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Chad Boender


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:

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


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.

Back to School: Parent Appreciation Gift

It is back-to-school season for many teachers! As we are busy preparing for the upcoming school year and getting our rooms ready, it is important to not forget about the caring, supportive parents of our students!

This post contains 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.

In order to foster positive relationships, I believe that open communication among the teacher, students, and parents is important. After all, communication in the classroom defines the learning process, and it is necessary to communicate in order to influence learning. This gift idea is the perfect way to show your students’ parents that they are teachers too, and that you appreciate all the work they do at home with their child!

I love Laura Kelly’s Sizzix Bigz Die – Apple #2 that she made for Ellison Education! This die makes cutting out apples a breeze! Let’s grab our supplies and get started!

Sizzix Bigz Die – Apple #2
– Sizzix Bigz Die Set – Badges (4 Die Set)
– Sizzix Bigz Die Set – Pet Shop Flashcards (4 Die Set)
– White cardstock
– Scrapbooking paper
– Adhesive roller
– Felt and or colored card stock
– Googly Eyes
– Colored pencils, markers, or crayons (Optional)
X-acto Knife
FREE: “Parents are teachers, too” Printable

I used my Ellison SuperStar Machine to die cut the Sizzix Bigz Die – Apple #2 from felt. Using the Sizzix Bigz Die Set – Pet Shop Flashcards (4 Die Set), die cut the snake from the set using felt or card stock. Add googly eyes and a mouth to your worm. I used an X-acto knife to cut a slit into the apple for the worm. This makes a great craft for your students to do on the first day of school and bring home to their parents!

Print out the printable and adhere it to some colorful scrapbooking paper or card stock. This gives it a nice border and makes it stand out. My favorite part about the FREE “Teachers are parents, too” printable is that it comes with a black and white lined version. Have your students color the apple and make it their own!

Laura Kelly has some amazing card kits that are also perfect for giving to your colleagues, principal, or as a thank you card for those beginning of the year gifts. Check out The Laura Kelly Shop for all her back-to-school products! My favorite is this back-to-school card kit!

Personalize your cards by adding a special message. Homemade cards are so much more meaningful and they are great for your students to create, too!

Have a fantastic school year and don’t forget: An apple for a teacher is really nothing new, except when you remember, parents are teachers, too!

Follow Directions Activity: Delicious Dirt Cups

As a kindergarten teacher, I always try to create a learning environment that is engaging, interactive, and inspiring for my kindergarten students.

This post contains 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.

With all the new mandates and standards it is difficult to find time to allow my students to learn through play. However, I always try to design my lessons with one thing in mind: What we learn becomes a part of who we are. This dirt cup sequencing and following directions activity is a great activity to start the school year! I always use The Baker’s Party Shop for all my baking essentials! Let’s grab our supplies and get started!

What You’ll Need:
Party Pastel Rainbow Ice Cream Cups: Stripe
Party Pastel Rainbow Nonpareil Sprinkles
– Oreos
– Instant Chocolate Pudding
– Gummy Worms
– Milk
– Melting Chocolate
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
FREE Printable: Dirt Cup Sequencing Cards

The ability to follow directions, especially oral, multi-step ones, is an important kindergarten skill. It can also be a difficult skill for kids to master and often requires a lot of practice. I always start the year off with explaining the importance of following directions. This activity is a great way to show the importance of following directions! However, before I start my activity I always read a story!

1. Diary of a Worm

One of my favorite stories to read with this activity is Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin. This is a great way to get students excited about creating dirt cups! 

2. Modeling

Before I allow my students to create their dirt cups, I always model what is expected of them. However, I always throw in a twist. I use the sequencing cards to have the students explain what to do for each direction. For instance, when I showcase the sequencing card that demonstrates pouring part of pudding mixture into the cup, many of my students will say “Pour the pudding.” So what do I do? I pour the pudding onto the floor. Yes, that’s right. This teaches my students the importance of providing detailed directions such as, “Pour the pudding mixture into the cup.”

