Archive of ‘KIDS’ category

Starting Kindergarten and A Teacher’s Gift


Starting the new school year with a simple teacher's gift. -- Often Charming

When Lark was a baby, I remember feeling like she’d be a baby forever. Those early days were tough, and it was hard to imagine a time ahead when she’d be an independent little person, about to start elementary school. But here we are.

What is this I’m feeling? Sadness that my baby is not a baby anymore?  A bit of that. Anxiety about the year ahead? Sure, that too. A little irrational, unnecessary panic that this milestone is now upon us? I admit it.

This transition is made (mercifully) easier on us because we’ve decided to let Lark attend the private kindergarten at her current school, where she has been in pre-k for the past year. Yes, we’re paying tuition, but it’s worth it to me because not only will her class be half the size it would be in public school (12 students vs 24), I know she’ll be challenged with more advanced curriculum that includes music, art, and Spanish.

And I can send my baby down the hall to her new classroom, instead of putting her on a bus, which I’m not sure my heart can take just yet.

I appreciate how lucky we are to have an opportunity to choose between public and private school. Like all kid-related things, every parent has to make decisions based on what’s best for their family. Whatever you choose, make the most of it by being involved as much as you can be. Let your child’s teacher know you care about their job, and the relationship they will have with your child this year. One way you can do this is with a simple, inexpensive gift to start the year off.

I was at Target several weeks ago, poking around the dollar bins (love those) when I spotted this sign. It immediately made me think of Lark’s new kindergarten teacher. She empowers her students to become independent little thinkers, and it seemed just right for the start of a new school year.

A fun sign for the new teacher's classroom. -- Often Charming

I thought it might be fun to put together a little package of things she could use in her classroom. Luckily, there were lots of other Dr. Seuss items to go along with it, including a second sign and some fun decorative trim for a bulletin board. Since Lark’s class is small, I was able to get enough matching pencils for her teacher to give one to each child. I even found a cute little Cat in the Hat bag to put it all in. Each item was just $1!

Classroom supplies and an insulated tumbler make a simple and sweet teacher's gift. -- Often Charming

I made a quick little gift tag to go with it, using my Cricut Explore and some regular adhesive vinyl. I already had some black tags to put the letters on, but you could easily cut one out of black paper if you needed to. Me being who I am, I wanted the lettering on the tag to support my Dr. Seuss theme, because 1) that’s awesome and 2) it was easy and FREE. So, I downloaded some Dr. Seuss-y font and went to town. A little red and white twine to tie the tag on and we’re there.

I knew I wanted to add an inexpensive water bottle, but I was having a hard time finding one this late in the summer. I had planned on personalizing it using my Cricut. Happily, I found an insulated tumbler a few days ago that fit the bill: just $5 and already sporting a sentiment perfect for the teacher and the occasion.

An insulated tumbler filled with fun teas is a thoughtful addition to this teacher's gift. -- Often Charming

I put some mint and hibiscus teas in with the cup, too. As it’s over 100 degrees here every day, I thought they’d make her cup more fun than plain water.

Wake up and be awesome, indeed. A good plan for the start of any school year.  I hope yours is awesome, too.


Heather Signature


Note: This is not a sponsored post. Links provided in this post are purely meant to be helpful.

Mr. Bear’s Birthday Party

Find something to celebrate with your kids, just for fun. -- Often Charming

Birthdays are a big deal when you’re five years old. Really. The nicest thing you can say to someone is that they’re invited to your birthday party, and, in turn, the meanest thing you can say is that they can’t come.

Shortly after Lark’s last birthday party, she asked me when Mr. Bear’s birthday was. (Mr. Bear is her very special lovey and basically the Most Important Bear in the whole world.) I explained to her that it is in August, because that was when he moved into the crib with her.

“How old is he?” she asked.

“He’ll be five, like you.” I said.

“Can we have a party for him? A bear party?” she asked.

Naturally, being Lark’s best buddy and general Head Bear in the house, it only seemed right to have a party for him. The 5th birthday is a milestone, after all. So we did.

Well, truthfully, it was just a bit of a fancy playdate. We invited three of our close friends (who happen to be immediate neighbors) over to play and eat snacks. The parents toasted Mr. B’s health with some wine, as well.

Julia Child famously said, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” I’ve always loved that idea. So of course, even a birthday party for a bear has to have cake. Cupcakes, in this case. I didn’t make them myself, but Lark and I did make some special cupcake toppers for them, using my Cricut and some of our favorite pictures of her with the birthday bear.

Make your own cupcake toppers with photos of the guest of honor. -- Often Charming

We also made a little banner for him. And some tiny party hats, for the bears that attended. But that’s absolutely it, I swear.

What's a party without hats? -- Often Charming

I rate the banner and hats a close second in the Silliest-Things-I-Have-Ever-Made-for-Anyone race. The winner is a pair of bright pink, 80’s-style leg warmers that I knit for a german shepherd’s Halloween costume.

But that’s another story.

I hope you find an excuse to celebrate something today.


Heather's Signature -- Often Charming



Note: This is not a sponsored post. Links provided in this post are purely meant to be helpful.