Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Teaching Tolerance to Children

Tolerance, diversity, peacefulness.  Those are some ideas I like to focus on in my life, and with my children.   Teaching tolerance to children is important because we want them to respect the rights of others, while celebrating the beauty and uniqueness in the world.  I want my children to understand that others may have a different point view, life style, belief system or way of life.  They may look different, sound different, dress different, talk different, and are indeed different.   Regardless of any differences, people still have valid thoughts and human rights, and therefore should be respected.  Teaching the concept of tolerance to children does not mean we are teaching children to tolerate bad choices, we are simply asking children to embrace and respect the beauty in others.  At least, that is how I see it.

This world is made up of uniqueness and differences.  It is wonderful.  Celebrating diversity and learning about differences is enlightening and powerful.  Some ways to teach children about diversity, (and therefore tolerance), include:
  • Research one's own family tree/heritage.  What similarities and differences may be seen throughout your own family?
  • Learn about the culture of a friend with a different ethnic background.  Ask questions.
  • Try new ethnic foods.  Go to authentic restaurants and make recipes on your own.
  • Encourage children to see the beauty in those around them.  Discuss ways others are uniquely beautiful and compliment others.
  • Read (children) books focusing on tolerance, diversity and peacefulness.
  • Research famous leaders who have fought for the rights of others, (Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, etc.)
  • Attend a party, celebration, or ethnic event different from one's own.  A few ideas include: Bar Mitzvah, quincernera, Kwanza gathering, Indian Wedding, cultural fair or other celebration or event.
  • Discuss ways that people may be different, (different cultures, different looks, different abilities, special needs, different beliefs, etc.)
I have prepared a Tolerance Packet on activities that may be used by teachers, school counselors, parents and homeschooling parents, social workers, speech therapists, and other specialists.  Included in this packet are activities, printables, posters and awards.  To see full details, click here.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Crayon Clock Tutorial

Who Should Check out This Tutorial?
  • A parent wanting to give their child's teacher, specialist, or other important person working with their child, a unique gift
  • Educators wanting to make a gift for a fellow educator, or wanting to add a little something extra to their own office/classroom
  • Any crafty person
  • A parent wanting to spice up the look of their child's playroom
  • Homeschooling parents wanting to kick up the look of their home-school area
Crayon Clock Tutorial
I recently came across a "crayon clock" (at least that is what I am calling it), and I immediately thought it would make a great teacher's gift.  I was inspired to make one myself.   I mean, how hard could it be?  Lucky for you and me, it was EASY!  In fact, it went so well, that I actually made three clocks for three different teachers.   Since I didn't follow a tutorial, I made it up as I went, and this is what I came up with...

*Crayons (not pictured)
*Wooden Craft Hoops
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks
Scissors (not pictured)

*Craft hoops come in a variety of sizes.  Determine the hoop size closest to the size of your clock.
*The size of the clock you use will determine the amount of crayons you need.  A 10-12 inch clock will use about 100 crayons.  If wanting to use a variety of colors, you may wish to purchase about 100 crayons to have options.

Step 1:
Determine the craft hoop size closest to the size of your clock, and separate the two hoops that are very close together.   Determine how these hoops fit around the clock itself.   You will not need to use the other set of hoops that came with the craft hoop.

The hoops I purchased were slightly smaller (about 1/2 inch) than the size of my actual clock.  The larger hoop was easy enough to open up and make larger by removing the hardware connected to it.  The smaller hoop did not have hardware, so I simply cut it using a sharp knife.  It could then be opened to fit around the clock.

Step 2: 
Hot glue the smaller hoop to the outside of the clock.  Hot glue the slightly larger hoop on top of the smaller hoop.  These loops make a "support wall" which the crayons lean against.  You may hot glue the hoops anywhere on the clock desired.  I chose to hot glue the hoops the width of a crayon from the edge of the clock face.

Step 3: 
Cut the very ends of the crayons off so that only the crayon label is shown.  The glue will stick well to the paper label itself, but will somewhat melt the crayon wax.  Therefore, you want to avoid gluing the crayon wax directly, or you may end up with a messy project! 

Step 4: 
Determine your crayon color pattern, and make sure you have enough of what you need.

Step 5: 
Glue the crayons to the support wall and to the clock.

Step 6: 
Gently remove any hot glue strings, and clean clock face with a household cleaner.  You are done!


Saturday, November 28, 2015

What's in Your Cart?

Wow!  The holidays are quickly approaching, and so are sales!!! Teacher's Pay Teacher's is having a HUGE sitewide sale November 30th, and December 1st, and many stores will be participating.  Woohoo!  My entire store will be 20% off.  So go shopping , and while you are there, don't forget to use the TpT promo code provided on TpT for additional savings, (that's 28% off at my store and many other stores too)!

