Jungle Themed Birthday Party

My son turned seven this year and, monkey that he is, he wanted a jungle theme.
So we started by turning the house into "a jungle" with some streamers and fake trees. Then we also burned a CD of different jungle sounds that sounded so real, one of the kids wouldn't come in the house until he saw that it was only a CD.
 Face painting was done right when the kids arrived to the house- they got to choose between a tiger or a zebra- and then they got to eat.

The punch was a wild tropical flavor that we mixed up ourselves on a whim. It really was delicious.
 This was a game we made up called "Don't Wake the Monkey". One child would lay and pretend sleeping with a banana in front of them, then each child took turns, very quietly, and tried to steal the banana without the "Monkey" knowing. If they successfully stole the banana it was their turn to be the monkey and so on and so forth.
This game was very popular among all ages.
This handmade photo op served as a game too! When we were done taking photos with it, we gave the kids a ball and had them try to toss it through one of the monkey faces.
Here is birthday boy standing by the cake I made him. The trees and the fondant animals were all edible as well.
 In the photo below are all of the party bags we gave the kiddos and in the photo above is the candy that went into the party bags and the jars that also served as decoration.

Pencil Vase

This was a really cute idea that I got online and then changed it up a bit to fit what I wanted it to. When I finished the entire vase, I filled with flowers from the kids and gave it as a teacher appreciation gift.

The Inside
I found this vase at the dollar store- and made sure it was about 1/4" shorter than the pencils I was using (also a package from the dollar store).  Then I wrapped a line of double stick tape around the vase and then stretched two rubber bands above the tape.
The pencils were inserted between the two rubber bands, so that one band was on the outside and one was on the underside (flush against the vase.)
The Outside
 In my opinion the rubber band on the outside of the vase wasn't very attractive. So I covered it up with some red ribbon, and then some "ruler printed" ribbon.
The Finished Product
To gift this- find a cup that fits inside of your vase and can be easily removed. That way it will be easier to change or add water without getting the pencils wet.

Teacher Appreciation Week 2011

Teacher appreciation can be tricky. But only because this event takes place at the end of year when there are already so many other activities going on. It's so worth putting the time in though when you want to thank those very special teachers that deserve so much more than what we can even give them. And my son's first grade teacher this year was one in a million.

This year I decided to go all out and have fun with a Vintage Schoolhouse Theme. Personally, I feel that a theme helps give teacher appreciation week a bit of dimension and some fun, involved ideas that "mix and mingle" easily. I've been a room mom for many years, and when it comes to this week in particular, I have found that parents love the whole theme idea as a great guideline for gift-shopping (Just be sure to give at least a week's notice). I always try to make it simple enough that everyone can participate effort-wise and budget-wise. This includes not only the children but the parents as well.

And this was the "Door Poster" I made! I did get all of the clip art off of the internet and thought that the block vintage letters for a border really added a lot to give a feel for the theme.

And the teeter-totter actually moves!! Those two little kids are having time of their lives.

 I've heard mixed opinions from parents and even teachers on what they really enjoy receiving. Just make sure that whatever you plan on giving your child's teacher, caters to their own needs and wants, as well as yours.
For one of the days in that week, I requested that all of the kids and parents send a note or a card to school with their child for the teacher with some kind of schoolhouse theme. This is a card I printed out from familyfun.com for my son to take.

 Flower Day! We asked that each child bring one long stemmed flower to put into a vase that I would supply. It all ended up making a really cute bouquet.

This was an all candy "school lunch" as an end of the year treat that I made for her.

This was a more involved project, but it really did pay off.  We had all the kids arrange themselves into different letter shapes and then photoshopped them into a background. There was one problem though- we couldn't choose which color poster we should give the teacher...so after some debating we printed both.