Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Lunch Box Notes to Give Your Kids a Midday Boost! Lunch Time=Fun Time!

We could all use positive thoughts! 

During traditional school years, kids can find it difficult to return after the end of summer. But in the past year, many children stayed at home for much longer than two months. It’s likely that going back to school has been challenging for your kids. During this period of adjustment, it can help your kids to receive a little extra positivity in their day. Check out these lunch box notes containing riddles, affirmations, and even sidequests to give your kids a positivity boost during the school day. 

Riddles are a great way to get your kids thinking, and a fun lunchtime activity for them to share with their peers.

  • What word is spelled wrong in the dictionary? "Wrong."

  • I travel all around the world but never leave the corner. What am I? A stamp.

  • What can you catch but not throw? A cold.

  • The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I? Footsteps.

  • What goes up but never comes back down? Your age.

  • I can fill an entire room but never take up any space. What am I? Light

Affirmations can boost self-esteem and morale. Kids are in formative stages of their lives, so it’s important for them to develop positive thinking habits. You could even suggest that your kid gives their affirmation to others to read aloud (or include extras for the whole lunch table). 

  • I believe in myself.

  • I can do great things.

  • I can try my best.

  • I can say no if I'm uncomfortable.

  • I am smart.

  • I am unique.

  • I am kind.

  • I am strong.

  • I am loved.

Sidequests are actions kids can complete to spread positivity. Framing these actions as “quests'' helps your kids think of these actions as fun missions to complete, as if they are superheroes. Completing any one of these tasks can help your kid turn their day around, or just give it an extra oomf of positivity. Here are a few sidequest examples: 

  • Find 3 different colored leaves during recess.

  • Exchange a part of your lunch with a friend today.

  • Sit next to someone different while riding the bus home today.

  • Say something nice to a schoolmate.

  • Help someone today.

In case you’re too busy to write the lunch box notes yourself (which is totally understandable) you can download some of the aforementioned riddles, affirmations, and sidequests below. 

Simply click on the button and print them out. If you keep them in a miscellaneous kitchen cabinet or drawer, you can pull them out each time you pack a lunch. Pop them in your kid’s lunch box to give them a midday boost.

Kitchen Cabinet Kings has 64 lunch box jokes and positive affirmations that you can print and use to stick in your kid's lunch boxes. Are they in virtual school? Then serve one of these on the side or stick in a jar and let them pick one a day. These are so much fun!!

Guest post by Mona Freund in collaboration with Twinkle Teaches. 


Friday, September 24, 2021

Thank teachers!!!

I found a wonderful article that has free printables to help your kids give the perfect gift to their teachers this year to say "thanks for all you do." You can use these anytime of the year like:

-at the beginning of the school year

-as a fun surprise

-on your teacher's birthday

-holiday gift

-end-of-the-year gift

The link (see below) also includes:

  • Teacher Gift Questionnaire to help you navigate finding the best gifts throughout the school year.
  • Sanitation Labels to attach to disinfecting wipes, tissue boxes, and hand sanitizer to make a simple, yet effective gift more special.
  • Gift Card Tags to attach a teacher's favorite gift card to.
  • Plant Tags to attach to a cute houseplant, succulent, or bouquet of flowers.

Go here to get your printables!!


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Classroom Haunts!

Today I am sharing some classroom ideas for Halloween. :)
Pumpkin Patch Dirt Cups
These are delicious! And such an easy snack for little ones to make.

Yarn Pumpkins
I never had good luck making these but I am also not a patient person.

Glue Ghosts
I made these with PreK and they were fun!
I put wax paper on the table. The kids used Elmer's glue to make their ghost within a bobby pin boundary, and added googly eyes. They dried overnight, we added the yarn with a hole punch,
 and then they had a cool necklace!

Trash Bag Cats
Very easy. Stuff the head with newspaper. Tie a string or twisty tie to tie 
off the head part. Add construction paper features!

Pattern Witches
A math activity! Make an AB color pattern
from construction paper to make witch legs.

Paper Towel Roll Bats
You can cut a paper towel roll in half (I never used
toilet paper rolls...kinda gross). Have students cover with construction paper or use markers/paint. Add construction paper features.
Very cool!!!
I hope you found some ideas you can use! :)


Friday, September 17, 2021

Freaky Friday!

Happy happy Friday! I had another busy week. A long field trip to Poteau, which was an all-day drive. Lots of organizing and deep cleaning going on in my household, too. Now I want to paint every room a different color. I want a happy color for my living room so I think I am going with this:

This has been me lately:
I need some good sleep!
I tend to be a worrier so that probably does not help me out.

So I belong to a really awesome Halloween group. I am always amazed at some of the creative DIYs they share. I thought today I would share some of these finds with you because I am in a spooky decorating mood.

This is adorable. Plus, cookies!

Someone took a thrift store find and painted it a la spooky!

Paint your pumpkins to be candy corn.

