Saturday, December 19, 2015

Elf Themed Christmas Party for the Classroom

 For my fourth-grader's class Christmas party, I created an elf-themed party. I used these Elf labels for the water bottles:

I made the placemats from wrapping paper ($1 per roll at Dollar Tree).

On the tables were “Be an Elf” and “Christmas Would You Rather” sheets to keep the kids entertained while they ate. Everyone loved the Elf names - even the parents!

The party was at 10am, so we had donuts, pigs-in-blankets, cheese sticks and pretzels.

After the kids ate, we played “Elf Four Corners”.   This was an easy, fun and FREE game that everyone loved! 

I put a sign in each of the four corners of the room.  For our game, each sign was one of the elf’s food groups: candy corn, candy cane, candy and syrup.  (You can customize the names of the corners for any party. Younger grades might also appreciate four recognizable pictures instead of words.)

One kid is “the caller” and they turn their back on the room.  All the other kids then get up and move to one of the four corners. Every corner has to have at least one kid in it.  The “caller” then says stop and announces one of the four corners and turns around to face the room.  Everyone in that corner is now OUT and they must sit down.  Play continues until there is only 1 kid left and they are the winner. 

 We played three rounds of this game.  Each round lasted about 8-10 minutes.  The kids loved this game!

Thanks for checking in! Have a Merry Christmas!

12 Days of Christmas for the Classroom

So a few years ago I published a 12 Days of Teachers Appreciation Gifts, and this year I decided to create one for all the students.  This was a great way to detash a bunch of leftover Halloween candy as well as some supplies in my craft stash, so it was a win-win for everybody.

I started with 12 brown paper lunch sacks with colorful tags marked 1-12.

In each bag, I put either one gift for the class to share, or 23 identical items (one for each student plus one for the teacher). Also included in each bag was a four-line poem that started with “On the 12th Day of Christmas…” and so on.

Here’s what was in the first bag to be opened 12 days before Christmas break:

Yep – day 1 was candy. Leftover Halloween candy, to be precise. This poem explained to the class that they’d get one bag each day leading up to Christmas break.

Day 2 included a holiday DVD I found for $5 at Target. It just happens to be my kids’ favorite holiday movie so I can vouch for it as I’ve seen it many, many times … and it’s a winner!

Day 3 -  Probably my favorite day because it gave me the idea of throwing an Elf-themed party for the class. I had a bunch of wooden squares in my craft stash, so I made elf labels with the kid’s names on them and glued them to the squares.  Then I put an eyelet screw in each and tied ribbon on them for hanging.  The kids put them on the classroom Christmas tree and took them home the last day of school.

Here’s a couple closeups…

Day 4 – This sack contained a classical CD that the kids listen to while they’re working. They love the background music. I picked this up in the Walmart value bin for around $5.

Day 5 – Time for another Halloween candy destash on day 5. I tried to spread out the sugar days for the sake of the teacher.  ha!

Day 6 – This sack had purse size hand sanitizers with these labels that say “Hand Santa-tizer”.  These are available 3/$1 at Dollar Tree. I was able to use up a bunch I still had from a previous project.

Day 7 – I picked up a Christmas Madlibs at a discount store for $2 and there were 24 sheets in it.  That way each student got to have one, or they could do them as a class. 

Day 8 – I made custom bookmarks for all the students, but you could easily pick up holiday or fun bookmarks at Dollar Tree or Mardel. Let’s face it, what kid doesn’t like something with their name on it?! The teacher sent me a note that she LOVED the bookmarks. 

Day 9 – Christmas pencils are a staple at any class Christmas party. They’re cheap and everyone loves school supplies. I picked up 12/$1 at Dollar Tree.

Day 10 – Halloween destash of Jolly Rancher suckers.

Day 11 – In this bag was a Spot It game for the class to share. I struggled with what game to get but ultimately settled on this because 1) all the cards go in the tin so it’s easy to keep track of 2) no small pieces or dice 3) no batteries required 4) several kids can play at once 5) the games are quick and varied so they can be played in a short time (like indoor recess or Friday Fun Day) 6) good for boys AND girls and 7) it’s FUN!  There are several different themed versions of Spot It, but I chose the original.  It’s about $10 at Target or Walmart.

