All Posts By

Chad Boender

Frog Craft for Kids

My classroom is TOAD-ally not ready for school to start, but I am! I’m excited to meet a new group of wonderful, energetic, and smart kindergarten students! This frog craft for kids is a great way to show students that they are TOAD-ally awesome!

I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with five, back-to-school crafts throughout the week. This TOAD-ally awesome frog craft for kids is a great reminder of how students will make leaps and bounds of growth this year in school!

Please note that I am partnering with Fiskars and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Fiskars scissors makes this watermelon back-to-school craft both fun and safe for my kindergarten students! Be sure to check out all educational products that Fiskars has to offer by Clicking Here. Let’s grab our supplies and let’s get started!

I always look for crafts that are easy to prep, kid-friendly, and fun, too! This frog craft for kids will have your students hopping in excitement. Let’s get started!

1. Cut Card Stock with Fiskars Punchers

Use your Circle Lever Punch (XXXX-Large) to punch out green circles and red circle. These will be used to make the mouth of the frog. Prepping for a craft is easy with Fiskars punching products. Cutting these circles was a breeze and did not take a lot of time (we all know that teachers are short on time).

2. Adhere Circles Together and Fold

Adhere the red and green circles on top of one another. Fold circle in half. I recommend folding immediately after gluing together with your favorite adhesive. Else the paper might bubble or not adhere well if you what to fold it after it dries.

3. Cut Out Eyes and Add Detail

Use the Round ’n Round Squeeze Punch (Medium) to create the eyes for your frog. Add black dots on the circles using a black Sharpie Marker.

4. Adhere Eyes and Add Details

Adhere the eyes of your frog to the face using your favorite adhesive. Add two small black dots using a Sharpie Marker.

5. Making the Tongue

Create the tongue for your frog by cutting a long strip from red card stock. Use a pencil, pen, or other writing utensil to wrap your red strip of paper around it. This will make your frog’s tongue curl. Adhere the tongue inside the frog’s mouth.

6. Print Your Editable Tags

Add the final touch by downloading, personalizing, and printing these editable “Our class is TOAD-ally AWESOME!” tags. You can find the editable tags HERE. Be sure to check out my cactus, flower, watermelon, and pineapple crafts for kids, too!

Pineapple Craft for Kids

Who doesn’t love pineapples? This easy and fun pineapple craft for kids is the perfect way to start the school year with this sweet treat! However, beware because glitter is involved! I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with five, back-to-school crafts throughout the week. This sweet pineapple craft for kids is a great reminder of how truly sweet each and every student is.

Please note that I am partnering with Fiskars and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Fiskars scissors makes this watermelon back-to-school craft both fun and safe for my kindergarten students! Be sure to check out all educational products that Fiskars has to offer by Clicking Here. Let’s grab our supplies and let’s get started!

This pineapple keepsake craft for kids is the perfect back-to-school craft for kids and parents, too! Every parent loves to receive a craft with their child’s handprints. Am I right? This sweet craft and FREE editable pineapple tags are fun, and it is a great way to show students how sweet they are, too!

Don’t let the glitter scare you! It can be mess free by using glitter glue. If you’re feeling adventurous then why not use Elmer’s glue with gold glitter to really make your pineapple POP!

1. Cut the FREE Template

Download the FREE pineapple printable and cut with your Original Orange-handled Scissors™ (8″) or your Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″).

2. Trace and Cut Hands

Using green construction paper or card stock, trace your student’s hand and have them cut it out using a Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″).

3. Glue Hands to Pineapple Base

After your student has cut out his/her hands from the construction paper or card stock, have him/her glue their hands to the pineapple base. The hands will represent the leaves of a pineapple.

4. Add Detail with Adhesive

Using your favorite adhesive, add glue lines to your pineapple base. If you prefer something that is not as messy, have your students use glitter glue. This will save you a step when making this craft. If you’re feeling adventurous and glitter doesn’t bother you, keep reading!

5. Add GLITTER!

Add gold glitter to your pineapple. Set aside to dry before shaking off the excess glitter or adding a pineapple face.

6. Add a Pineapple Face and Print Editable Tags

Add a face to your pineapple using a Sharpie permanent marker. Add the final touch by downloading, personalizing, and printing these editable “We Are a Sweet Class!” tags. You can find the editable tags HERE. Be sure to check out my cactus, flower, and watermelon crafts for kids, too! Check back tomorrow for another back-to-school craft using Fiskars Products!

 

Watermelon Craft for Kids

Nothing screams summer like this watermelon craft for kids! It is back-to-school time for many of us and we are diligently getting our classrooms ready and planning for the first week. This low-prep watermelon craft for kids is fun, easy, and will have your students saying, “We Are One in a Melon!”

