Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to School: Teacher Gift

We recently had our "meet the teacher" night, gearing up for the first day of school.  In addition to bringing the plethora of school supplies needed for each of my kids, I wanted to give their teachers something special for them.

Last week I saw this great printable from Skip to My Lou (one of my favorite craft blogs).  I really liked that it was a gift from ME and not the kids.  I enjoy spending time volunteering at my children's school and want their new teachers to know that I am available to help in any way needed. This is one of the many blessings of being a stay at home mom with a flexible schedule.

Living in Arizona, I decided that lotion would be a nice touch.  I printed and cut out the tags and grabbed a couple of bottles of lotion from my coupon stash.  I have hoarded some fun printed card stock packs from Michael's recently.  In addition to plain colors, they have started carrying some very fun prints.  This particular pack was colorful chevrons reminiscent of Missoni.  I loved it.  I used the sheet that was mostly teal with the design only at the bottom.  I adhered the tag to the card stock and cut a hole at the top to go around the lotion bottle.

Volunteering at school is something that is so rewarding.  I am blessed with the time to spend helping out at school as I know working parents are not afforded. I know the teachers appreciate it too.  It is so wonderful to spend time helping young readers and kids who struggle with their math facts.  That small group and one-on-one time can make all the difference for some kids.  I have also spent time in the classroom helping with center work and assisting the teacher who can't be everywhere when the kids are working on independent projects.

We are all looking forward to another amazing school year.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to School: Homework Station

Day two of getting ready to head back to school.  Today I am sharing how I put together a simple homework station with the goal of keeping us organized.

Our kids are young enough yet that I still have them sit at the kitchen table after school to do their homework. One of the big frustrations I had from last year is that we could NEVER find a sharp pencil or other supplies needed to complete their work.

I had the perfect thing to create this station - a picnic organizer that I picked up at Target a few years ago in their summer section.  It is designed to hold utensils, plates and napkins but the compartments were perfect for notebooks, paper, pencils, markers, etc.

Using my Silhouette, I cut out some vinyl letters to remind the kids that the items in this bucket are to be used for homework.  I don't know about you, but everything I own gets "stolen" by the kids and hauled upstairs to their bedrooms, never to be seen again.  The kids know that these items may NEVER be removed from the bucket unless being utilized for homework!  I will have to let you know how that goes!  hee hee!

This year when doing our supply shopping, I decided to pick up extra supplies to put in our homework station.  With elementary age kids, the supplies I have included are:

  • pencils (only Ticonderoga - they are the best)
  • markers
  • colored pencils
  • crayons (only Crayola - again, the best)
  • highlighters
  • ruler
  • school glue & glue sticks (Elmers - the best)
  • index cards (to make flash cards)
  • wide ruled loose leaf paper
  • pencil sharpener
  • scissors

I will not be surprised if I need to add a few things once school starts.  As I typed this I thought of scissors.  I will need to head to the store this week and pick up a couple of those.

Now if I can just get the kids to sit down after school and do their homework without whining!  Wish me luck!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Back to School: Water Bottles

School starts this week for us (doing the happy dance)!  It is hot and dry in Arizona so our school requires each student to bring a water bottle everyday.  I love this about our school.  Well, with all those kids there are bound to be duplicate water bottles.  Face it, we all shop at Target and the options are limited!

These are the bottles I chose for this year - actually the same style we used last year.  I love these bottles by Embark because the lid is tethered and therefore can't be lost.  I also love the wide mouth which allows for super easy cleaning.  It is also really easy to fill with ice in the morning, rather than struggling to push large cubes through a small hole!  We are a busy family, I don't have time for that!

To make sure that we don't lose our water bottles, I always try to make them easy to spot and differentiate them from everyone else.  This year I decided to use my Silhouette machine to put the kids names on them.  It was quick, easy and the kids love the results.

Just a few more projects and we are going to be ready for school!