I'm linking up with Jenn from Speech Room News to share three of my products, and three other products that I have my eye on buying during this sale.  So here it goes...

On Sale in My Store:

While I aim to count my blessings all year long, this time of year seems to be particularly appropriate for thinking about thankfulness/gratitude.  With November focusing on Thanksgiving, and December focusing on gift giving and receiving, it's the perfect time to teach the concept of gratitude to children.   This Gratitude Packet is filled with activities, printables, awards, posters, and more, and is on sale now!

I'm really excited about these new Respect Task Cards I just made!  They make a perfect edition to any character education program and may be used in groups, by themselves, or as a class.  Teaching suggestions, a list of all 40 questions, and a teaching guide are also included.   They are also on sale now!

Reward coupons are a fun way to recognize positive behavior.  These Holiday Reward Coupons are colorful, festive, and work well during the month of December.  They come in color and black and white, and are on sale now!

I hope you find these resources useful.  My products are intended to be used by teachers, parents, homeschooling parents, SLPs, SPED, counselors, social workers, and other specialists.

What's on My Wish List:

This is the fun part!  There are some talented TpT Sellers/Stores out there, and I can't wait to check them out.  Here are a few items calling my name...

I just love Educlips!  They have such great clip art which covers so many subjects.  I've had my eye on this Character Qualities Clip Art Set for some time.  Aren't these little guys great?  If you like these, you might also enjoy, the Manners Clip Art Bundle too.  I own it, and it's one of my favorites!

Whimsy Clips is another is another one of my favorite Clip Art TpT Stores.   This Good Choices Clip Art speaks to me, and I can't wait to use it!   If you are looking for clip art to compliment this, check out the Bad Choices option too.

Have you seen Kelly Workman's store yet?  I love her products!   Her Emotions Photo Cards teach students to identify emotions in a fun way.  You can check them out here.  She also has a wide variety of Dice Decks available, complete with teaching suggestions, answer sheets, and more, so be sure to take a look around her store, while you are there.  You can check out her Dice Decks Growing Bundle here.

So, what's on your wish list?  If you would like to share your wish list, and link up too, head on over to Jenn from Speech Room News.

Hope you have lots of fun at the sale!

Teacher's Pay Teachers Cyber Sale!

Have you heard?

Teacher's Pay Teacher's is having a HUGE sitewide sale November 30th, and December 1st, and MANY TpT Sellers will be participating!   My entire store will be 20% off, so stop by and enjoy the savings. While you are there, apply the TpT promo code for additional savings.

These 55 amazing and new Teacher-Authors will be participating in this sale, (myself included).  Be sure to check out their great stores!  Click the picture to download the PDF for quick and easy access to everyone's store.   Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Teaching Children to Be Grateful People

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it. -William Ward

Thankfulness, appreciation and acknowledgment are concepts that come to mind when thinking about how to teach children to be grateful people.  In a world that sometimes lacks patience, and is focused on attaining instant gratification, it's sometimes hard to stop and smell the roses.  It may seem easier to do the fast thing, rather than do the thing that makes one feel most grateful.  For example, it may seem easier to go through the drive-thru for a meal, rather than go shopping (with your children), and then go home to prepare a longer, yet healthier meal as a family.   We are a society that moves quickly and doesn't have a lot of patience for even the simplest of things, like watching a commercial.  I mean, why watch it when we can record the show and fast forward through the commercials instead?  Life is about choices, and sometimes we choose instant gratification.  Is that such a bad thing?  I think it depends on the circumstance being considered.   Regardless of our desire to have our needs met yesterday, gratitude should be expressed, valued, and taught to children.

Being grateful leads to a sense of happiness, contentment, and understanding.  It eases our troubles, relaxes us, and decreases our stress.  It's easy to get trapped inside our own bubble of day to day struggles.  Choosing to be truly grateful, has great effects on our overall well-being.   When we are at peace with what we have, we are able to give back to others in a genuine manner.

Teaching gratitude begins at a young age.  As soon as children can talk, they are taught to be thankful.  Teaching gratitude should be taught repeatedly in many different ways.  Teaching a child to say thank you once is a good, but the child will likely not retain it.  Teaching a child to say thank you each time something nice is done for them, and to understand why they are being thankful, will teach the child to be grateful over time.