I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with five, back-to-school crafts throughout the week. This sweet treat watermelon craft for kids is a great reminder of how truly sweet each and every student is.

Please note that I am partnering with Fiskars and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Fiskars scissors makes this watermelon back-to-school craft both fun and safe for my kindergarten students! Be sure to check out all educational products that Fiskars has to offer by Clicking Here. Let’s grab our supplies and let’s get started!

The one thing that I love about this craft is how easy it is to prep with Fiskars circle punches. As teachers, we don’t have a lot of time in the beginning of the year to prep activities that take a long time. This is one easy craft that your students will absolutely love. Plus, it works on their fine motor skills, too!

turn your craft into a fun counting activity! Label each watermelon base with a number and have your students glue on the number of seeds that corresponds to the number on the watermelon!

1. Cut Outer Layer

Use your Circle Lever Punch (XXXX-Large) to punch out green circles for the base layer of your watermelon. This tool makes cutting circles so easy and it provides a clean cut every time!

2. Cut Inner Layer

Now it’s time to prep the inner layer of your watermelon kids craft! Use the Circle Lever Punch (XXX-Large) to punch out pink/red circles.

3. Adhere layers

Place the inner layer of your watermelon on the outer layer and adhere with your favorite adhesive.

4. Add Watermelon Seeds

Add watermelon seeds until you are happy with the finished product. I used the scraps from the Floral Frenzy Intricate Shape Punch (2″) as the seeds for this craft. If you are looking for much larger seeds, you can use the petals from the Petal by Petal Squeeze Punch (Large).

5. Cut Watermelon in Half

Use your Original Orange-handled Scissors™ (8″) or your Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″) to cut some of your watermelon pieces in half.

6. Download, Personalize, and Print Editable Tag

Add the final touch by downloading, personalizing, and printing these editable “We Are One in a Melon!” tags. You can find the editable tags HERE. Be sure to check out my “Back to School Cactus Craft for Kids” and my “Flower Craft for Kids” post! Check back tomorrow for another back-to-school craft using Fiskars Products!

 

Flower Craft for Kids

As we begin another school year, it is important to remember what students know coming into school (sometimes more than others). In kindergarten, I often have to remind myself that many come in to kindergarten not able to line up, to sit in their seats, or to raise their hand when they have a question. However, I’m amazed at how much they blossom into confident, smart, and energetic students as they adjust to the routines and procedures of the classroom.

I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with five, back-to-school crafts throughout the week. This bright and colorful flower craft for kids is a great reminder of how much your students will blossom this year.

Please note that I am partnering with Fiskars and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Fiskars scissors makes this flower back-to-school craft both fun and safe for my kindergarten students! Be sure to check out all educational products that Fiskars has to offer by Clicking Here. Let’s grab our supplies and let’s get started!

Soup cans, toilet paper rolls, and various containers of different sizes – these are all items that you can always find in a classroom. This craft is another craft that is perfect for utilizing these types of extra containers you might have.

This flower craft for kids is the perfect storage solution for all your crayons, markers, pens, and Fiskar scissors!

1. Fold and Cut Paper

Fold a piece of green construction paper or card stock in half. Use your Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″) or the Original Orange-handled Scissors™ (8″) scissors to make long cuts on the folded end of your paper. Get creative with your cuts by using Teresa Collins Paper Edgers (2-pack).

2. Adhere to Base and Arrange

After cutting a number of green stems for your flowers, glue them to a soup jar, toilet paper roll, or other container. I recommend using a hot glue gun to ensure that your paper sticks to the container. Layer the stems and “fan them out” to your liking.

3. Creating the Flowers!

Use the Floral Frenzy Intricate Shape Punch (2″) and the Pretty Scallops Lever Punch (XXXX-Large) to create your flower. Use a variety of colors of construction paper and/or card stock to make your flowers stand out. Use the Round ’n Round Squeeze Punch (Medium) to create the centers of your flowers.

4. Assembling Your Flowers

Assemble your flowers to your liking. Adhere each piece to one another using your favorite adhesive.

5. Assemble and Print Your Editable Tags

Adhere your flowers to the green stems using your favorite adhesive. Add the final touch by downloading, customizing, and printing these editable “We are Blooming in School!” tags. You can find the editable tags HERE. Be sure to check out my “Back to School Cactus Craft for Kids” and check back tomorrow for another back-to-school craft using Fiskars Products!

