Winter Break Activities

The most wonderful time of the year is almost here!  For some I know it doesn't always feel wonderful, and that break from school you were so anxiously waiting for has days that can drag on just a little too long.  This is especially true if the weather where you live is keeping you and your family indoors for too long!

Pinterest to the rescue!  Yes, really.  I know Pinterest can at times be an overwhelming plethora of DIY projects that can have you wanting to chuck your craft supply stash in frustration because your projects just never look as good.  But wait!  It is also filled with some simple, often free and not too complicated projects that can help keep your house bound kiddos happy when the two week break starts to feel a few days too long.

Here a few of my favorite finds that don't require a ton of prep work, or help from an adult, and may not leave too much of a mess...

Doodle Art Alley:
I found this site just before Thanksgiving and wrote about my love for doodling and how excited I was about this site.  Turns out I had barely scratched the surface of all the cool things available! In addition, to the fabulous doodle art that one could spend hours having fun with, there are also free e-books that include activity pages with word searches, mazes and more!  These would be perfect for those long car rides over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house.

Click to Visit Doodle Alley

Art Projects For Kids: 
Wow!  I would have loved this site as a kid.  Especially the How To Draw section.  Who I am kidding I love this site now! There are  many great ideas for all kinds of fantastic projects, but the simple, clear step by step instructions for drawing are a perfect afternoon activity for your kiddos who that are starting to get bored. Just have them pick one, print it and let them see what they can do!

Click to Visit Art Projects For Kids
We Give Books: 
If you aren't familiar with We Give Books please go read more about this great site.  In short, you can read books online for free and by doing so you are helping children in need get books.  How perfect is that?  And right now they are in the middle of their first Season's Readings Campaign challenging everyone to read 5,000 books a week every week until January 4th and for every book you read they will give two away.  This is a perfect activity for kids to not only enjoy some good reading, but to help others at the same time.  Please check it out!

Click to Visit We Give Books
My Christmas Fun! Pinterest Board has a collection of more fun holiday activities to enjoy over the break.  Some require more parent involvement than others, but it's filled with many great activities.

Hope you have a relaxing fun filled Winter Break! 

Dear Santa... Another Saturday Nerd Libs Link-up

Another fun Saturday of Nerd Libs with Mel and Gerdy!

Wonder if Santa is going to bring me some clocks now?  ;-)

Be sure to hop back over to Mel and Gerdy for more Nerd Lib laughs!  

Click for More Nerd Libs

Mom2punkerdoo Business Cards

My very first business cards arrived today. Thank you Vistaprint. Nice early Christmas present for me! Must confess it's a little strange, but exciting at the same time.  I was prompted to order them because I've joined with some other TPT sellers who will be having a booth at the TCEA Conference in Austin next year. That's new territory for me also!

In addition, I am tinkering with the thought of going to the TPT Conference for sellers in Las Vegas next summer.  I know I will want to bring some to share in Vegas if I decide to attend. Decisions.... 

Do you have business cards?  Are you classroom teacher or TPT seller? Both?  Do you have business cards for one or the other or both?  

12 Days of Nerd Libs

I am linking up again with Mel and Gerdy for their fantastically fun Nerd Libs!  The 12 Days of Nerd Libs, what could be better!  I am loving this throw back to my childhood days of Mad Libs.

Got a good chuckle with the medieval Peppermint Patties!  Be sure to pop on over to Mel and Gerdy's link up for more Nerd Lib fun!

Elf Update: Clint's Been Busy

After learning the secret to winning over a teenage boy, Clint has been busy!  He somehow manages to snag a tasty treat or a few bucks on his way back from the North Pole every night.  He even figured out how to download from iTunes!  Here are a few pictures of what he's been up to the last few days.

Favorite Ice Cream At The North Pole?  Blue Bell Of Course!
Anything Can Be Turned Into A Percussion Instrument.  #youdontjusteatem
Nothing Says Love Like Reese's.
Bagel Reindeer For Breakfast?  Yes!
Seems Clint Is A Pentatonix Fan Too!
An Elf And His Peeps.
Elf Party! #redsolocup

Clint And The Snowflakes
Origami Elf. Ca-Ching!

