Note: On Friday night, I posted this response to the tragedy in Newtown. It’s so hard to make sense of the senseless. There is no right or wrong way to feel in such unfathomable circumstances. Give yourself time to grieve; it is human nature to empathize and imagine and get stuck in the ‘what ifs.’ When communicating with children, let them share and let them question. You may not have the answers, and that’s okay. We don’t know why these tragedies happen. Don’t be afraid to ask your children what they think. Invite them to draw or write what they’re feeling; perhaps they’d like to send a condolence note to Sandy Hill Elementary. Assure them that they are safe and they are loved; as shaky as we might feel, your children need to hear that they are secure and protected.
Perhaps you’re looking for some DIY levity. (Perhaps not… that’s okay too.) Here’s Day 2 of Ciburbanity’s Five Days of Christmas.
I’ve only had a child in school for a couple of years, but so far the teacher gift has already proven to be a challenge. “What did you like to get when YOU were a teacher, Charlotte?” is the first question I ask myself. Aside from straight up cash, I most loved the gifts that were child focused but still useful: i.e. a painted coffee cup or a tote bag or an ornament. (I still use this coffee mug from a former student… he’s now 7 feet tall with hopefully better handwriting.)
This year I didn’t get my act together or else I would have spent another day (and more time) with Eleanor painting pottery. So I admit to the cardinal sin of teacher gifts… I made one myself. I was going to let Eleanor help, until I realized that epoxy would be involved. Nope- 3.5 year-old plus permanent adhesive ain’t going to happen. Here’s my Pinterest inspiration:
When I went to the market hoping to find some possible supplies, they didn’t have quite what I needed, so I went a different route. I found these glass vases in the floral section for $2.99 each. When I got to the art supply section, the colored pencils were expensive and I figured I’d need at least 4 boxes for each vase… nope. So I grabbed two large boxes of crayons for $6.99 each.
I went back and forth about using a hot glue gun, but ultimately figured that with the glass, hot glue might not be enough… I didn’t want the crayons to fall off every time these things got bumped. I happened to have some epoxy on hand so figured why not go with the big guns.
The epoxy was easy to mix and dried within minutes so adhering the crayons was a breeze. I laid out a basic color pattern and just kept it going on all four sides paying attention to line up the bottom/ top of each crayon.
There were holiday poinsettia’s at the market that more or less fit the vases so for another $6, teacher gifts for Eleanor are done.
In order to give Eleanor a hand in the gifts, she made these cute Christmas tree tags that I’ll laminate and put a ribbon on to accompany each flower.
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