 

Back to School Cactus Craft for Kids

 

Cactus themed classrooms are all the rage right now! This fun and engaging cactus craft for kids and editable tags is the perfect way to start your school year! I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with five, back-to-school crafts throughout the week. This easy cactus craft for kids is the perfect craft for the first day of school, and it will have your students saying, “It’s going to be a sharp year!”

Please note that I am partnering with Fiskars and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Fiskars scissors makes this back-to-school craft both fun and safe for my kindergarten students! Be sure to check out all educational products that Fiskars has to offer by Clicking Here. Let’s grab our supplies and let’s get started!

We all know that teachers always have hundreds of toilet paper rolls stored away for that perfect craft or activity. Well, I’ve got the perfect craft for you! This activity is great for working on cutting with your students, too! My favorite part of this activity is the FREE editable tags and craft template. You can download these items HERE.

Use these cactus toilet paper rolls as a perfect solution for storing your flair pens or those extra “sharp” pencils!

1. Download FREE Printable and Cut

Download the free craft template and print on green and white card stock, construction paper, or printer paper. Use Fiskars scissors to cut out the template. I highly recommend the Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″) or the Original Orange-handled Scissors™ (8″) scissors. I love how safe, comfy, and durable these scissors are, and they make cutting easy, too!

2. Organize Pieces for Assembly

Every student will need a green cactus base, two cactus arms, and 2 eyes for this project. Be sure your students do not cut off the “glue” tabs indicated on the arms of the cactus. If you would prefer your students to color their own cactus, print the template out on white card stock. This is a great opportunity for students to be creative and make it their own.

3. Adhere Eyes and Add Detail!

Adhere the eyes to your cactus body. Using a fine point and ultra fine point Sharpie permanent marker, add detail to the body of your cactus. Be sure your students have flipped over the paper so that the “glue” side of the body is on the table and the green side is facing up! Let your students be creative and come up with their own facial expression for their cactus.

4. Wrap Around Toilet Paper Roll & Add Finishing Touches

Adhere the body of your cactus around the toilet paper roll using adhesive. If you are using card stock, I highly recommend using glue dots or hot glue to make sure your cactus body stays on the toilet paper roll. Fold the two tabs on the arms of your cactus and adhere to the body.

5. Print Your Editable Tags

Add the final touch to this fun, cactus craft by downloading, customizing, and printing these editable cactus tags. You can find the editable tags HERE. Be sure to check back tomorrow for another back-to-school craft using Fiskars Products!

 

THE JELLY DONUT DIFFERENCE – SPREADING KINDNESS

Some of my favorite books are those that build character and leave a lasting impression on our students. That’s exactly what Maria Dismondy, an award-winning author, emphasis in her books. As a twin, I can easily relate with Maria Dismondy’s latest book, The Jelly Donut Difference.

“In today’s society, it’s important to remind children that, although we are different on the outside, we are very much alike on the inside.” – Maria Dismondy

I am excited to be partnering with Maria Dismondy and a number of inspirational educators around the world to share with you my review of Maria Dismondy’s latest book. In this book, Leah and Dexter are brother and sister. In fact, they are twins! However, they don’t always get along. There are even times they can be downright mean to each other.

After getting to know Ms. Marvis and hearing her story, Dexter and Leah realize the symbolism of a special kind of donut called a paczki (pronounced POONCH-key). The ooey, gooey jelly donuts in this story are a testament to the power of kindness, caring and generosity. My students absolutely loved the message in this book, as well as the illustrations. After reading the story, we shared how we can be kind to one another and pay it forward – just like Leah and Dexter paid it forward to Ms. Marvis. Overall, this book has a wonderful, heartfelt message. To find out more about Maria Dismondy’s books, check out her website: www.MariaDismondy.com.

Meet Maria Dismondy

I am truly blessed to call Maria Dismondy one of my friends. I had the opportunity to meet her at a Michigan teacher/blogger meet-up. She has a heart of gold and her stories are life-changing. Check out my interview with Maria.

Award-winning author, Maria Dismondy inspires lives through her poignant stories about topics challenging today’s modern child. Maria’s background in early education and commitment to teach the importance of character building enables her to touch lives the world over while touring as a public speaker in schools, community forums, and at national conferences. Maria’s eighth book, The Jelly Donut Difference, drives home the important message of generosity and kindness. She included the polish donuts as a nod to her heritage. When Maria isn’t writing, she can be found embarking on adventures throughout southeast Michigan and beyond, where she lives with her husband and three book-loving children.

Q: How did you come up with your first book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun in 2008?

A: Spaghetti in a Hot Bun was inspired from my own experiences as a child. I had the idea to write the book when I was teaching first grade. I wanted a book that was realistic for children to relate to, that empowered them to have the courage to be themselves and that really made a difference.

