Thursday, May 18, 2017

Kindergarten End of the Year Party

We had an absolute BLAST celebrating the end of our kindergarten year with a carnival party! When the idea of a carnival party came to me I knew I wanted to make it fun, but easy for me to plan.  I am in the middle of packing up my entire classroom so I enlisted the parents for party planning help!
I sent an email out to parents asking for any party volunteers. I got a pretty good response so I asked those parents to come in after school one day for a quick meeting.
Before the meeting I searched around on Pinterest for some carnival game ideas and I printed all of those ideas out to create visuals for the parents.  At the meeting I asked each parent to sign up for a carnival booth.  I also let them know that they would be in charge of their booth and asked if they wouldn't mind making a sign for their booth as well.  They were all more than willing and some even volunteered to buy and create the entire booth on their own. Of course I said YES!! 
The 'bean bag toss' booth was an easy one to create. I had these bowls from the Dollar Store already and had brought in bean bags that I had at home. In the middle of each bowl there were points written ranging from 100 to 500.  The kids earned tickets while they played (we didn't keep track of how many tickets we gave out because we knew at the end that it wouldn't matter--all kids would collect prizes no matter how many tickets they 'won')
One parent made this cute 'Guess How Many' booth
Students wrote down how many starbursts and hershey kisses they thought were in the jar.  At the end of the carnival we announced the winner!
At our 'Clothespin Drop' booth students had to stand on a chair (don't worry a parent was right there) and try to drop a clothespin into a mason jar.  Notice how we also gave all of the students an awesome clown nose to wear at the party?!
What is a carnival without a Photo Booth?
This backdrop with the photo booth props are just too cute!!
I always like to have a 'cooking center' at our class parties so for the carnival we made clown cupcakes!
Of course the kids had a blast eating these.
One of my parents went all out for this 'Water World' booth. The booth was complete with a disco light and music too!
Students had to toss a ping pong ball into a tiny, water filled jar.  They also could go fishing for ducks in the little pool.
For the face painting booth I sent an email home to parents prior to the party asking permission to do face painting and we even had some cute carnival temporary tattoos from Oriental Trading. All of my parents were okay with it so we included it in our carnival.
We definitely wanted to print out options for this booth; otherwise, you just never know what kids may come up with! Students had to pick something from the board and we had two amazing moms painting faces.  I even gave it a go on two of the kids! It was fun!
This duck matching game I found on Oriental Trading and knew it would be perfect for the carnival.
Students were able to choose two ducks in hopes for them to have a matching number on the bottom.
We had a ring toss booth.
Then for our last booth, one of our moms made this amazing 'Angry Birds' booth.
Students used a toy bow and arrow to knock down the Angry Birds house (just like the iPad game I guess?).
The boys didn't want to leave this booth!
Throughout the party the students had little popcorn boxes that they used to collect their carnival tickets. At the end of the party they were able to cash in their tickets for some fun prizes!
The students were so happy that they got to go home with these goodie bags!
My class had our end of the year carnival party with the class next-door as well.  This allowed us to have more volunteers, gather more donations from parents, and cut down the costs for us to purchase party supplies.
Click on any of the below links to find some of the Oriental Trading items that I used at our party:
Carnival prizes and other parent donations

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Easy Mother's Day Gifts

I am always on the search for awesome and easy Mother's Day gift ideas! I would LOVE for you to share you ideas in the Kindergarten Smiles Facebook group HERE.
Last year I bought wooden frames from the dollar store.  I let each child paint the frame in a solid color, then they added another color as the 'polka dots' with their pointer finger. 
I took each child's picture with this cute little sign I found at Hobby Lobby, but you can also make it on a chalk board! Then, I printed the pictures out, added them to the frames, and wrapped them up!
I know that I would love to have this frame in my home, so I know other parents will enjoy it too ;)

These notecards I have made in the past and decided to make them again this year.  You can find the complete tutorial on my blog HERE or HERE.
These are such a simple, but super cute and useful gift too! 
I would love for you to share your Mother's Day craft photos with me over on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Earth Day in K!

I love celebrating and teaching about Earth Day in kindergarten. I think it is so important to start teaching them the importance of taking care of our Earth at an early age! 
We decided to take Earth Day outside this year and have a painting and picnic party! 
Each child painted a flower pot.  We used acrylic paint that was fast drying and would be bright and colorful!
Then I gave the students the options of choosing which type of seeds that they wanted to plant.  After we planted the seeds they each made a little sign to add to their flower pot so we knew what was growing inside!
After our picnic, we headed inside to cool off and do some more, fun, painting! 
This idea is from Maria over at Kinder-Craze.
We played music while we painted and it was so relaxing!
Then it was time for a little treat! I quickly printed off some tree clip art and let the kids each color in one tree.  We taped our trees onto a spoon and then created the soil to 'plant' them! Worms and dirt is always a favorite!
I want to hear all about your kindergarten ideas!! To make that easier, I decided to start a Kindergarten Smiles Facebook Group! I would love for you to join and start collaborating! Just click HERE to request!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Baby Shower 'Ready to Pop' [and How to Make a Balloon Arch]

As some of you know, my little sister is a teacher blogger over at Little Lovely Leaders and she is 'ready to pop' with her first little girl!
For her baby shower, we took the 'ready to pop' theme and changed it up a tad.  Instead of popcorn we used 'pop'ems', little munchkin donuts! I ordered the little popcorn boxes from Oriental Trading (they have a ton of baby shower decor!)
 Filled them up with about 7 munchkins each, placed them in a clear party bag, and tied them up! They became the perfect party favor!
I also ordered a ton of balloons from Oriental Trading to make a balloon arch.  I was SO happy with how this turned out...especially since this was my first attempt at making one!
 I was thinking that these ballon arches can easily be made for classroom parties too--especially my end of the year awards celebration!
All you need to do is blow up a bunch of balloons.  I enlisted some help from my sisters and brother in law for this one!
Then, take fishing wire and a needle and start threading the fishing wire through each ballon tie.  
 As you thread, keep pulling the balloons down the wire.  You will see that they will start to gather around each other.
When you think you have enough balloons on the wire then you are ready to hang! I don't trust command strips on the wall.  I've never had a good experience taking them off so I refuse to use them now! (Am I the only one?) My sister also has 'knock down' walls so tape doesn't work either! Believe it or not, we only needed three tacks to hang this balloon arch.  
When the balloon arch was hung, we added in some paper lanterns from Oriental Trading to spruce it up a tad.  It would also look amazing with some flowers tucked in!
My sister revealed her precious baby room! If you look closely at the measuring ruler hanging, you can see that my sisters heights are engraved on there--once for every year on her birthday. My dad gifted us these for Christmas. We each have one with our heights and it is AMAZING to compare our heights with our children's heights. Such a great tradition and an awesome memory to have!
 LOVE these balloons to show off the babies name! This name hold a special meaning--those are the best kinds of names!
My sister also bought these little wooden blocks.  At the shower, every person painted one block.  Now when Flynn is older, she will have these special blocks to play with!