3. Independent Practice

After modeling what I expect from the students, I send them back to their seats. At each table I have all the supplies needed to create their dirt cups and the free printable sequencing cards to assist them while they create their delicious dirt cups. I absolutely love the worm dirt snack clip art set from Jen Hart DESIGN. The sequencing cards allow the students to work together to put each card in order as they assemble their dirt cups. 

4. Delicious Dirt Cups! Enjoy!

Their favorite part of the activity is eating their delicious dirt cups! This activity is a great way to focus on sequencing while explaining the importance of following directions and working together.

Be sure to check out all of the amazing products that The Baker’s Party Shop has to offer and remember, everything is better with sprinkles!

Mindset Book Study: Chapter 3 – The Truth About Ability and Accomplishment

As educators we often seek the knowledge and resources to become more successful and effective teachers. We set yearly goals for ourselves, our students, and our colleagues. We continually strive to be the best educators we can be to ensure that our students are meeting the learning goals/objectives. We thrive on commendation and recognition for our hard work from our administrators, colleagues, parents, and principals. However, have you ever thought about the impact that feedback and positive praise can have on our students’ mindset? Well… let’s talk about it.

As educators, we strive to praise our students for their accomplishments and their ability to learn. However, in chapter 3, Dweck discusses the real ingredients of achievement and what makes some people achieve less and some more. Take a moment and think about some common phrases you use when you praise your students…

I praise my students for even the smallest accomplishments. Praising one’s efforts communicates to others that they can grow their abilities, cultivate talents, and grow intelligence. However, prior to reading this chapter, I did not know that praise has an effect on our mindset.

What is fixed mindset and growth mindset?

Fixed Mindset – The belief that intelligence is innate and cannot be changed.
Growth Mindset – No matter who you are, you can become a great deal smarter. Students feel smart when they are working on something difficult and can make progress. A growth mindset encourages people to develop their minds fully by embracing challenges and avoiding limiting thoughts which might hold them back. 

Take a moment to watch this interesting study on the effect of praise on mindset:

Students are reticent to take risks and more often than not their performance declines. On the other hand, when students are praised for their effort, their performance improves and their effort and motivation increase. Take a moment and think about these questions:

  • If people have such potential to achieve, how can they gain faith in their potential?
  • How can we give them the confidence they need to go for it?
  • How about praising their ability in order to convey that they have what it takes?

Growth Mindset or Fixed Mindset? 

Take a moment and think about where you are as an educator. Whether this is your first year of teaching or your twenty-fifth year of teaching… Do you have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset? Dweck states, “The growth mindset lets people use and develop their mind fully. Their heads are not filled with limiting thoughts, a fragile sense of belonging, and a belief that other people can define them. I believe this is what we want for our students and for ourselves. Give your students the gift of growth mindset! I want to leave you with a question: How can we create an environment that teaches the growth mindset to adults and/or students? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Read these other blog posts about chapter 3: 

Parent Volunteer Cherry Man Celebration

Parent volunteers are so important in the classroom! Without parent volunteers, my centers would not run smoothly and efficiently. They are seriously the cherry on top, and I will be forever indebted to them for all their help! Today I am excited to be partnering with CherryMan and the Laura Kelly Design Team to bring you three recipes to show your parent volunteers how much you appreciate them! 

Now you might be thinking… A male kindergarten teacher that can cook/bake!? Well, not quite. I’ve partnered with my sister-in-law (Julie) from Country Fresh Cooking to bring you these delicious recipes that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth! Julie is an amazing chef and a Spanish teacher, as well. Here is what we will be making today:

Click on the links above to download a FREE printable PDF of each recipe! Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end and check out all the other great recipes made with CherryMan products. Let’s get started!

Basil Infused
Cherry Limeade

What’s better on a hot summer day than a refreshing sip of basil infused cherry limeade?

Cherry Limeade

2-liter bottle of lemon-lime soda
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
One 10-ounce jar of CherryMan maraschino cherries, with juice
Thin lime wheels for garnish

For Basil Infused
Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 basil leaves


1. Start with the
simple syrup by combining 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 2 basil leaves in a medium-size pot.  Give the basil leaves a slap
before adding them in (sounds weird, but totally works to maximize the basil
infusion, so give it a couple slaps). 
Over medium heat, bring to a simmer just until sugar is dissolved.   Remove from heat, discard basil, and allow to
cool to room temperature.

