Monday, April 27, 2015

"You're the 'balm'!" Teacher Gift Idea {with printable}

Grant loves his school. We were so lucky to find this daycare/preschool when we did. Grant has been there since he was about 6 months old, when we moved him from a daycare we were less than thrilled with. Most of the kids he's friends with now he's known his whole life. That makes me sad because he so loves his friends and this year when kindergarten starts, they won't all be together anymore. 

And Grant so loves his teachers! He's already asked us which one will be his kindergarten teacher. He looked confused and a little sad that none of the teachers he knows will be his kindergarten teacher. It kind of broke my heart. But it makes me happy too, because he's so happy at preschool and that is an awesome feeling. 

Every year for Teacher Appreciation Week (this year is May 4th-8th) I bake some stuff for the staff at school. They all work so hard with all the kids and definitely deserve a week of appreciation (though I hope they know we appreciate them every day)! This year I wanted to do something a little extra for Grant's teachers. While I've always felt like he's getting an early education where he is, with this year being preschool I've really noticed a change and can tell how much his teachers are doing to ready him for kindergarten.

I thought this was a fun little gift idea and I wanted to share it for anyone who might want to use it too.

What you need:

  • lip balm (you can use any kind, I used eos)
  • cellophane treat bags
  • filling (mine is shredded paper but I think tissue paper would be great too)
  • twine or twist ties to close the bag
  • gift tags 
  • optional: I added some fun hair ties as well
You just put it all together and add your gift tag when you're tying it closed. 

I think it's so fun and a nice little way of saying an extra "Thanks!". I tried several times to get Grant to write his teachers names on the backs of the gift tags but he still writes a little too big and kept running out of room. So we settled on me writing their names and he signed it with "Love, Grant". 

How cute are those tags?! I love the chalkboard look. Want to use them? You can get them HERE (for your own personal use).

I mentioned hair ties above. All of Grant's teachers are females and what woman doesn't love a good hair tie? So I added some hair ties on a 3x5 index card to the package.

These are hair ties I made because I found some adorable school themed elastic (but you could use any). I tried to personalize it to each teacher. For instance, the ones in the above picture are for a teacher that loves the beach. He has another teacher that loves tie-dye so I ordered some tie-dyed elastic for her hair ties. 

This is an easy little gift to put together and it's a nice little extra thank you to go along with the treats I plan to send to school that day. Grant can't wait to give them to his teachers. Since I made them early - to share this post with you - he asks often when he gets to bring them to school!

Skip To My Lou
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Made by You Monday!

Friday, April 24, 2015

High Five for Friday

Hi there! Today I'm linking up Jennie to share some of my favorite stuff from the past week.

1) Last Saturday for dinner we did a picnic in the park. I love doing this because Grant gets so excited about it even though it's a super simple dinner (he got to help make brownies for dessert so the excitement started there). After checking the weather all week and being assured of no rained. We manage to finish our meal before it really started and since it wasn't raining at home, we had dessert there and played some frisbee in the yard.
Part of the reason he loves picnics is because he gets to have a sprite.
Making friends with crickets in the yard
2) Also over the weekend, we made pine cone bird feeders! Grant loved the project and the kept checking to see if birds were eating from them. They didn't that day but one morning this week we did get to see a big cardinal having some breakfast. Then that same day one disappeared (squirrel theft?) and now they're both gone. But it was so fun to do together and seeing Grant's reaction to the cardinal using them. The day he & Husband discovered the missing one, Grant said to me "Mama. I have bad news. Bad news is when you have to tell someone something that isn't good. OK. One of the pine cones is gone!" I love this kid :)

3) One more of weekend fun, Grant got to test his new rain boots. He's been talking about rain boots for at least 6 months and the Easter Bunny granted his wish. We got a lot of rain over the weekend and had a huge puddle in the street. FYI: rain boots don't keep your feet dry if you're jumping in the puddle!

4) Crazy hair day at school!
Checking himself out.
5) I sent some "dirt cupcakes" to school for a fun treat! (Recipe HERE)

I love getting pictures from the teachers :)

6) Last night we had a semi-date night. I say semi because it was more for Husband. For his birthday I got him tickets to the Eric Church concert. This is not really my thing but I hope he had a good time. 

Happy Friday everyone!
Have a great weekend!
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Fun with Fluffy Stuff

Confession: I love Pinterest. And I've gotten sooooo many ideas from there! (Not all worked out well, of course, but still.) Ages ago I saw "fluffy stuff" on there, pinned it, and forgot about it (source: Play Create Explore). I have no idea why I re-came across it but I picked up the few ingredients for it the next time I was at a store and decided to save them for a rainy day.

Literally. The week after Easter I think it rained just about every day. My sister had sent Grant a bunch of stuff, one thing being a foam airplane that he was dying to fly outside. Every day on his way out the door he'd ask to fly the plane that night after dinner and we would tell him "Yes, if it's not raining" and every night it rained. Poor kid. So one of those nights I surprised him with Fluffy Stuff. To say it was a hit would be the understatement of the year!

That's all you need!
  • 2 - 16 ounce packages of corn starch
  • 1 can of shaving cream {foam}
  • a big bucket or bowl
I used all store brand ingredients ($3-$4 total). I did buy the bucket thing ($5) because I didn't think I had a good container for it. The only thing is that the "stuff" had a tendency to sneak out of the handle holes but it really wasn't a big deal.