Here are a few tips to get you started on how to teach children to be grateful people:
  • Teach children to write thank you notes to friends and family after receiving gifts.
  • Go through your child's clothes and toys on a regular basis, and donate items to those in need.  Do this with your child, and don't wait for an unfortunate circumstance to arise before donating.  There are always people less fortunate than others, so give what you are able.
  • During the holidays, adopt a child or family in need and provide food or toys to the family.  Go shopping with your child and let them pick out the items they want to donate to the child/family.
  • Visit a nursing home with children.  Bring baked goods or pictures for the residents.   Have children visit and read books to the residents.
  • Plant an edible garden to show gratitude to the earth.  Share fruits and vegetables with neighbors, friends, and family.
  • Go through a Starbucks drive-through with children, and pay for the person's order behind you. 
  • Expect children to work for their desires (toys, etc.).  Provide opportunities for children to make money.  Once they have made the money needed, allow them to purchase their desired items with their own money.
  • Model gratitude. 
The list is truly endless.  Ask children what they think are good ways to give back/express gratitude. Children always have the best ideas!

I have prepared a Gratitude Packet on activities that can be used by teachers, parents, school counselors, social workers, speech therapists, and other specialists.  Included in this packet are activities, printables, posters and awards.  To see full details, click here.

What are you most grateful for in life?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Teaching Children to Be Kind People

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandness intention.  -Oscar Wilde

Caring, gentleness, compassion, generosity, and patience may be some words that come to mind when thinking about kindness.  Kindness may seem like such a simple and straight-forward concept, yet it may not always be an easy act.   It is my belief that most people have good intentions and kind hearts.  However, misunderstandings, anger, and hurt feelings may be some reasons that interfere with one's ability to act in a kind manner.   Learning calming down techniques, empathy, and seeing another person's point of view are some ways that encourage and lead to kind acts.   In addition to one's temperament, another factor contributing to kindness, may be one's natural personality type.  For example, some people are introverts and shy by nature.  They may appear quiet and standoffish, when in reality, they just need a little more time to feel comfortable.  They may be kind people, who are misunderstood.

Why is it important to teach kindness to children?   I believe the key to success in life is rooted in living a happy and fulfilled life.  We are all aware of social problems in school, such as bullying, and disrespect.  If childhood problems like those, are not properly dealt with, there is a risk children may grown up to be unhappy people, and cause unneeded stress or pain to others.    It's therefore important to model kind acts to children at a young age.  For example, a parent may teach their child the importance of charity work by helping others in need.  This may be modeled and done with the child through toy and clothing donations.   The possibilities are endless when it comes to acts of kindness that children may participate in.  Here are a few to get you started...

  • Do a chore for someone without them knowing.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • Tell someone why they are special.
  • Bring flowers to your teacher.
  • Donate a book to a doctor's office.
  • Bring cookies to the custodian.
  • Invite someone new to play at recess.
  • Put change in a vending machine.
  • Make a homemade gift for someone.
  • Hold the door open for someone.

Those and many other ideas are available in my Kindness Packet.   The packet may be used by teachers, parents, school counselors, social workers, speech therapists, special education teachers, and other specialists.  Included in this packet are activities, printables, posters and awards.  To see full details, click here.

What is your favorite act of kindness?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Cheers to a Year Giveaway!

Congratulations Princess Netherly to one year on Teachers Pay Teachers!  Woohoo!  To celebrate Princess Netherly's success, some amazing Teacher-Authors and myself, are participating in a giveaway.  Gift cards, ($25 TpT, and $50 Target), and TpT resources/store credit may be won.

See full giveaway details here!

Good luck!

Monday, October 19, 2015

7 Super Easy Halloween Ideas!

Hooray!  Halloween is almost here!  Over the years, I have decorated, participated in, and enjoyed many Halloween activities.  Because time is of value, and because I work from home and take care of the needs of three little ones, my ideas and activities tend to be easy DIY.   If you are anything like me, and looking for some easy Halloween tips, give these a try...

1.  Cute Costume for an easy and fun costume idea?  How about Cookie Monster?  I purchased this cookie monster costume for my daughter one year, and paired it with cookie monster slippers.  When Halloween was over, she wore her slippers throughout winter.  I love making things easy and practical.  Score!  To compliment her, I purchased an inexpensive Cookie Monster adult t-shirt at a department store.  Practical, and in case you were wondering...YES, I did wear this shirt on a regular basis!  A blue wig, some inexpensive blue mittens, (which were worn again), added to the look and the costumes are good to go.  To complete my daughter's look, I bought an extra cookie monster shirt and hot glued it to a plastic pumpkin treat holder.  After all, every kid needs a Halloween trick or treat pail to hold all their goodies in.  That completed this fun and easy look!