2. In a pitcher,
combine the lemon-lime soda, fresh lime juice, CherryMan maraschino cherries with juice,
lime wheels and simple syrup.  Stir
gently and chill for 30 minutes before serving.
3. Add red sugar sprinkles to the rim of your glass milk bottle. Simply spread lime juice around the rim and dip into a bowl of red sugar sprinkles. Add lime wheels and CherryMan maraschino cherries (with stems) for garnish. 

Cherry Chocolate Cake Pops

Who doesn’t love chocolate? These cherry chocolate cake pops are sure to be a decadent delight at any event!

Cake Batter

1 box of Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix
1 ¼ cups of hot water
3 eggs
1/3 cup of butter
1 tbsp baking cocoa

Cake pop “glue”

1 jar of CherryMan Maraschino Cherries and juice
1 tbsp of cornstarch
1 tbsp of water
1 cup of Nutella

Cake Pop Assembly

2 packages Candy Melts – white
and chocolate
24 white cake pop sticks
sprinkles of your choice


1.  Preheat oven to
350°. Open the boxed
chocolate cake mix and dump it in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
2. In a medium-size pot over low heat, melt the butter.  Then whisk in the baking cocoa and the hot
water. Whisk over medium-low heat for
20 seconds.
3. With the mixer on low, add the butter and the cocoa-water
mix into the dry cake, mix until just
combined (to cool it down a bit). Then, gently whisk in 3 eggs, ONE at a time.
3.  Divide cake batter
between 2 greased 9” cake pans lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
Cool to room temperature or cool in the refrigerator overnight.
Pulse one jar of cherries (with juice) in a food processor to chop the cherries.  Do NOT pulverize them. 
5.  Put the cherry mixture in a medium sauce pan
over medium-low heat.  In a separate
bowl, mix the cornstarch and water and stir vigorously until the cornstarch is
dissolved.  Add to the cherry
mixture.  Stir occasionally and allow to
thicken; approximately 5 minutes.  Cool
completely.  This can be stored in a mason jar
overnight in the refrigerator.

Forming the
Cake Balls

1.  Crumble cooled cake into a
large mixing bowl. 
2.  To the crumbled cake, add
the cherry mixture and the Nutella.  Work
cake with a large wooden spoon to combine cake and cherry-Nutella mixture.
3.  Next, using a 2” cookie
scoop, scoop out a small amount of cherry cake mixture and roll into a
ball.  Place on a wax paper lined baking
sheet.  Continue making little balls
until all of the cake is used up. 
Freeze for an hour or overnight.

Cake Pop

1.  Over a double boiler, melt
one package of the candy melts.  Stir
frequently with a whisk until smooth.
2. Working in batches of 3 or 4, remove frozen cake balls from
freezer.  Dip one end of the stick into
the candy melt (just a tiny bit), insert into the flat side of the cake
pop.  Replace and repeat with remaining 2
or 3 cake pops.
3.  Next, dip the whole cake pop
in the candy melt using a spoon to help coat the whole cake pop.  Tap cake pop gently on the side of the bowl
to remove excess candy melt coating.  Add
desired sprinkles immediately.  Place
cake pop in a cake pop stand or a styrofoam
to dry. 
4. Repeat with remaining cake balls, working in small
batches.  Leave the remaining cake balls in the freezer so that they don’t get too soft while they are waiting for their
turn.  You can use a variety of Candy Melt
colors if desired.

Makes approximately
30 cake pops.

Check out the inside of that cake pop! Delicious! Is your mouth watering yet?

