Every year the kids and I have a really fun time searching for cool Valentines to make for their class party Valentine exchange.
We don't go super-crazy.
We just do something a little special that will hopefully make their friends and teachers smile.
It's a yearly tradition--the search, the planning, the mess, the crafting, and the delivering. It's a lot of fun, and honestly, I could weep thinking that this yera will be Maddy's last year for a Valentine's Day class party.
Next year, as a … Read More...
Judge me if you will, but I have finally given in to the pressure of Owen and Cora.
I've held up for quite a while, though, and for that I'm proud.
Every, single year when I bragged about creating fun, super-cool candy-free Valentines for the kids to make for their classmates, they sighed.
Puh-leaaaase, Mom. We just want to give our friends candy Valentines. That's all kids want.
Can we just get the Valentines from the store that everyone loves? The ones that have a lollipop or Nerds in … Read More...
Every New Year’s Eve that we join forces with a few other families, we make Bingo our go-to game for the kids.
And the kids—and parents--love it.
But it’s not just any Bingo game. We’re not just busting out the ole Bingo roller and Bingo cards and calling it a day.
It’s a Bingo Bonanza—marathon Bingo played!
And the kids not only have no idea about how much the game helps them to recognize and name numbers and letters (hey, even B-I-N-G-O counts in my book!), but they’re … Read More...
The Polar Express is more than a book for some people. It's a holiday family tradition that has become an eagerly-anticipated December event!
The following guest post is written by Karen Blake in 2013, but it's one of my most popular holiday posts.
Karen is a teacher, mom of three, and aunt of many. She's a lover of traditions and is quite honestly one of the most creative and crafty friends I have.
Traditions are my favorite.
And Christmas traditions are the absolute BEST!
My … Read More...
I've found five books for the middle school gamers in your life.
Have a middle schooler (or high schooler) who just can't seem to tear himself (or herself) away from the screen?
I get it. Believe me, I get it.
But I am willing to bet big Pokédollars that at least one of these books will catch your gamer's fancy.
Here's the skinny. . .
5 Books for the Middle School Gamers in Your Life
First and foremost, my suggestion to you is that you read these books before or along … Read More...
This is the must-have gift for anyone who wants to raise a reader.
THE gift for new parents who want to raise a reader.
THE gift for grandparents who want to raise a reader.
THE gift for aunts, uncles, and Godparents who want to raise a reader.
THE gift for caregivers who want to raise a reader.
THE gift for early childhood educators who want to help their students' families raise readers.
It's super-simple, and it's surprisingly affordable.
This raise a reader gift … Read More...
These holiday notes may turn out to be one of your family's most coveted and meaningful traditions!
It's so easy for our little ones (and even adults sometimes!) to lose sight of what the holiday season is all about.
So in 2008, when I saw this idea on a late-night, dvr'd Oprah, I knew I wanted to use it. With a little prompting, my family tried out Holiday Notes with both sides of the family.
Even though some interpreted the exchange a little differently, it was a success overall. Most … Read More...
Did you know that today is Giving Tuesday?
It's a really simple concept: give.
Any way you are able, to anyone. Give.
The concept of giving is especially important at this time of the year, and lucky for us, many organizations have made it super easy--and so meaningful!--to give at holiday time.
Looking at my kids' bedrooms and our playroom, I see we need very little.
So I'm encouraging all of our family members to do something this year that packs a bit more of a punch: buying gifts that … Read More...
Between Election Day, parent-teacher conferences, and field trips, it always seems like things get nutty in November.
The novelty of the new year has worn off, and kids—and parents—start slowly slipping into the mid-year blues or pre-holiday anxiety.
And if things are crazy for our family, I can only imagine how difficult things can be for our teachers.
So November is a great time for us all to step back and extend a bit of thanks to those teachers with whom our children spend hours and … Read More...
Planning class parties can be a real struggle, especially when you're rolling solo as the Room Parent.
But for years now, I've made it my goal to share as much as was humanly possible so that no one's stuck trying to figure out what to do with 30 kids eager for a good Halloween par-tay.
If you need a full-fledged Halloween class party, you can check out:
Halloween class party ideas
MORE Halloween class party ideas
for the whole deal.
But if you just need a quickie 10-minute activity … Read More...