Monday, May 18, 2015

It's the End of the YEAR as we know it! year, that is

Holy moly! It's May! Our baby is growing, the flowers are blooming, and our biggest boy is graduating Kindergarten this week!

I'm glad, don't get me wrong, but I just can't believe it! On top of all he has learned, the awesome reader he has become, the way he has soaked up spelling and math concepts, this kid is smarter, taller, and he amazes me everyday!

So I know this is going to be a busy week, for a lot of reasons, and my thoughts are (perhaps a little bit later than they should be) on "end of the school year" fun like kindergarten graduation gifts and teacher appreciation ideas. We are pretty new at this, since O is the first one we have in school, so naturally this Momma turns to Pinterest for some ideas!

Enter my "end of the year as we know it" round up! There are so many fun ideas, but I'm not looking for class treats or candy. To me, these are solid projects and gifts that range from thoughtful and useful to memorable and fun! Great ways to save a little sentimental piece of this special time and share with your little one's teacher how incredible they are and how much you appreciate the job they did guiding the class through letter-land, journals, personal space and appropriate behavior lessons. High five, Teach, it's not an easy job, but we totally appreciate it!

#1: The Questionnaire 
I love this idea, and it's something that, now that O can write himself, I hope he will do every year. What a fun thing to keep together and look at in 10 years! Can you imagine? Ok, so I'm a sap, but in order to make sure I don't forget, maybe I'll find one for each year and print them off to save a step in upcoming years (and so I'm less likely to forget)

#2: The "Last Day Of School" picture

So cute. Must do. Nuff said.

#3: The "What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?" Picture

Ok, so I know this idea is a teacher gift if you do it for the class, but how cute to do it for your kids each year and make a collage later, like for graduation? Call me crazy, but I think it would be cool! Keep it all B&W, what a fun way to remember all the things your little one aspired to be, and how it changes, over the years!

#4: Fun Mug-And-Treat Idea

Simple as it sounds, I love this one - easy peasy and what teacher doesn't love a coffee? If yours doesn't, you can swap any kind of gift card!

#5: Potted herb printable gift

I thought this was cute :) Thyme is one of my favorite herbs, not just to use but to grow! It's so fragrant and pretty, but there are printable a for other herbs, too:

#6: 5 Teacher Appreciation Ideas

I like these, I do! They are a little "cutesy", but I can see it, maybe with a meaningful card, or even a gift card. I love useful gifts that can be used, or used up, and don't just sit and take up space. Hear me out, I like cute stuff, but I don't like the thought of cluttering up someone's desk or making them feel obligated to keep the gift for 20 years and become a hoarder because if every student gives them something, it adds up ;)

I also like to steer clear of most candy gifts. Sometimes a little chocolate is ok, but otherwise I like to stick to healthy or non-food gifts. But that's just me :)

#7: Keep Calm Tee!

Ok, I know that "Keep Calm" and "XYZ" is all over the place, but if I were a Kindergarten teacher, I'd love this! Because how true, right?!

#8: Silly Books For Kids!

"Oh The Places You'll Go" is nice, but let's face it, there are so many FUN books out there! We absolutely LOVE books by Sandra Boynton! They are funny, well written, easy to read and my kids love them. Write a little note about how proud you are inside the front cover and it's something your child can remember each time they read it <3 I know, I'm sappy like that!

Want a list of books by age? Something that might match their skills and interests? Try this:

#9: Math and Logic Games

Think dominoes and dice games! How simple, right? Easy enough that a little one can do it, fun enough that you'll want to join in, too! A great way to keep their minds sharp over the summer, too!

My guy LOVES trivia type flash cards, we have some about dinosaurs and animals, he reads them in the car and quizzes me at home. So often I can find them in the Dollar Spot at Target or even the Dollar Tree. I'm sure if you head to a nice you store you can find some great trivia cards, too. Just check the age, for my kids, even if they are for a year or 2 older, often times they enjoy the challenge and don't mind at all!

#10: Something Thoughtful!

Pin after pin, top choice by teachers is a handwritten note of appreciation. Simple, from the heart, and not fancy and extravagant. Go for meaningful, but be honest. 

What about your child? Just offering honest, encouraging words about how proud you are can mean a lot, too. 

Hope you like this list! Drop a comment and tell me your fave thing - or if you have a fun idea I left out, I'd love to know!

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