Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bright Ideas: Classroom Time Capsules

Thank you so much for stopping by!   I am happy to be joining some of my favorite blogging friends for the July Bright Ideas Link Up!   It's exciting to read through so many amazing ideas! 

Materials needed:
  • Metal/heavy plastic container that will seal completely with a lid.
  • Small ziplock baggies
  • Sharpie marker
  • Paper scraps
  • Miscellaneous bobbles such as small toys, buttons, scrap fabric,
  • Photo of pet and or family

This project is simple, and fun for kids (and adults) to put together and open up at the end of the school year or even years later. Back to School time is perfect to put together a small time capsule to bury in the backyard or put together with other student's time capsules at school. It's optional when you re-open it.

Time capsules are a fun way to preserve something about yourself.   Making time capsules can be a great addition to "All About Me" Units too!


  • Start out by finding a suitable container. In my example, I used a cute tin that I had in my studio. It has a hinged lid so it could remain closed tight. The best containers are those with a tight/secure lid, and the container itself will not mulch down. (Paper or cardboard containers could be used if wrapped in plastic or put inside a ziplock bag.)   You can choose to have your students bring their own container to school as part of an assignment, or you can provide them.
  • Have each student locate small items at home that will fit easily inside the container.  (As a class project, it may be a nice idea to send a note home to help them with their items.)

    For my example, I selected items that would represent me: A small goat figure (because I raise dairy goats), lipgloss (because who doesn't love lipgloss?), a small prism, buttons (favorite colors), a butterfly charm, crayons (I love crayons), a quarter, a toy car, a lollypop, a photo of some barn kitties, and 2 little cards I wrote on and put inside small ziplock baggies.

  • There aren't any rules for making the perfect time capsule. The more creative you are, the more fun it will be when you open it again.
  • For older students, you can add a special twist to have them write a letter to their future self. (Hint: Any items that are on paper or cardstock (and photos) should be put into the small ziplock baggies to protect them from the elements.)
  • After all of the items are gathered, notes written, place all of the items inside a ziplock bag and then place inside the container.
  • Seal the container lid edge with tape.
  • Put container in plastic bag or ziplock bag (optional) to protect it from getting wet where it's buried.

For other "Bright Ideas...." Click through the link up below!  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

5 Ways to Keep Kids Learning in the Summer!

Are you a parent or guardian that is looking for creative ways to keep kids learning during the summer month?   Summer time can be somewhat hectic with different routines, activities, and travel plans. To help kids avoid the summer slide (forgetting subjects and routines that they learned during the school year),  I've listed 5 ways to keep kids learning in the summer!  

1.   Visit Local Libraries for Story Time, Arts & Crafts activities, and Reading Programs.
Many libraries will host different events through the summer months.  They are generally lead by guests authors who have been asked to come, and staff from the libraries.  Each library will have different offerings. You'll want to check with your local library, and also libraries in other towns for a variety.  Libraries often host reading clubs through the summer to reward kids for reading books!  Reading practice is particularly important for the beginning readers.  

2.  Cooking with Kids:  
Cooking with kids can be educational as well as a lot of messy fun.  Cooking reinforces skills such as following directions, measurement, and math.  There are a lot of websites, and Pinterest boards that feature kid-friendly recipes and cooking activities.  I came across a cute series of short video clips featuring the children of Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss. (Hosted on TLC).  What I liked about these videos is that the children are explaining how they make the food while demonstrating. I hope that they make more of these. You can find the videos here.  

3.  Interactive Journals:
Interactive journals are "in" this year.  The cool thing about interactive journals is that they can be made out of any kind of spiral bound notebook, composition book, or even folded and cut paper bags.  Interactive journals can be used all summer. Kids can create their own with minimal supervision, and collect post cards and other memorabilia on family vacations.  They can write about their adventures all summer!  It's an inexpensive and fun way to engage kids.  If they are having fun, they may not realize that they are continuing to learn! :)

4.  Travel Activity Boxes:   The cool thing about travel activity boxes is that you can involve your kids in creating them. By doing that, they are more apt to use them.  Printable activities are great for these because you can print off the pages you need/want, and it's less expensive than purchasing a lot of materials. {click the picture above to download  "Hula Bear Tracers" for free!   Examples of items you can put in your travel activities, printable learning centers, file folder games, word searches, coloring pages / pens, flashcards, card games, and more.   Remember, it's summer time and kids will want to have a little fun too.  Activities that are open ended and not all academic are best!   Have fun with it!

5.. Cardboard Box Creations:  Who doesn't love making forts, and playing in boxes? Making things with cardboard boxes builds confidence, helps kids learn team work skills, as well as how to think "outside the box"  (Yep, pun intended!)   Boxes are pretty easy to come by, can be in any shape, and can be RECYCLED!   Here are some inspiring creations that I have been cultivating on Pinterest HERE.

I hope that you enjoyed this post.  If you have questions or have suggestions for other ideas, please leave me a comment below!  Have a great weekend!