Teachers Feed Much More Than Minds #QuakerUp

1983 Allie School Pic2Do you have a favorite teacher?

I do. Her name was Madame Obadia. That’s us in 1983.

She is the reason I studied education and became a teacher.The gift she gave me is what I try to pass on to every student I have. She made me feel safe at school, she made me feel loved at school, and she made me want to come back the next day.

That wasn’t always the case.

One day Madame Obadia was gone and I blacked out in class. The teacher who was there did not believe me. That set me off. The next day I flat out refused to go to school. I didn’t feel safe and I told my mom I wouldn’t go. I am not sure how many days I stayed home but I remember meeting with Madame Obadia after school where she told me she did believe me and she had a plan to make me feel safe at school. She rewarded me for my bravery and I still have the little crocheted bookmark I earned. She didn’t have to do this, getting me to school was my parents job but she saw my needs and met them. What I really left her classroom with was a sense that school was a good place, school was a place I would be heard, and my needs would be met.

30 years later teachers all over the nation are doing exactly the same thing Madame Obadia did for me, meeting their students needs whether it’s part of their job description or not. Those needs are often in the form of food, in fact according to No Kid Hungry “three in five K-8 public school teachers say their students regularly come to school hungry, and as a result these teachers typically spend $37 per month from their own paychecks on food for their students.” Teachers should not have to feed their students but they know that a hungry child is not a child ready to learn.

quakerup

Quaker understands the importance of helping to fuel health and wellness in schools – so they are teaming up with AdoptAClassroom.org to help teachers give their students the tools that can help them succeed. I am helping them spread the word.

As a Quaker Classroom Ambassador, I’m inviting you to join Quaker in supporting teachers nationwide. From July 7 to Sept. 30, purchase specially -marked Quaker products and enter the unique package codes online at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com. For every code entered online, Quaker will donate $1 to AdoptAClassroom.org up to $250,000 (minimum donation of $150,000) to help fuel classrooms across the country. Plus, you’ll get a coupon for $1 off Quaker products. Learn more at www.QuakerUpForClassrooms.com.

 

Specially-marked Quaker products include:

  • Instant Quaker Oatmeal Maple Brown Sugar – 10 ct.
  • Instant Quaker Oatmeal Apples & Cinnamon – 10 ct.
  • Instant Quaker Oatmeal Regular – 10 ct.
  • Life Regular – 13 oz.
  • Chewy Chocolate Chip – 8 ct.
  • Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip – 8 ct.
  • Quaker Oat Squares Brown Sugar – 14.5 oz.
  • Life Cinnamon – 13 oz.

 

How much easier could they make it for us to support teachers? You don’t have to be crafty or spend a bunch of money. You just have to take a few minutes to enter the codes and know that it will make a difference!

Over the next few weeks as a Quaker Classroom Ambassador I will be sharing more about this campaign and host a fun giveaway as well. To see more great back-to-school content from myself and the other Quaker Classroom Ambassadors and join the conversation with your own teacher appreciation stories, simply follow and share with your social networks via the #QuakerUp hashtag.

I am participating in the QuakerUp campaign as a paid ambassador.

 

50 Easy Art Projects For Toddlers

easy art projects for toddlers My daughter isn’t a toddler anymore and my son is almost as tall as me, but I am preparing to jump right back into the world of toddler art projects as a teacher. I was going over some of my favorite easy toddler art projects and decided to turn the list I am using into one for you to use too. These toddler art projects are all focused on play. Some have an end product but even those few have wide boundaries and stress the experience and not that there is only one way to create the art.

If you need great toddler books as well check out our Favorite Board Books and 50 Books For 2 Year Olds.

sponge painting for babies

Simple Sponge Painting
Torn Paper Acorn
Pot Scrubber Painting
Paint with Recycling

easy toddler crafts
Ribbon Butterfly
Newspaper Hat
Paint With Toy Trains
Paint and Peel Math

toddler activity
Painting with Water
Bubble Wand Painting
Texture Collage
Paper Plate Tambourine

toddler art projects
Walnut Painting
Rubber Duckie Printing
Bubble Wrap Painting For Toddlers
Potato Masher Prints

painting with sound 5 senses activity for kids
Painting with Sound
Paint The Snow
Paper Bag Jelly Fish
Toddler Beads
No Mess Color Squishers

art projects for toddlers

Alphabet Cookie Cutter Prints
Heart Rainbow
Water Table Paint & Print
Block Painting

toddler art ideas
Puffy Paint Clouds
Flower Sticky Window Mural
Jackson Pollack Painting
Spray Painting Outside

cork painting rainbows st. patrick's day craft

Cork Painted Rainbow
Painting with Toy Bugs
Toddler Binoculars
Worm Painting
Fly Swatter Painting

toddler art ideas

Glass Sponge Painting
Garden Vegetable Prints
Painting with Baby Dolls
Trash Rainbow ( great for groups)

Animal Tracks- painting with toy animals

Animal Tracks
Fresh Picked Flower Place Mats
Painting with Nature
Pumpkin Prints

puffy paint moon sensory fun

Puffy Paint Moon
Mix & Make Colors
Turkey Baster Painting
Painting with Toy Trucks

infant and toddler painting ideas

Bath Poof Painting
Cork Painted Snowflake
Puffy Paint Ghost
Cookie Cutter Prints

Caterpillar Craft For Kids

easy caterpillar craft for kids We’ve been doing a lot of home renovations and have a lot of remnants of them around. We decided to use one of these paint stir sticks that always seem to arrive with new cans of paint even though we say we don’t need them. Instead of letting this stir stick go to waste we turned it into a caterpillar craft. You don’t need to sneak into Home Depot to get a stick  if you don’t have one laying around, you can use old rulers or even just a piece of cardboard cut in a strip.

