Monday, December 17, 2012

Easy Ideas... Because Christmas Must go On

Every time I turned the news on this weekend I found myself in tears. Hearing about the tragic events at Sandy Hook left me shocked, horrified, and drained of my usual enthusiasm. I still can't quite muster my thoughts and feelings about Friday's attack so I am not even going to try. I will simply say that my stomach churned as I walked into my classroom this morning. But my only choice was to swallow the bitter taste in my mouth, put on a happy face and be the loving teacher that my kindergarten students deserve. It's strange to share joyous things with you when our country has been rocked yet again by senseless violence, but Christmas is only 8 days away and my 14 precious kinders are in need of a magical Christmas this year more than ever.

So, if you're overwhelmed, unmotivated and facing a holiday to-do list that's a mile long, here are a few simple tips and tricks from my classroom to help you create a fun Christmas experience for you students (while saving you a little time and energy). 

Student Gifts

Each year I give my students a book as a Christmas gift. I LOVE Scholastic book orders because they always offer a few books for $1 each during the holidays. Earlier this month, my class went on a field trip to see If You Give a Mouse a Cookie performed at a local venue by Theatreworks USA. (If you're not already familiar with this wonderful company-you should definitely look into it. They perform musical adaptations of several popular children's books in each hour-long performance.) Anyways, I was THRILLED to open my Scholastic book orders and see that If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was one of the $1 books this month. I use book orders in my classroom regularly, so I was able to get a copy for each student using only my bonus points. 

I wanted the gift to be special for my students but I did NOT have time to gift wrap, so I quickly printed  a cute label for the inside of each book and I purchased blouse boxes for the gift wrap (you can buy them at the dollar store in packs of 3 and they are surprisingly adorable!) Ten minutes later, my gifts were labeled, wrapped and ready to go. I can't wait to see my students' faces when they open their gifts!

dollar book from Scholastic + decorative gift box = easy student Christmas gift

Parent Gifts

Last week I showed you the adorable watercolor Christmas trees my students painted as gifts for their parents. Their lovely framed masterpieces also needed to be wrapped and I didn't have time to wrap those gifts either. Out came the dollar store gift boxes (larger boxes are also sold in 3-packs). With the addition of a personalized label (Merry Christmas Dad! Love _____), these were also quickly wrapped and ready to go. I let my students select the box for their parents and they loved being a part of the wrapping process.

decorative boxes (sold in packs of 3 at the dollar store) make for easy wrapping of parent christmas gifts!


Here is one of the paintings (in case you missed it the first time).  I know many of you are VERY curious to see what my students' second gift is- I promise to share that gift with you later this week.
watercolor Christmas tree. GREAT PARENT GIFT!

Christmas Bingo

If you're behind in your holiday party planning, don't fret... I have a fun way to engage your students in a festive way and review information. Play Christmas BINGO! Turn any Bingo game into instant holiday fun by getting creative with your Bingo markers. I always use holiday M&Ms to play Bingo at my classroom party.
use holiday m&ms as bingo markers at your class Christmas party

Holiday-themed foam shapes make great Bingo markers as well!
holiday foam shapes= instant Christmas BINGO


Need a BINGO game in a big hurry? I offer several different varieties in my TpT store at a great prices (prices range from $3.50 to $5.00). Click the image below to shop.

Great BINGO games for Kinders at an affordable price. $


The tragic events at Sandy Hook have left an impression on the hearts and minds of every teacher and parent. This will be a difficult week to put on a happy face each day at school, but all children are deserving of Christmas magic. Let's make this Christmas one they will never forget (for all of the right reasons.)


4 comments:

  1. Oo, I love the book labeling idea!! I also bought my kiddos books for Christmas {shh, don't tell them}!
    ❤Teri
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am going to give my students the gift of literacy too! I made them a coupon to choose a book $3 and under from Scholastic! THANKS FOR SHARING!

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  3. I love the blouse-box idea! I am heading to the dollar store tomorrow!! (wrapping 27 books was on my list and I really had no idea when I would get it done!) I also order the $1 books-- I got them Gingerbread Mouse to go w/ our gingerbread theme. We are putting on Heidi's Gingerbread Man play later this week!

    We are also having a week of fun and joyfulness. It is much-needed! Thanks for the great ideas!

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