Q: Since your first book, we’ve been introduced to many admirable characters. What do people love most about your stories?

A: Readers like the strong moral messages, the diversity found in the books and the likeable characters.

Q: What do you hope readers will learn from your books? Is there a message for adults in you stories too?

A: I hope that children remember the characters and how they handled difficult situations when they are in similar positions in their own lives. I believe adults can be reminded of the importance of the power of our actions in my stories. I hope caregivers, teachers and parents of young children will see the importance of modeling positive character to the children in their lives and see what an important role they have shaping the next generation!

Be sure to check out Maria’s latest book, The Jelly Donut Difference. You can purchase the book on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Would you like to win a book for yourself? Enter to win using the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Entering is simple and you can have up to 7 entries! The winner will be chosen in one week, on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

Win a FREE Copy of The Jelly Donut Difference

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading,

Creating Simple Centers From The Dollar Tree

Every teacher loves the dollar store. Why? Because it is so cheap! These simple center activities using items from the Dollar Tree are sure to be a huge hit in any kindergarten classroom. Whether you’re on a tight budget or you simply love creating fun, inexpensive center activities for your students, then these centers are just right for you!

1. Domino Addition and Subtraction

After browsing the dollar store for quite some time, I was surprised to come across these miniature dominoes. I thought these would be perfect for focusing on addition and subtraction. The dominoes come in a pack that includes 28 dominoes for only $1! I created these FREE recording sheets that your students can use. Your students simply pick a domino and draw the dots on the recording sheet. After they draw the dots, have the students count the number of dots on each section of the domino and record the equation.

Be sure to check out my TeachersPayTeachers store for these free addition and subtraction recording sheets. If you decide to use the dominoes for subtraction, be sure to explain to your students that they must draw the dots of the larger number first.

2. End Punctuation and Capitalization Practice

My students have been working on capitalization and end punctuation for quite some time now. However, they are still not mastering the concept of when to use a period, exclamation point, and a question mark. I wanted to create a center that would focus on this concept while incorporating capitalization.

I found a bag clear gems in the craft section of my local Dollar Tree. I decided these would be perfect for the end marks for my sentences. I used a black Sharpie marker to write the end marks on the back of each gem. Remember: you will need to write the question mark backwards in order for it to show up the correct way when you are finished. I also found white circle labels that I placed on the back of each gem. This helps each end mark show up more clear on the gems. In the party favor section, I found these small kaleidoscopes. I thought these would be perfect for students to cover up the letter that needs to be capitalized. For this activity, students will simply read the sentence, cover up the letter(s) that need a capital letter, and identify the end mark at the end of the sentence. This is a fun, easy way to focus on end punctuation and capitalization.

3. Pot of Gold CVC Surprise

Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, I decided to create something for my students with that in mind. I found a snack pod cup for $1 in the baby section of the Dollar Tree. However, there was one problem… it was purple and pink. I decided that in order to give it a true “pot of gold” feel, I needed to spray paint it black. The Dollar Tree was just putting up their St. Patrick’s Day supplies as I was shopping. I found these gold coins that come in a pack of 30 for only $1! I bought 5 sets as I knew I could incorporate a number of activities with them. I used the white labels to write CVC words onto each coin.

For this game the students must:

  1. Place all the coins in the “pot of gold”
  2. Pick out a coin and say the CVC word. If the child correctly says the CVC word on the coin, he/she keeps the coin. If the child is unable to identify the CVC word, he/she must put the coin back or ask for help. The next person then picks out a coin.
  3. However, if the child pulls out a coin that does not have a CVC word on it, he/she must put all their coins back in the “pot of gold.”

Check out some more dollar steals, deals, and center activities from some of my friends:

The Kindergarten Smorgasboard

The Teaching Texan

Kindergarten Chaos

HALLOWEEN POPCORN BOX PARTY 2016

It’s time for the 2016 Annual Halloween Popcorn Box Party Party hosted by Laura Kelly from Me And My INKlings! This year I am sharing a ghost made with white felt.

 

 

It started out looking like this. I call it ghost skin. The pumpkins are made with Laura’s pumpkin die that she designed for Ellison Education.

Ta Da!

 

There are tons of super awesome ideas. I feel fortunate to be included with this fantastic group of creative bloggers. Check out all of these great ideas…

There are prizes too. Enter to win.

 

Happy Halloween,

Olympic Themed Birthday Party

 

Whether you’re watching the opening ceremony or cheering on your favorite event, the Olympics are the perfect opportunity to throw a festive themed party. This year for my brother’s 30th birthday, I decided to put together an olympic themed party with my sister-in-law. Oriental Trading has a variety of olympic themed products that are perfect for any event. Let’s grab our supplies and get started.