Gather your materials. You will need a paint stir stick, pom poms, glue, googly eyes, a pipe cleaner and paint. We used paint daubers because they dry so quickly and we didn’t want to take a break in our art time. You may also want some scrap paper under the stick to keep the paint from getting on your table. My daughter helped me set up the shot.

pom pom caterpillar craft

Start by painting. She loved this and I just sat back while she worked on her hand eye coordination with this step.cateroillar craft for kids

Grab the glue! The glue will probably pick up some of the paint color but it won’t wreck the craft.caterpillar craft fine motor skills

Add on the eyes. caterpillar add the eyes If your child adds the eyes in the middle of the stick resist the urge to peel them off. Let them create, crafts are wonderful opportunities to create while working on so many other skills and there is NO need for perfect little facsimiles. One tip is to provide materials but no example. When you show kids what you are making they will likely duplicate it but if you give them materials to create it remains less structured , the more options for materials the more open it becomes. I usually ask my daughter what she wants to make and have her help me choose what we use, which is why so much of it is pink.

More glue! caterpillar craft more glue yay

Add the pom poms!caterpillar craft for kids with paint sticks

Add on the antennae too! caterpilar craft for kids

 

As soon as this was dry my wee girl popped it on her bedside table so it can watch her sleep. I think it may a bit like a dream catcher, watching over her at night. When she attaches so deeply to something she created I can’t help but smile. Excuse the iPhone photo but after so many years with terrible sleeper I had to sneak in and get a shot in the pitch black! Thank you Instagram for your magical filters.

sleeping with her caterpillar craft

Caterpillar Books For Kids

All our book lists include affiliate links.

bob and otto book

Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about two friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earth worm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly.  The message being that everyone has an important job to do even if they aren’t the same.

 

very hungry caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a classic, that most preschool teachers like myself can recite from memory. It really is a fantastic book, not only does it explain the life cycle of a caterpillar/ butterfly it also is useful for lesson about day of the week and healthy eating. The simple cut outs in the illustrations where the caterpillar ate through different foods is just the right amount of novelty to grab kids attention for this simple story. It was a childhood favorite of mine and both my children have loved it as much as I do.

caterpillar and polliwog

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent is a sentimental favorite. I remember being read this book in elementary school when learning about life cycles. It’s more than just about life cycles of butterflies and frogs, it’s about becoming comfortable with who you are. I remember thinking it was hilarious when the caterpillar tells the turtle that she will be changing into something else not just getting bigger and bigger and he replies with ” I don’t blame you.” It made me snort as an adult too. Good for preschool through the early elementary years and if like me you read it as a child there is of course the sentimental factor. I love sharing books from my childhood with my kids.

Hot Rock Melted Crayon Art

melted crayon on rocks art project for kids

I have wanted to do this melted crayon art project for ages. I did these decades ago in a day camp but never felt my kids were ready for this activity until now.  This is not something I would try in a busy class because you need to be able to really watch the kids 100% of the time. I changed a few things from how I did it years ago to make it a little safer for my kids as well. The first one was to place the rocks in individual bowls. The bowls were safe to touch to move the rock and stopped my kids from reaching for the rock to move it. I also didn’t peel all the paper off the crayons so that there was a “safe section” to hold onto and if they got down to that part they knew to switch and get a new crayon.

This was a very fun and dynamic art activity and I hope that even if your kids aren’t ready to try it yet that you will save it for when they are!

 

Gather your materials. You will need some medium sized rocks, foil, crayons, a cookie sheet, oven, and as many little bowls as you have rocks. I also lined our work area with an old tablecloth and more foil.

crayon melting art

Start by washing your rocks and warming your oven to 250. I popped the rocks on a cookie sheet lined with foil and into the oven right away not waiting for the oven to get to full temp.

hot rock and crayon experiment

While they were in the oven I lined the bowls with foil. I also placed an old tablecloth and foil under our work area.

hot rocks summer art project for kids

I also peeled most of the paper off a bunch of crayons. Leaving a handle on each. This was the safe spot for the kids to handle the crayon.

hot rocks crayon art

Once the buzzer on my oven indicated that the temp was reached I took the rocks out. They are HOT mine didn’t get hot enough to burn but I can’t guarantee yours won’t, PLEASE DO NOT LET KIDS HANDLE THEM EVEN WITH OVEN MITTS. Have an adult wearing oven mitts place them in the bowls. Wait until you are certain that the rocks will feel very warm but NOT burn before you invite the kids to come create. Test EVERY rock not just one, they may heat unevenly.

hot rocks art project for summer camp

Start creating. They were both amazed at how quickly they melted. melted crayon on hot rocks activity for kids

They LOVED it and they were very careful too. melted crayon art for kidsI was worried I wouldn’t be able to get photos – and I didn’t get as many as usual but they were so conscientious about the safety and rules I had laid out for them. If only this ability extended to water flights in the yard… crayon art with hot rocks for kids

The colors mixed and twirled together and were so shiny! melted crayon activity craft for kids

Let them cool completely. We placed ours in our garden for decoration. hot crayon rock craft

 

 

 

Kids Activities Linky

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I am back from vacation and drowning in laundry and the final steps of a home renovation- in other words I have been crazy busy and am falling behind on my blog reading! Show me what you have been up to by linking a couple of your best kids activities and share them with my readers as well!

I have some really fun posts coming up this week and can’t wait to share – but today is all about you!