I am a sucker for funny puns. Here are some for tombstones.

They made a coffin from discarded pallets. I love upcycling ideas!

If I get motivated enough, I might make this "finger food."

This DIYer used Mod Podge to stiffen old book pages and then added
computer printed pages. Aged them with tea bags or coffee.

Very easy ghosts.

This is from The Gathered Home.
Get you some plastic bugs from Dollar Tree. Spray paint and hot glue onto wood.
I did make one of these for a Halloween party a few years back!

I really want to make this! I had been given a huge dollhouse and was going to re-do it, but
it sat in my office and I donated it instead. I can handle a small one though.

Made with Dollar Tree nerf-like footballs, and 
cut-up milk jugs for teeth.

This is clever. I have also seen eyeballs made with this technique.

Gold makes everything better.

I love this. I have no trees but if I did...

I have a LOT of balloons so I can totally make this!


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Fall in near...

I can feel it in me bones. Arrrggh. I am a Fall Pirate.


Saturday, September 4, 2021

I have too many chairs.

So I am a little "extra." I try really hard not to be but I can be. You should have seen my son's birthday parties when he was little! I decided I wanted a nice sitting chair for the living room. I really do not like our couch (looking for a new one) because it is made with this brocade-like fabric and just not the most comfy. I am all about comfort. So I ended up with three chairs. I bought one, then saw another later that looked better...and so on. Now my living room is filled with too many chairs. I have 3 now. Sigh.

Definitely, not the worst problem in the world at all especially during a pandemic.

I feel like I am ready to just renovate the whole house. Maybe you notice things more when you have to be home more I guess.

I saw a good idea for classroom management when there is a sub. I always had a sub basket made up with extra activities and worksheets and books in it. I also included the very important class list, class schedule, a typed up summary of our day with our song lyrics, names of helpful students, etc.
I called it the "sub tub." The best sub teacher I ever had was when I was teaching Kindergarten in Texas. 

This idea is a great way to reward students for behaving and to get feedback on how the day went. Some subs usually leave you a note, but they don't always do that. So here is this cool idea!!


Friday, August 27, 2021

C'mon Fall!!!

I am soooo sooo ready for Fall. I am ready for the heat wave to break here! I am planning on getting some plain foam pumpkins and transforming them into these...

What makes you excited about Fall?!?


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Reading matters.

Even when teaching the upper grades, it is good to read chapter books aloud to the class. I know from personal experience that it was relaxing when my teachers would read to us. Also, this takes the pressure and anxiety off the students who have difficulty reading aloud in front of the class.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

I'm tired.

Does back-to-school time wear anyone else out? I feel like I need to drink coffee and I am not even a coffee drinker. My son is starting his Junior year and this past week I have gotten all lesson plans and learning materials (he is homeschooled) ready through October. The older he gets, the more complicated some of the stuff he is learning gets. And I realize that some things I learned in school they never bother with anymore. Like in 5th grade I remember being very bored of diagramming sentences. Our teacher kept emphasizing this was something that we ABSOLUTELY had to know in order to get a job and get by in life. Y'all...I have never once diagrammed a sentence as an adult or solved an equation (I am not mathematical) or figured out a problem with a speeding train. So I feel old when I am seeing what high schoolers work on today. Time for some iced coffee!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Book Rainbow

It's a book (cover) rainbow!
I saw this bulletin board idea on Facebook and love it.
I am not sure who the photo is from since it had been shared several times.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

The end of Summer.

Beautiful, wonderful Summer is coming to an end. We went on many adventures this Summer and made many amazing memories. I always get a little sad when Summer starts fading but then I remember how much I really do love Fall! And of course, books. So here are some good Fall books I recommend for your little readers!
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert 
I love the illustrations. A fun activity is to go on a leaf walk after reading the story, and make your own leaf people or objects!

Apples by Gail Gibbons
The text is a little long, but it is very informative and great for learning about apples. The recording above is a YouTube video I made reading this story.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
I made a YouTube video (above) reading this book.

In the Middle of Fall by Kevin Henkes
This one won a Caldecott Medal. I love the painted illustrations and the text is simple.

Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
This is another favorite of mine because it really works for ages toddlers-2nd graders. And since I love it, I also made a storytelling video with craft about it (above).

Hocus Pocus, It's Fall! by Anne Sibley O'Brien
I first noticed this book as a Children's Librarian.
The cover grabbed my attention. I know they say don't judge a book by its cover, but you can with this one.
It teaches kids about the seasonal change, and how the animals prepare for Winter.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Jane E. Gerver 
and Steven Kroll
I am a sucker for books that are adorable because sometimes we should just read for fun! This story is about what happens when two mice want the same pumpkin. 

Wonderfall by Michael Hall
This takes children through the changes a tree undergoes through each season. It has blended words and is an informative picture book. 

Bella's Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde
Bella's grandma makes her a special coat so she can enjoy the sights of Fall like running through crinkling leaves and enjoying the company of geese.