Sunday, November 17, 2013

DIY: Christmas Photo Backdrop

Good Sunday Morning Dear Readers!

I know that Christmas is next month, but we preschool teachers like to plan ahead! I've got a December calendar that I need to get out to parents as soon as possible. We like to add pictures of the kids on calendars so I'm always looking for a creative way to "shoot" my kids.

So first I got a bunch of colored Christmas lights and a white blanket.

I grabbed my big kitchen playset that I have in my classroom and lightly duck taped on the blanket. I then use masking tape to hang my lights.

I taped them to the top of the kitchen, then down on the carpet, then back up again on the kitchen, then down again on the floor.

I made a little X on the floor so my kids knew where to sit when I took their picture.

I turned off the lights and this it the effect I got. The kids were mesmerized by the lights and I got some pretty sweet smiles. Because of obvious reasons, I can't show you their faces but I can give you a glimpse at what they look like.

I zoomed in on their faces and voila! Beautiful Christmas photos for their families to cherish.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Preschool Fall Activity: Friendly Scarecrow

Happy Saturday Morning Readers!

I can't wait to share this preschool activity with you!!!!
It's perfect for little ones and my kids found it to be so terribly exciting!

First, I found some clothes in a back room of our preschool and I both taped and stapled a long sleeve shirt to a pair of pants. I did this with the clothes inside out so the kids wouldn't get stabbed.

Then I made a little head out of a paper bag, shredded recycling paper, and a pompom. I twisted the end and secured it with a rubber band. We're leaning about triangles right now so I gave him triangle eyes made from a 3x5 card.

I drizzled glue all over his head and stuck him in a bucket, head first, of yellow shredded paper.

The day before I got help from a volunteer parent in the office and shredded a big box full of recycling paper.
This didn't take long since the shredder was already almost full of paper already.

I can't show you my kid's faces so enjoy these artificial smiles! Trust me, they were all beaming!

They LOVED making a BIG mess all over the floor and they wouldn't stop giggling while stuffing the arms, legs, and body.

A little teacher assistance was needed near the end but the kids did a great job stuffing this guy full of paper.

Of course this made a big mess and I had to vacuum up a ton of paper...

And here's our finished product! 
I attached the head by squeezing the neckline of the shirt around the "neck" of the paper bag. I secured it with those twisty ties you use for trash bags.

I stuck on some gloves and socks (slightly stuffed with paper) and secure them with little rubber bands. We dressed him up with a winter hat and tapped on a pair of glasses.

He turned out really well! We'll take a vote and give him a proper name on Monday.
I can't tell you how many times I turned to say something to our scarecrow thinking it was a student.

This was a super fun fall project for my preschoolers and it was budget friendly! Let me know if you make one too! E-mail me a photo and I'll post it on the blog!

Happy Fall!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Little Goes A Long Way

Happy Friday Afternoon Readers!

I love my job, but I can't tell you how happy I am that it is Friday. Sleeping in, crafting, and blogging are all that I want to do right now. Any teacher would tell you that the weekend is a blessing from the Lord. It gives us all a chance to catch our breath before the next round. 
(yeah, sometimes it's like running a marathon) 

Anyways, I wanted to share a little something that happened to me this week. I really needed some encouragement because of this and that and God seemed to work things in my day that brought my smile back. 

I have a few ESL students at preschool and I love them to death. One little sweetheart came from Turkey and I've been trying to build a relationship with her and her family ever since she enrolled. She wears these beautiful head scarves/band things when we play outside. I asked her where she got it and she said "My grandma!" 

Later that week I saw her mother and who I thought was the grandma. They were all wearing the headbands and I just started a conversation with the mom. She speaks a little bit of English and is getting better and better every day. I mentioned the headbands and how much I admired them. I asked about the grandma who made them and explained that I crocheted too. 

Right then and there the mother took off her headband and put it on my head. She arranged my hair and the band and told me to look in the mirror. After I complimented the headpiece and started taking it off she said "No, for you." 

I fought so hard to keep the tears from flowing. This mother was so selfless and gave me HER OWN headband at the drop of a hat. (ha ha, see what I did there?) I was so touched and thanked her several times.
I've been wearing it every time I go out and I'm even wearing it now as I type.

It was just a little thing, but it meant so much.

Okay everybody, here's your homework.

Do one little, but nice thing for a teacher next week. Drop off a Starbucks drink (they're bogo right now!) or even a stack of stickers (we always need those)
Just do a little something sweet. You'll make their day, and maybe bring back their smile.