End of School Class Mom Gift to Kids

End of School Gift from Class Mom to Kids
As class mom, I wanted to give the kids a little something at the end of school.  However, I didn’t want to fill a bag with candy or crappy little toys.  So, I decided to make them a useful, little safety bag.  In the bag, I included a 2 pack of glow sticks with lanyards purchased at the dollor store, a box of funky patterned bandaids scored on Woot.com for dirt cheap, a suncreen lotion wipe purchased in bulk on Amazon, and a bracelet whistle purchased from Oriental Trading. 
Contents of End of School Gift from Class Mom to Kids

I attached a tag I made using a graphic I found on Google Images that said “Have a Safe Summer!”.


Graphic Used for Tag

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Glow Bath = Cheap Fun

I don’t know exactly where I saw this (Pinterest, perhaps?) but whoever came up with this idea…..PURE GENIUS.  RUN to the dollar store and pick up some glow sticks (any kind will do).  Crack ‘em and throw ‘em in the bath.  Turn off the lights.  Figure out how to get the flash on your camera to work properly in the dark.  Watch your kids have a BLAST!  You’re welcome.

Glow BathGlow Bath









Glow Bath Alien



Glow Bath-Blindfold


Glow Sticks in the Bath

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Teacher Gift - Plants

Each year, I like to give my childrens’ teachers a gift for Teacher Appreciation Week, as well as the end of the year.  This simple, inexpensive gift could work for either.

For my younger son’s 3 nursery school teachers, we used these adorable chalkboard plant markers and planters that I found in the dollar spot at Target, along with some pink geraniums.  I purchased the geraniums in a 6 pack at the grocery store for $10 right before Mother’s Day, which conveniently coincides with Teacher Appreciation Week (You could also use these for Mother’s Day by simply altering the chalkboard message!).  On the marker I wrote “Thanks for helping me grow this year” using a paint pen (found at AC Moore) so it wouldn’t come off.

Teacher Gift - Plant with Marker

For my older son’s kindergarten teacher and aide, I purchased flattened silver spoons that had the phrase “Teachers plant seeds of knowledge that will grow forever” pressed into them (from JLynnCreations on Etsy).

"Teachers plant seeds of knowledge that will grow forever"

 We packaged each plant in a gift bag from the dollar store.  Such simple gifts and we received nothing but thank yous and compliments from all of the teachers.

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Army Party

CheezWaster decided he wanted an Army Party for his birthday.  I thought it was a great idea and it sure was easy to find stuff for this party (for once!).  The kids were so excited and ran from thing to thing, so I didn’t get a ton of pictures, but I’ll show you what we did and tell you about the rest.  We again used the space at our church hall.

INVITATIONS - For the invitations, I purchased an Army graphics package for $4.99 on Etsy.  I used a combination of the graphics and text wording it as if we were recruiting soldiers for a mission.  I used this as a guide, but made it my own.  We just printed them on regular computer paper - I mean, really…people just throw them away anyway.

DECORATIONS - I purchased a bunch of Army stuff from Party City.  They have a great camouflage line and it was conveniently all on sale online (but incidently not in the store - it looks like they don’t have much of it online anymore - I guess we got in on it just in time).  That was a lucky find!  I purchased 2 camouflage table cloths for the food tables and the rest of the tables I did in dark green, brown and beige table cloths.  I had some left over light green paper goods from The Destroyer’s bug party, so we used those and paired them with camouflage napkins.  We bought latex balloons that had tanks on them and were dark green, light green and black.  We also bought some camouflage mylar balloons.  I had also purchased the army tank balloon weights.  The local Army recruiter hooked us up big time with many items.  I got Army posters and Marine posters and hung them around the church hall.  We also had a camouflage netting and some blow up army rifles.  My husband accented the church hall with some real ammo cans.

Upon entering, each child was given a camouflage hat which I purchased from Oriental Trading.  Most of the kids showed up in camo clothes - which was AWESOME!  I was wearing a pink camo top and my husband was dressed in camo from head to toe!

GAMES - The first game we did, we called “Save the Soldier”.  At Christmas time, I purchased on sale a bunch of army men sets that included tanks, helicopters, flags, mountains, etc.  We gave each child a camo paper bag (from Oriental Trading) and let them “save” whatever they could.  Anything they could grab, they could take home.

Save the Soldier Army Men Toys

The next game was “Sergeant Says”.  This was just Simon Says where my husband played the Sergeant.  We played 2 rounds of this and I was surprise that the kids laughed as much as they did playing this game.  Sometimes the simple things work the best.

Sergeant Says

After Sergeant Says, we played a game we called “Top Shot”.  It was based on the Top Shot TV show.  In the fall, I had found 2 camo pump rocket guns on clearance at Target.  I made Angry Bird pigs out of paper using these box like templates.  I taped them over the tops of water and juice bottles and covered the bottles in green paper.  The kids had 2 shots to knock down the pigs.  Each pig had a value.  The top 2 values won Nerf Guns (they just happened to both be girls - YEAH GIRL POWER!), which I picked up at JC Penney on Black Friday for the very awesome price of $3.99.

Top Shot

The final game was a pin the tank in the target game, which we picked up from Party City.

Pin the Tank on the Target

All of the games had Army themed prizes such as Tank cars (metal cars like Hot Wheels), Lego Army Men Sets, Parachuting Army guys, etc.