What You’ll Need:
Plush Patriotic Snakes
– Large American Flags
– Small American Flags on Wooden Sticks
– Inflatable Patriotic Body Boppers
– Patriotic Pails
– Blue Striped Paper Straws
– Red, White & Blue Pennant Banner
– Patriotic Nomad Sunglasses
– Stars & Stripes Bandanas
– Stars & Stripes Baseball Caps
– Stars & Stripes Kick Balls
– Patriotic Bean Bag Toss Game
– Red Swirl Pops

This post may contain affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Any purchases made through one of our links earns us a small commission, which helps to support the blog so we can continue sharing content like this with you. All views and opinions expressed are purely our own.

Every Olympic party must have some patriotic accessories for guests to wear. These Patriotic Nomad Sunglasses and Stars & Stripes Baseball Caps were a huge hit at the party.

Decorating for the party was so easy using a number of Oriental Trading’s patriotic themed products. I decorated the yard with Large American FlagsSmall American Flags on Wooden Sticks, and Red, White & Blue Pennant Banners. The games were also a huge hit! The kids loved to play the Patriotic Bean Bag Toss Game with Stars & Stripes Kick Balls, and the adults loved using the Inflatable Patriotic Body Boppers.

A delicious meal and treats were served to guests all guests as well. My sister-in-law made some patriotic cake pops and the kids enjoyed Red Swirl Pops for dessert.

The kids were entertained with this Patriotic Bean Bag Toss Game from Oriental Trading. It was so much fun to see who could win the most points and to practice number recognition.

Another game to keep the kids entertained is playing a game called Hide N’ Snake. We hid Plush Patriotic Snakes around the yard. The children had to find all the snakes and count how many snakes they found. It was definitely one of their favorite things of the evening.

What part is complete without a fun adult game using Inflatable Patriotic Body Boppers? These boppers were a huge hit and a lot of fun too! Next time you’re planning an Olympic-themed party be sure to check out all of the patriotic products from Oriental Trading.

Happy Planning,

Sweet Treats: Kindergarten Tailgate Party

Preparing for a successful Back-to-School Night, Open House, or Kindergarten Tailgate Party can be stressful and time-consuming. This sweet treats kindergarten tailgate party is an easy, fun way for incoming students to meet their teacher, to play games, to build crafts, and to enjoy a delicious popsicle!

Oriental Trading has a number of party themed products that are perfect for any school event and/or occasion. As you’re planning your event, be sure to check out the wide range of products that Oriental Trading has to offer. Let’s grab our supplies and start planning!

What You’ll Need:
– School Days ABC Stand-Up
– School Days 123 Stand-Ups
– Elementary Graduation Archway Stand-Up
– Patterned Frozen Treat Ornament Craft Kit
– Spa Party Fringe Tableskirt
– I Scream For Ice Cream Tablecloth
– I Scream For Ice Cream Luncheon Napkins
– I Scream For Ice Cream Garland
– I Scream For Ice Cream Centerpiece
– Ice Cream Bean Bag Toss Game
– Popsicles

This post may contain affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Any purchases made through one of our links earns us a small commission, which helps to support the blog so we can continue sharing content like this with you. All views and opinions expressed are purely our own.

Planning the Event

It’s another great year of kindergarten with my kindergarten team! We had to get matching shirts from A+ Images, Inc. that say, “Keep Calm Because Kindergarten Rocks!”
Each kindergarten teacher was designated a color (green, blue, or red). We asked our incoming students to also wear their teacher’s designated color as well. This makes it easier for us to spot our students and for students to meet their peers. How amazing are these School Days ABC Stand-UpSchool Days 123 Stand-Ups, and Elementary Graduation Archway Stand-Up? These were a perfect addition to our tailgate and they were great for photos too!

Each table was decorated with an I Scream For Ice Cream Tablecloth and Spa Party Fringe Tableskirt to give it a true sweet treats vibe. Popsicles were served with I Scream For Ice Cream Luncheon Napkins. It was a perfect day for a popsicle!

The craft table was a huge hit! Students loved creating one of three popsicle crafts from Oriental’s Patterned Frozen Treat Ornament Craft Kit.

The students loved playing this Ice Cream Bean Bag Toss Game and playing on the playground. It was definitely an excellent evening!

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of my students at this event. It was a great way for students to meet their teacher, see their classrooms, and to play with their peers. Be sure to check out all of Oriental Trading’s products for your next event.