Showing posts with label parties. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parties. Show all posts
I love giving my kids a gift at the end of the year.  This especially worked well when we had our end of the year awards party! (Read about those parties here and here.)

One of the reasons why I love giving them so much is that I love the challenge of finding something memorable, fun, but on a budget!  After all, who here can afford to spend tons of spare cash on 25 littles?? #notme

Here are some of my favorite gift ideas for kids at the end of the year that won't break your cheap teacher bank! (And many are great for birthday favors or small random teacher gifts too!)
{affiliate links are included in this post to help feed my sweet tooth and support my corner of cyber real estate!}


This was one of my end of the year gifts the year we had a western themed awards party.  I just used rafia to tie the tag around the Root Beer bottle.  So cute and easy!  This one would also be perfect for a Root Beer loving teacher during teacher appreciation week! Find the tags HERE!

Krazy Straws

I actually used this one for Valentine gifts for my son's friends one year, but they work perfectly for the end of the year too!  I bought a bag of krazy straws for super cheap.  Then, we threaded them through the tag and they were ready to go!  Find these tags for all occasions HERE!  And krazy straws are super cheap too.  Find those HERE.


The year we had a Luau awards party, I gave leis as gifts!  The kids LOVED these!  Since then, I've updated these tags and you can grab them HERE!  Find packs of leis for cheap HERE.


Our summer countdown elf brought these one year as one of "his" gifts.  The kids opened them and wore them all day long as we worked.  It was a huge hit with the kids and helped keep learning fun those last few days before summer break!  Find these versatile tags HERE.  And get a dozen sunglasses for super cheap HERE.

What are your favorite class gifts for summer?
Almost 6 months ago, my then 4 and a half year old had almost his entire 5th birthday party planned.

"Momma, all I want is for my friends to bring their bikes and cars and ride up and down our street with me!  Let's call it, 'Go Cooper Go!'"

And with that, a cars party was born (in the church parking lot, not our busy street!) Here's a look at this fun party day for our sweet {almost} 5 year old!
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When I say Cooper planned almost all of the details for his party, I really mean it!  Right down to which cars should go together in the thank you favors... sitting with me while we designed his birthday invitations.  "Mommy, let's make a big 5 that looks like a road!"

And when it came time to prepping this week, he loved picking out which cars we would use for the food signs...

...and making the traffic light Rice Krispies!

Party day turned out fabulous...despite the windy day that made us need to move the food table inside! :)

The pennant banners were made from scrapbook paper and cardstock triangles! And I printed 7 inch circles with the words in the middle and cut outside of the edge to make some stop light banners too!

Cooper picked out his menu too!  And he made sure each of his friends knew not to accidentally swallow the toothpicks!

We saw this idea on Pinterest and Cooper could not stop talking about it!  Daddy came to the rescue and turned these {brand new} gas cans into drink stations!

We had the thank you favors on the drink table too!  You can grab these thank you cards with versions for valentine's day and more gift tags here.

The kids table was my favorite!  The cars in the plates were necessary in the wind! :)  We used race car napkins all unfolded to make placemats and taped down the corners to make them wind proof.  The road table runners on all of the tables were just made out of black and white felt I had around the house {yay for free decorations!}

Have I mentioned the wind yet?  Because it completely hijacked our blowing out candles situation.  Cooper really wanted 5 individual candles to blow out.  Getting all 5 lit without the wind killing the flames was impossible...even with hands blocking the wind and whatever else we tried.  So, we finally settled for blowing out the lighter! LOL! #whateverworks

We set up a road with traffic signs for the kids to ride on.  And if you look closely enough you can see the railroad tracks Cooper taped down for the railroad!  You can find this set of adorable traffic signs here {affiliate link}.  I LOVE that they were super easy to put together, great quality and all the pieces go back into a box that's super easy to store!

Cooper lined up all the vehicles we brought {not all from our house!} for the party... #thecutest

And then off they went!  I absolutely loved watching this kid and his friends do exactly what he's been dreaming about doing for almost 6 months now!

I say this every year, but truely this may have been my favorite party yet.  Just simple kid fun celebrating our miracle!

The school I was at last year hosted a Mother's Day Tea each year.  You can read about how we celebrated here.

One of my favorite new crafts I made for our moms were these adorable cupcake liner flowers.

Fair warning:  This is not a craft that will get done in 5 minutes.  It's more like do with a small group of 6 at your table.  I had my first graders working independently on their mom portraits and interview pages while I pulled back a group at a time.  It took the better part of the afternoon to finish 25 cupcake liner flowers, but the payoff was STUNNING!

Here's a look at how to make them and the lessons I learned to make this even more efficient next time around.
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You will need each of these per kid...

Step 1: Fold the Cupcake Liners

Line up all 3 cupcake liners on top of each other.  Fold them in half.

Fold them in half again.

Fold them in half again.  You have now folded the cupcake liners into half 3 times.

Step 2: Cut Scalloped Edges

This is why it's important to get thin liners.  Trust me.  I learned the hard way.  My liners were thicker and so it made it difficult to cut with kid scissors.  I ended up cutting the edges with my adult scissors which made the process take twice as long.  If you use thicker liners, you might just try only using 2 per kid instead of three or three thin liners.  Otherwise, I would suggest these liners.

I just cut 2 scallops to make a heart shape.

Then, unfold the cupcake liners to see the flower shape!

Step 3: Add the Stem

Poke the toothpick through the center of the flower.

Using your fingers, pinch the flower around the toothpick and so that it pushes the flower up (instead of looking flat).  Hold your pinch! :)

Here's a view from the side while you are still pinching the base of the flower to the stem.

And the top view...

While you are still pinching the flower, have your craft partner tear a ~6 inch piece of green washi tape.  Tape over the base of the flower where you pinched and around the toothpick.  This will make sure the flower is taped to the toothpick.

Step 4: Add a Colorful Center

Once the flower is taped to the toothpick, you will wad up a piece of bright paper or tissue paper for the center.  I let my kiddos pick out their piece of paper.  I used my hot glue gun to glue it.  {TIP: Use a generous amount of hot glue in the middle of the flower.  This will help hold the flower to the toothpick even more since the toothpick should be coming out of the top of the flower just a hair!}

For our Mother's Day Tea, we added these to the top of each cupcake to make a colorful display on our food table!  Our moms took them home as souvenirs.  They also work great for boutonnieres or corsages!

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