FOOD - We just had normal party food.  We had a pretzel tray from the Philly Soft Pretzel Factory, chips, dip, fruit, veggies, and cookies.  As always there was Climax Beer from Climax Brewing Company, my family’s brewery, juice boxes, water and soda.

We had cupcakes made at our local ShopRite.  The bakery there air-brushed the cupcakes in camo colors.  The candles were a mini star and tank candle set from Party City.

Camo Colored Cupcakes

FAVORS - For the favors, we used Pencil Cases that I purchased for $.50 each at Target at the beginning of the school year (yes, we do plan ahead in this house).  I filled them with stuff that the Army Recruiters were nice enough to give me - stickers, pencils, bracelets, Army and basketballs.  The girls got camo lip balms (only camo on the outside) and the boys got the basketballs.  I also purchased Army themed yo-yos, notepads and pencil sharpeners from Party City.  The very fine folks over at MrsCraftyRVing made us the most awesome camo crayon rolls, which rounded out the pencil cases.

Army Party Favors

I also made little bags of gummi army men for the kids.  I used a regular Avery address label, camo scrapbook paper and ziploc bags.  The label read “Thanks for coming to my party, Soldier.  I hope you had a blast!”  and included a grenade graphic.  Very simple.  I ordered the candy from an online candy store in a 5 pound bag.  Google Gummi Army Men and you’ll find a ton of stores that have these.  Some places also had individual bags which I would have preferred, but they were MUCH more expensive.  I still have LOTS of gummi army men left, though.  DOH!

Army Men Candy Favors

As always, the kids had a blast running around the large space of our church hall.  They had tons of fun playing with the army men sets and the top shot game was a big hit.

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Bug Birthday

Happy New Year!  The holidays are especially busy for us at the MamaMamaHoney house since we have a birthday in December before Xmas and one in January after Xmas.  So - all while I should be wrapping Xmas gift, I’m party planning, too.  The Destroyer chose to have a Bug Party this year since he *LOVES* bugs.  At first, I tried to get him to pick another theme because I wasn’t sure what to do with the Bug Theme, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was very doable - and it was!  Here’s the little Birthday Bug himself.  He’s wearing the Bug Hat from the adorable pop-up book Birthday Bugs.

The Birthday Bug

I had originally wanted to do his birthday at Insectropolis, the Bug Museum in Toms River, NJ, but I thought that many people would not come because it was over an hour away.  I remembered the great show we had seen Rizzo’s Reptiles do over the summer, so we decided to go with them, which turned out to be wonderful!  While the kids waited for Mr. Rizzo to set up, they made bug sticker scenes that I purchased from Oriental Trading.  Mr. Rizzo himself did the show and he is quite the character.  Not only did he entertain the children for an hour (and keeping the attention of 3 and 4 year olds for an hour is no joke!), but the adults, too.  He presented the animals to the children, allowed them to touch and explore them and told them facts that were easy for them to understand.  He goofed and joked with the kids and the parents along the way!

The first animal he brought out was a Hissing Cockroach.

Hissing Cockroach

 Next - a scorpion.  The Destroyer, surprisingly, wanted NOTHING to do with the bugs.  He was so hell-bent on a bug party, but seemed freaked out by the bugs.  Thankfully, there were only 2 and he warmed up much more to the other creatures.


 The tiny crab was a HUGE hit!  All the kids loved him.

Mini Crab

 The tomato frog was also cool.  He hopped around with the kids.

Tomato Frog

 As you can see, Mr. Rizzo is a funny guy!

Snake Glasses

 The mini turtles were another big hit.  These reminded me of the mini pets we see on the streets of Chinatown.  I just giggle every time I see the pictures of them.

Mini Turtle

 Next up was the big turtle - a box turtle, if I remember correctly.

The Big Turtle

 Finally, out came the snakes.  CheezWaster was the only volunteer brave enough to stick his hands into the snake bag.

Snake Bag

 Finally, was the GIANT snake.  It took 4 adults to hold this thing and it was STILL heavy!

The Giant Snake

 The kids loved the show and it was very reasonably priced.  Many of the parents commented on how they couldn’t believe how long their children sat quietly and attentively.

I was torn on what to do about a cake.  In the past, we’ve always had decorated bakery cakes and we wind up taking half of a cake home.  So, this year, we went with simple cupcakes.  I made CheezWaster a caterpillar for his candles.  I used the basic picture from Eric Carle’s The Very HungryCaterpillar.  It was simple and quick.  I used colored sugar on top of the icing and twizzlers/m&ms for the facial decorations.  I made all of the other cupcake different shades of green and inserted cupcake pics that I made from the printable rainbow bug party from Paper & Cake.  I also used this printable file to make a banner, a paper chain and bug signs for the party.

Cupcake Caterpillar

 I made bug cookies using Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, Wilton tube icing and the Wilton Bug Buddies Cookie Cutters.  We also served normal party food such as chips, animal crackers, veggies and fruit.  I purchased spider chip bowls on clearance after Halloween.

Bug Cookies

 We did a Bug Hunt for the kids.  We bought a ton of plastic bugs of all sizes (another great Halloween clearance bargain) and scattered them all over a room.  Each child was given a big plastic cup and could take home whatever they “captured”.

The Bug Hunt

 The favors for the party consisted of mini eye spy bags that the very awesome Greathouse Women made in bug fabrics, Bug Coloring Book sets from Oriental Trading, and a Battle of Nara Battle Bug that I got on an awesome deal from Woot.com.


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