T is for Thanksgiving Traditions.........

Hello Friends!
I am linking up with my Blog Hoppin' friends for some Thanksgiving reflections. Today is 'T" for TRADITIONS. We have so many traditions in my family and since I cannot really share them all,  I thought I would narrow it down to the our Thanksgiving Day tradition....
My Mom continues to create, cook, and serve Thanksgiving dinner. She starts preparing after Halloween and keeps going until Thanksgiving Day. She is amazing and I can only hope to be half the person she is as I continue onward in my life journey!

Long before my kids were even born, my Mom started the tradition of having her grandchildren decorate gingerbread houses; not the milk cartons and graham cracker ones, but REAL gingerbread houses. She bakes the dough, forms it into house shapes, and then hot glues the pieces together to make a house. She makes the icing, too!
She started this to keep the kids occupied while they were waiting on dinner to cook. It has continued to be a tradition to this day. I KNOW that the gingerbread house forms are waiting to be decorated because she told me she finished them last week!

Here are a few cute picture of our gingerbread house making through the years...... I could not find all of them.... sigh..... Facebook, where were you 20 years ago? :)



Finally, not a Thanksgiving tradition, but a silly one that my husband started years ago is the wearing of the birthday crown! It doesn't matter who you are or how much you do NOT want to wear the crown, it is part of being a member of our family that you MUST wear the crown on your birthday! Once again, I could not find ALL the birthday pictures that I have taken throughout the years with the crown, but here are the few that I DID find! We still have that crown!

Now it is time for YOU to link up and/or hop over to Blog Hoppin' for more more Thanksgiving fun!


Until next time!


Thanksgiving Fun, Five For Friday, and a Gobble, Gobble, Bump Math Freebie

Hello Friends!
I am linking up with Five for Friday even though it is Saturday morning! Once again, time has gotten away from me...... geesh!

So here I go.....

1.  We had our kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast yesterday. I was so, so proud of our kiddos! We take our kindergarten tables out into our shared hall and the ENTIRE kindergarten eats together. The kids made centerpieces and placemats earlier in the week to use for this day....The centerpiece was simply made from foam turkey shapes we purchased at Michaels. We hot glued them to a craft stick and the kids added a google eye and feathers.  We pushed the craft stick into floral foam, put the foam into a basket, and added tissue paper around the foam.

The placemats were created from handprint turkeys upon construction paper. My kiddos glued their turkey upon 12" x 12" scrapbook paper. Our other kindergartens created a border from construction paper squares and glued them around the outside edge. We have 3 kindergartens, so we each used a different color of paper to make it easy for our kiddos to find their own placemat. All placemats were laminated, of course!

2. Our kiddos practice good manners while eating together as friends at our Feast. We have a KID FRIENDLY and allergy free menu: chicken nuggets, corn chips, bread and butter, apple slices and dip, apple juice, and ice cream. Yes, I know it it not the healthiest menu, but it is one that does not promote waste and the kids pretty much eat everything!

3.  We made this cute turkey craftivity this week.

4.  We also finished our Native American unit this week. The kids painted masks and made mud ponies (based on the picture book, THE MUD PONY by Caron Lee Cohen. Here are a few pictures of the process. I will try to add the finished product photos later!

5.  In Math tubs this week, my kids played "Gobble, Gobble, Bump." It is just a Thanksgiving based BUMP game, but they love it and their subitizing and addition schools are practiced in a fun way. 

You can find this game in my store for FREE! Just click the image below...


And finally, thank you God, for our blessings. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the day to day that we forget to think of all that really matters.... family, friends, health, and life! Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving!

Please visit all the amazing posts on the wonderful Five for Friday linky! Just click the link below!


Until next time!


November Bright Ideas

Hello Friends,

Welcome to the November edition of the Bright Ideas Link Up! This one is a special one! Over the past 10 months, we have shared thousands of great ideas through our monthly Bright Ideas event. This month, we’re re-capping all of those great ideas, just in case you missed any!

Below you will find some of my bright ideas from the past several months:

I am going to start with my FAVORITE Bright Idea! I love, love, love using condiment bottles for glue. I filled my bottles in August and they still are working and UNCLOGGED! Seriously, this really works! You can find the post by clicking the picture below: 


This was my first Bright Idea........ Making paper mache apples. I loved sharing this post because when we think of paper mache, we think messy and large. I found a way to do it that involves little teacher prep and kids can complete it in one step! You can find the post by clicking the picture below:


 In this Bright Idea post, I shared some of the fun, artsy projects that I have done with my kiddos that are easy to put together with little teacher prep. Click the picture below to find the post:


I hope you enjoyed these Bright Ideas! Click on the link up below for more fun Bright Ideas!


Studying the Past with Native Americans and a new Thanksgiving (Then and Now) Story Pack

Hello Friends,

Wow... how is it possible that it is NOVEMBER? It still feels like school just began... and Friends, once the holidays come, don't the days FLY by? Soon it will be the second semester and we will be assessing our progress and wondering what direction to take our kiddos next.......Yikes!

So...... In November, we concentrate on the PAST and start our journey with Native Americans. Of all my products, this is the one that receives the most criticism. I have toyed with the idea of removing it from my store many times, but honestly, I stand by its' content. Every year, I listen to the constructive criticism I receive and make changes where necessary. It is a very fluid packet, so if you have purchased it in the past, please continue to check for revisions from time to time.

When I teach this unit, I am constantly stressing the fact that we are learning about Native Americans of the PAST. One criticism I often receive is that Native Americans are still present in the United States and continue to practice many of the traditions that I cover in my packet. I am very aware of this fact and truly, truly respect the present day culture of our Native people. BUT, this unit was written to teach children about the past and even though many of the ancient traditions are still practiced today, my emphasis is on the past.

I have always wanted to follow my Native American unit with a comparison of the story of Thanksgiving in the past and today. So... FINALLY..... I finished a unit that (hopefully) does just that..... After teaching Native Americans, we will compare and contrast the first Thanksgiving to our present Thanksgiving. It is one of my "FOR LITTLE KIDS" packs, so the story is simple and does not go into ALL the details of the First Thanksgiving. It was written as a supplement to your present study of Thanksgiving as well as your THEN and NOW unit. Two options for creating a student made book are given: 1.  Coloring book style pages that can be colored with markers or crayons and 2. Students create their own illustrations from ideas I have given or use their own ideas to create their pictures. This new unit is discounted today and will be regular price tomorrow.... 

Until next time!