Day 12 – This was actually the day we had the class Christmas party, so I originally wasn’t going to put anything in the bag other than the poem saying it was party day.  Then I decided to destash (surprise) some jingle bells I have in my craft stash.  I thread black ribbon through each one and everyone got a festive necklace to wear on party day. =)  I know the pic shows Starbursts, but since I knew there would be lots of sweets this day, I ended up leaving those out of the bag.

The teacher put the bags up high on the cabinet and each day a different student got to get one down, read the poem, and hand out the goods.

Hope you liked my 12 Days of Christmas for the Classroom! Check out my next post for the Elf-themed class party!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Back to School Teacher Breakfast - Classic Board Game Theme

This year, our PTA theme is classic board games and we kicked off the year with a Back to School breakfast for the entire staff.

These Hungry Hungry Hippos greeted teachers at the break fast buffet. I re-used the hippos later for a teacher’s “Hungry For Hard Workers” bulletin board.

 Classic Board Game Theme Teacher BreakfastWe served yogurt parfaits with vanilla yogurt, strawberries and granola. 

Here’s a close up of some Monopoly food labels I created for the breakfast buffet:

Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast - Monopoly

Click the photos for larger photos to see the Monopoly food labels.Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast  Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast

We served 4 different danish flavors and 4 different bagel flavors with various spreads, too.   Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast 

Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast

Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast

We served three donuts on a skewer – serving this way helps to make sure there’s enough for everyone.Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast

Three years ago I did this banana breakfast for teachers the first week of school and it was such fun I decided to do it again.

Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast 

I wrote fun messages on all of the bananas. It’s funny to watch teachers pick a banana based on what it says!

Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast

We served bottled water that we wrapped with Monopoly money and OJ.   Water is always a hit because teachers can easily take it with them to their classroom. Those with higher dollar amounts went first, of course. ;)

Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast - Monopoly

For centerpieces, I opted to just use stacked games. Each centerpiece was 3-4 different games stacked up – enough for a little height but not so big they were  in the way.

Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast

In between the stacked games, I put paper sacks that were decorated to look like dominoes. The sacks added color, height and were very inexpensive to make.

Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast

Here’s how everything looked on the tables before the teachers got there. Four different colored “table runners” from a Twister bulletin board were spread out among the tables. You can see the yellow one in this photo:

Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast

Classic Board Game Theme Teacher Breakfast

Hope you get some good ideas for when you’re hosting a teacher event!

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Classic Board Game Bulletin Boards

Hello again! It’s been quite some time, but I wanted to share what our school and PTA has been up to lately. This year our PTA theme is “classic board games”.  The teachers have embraced the theme and each teacher has a game theme bulletin board outside their classroom.

Here are a few!

Do UNO our Wild Work?

UNO classic board game bulletin board

Etch-A-Sketch “Creating Works of Art”…Etch a Sketch classic board game theme bulletin board

Our PTA is lucky enough to use an empty classroom for meetings, storage, etc. This sign is on our door:Monopoly classic board game theme bulletin board


Third grade teachers worked together to create a “Thirdopoly” hallway. Here are some signs I did for them:

 Monopoly classic board game theme bulletin board

Twister classic board game theme bulletin board

Fourth grade teachers created “a barrel of monkeys” hallway. Each teacher has a barrel with their name on it, and the student names are on the monkeys. I snapped the photo while it was still a work in progress (see the ladder).

Barrel of Monkeys classic board game theme bulletin board

Connect 4 classic board game theme bulletin board

This Twister board says “Let’s Twist & Turn It’s Time to Learn!”

Twister classic board game theme bulletin board

 Candyland classic board game theme bulletin board

See my next post for photos from our Back to School Teachers’ Breakfast!  Here’s a sneak peek…I created this bulletin board to go behind the food buffet.  When the breakfast was over, the hippos were given to a teacher to use on her “Hungry for Good Learners” board.

Hungry Hungry Hippos classic board game theme bulletin board

Thanks for visiting!