Here's what you do:
  • Empty your corn starch into the bucket:
  • Empty the entire can of shaving cream into the bucket:
  • Let a very happy and excited kid mix it all together and play!
    Do you see that smile? He was so excited.
Right after he went to town with the mixing, I got out a spatula to help. Grant immediately shouted "I WANT TO DO THAT! I WANT TO DO THAT!" and I just let him go to town.

Monster trucks got involved.

And there was just a whole lot of happiness.

He played with this stuff for an hour and a half, only stopping because it was bath time. When Husband told him he needed to get ready for his bath, Grant replied "Um...I think I'll play for a bit longer." Which, as you can imagine, didn't go over well. That aside, I was happy that this stuff worked and to see how much fun he had with it!

  • I always lay down a large towel under the container when we do activities like this or the indoor sandbox
  • I stored the stuff in air-tight container for future play.
  • I think this would be great outside but it was an awesome rainy day inside activity.
  • In the link where I got this "recipe", she colored hers and let her kids have a "snowball fight" which would be so fun! But Grant had a blast just playing in it too and making his own little Monster Jam rally. 

Skip To My Lou
Linking up for
Made by you Monday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Greensboro Science Center

As I mentioned in my Easter post, on Good Friday we went to the Greensboro Science Center. Husband doesn't get Good Friday off, actually I get quite a few days off that he doesn't. So on those days, I like to plan something fun for Grant & I to do and we usually call it "Grant & Mama Day". When I told Husband where I'd like to go, he got a little jealous. So he took the day off and went with us :)

I've been wanting to visit this place for a while. A friend of mine has been a few time with her grandkids and it sounded like such a neat place. An aquarium, museum, and zoo all in can that not be great?

First up was the aquarium part. With the promise of sharks, Grant couldn't wait.
This is a fishing cat, which I'd never heard of but they had video playing
of it actually diving in the water after fish!
This is where the fishing cat lives (there's another one asleep in there too)
I was pretty pumped about the otters. I love otters! They weren't feeling too active that day so it wasn't as easy to get Grant - who kept trying to find the sharks - excited about them. 
There's an otter in there somewhere, I swear, or I wouldn't have taken the picture.
There is a dome in the middle of the otter habitat and we quickly figured out what it was for.
It's for us to visit the otters!
I was not missing this opportunity! So we waited our turn, crawled through the tunnel, and when I stood up, I was face to face with an otter! Such a fun idea.

The penguins are right next to the otters and they're so fun to watch too. 

This one showed off a little for Grant. Grant walked along the glass
and the penguin swam next to him kind of playing. It was so cute!
I love this picture :)
They have some big fish tanks with some interesting things too.

Why do guys like snakes so much?
I loved their sting ray petting area! I think it has such a fun look to it. I tried convincing Grant to pet one but he just wouldn't, even after I did. He kept telling us it would sting him.

That dock isn't just for show, and employee comes out on the dock
to tell about sting rays and how to pet them.
Sting rays are no match for sharks thought, right? Right. The huge tank with the sharks in it was nearby and there was no stopping Grant.

They're pretty neat to watch. I think Grant could have stayed there all day. Every time one swam by (which happened often and they're quick) he'd say "DID YOU SEE THAT?! A shark just went by!" 

We eventually coaxed him away from the sharks toward the museum area of the place. This is where the dinosaur bones are (and some other things but the dinosaur bones were on the must-see list). I was a little disappointed in the museum part, it definitely wasn't as impressive as the rest of it but Grant still really loved it.
Stegosaurus is one of Grant's favorite dinosaurs!
(I had to crop out a guy that just would not get out of my shot)

They had fossils and footprints and what not too. And two stands set up with paper & crayons so you could make a rubbing of dinosaur pictures. Grant really liked that. The museum part also had some really neat rocks, gems, & crystals on display and some interesting stuff about weather (oddly, Grant is very into the weather).
"Look! I'm like Thor!" Love the hand on the hip.
Pretty sure we'd looked at all the inside stuff, we headed out to the zoo part. I was pretty excited because I knew they have tigers there (which the NC Zoo does not). We hit this place first:

Which had lots of things behind thick glass. Snakes, owls, lizards, bugs, etc.

On our way out, there was an employee standing there with a skunk. "Do you want to pet it?" She asked everyone, she was so excited. Of course Grant had to pet it. I'm getting better about these things.
Having a great day :)
So then we wandered around looking at more animals. It was a warm day and a lot of them were very sleepy but we saw quite a few.
Tortoises (they were HUGE and so fun to watch)
Daddy & Grant pretending to be tortoises
And TIGERS! There were two and it was just about feeding time
so they were pretty active and SO PRETTY!

 So right after I snapped the above picture, a little girl came over and put her hand to the glass and the tiger was sniffing at it (and maybe licked the glass?). It was amazing to watch. I feel it's important to note that 5 minutes before this we had noticed the sign on the fencing that the tigers will spray (pee) on people and to beware. Thank goodness this was glass because that tiger interacted with that little girl for a few minutes while we all ooo-ed and ahhh-ed and then he turned around, peed on the glass, and went to wait by the door where they're fed.

Wallabies! I was hoping they'd be more active but they're cute anyway.
They have these fun tunnels set up to watch the meerkats.
I took way more pictures than I posted (aren't you glad I restrained myself?). We had such a good time there and it was so fun to explore a new place. The crowd was fairly low that day considering it was a holiday and it was a really enjoyable trip. And while we were there we noticed they're building an adventure course thing up in the trees. We'll definitely be making a trip back when that's done! 
Napping on the way home with his new dinosaur

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