2.  Freaky Food

Going to a Halloween Party?  Need a quick and easy festive treat to share?  Check out these spooky eyeballs!  These were so easy to make.  Purchase doughnut holes, chocolate chips, red icing, and white chocolate at your supermarket.  Simply melt the white chocolate in a microwave and submerge one of the doughnut holes in it.  Secure a skewer/food dowel of some sort into the doughnut hole, and push the other end into Styrofoam to hold in place.  Push in one chocolate chip to make the pupil.   After the chocolate has cooled down and become hard, draw red squiggly lines to resemble blood, and place in a spooky container.  Store in a refrigerator until serving.  Easy, yummy and fun!

 3.  Dreadful Decor recently helped a friend get ready for her annual Halloween party.  Each year, this friend of mine, throws the best party!  This year, my friend put me in charge of decorating her mantle.   The black star is my favorite.  I think it adds a little something extra.  My easy decorating tip is to use lots of pumpkins when decorating.  My friend just returned from the pumpkin patch and had lots of pumpkins on hand, so I decided to incorporate them into the design.  This picture shows the completed look.

Speaking of tips, here is a great party activity that takes place each year at her party.   The children at her party trick-or-treat the rooms inside of her house.  The adults and candy get distributed among various rooms/spaces throughout her house.  First the kids decorate treat bags, and then tick-or-treat each space/room throughout her house.  It's a lot of fun for both the kids and adults!

 4.  Pumpkin Patch Photos & Painting

What Halloween season is complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch?  If you have little kids to take with you, even better!  There is something about little kids and pumpkins that simply go together.  They make the cutest pics!

After you are done with the patch, why not let the kids paint their pumpkin?  Don't get me wrong, carving a pumpkin, roasting seeds, and expressing your creativity, are always encouraged, but sometimes painting a pumpkin is a little more kid friendly.  Just set the kids up with some paint, and let them get to work!

 5.  Fun and Frightful Face Painting

Little kids LOVE to have their faces painted, and truly, one doesn't need to be a terrible talented artist to do it!  My kids and their cousins recently participated in having their faces painted at a pumpkin patch.  The face painting artists were children themselves, and I think they did a wonderful job.  Feel free to get inspired by these pictures and paint your child's face in a similar style.

 6.  Pretend Potion

Looking to to add something spooky and unique to your party or Halloween decor?  Remember my friend who hosted the Halloween party from idea #3?  Well, this is another one of her brilliant concoctions.   She fills various sized bottles with water and dyes the water with food coloring.  Then, she adds pretend bugs and other creepy creatures to the bottles.  She makes sure the bottle lids are painted to look appropriate, and attaches a spooky label to the front.   She displays them on platters for the final effect.  They are super interesting to look at, and fun for many ages.

 7.  Mysterious Materials

Halloween Reward Coupons are here!  I recently made these reward coupons "Halloween Style".  They are great for rewarding positive behavior during the month of October.  Children and students will love receiving them.  The best part is that all you need to do is print, and pass out the coupons as you see fit.  So easy!  To see a list of all 36 rewards and a full product description, click here.

 What are some easy Halloween ideas that have worked for you?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Five for Friday: October 9, 2015

This is my third time linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!   I am enjoying this linky party A LOT!

I have had a fun last few weeks.  Here are five highlights...

My youngest (age 2) is finally old enough to start participating in some activities that her older sis is involved in.  I was lucky enough to find a dance class recently that allowed my youngest to join her older sister's dance class.  It's really sweet and cute to watch both of my girls dancing together!

I made another packet focusing on virtues!  Hip hip hooray!  That makes my fifth complete packet focusing on a virtue.  My goal is to make 40 more packets.  I am genuinely loving creating teaching materials focusing on character education.  I recently wrote a blog post titled, "Teaching Children to Be Fair People".  It takes a more in-depth look at fairness and can be read here.


This was a busy day!  It started out with a first haircut for my 2 year old on a weekday.  (We are on a modified year round schedule.  This means it is our Fall Break right now, and we have 2 weeks off from school).  My little one did great getting her first haircut!  After that adventure, we met up with some friends and family at a local indoor bounce house facility.  The kids has a blast playing and sliding down that super big slide!

I recently made these Reward Coupons.  This was one of the most fun products I have made so far!  I thoroughly enjoyed coming up with the positive behavior reward ideas, and designing these coupons.  In addition to character education, I also love classroom management, and these spoke to me in a fun and creative way.  See more details here.


My mother's neighborhood garage sale just took place, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to get involved.  My kids LOVE participating in garage sales because they LOVE setting up a "lemonade" type of stand and selling goodies.  The day before the event, we baked lots of cookies and cupcakes.  The kids made the baked goods independently, (under my supervision).  I was a proud mama!  In addition to making the baked goods, this opportunity provided a great opportunity for them to learn about money, politeness, and customer service.  It was a great experience!

And that was my Five for Friday!