When you are finished making your delicious cake pops, place them into a small pail with crinkle cut paper fill.
Add that special touch to your cake pop bouquet by adding one of Laura Kelly’s personalized stamps by Expressionery onto a tag.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Cupcake Batter

1 box of Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix
1 ¼ cups of hot water
3 eggs
1/3 cup of butter,
1 tbsp baking cocoa

Cherry Cupcake

1 jar of CherryMan Maraschino Cherries
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp of water

Butter Cream Frosting

3 cups of powdered sugar
½ stick of butter, softened
2 or 3 tbsp of heavy whipping cream.
1.  Start by making
the batter for the cupcakes.  In the bowl
of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, dump in the chocolate cake mix.
2.  Place the butter
in a medium sauce pan and melt over medium-low heat.  Add the hot water and baking cocoa and whisk
for 30 seconds or so. 
3.  With the mixer on
low, slowly add the hot mixture to the cake mix.  Give a couple quick pulses and shut off.  With the mixer back on low, add the 3 eggs,
one at a time until just combined.
4.  Use an ice cream
scoop to portion out the cupcakes.  Bake
cupcakes at 350° for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes
out clean.

Cherry Filling

1.  Pulse jar of cherries (with juice) in a food
processor to chop the cherries. 
Do NOT pulverize them. 
2.  Put the cherry mixture in a medium sauce pan
over medium-low heat.  In a separate
bowl, mix the cornstarch and water and stir vigorously until the cornstarch is
dissolved.  Add to the cherry
mixture.  Stir occasionally and allow to
thicken; approximately 5 minutes.  Cool
Use a cupcake corer or a knife to carve out a small portion in the center of
the cupcake.  Add 1 tbsp of the cherry
mixture to each cupcake.

Butter Cream Frosting

1.  Mix softened butter and powdered sugar in a
stand mixer with the whisk attachment. 
Add 2 or 3 tbsp of heavy whipping cream and beat until light and fluffy.  Use a piping bag or a knife to spread on the

Makes approximately
18 cupcakes

Look at these delicious CherryMan Maraschino cherry-filled cupcakes! These are sure to be the hit of any party! Plus the buttercream frosting is delicious!

Setting the Table

Set the table for your parent volunteers with all things white and red to fit that perfect cherry theme! Oriental Trading has a number of items perfect for your event!



You can enter to win a Cherry Man Prize Pack and a $100 Visa Gift Card! 

Check out these other CherryMan Recipes:

Chad Boender is an official member of the Laura Kelly Design Team. Products or compensation may have been received to support this post; however, the opinions, designs, images and concepts are my own.

Have a CherryMan Cherry-ific Day, 

Mother’s Day Flowers with Sculpey

Sometimes the best gift ideas for Mother’s Day are homemade. Sculpey clay is the perfect solution for those homemade crafts. I am excited to share with you some Mother’s Day craft ideas for kids & toddlers that Mom will cherish forever! Sculpey sponsored this post but the opinions and ideas are all my own!

The possibilities are endless with Sculpey clay products. My kindergarten students were excited to work with clay to create flowers for Mother’s Day. Each flower was so unique and my students had such a blast making them!

Sculpey sent me Sculpey Bake Shop Oven-Bake Clay Kits and tools for my students to work with. I love how soft this clay is for my students. It makes it easy for them to shape their clay into a magnificent masterpiece. This kit also comes with 12 vibrant colors for your students to choose from.

I had my students use Laura Kelly’s Traceable Doodle Patterns as inspiration for creating their flowers. These kits are perfect for embroidery, needle crafts, paper crafts, coloring, scrapbooking and little projects!

Laura Kelly’s whimsical doodles make crafting so much fun! Check out this flower that one of my students made with Laura’s doodle as inspiration. How fun!

This school year is certainly flying by! The weather is beginning to get warmer, the flowers are beginning to bloom and our kindergarteners are truly blooming too! What I love most about this craft project is how unique each flower is. This free printable flower tag by Laura Kelly Designs is paired perfectly with each flower to make Mother’s Day extra special.

These Sculpey clay flowers are the perfect pick for any Mother’s Day craft with your students.

How adorable is this flower that one of my students made? Check out this free printable tag by the amazing Laura Kelly Designs! Click Here to download this tag or click the picture above!


Enter below to win $50 in Sculpey products and a $25 WalMart gift card for you to use in your classroom! Have a happy Mother’s Day!

Check out these other projects!

Happy Sculpting,