was the only number that wasn't rolled.  The boys REALLY loved this game and wanted to keep playing it.  We let each person go once and that was all we had time for.  If you want to use the cards I made, you can download them at the bottom of this post.

I didn't give the winners anything special.  Instead after each child played each game they were able to go pick a Lego Crayon Man:

Sorry this isn't the best picture.  I went a little crazy in the crayon prep and made a whole bunch of these cute men.  We laid them out in rows of color and wrote their color at the bottom of the row. After each game was completed they picked out a new crayon.  So far two games were played - guesstemation (being a little creative with the words - estimate/guess) and the creationary game.

Next we played pin the head on the Lego man with the heads they created:
Using a projector at work I traced a Lego Figure onto a large piece of paper.  I brought it home to create our Lego Man.  First I took wrapping paper in red and blue.  Using spray adhesive I adhered the paper wrong sides together so it became double sided.  I cut out the pants out of blue, shirt out of red, and the hands and head out of yellow paper.  I drew on some details.  We gave the front of our Lego Man a face, but left the back blank.  I hung him on the glass door and taped some balloons in his hand (it turned out to be a VERY windy day so the balloons ended up getting taped in several places).  When the party goers came to the door our Lego Man was there to great them.  When it came time for the game you could still see him on the inside minus a face. If you look at the collage above you can see some of their artistic abilities.

We announced the winners of the guessing game and then had cake, ice cream, and presents.  Then it was back to more games.

For this game you had to use a straw and move all your Lego pieces off of your plate and onto the floor using only your sucking power.  You could also spread out Lego pieces on a table, set a timer and see how many pieces you could put on your plate using a straw and sucking in a set amount of time.  The birthday girl liked the first idea so that is what we did:
To make it more fun I took yellow square plates and drew Lego faces on them.  We also added the top part of the head by cutting it out of construction paper and gluing it on.  I used polka dotted straws and hot glued a Lego head to it.  I forgot to take pictures, but they are the same heads I used for the juice straws.  We put equal bricks on the plates, same size and amount on each plate.  They formed a circle with their backs to the center.  On go they moved those bricks off their plate as fast as the could.  After the game they could keep their plate and straw if they wanted.

The next game was memory.  I had a friend save baby food jars. I painted them like I have seen on various blogs.  I used spray paint, but it has been cold, wet, and windy here.  Unfortunately I don't have a garage so I tried to cheat and many of them didn't turn out well.  So I switched tactics (wish I thought of this first) - I put some yellow paint inside the jars, swirled it around and then dumped out the extra.  They were nice and smooth and pretty.  To make the faces I wrote on the jars with a sharpie. The jars that had paint inside were actually easier to write on.
On the bottom of the jars I put pictures of Lego pieces.  I had two of each picture.  The kids played just like memory.  Inside of the jars I had Lego Mini Figures.  I was going to use them for the next game, but we ran out of time.  

The last game ended up being fun.  We played it on Date Night.  (To see how we do Date Night see this post). 
This was an idea floating around Pinterest, but it was just a picture, no game.  I wanted to play the game so I created it.  You need one die, a mini figure (one per player), a board, and Lego bricks.  Above the kids used a 2x4 Lego block but a 2x2 or 2x3 would fit a little better.  I made a couple options.  I chose to print the first link (it used less ink) and trim it down.  I then glued it to colored card stock and laminated.  To play you roll the die and follow the instructions.  They always have one base block and can never lose that one.  They loved the game and played it several times. 

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!

Lego Matching/Memory Game

I link up with parties listed here.

Lego Party Part 3 Coming soon. 

Lego Birthday - Part One

For the first time in our lives we are into Legos.  Not sure why it took until right before my baby turned 9, but it did.  And we are hooked.  She is especially so we went with Lego for the birthday party theme.  There are SO many things you can do.  It was awesome!
There are a few other posts to check out what we did.  Questions just ask.

Check out:
Lego Games
Set-up {Coming soon}

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3.14 = Pi = Pie

This is our second year of making pie on Pi day or March 14 (3.14).  To see last year's project and how to make pie on a stick click here.  This year the middle school didn't do their pie fundraiser (bummer), but we still wanted to give the teachers a little bit of pie.  We made pie on a stick again except this time I used a kit I bought at Target on the Christmas clearance.  ~I'll most more about it later~ These pies are smaller than using a cookie/biscuit cutter.  You can do them any size you want and and shape you want.  Just a little advice don't make them too big, last years pies were a bit heavy and some of the pies fell off the stick.
Since the pies were smaller I wanted to make smaller tags.  Here is what I came up with:

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! 

Download the PI Tag Here 

Thanks for stopping by.  To see who I link with check out the page tab above.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

PI 3.14 Day, DIY Pie on a Stick

Pi day is March 14.  Why? Because pi = 3.14 and PIE backwards is 314.

My daughter's middle school has Pie day on 3/14 (March 14) and the parents make pies for the school to sell by the slice as a fundraiser.  So instead of making a traditional pie we made pie on a stick.  I also wanted to give a little treat to the teachers.

First roll out your crust.  I used Pillsbury frozen crusts and rolled them out.  Take a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter and cut the dough - you will need 2 of each circle.  Place the circles on a cookie sheet leaving room for sticks.

Place the sticks on the circles.  I used the large sticks.

We used apple pie filling from a can.  Scoop it out - not too much, about two apples.  Place another circle on top and seal it closed.  We used the end of one of the sticks to push it together.

Spread some egg white on top and sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar.

Cook it according to the directions on the package of the crust.  Keep an eye on it.  Print out the tags, cut out, punch, and slide onto the stick.

Here is a closer look of the tag:

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!  

Download the tag here.

See my Link Party page to view Parties I've linked to.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hats and Rainbows - St. Patrick's Day

So I realized that I never posted what I did last year for St. Patrick's Day.  Probably because I was still finishing them as I was running out the door.  Then I figured why would you need to know right after St. Patrick's Day?  I'm working on several posts right now, but since this holiday is quickly approaching I will finish it first.  To see all my St. Patrick's Day posts go here.

I made these for the kids and their teachers:
I apologize for the pictures.  Just take note that the paint scrapes off easily after it has been sprayed.  It needs some time to dry completely so it doesn't scrape off.

I just purchased the small Glad Containers:
I laid them out on newspaper:
Carefully spray paint them green:
Let them dry.  Hopefully you have a few days to let them dry so the cure all the way.  
I didn't get pictures of the next step, but wrap black ribbon around the base of the hat.  I cut out the buckles with my cricut and gypsy using glitter yellow paper.  I like the black ribbon with the white stitching best.
After they are dry you can fill them with with treasure and rainbow (or favorite treats, or gold coins, etc).  I used Rolos and skittles: 
I put the Rolos in first like gold treasure and then covered them up with a rainbow:
I don't think that I did, but you could use one of the tags I have made previously:
Those printables are found at the link above.

For dinner I went with the rainbow theme:

Rainbow Balloons hanging from the ceiling in an arc.

Individual Rainbow Fruit.  I like the fruit rainbow I made better, but these are quick and easy too.

Rainbow Jello.  
I made each color one at a time.  I decided to pour them into glasses instead of a glass pan.  It is a lot of Jello to eat though.  It took a few days, but this way I only had to use a small box of jello of each color.

I topped the jello with a cloud of cool whip.

I didn't use this for St. Patrick's Day, but I wanted to try it out.  Put food coloring in the water and then add the pasta to cook.  Obviously the red dye works better.  The one thing I remember thinking was that I needed to add more food coloring, more than you would think.  I haven't tried it again, but it is kind of fun.

See Link Party page for parties I have linked to.