Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope your day is filled with love, joy and laughter!
Stay safe.

Font: Hello Fonts by Jen Jones

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Ooops, I forgot parent gifts!

I've been busy the past week packing up my room to move to a new building for next year. I've just about finished all the end-of-year documentation and student folios. I have student gifts organised and ready for Thursday. I've planned what we'll be doing during our last five days together. I realised today however, that I forgot about parent gifts! Ooops!

In the back of my head for a little while, I've been thinking I'd decorate glass jars with star stickers and have the kiddies write little notes to their parents saying what they love about them, curl them and slot them inside. Problem: these jars from Ikea are perfect, but at $4 each that idea turns out to be a little too expensive for 26 kids. I couldn't find any others I could get quickly in bulk.

So I started searching blogs and Pinterest for ideas. I thought it would be awesome to get some of those clear bauble ornaments, copy a photo of kids with Christmas hats, reindeer ears etc onto transparencies to put inside. I googled and phoned around to Lincraft (none), Spotlight (none) and finally Riot craft store (some but not enough) but alas, that plan did not work out either. 

While I was on the Riot craft store website, I saw they had those big calendars with a space to draw/add a photo. Ok I thought, I can print a photo, stick it in the middle, the kids can illustrate and laminate and hey presto, gift done. So I got dressed (this was about 2.30pm, but I know you won't judge!) and headed there. Guess what, they had no 2013 calendars. Boo!

Can you see me panicking by now?! I had to have something, anything, because I knew if I didn't get something today (Sunday) to start tomorrow then I 'd be hard pressed to get something completed with all the goings on at school this week.

So I settled on these Christmas colour-in gift boxes that I found at Riot. Each pack was $2 and it came with 6 boxes (2 Santas, reindeer and angels). Inside I'll add these ornament frames that come in elf, reindeer and tree. They were $6.99 and comes with 20 inside. I bought 2 packs, at least every kid should then get the ornament they want. I'll take a photo to put inside the frame and pop in the box. 

It's simple enough to get done this week before Thursday (as some kids won't come on clean-up day Friday) with all we have to do this week.

While I was at Riot, I saw these Christmas character cut-outs. It comes with 4 reindeer, Santa, elf and Mrs Claus cut-outs per pack. I thought if we get time, the kids can get together in small groups and write a little puppet play using these characters.  They can stick a craft stick behind their character and perform to the rest of the class. That should keep them busy while I pack!

Here's another last minute purchase I've just made to get me through the last week. Even though I don't have the same kids next year, I think it's important for them to reflect on their year and set some goals. Click the pick to check out Shanyn's cute craftivity.

If you're still with me - thanks! What a long post!!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Party Games and Activities

Don't you just LOVE class parties? I do and there's a couple of games that I love to play each year and you only need a few simple materials: 
  • balloons
  • table tennis balls
  • straws
  • plastic plate, knife and fork
  • dice
  • bar of chocolate
  • prizes for the winners!
All of these games I learned from another teacher so you may have seen them before. I play these games during our end-of-year party so the desks are moved to the side the room leaving a nice big (safe) playing space.

The first game is an oldie but a goodie and you only need balloons. Throw one up in the air and the kids have to try and stop it touching the floor. For an added challenge, throw in more ballons or they can only touch the balloon with a certain body part (e.g. elbows). Split the class in groups and see how long each group can keep it up for and the winning group receives a prize (Freddo frogs or other small chocolates/lollies are always favourites at the end of the year). This game can easily go for a few rounds!

Another game I tried out last year was table tennis ball races! I split the class into groups and stuck down masking tape for the start and end lines. Each group took their turn to line up (most on their hands and knees!) with a straw and a table tennis ball. On go, they have to blow through the straw to push the  ball past the finish line. They found this a real challenge, it's not as easy as it sounds! You could also use balloons from the previous activity instead of the table tennis balls. Of course, the winner of each race has to receive a little prize! We played a few rounds of this - they got better at blowing through the straws each time!

The final game is my fav by far! Chocolate eating competition! All you need is a yummy bar of chocolate, a plastic plate/knife/fork and 2 dice (forgot to take a photo of them!). Everyone sits in a circle with the chocolate on the plate with the knife and fork in the middle. Your kiddies take turns rolling the dice and if they roll a double they get to scoot into the middle and use the knife and fork to start cutting out a square of chocolate. Once they cut one out, they put down the knife and fork and pick up the square with their hands and eat it! Once they finish eating, they can start cutting again and eat as much chocolate as they can before someone else rolls a double. Once someone else rolls a double, they have to put down the knife and fork immediately and go back to their spot so the next person can start.

The kids LOVED this game last year! They didn't even get annoyed when they started to go in the middle and someone rolled a double straight away or if they *just* finished cutting out a piece and before they could pick it up someone rolled a double! It was all just so much fun they didn't mind at all! 

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSEHXXEbuOflfJmWq2uBUsDH_9w5sZXTbFsb6w5CsO0cUuIIFc7uQAlso, these bubble wands are WONDERFUL!! I give them to the kids for their Christmas/end-of-year gift and take them out in the morning before it gets too hot. Seriously, they can play outside for an hour and complain when it's time to come inside!

Our Christmas party is also our end-of-year party because we are finishing up our school year here in Australia for our Summer holidays (10 days to go!).  I'd love to add some more games, activities, crafts, gifts, recipes or other ideas to my repertoire so please comment about your favourite!