Mom2punkerdoo is Getting Nerdy With Mel and Gerdy!

I couldn't resist linking up with Mel and Gerdy for their Saturday Nerd Libs!  How fun is this?

I decided to go with answers that applied to my average Saturday morning. My best days start like this.  Too bad they are only one day a week!  Any guesses on what my circa 1999 mom mobile is?

Be sure to head on back to Mel and Gerdy's to check out more fun Nerd Libs!


Have you heard of WoofTrax?  I hadn't until recently. I am so excited to start using it to help support our favorite rescue, Dallas Fort Worth Metro Golden Retriever Rescue!

Click to read more

Almost 4 years ago we decided we were ready for our first dog. Our son had been wanting a dog and we had fallen in love with a friend's dog, Sandy.  Sandy is a Golden Retriever and simply one of the best dogs in the world.  We decided it was time to get our own Sandy.


We contacted several Golden Retriever rescues in the area, and long story short, after a few months we came home with Finley. He's just a tad more enthusiastic than Sandy, but he is just as sweet.  He LOVES everyone and likes to show it!  He is a great addition to our wacky family.


Anyhow, our most recent rescue newsletter mentioned this app WoofTrax and I was intrigued. All you have to do is download the app and run it while you walk your dog.  You can select the rescue you want to support and as you collect miles they will donate to your rescue or shelter of choice.  How easy is that?  You also don't even have to have a dog to use the app and help out, you just have to be a walker!  You can search for local shelters in your area to support. Such a simple way to help. I do hope you will check it out.

Click to download app
FYI Sandy and Finley are now the best friends and we could not be happier!

Pinterest Board Widget Tutorial

Have you put a Pinterest Board widget on your blog yet?

This may be old news to many, but it is new to me.  I recently discovered I could add a widget to link to a specific Pinterest board on my blog posts.  I love this and it's so easy even I can do it...which is saying something! The picture above is an example of what will show up on your blog after you have added the code.

Here's what you need to do to make this magic happen:

First go to the Pinterest Board you want to link to and then click on the 3 little dots in the upper right hand corner of your board, They are next to the button that says "Edit Board".

Once you do that you will see the option to "Make a widget".  Simply click on it and the code you need will magically appear!  

Now simply copy the code. The next part is in fact the trickiest part, but even as a new blogger I was able to make it work! After you have copied the code return to the blog post.  You will need to switch from Compose to  HTML at this point.

Once you have done that all you have to do is find the spot on your page where you want to the Pinterest Board to show and paste in the code you copied!  I usually do this at the bottom of my post, but you could really do it anywhere you like.

Final step is to go back to "Compose" and preview your post to see if you are happy with the look and then save.  It really is that simple!

One last note, Pinterest has a help page on building a widget for your blog and you can change the shape and look of how the board will look when you add it to your post.  I happen to like the square look, but there are several to choose from.

Click to see the options

Hope this helps!

Be sure to check out my Teachers Pay Teachers Tips board on Pinterest for more helpful ideas.

Follow Mom2punkerdoo's board Teachers Pay Teachers Tips on Pinterest.

Thematic Thursday: Gingerbread Fun!

I am linking up with Comprehension Connection for Thematic Thursday.  This week is all about Gingerbread!  Who doesn't love Gingerbread?  It's yummy, smells fabulous, and to be honest all things gingerbread are just darn cute!

gingerbread extravaganza

We have had a family tradition of building and decorating Gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve for going on 13 years now. 

My 3 best tips are: 
  • Shop for candy at the dollar store.
  • Build the house in the morning, let it dry, and then decorate late in the afternoon.  
  • White Cotton Candy is the bomb for covering roof tops!

A few years back we added the tradition of Gingerbread Demolition Day, but I will save that for another time!

gingerbread house ideas

We are also heavily involved in a fantastic event called Gingerbread for Humanity put on by our church family.  This is actually a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity and all the proceeds go directly to building a house right here in town.  Way back when the event first started we would bake and build almost 300 houses for this special day.  As we have grown we have found a supplier of pre-baked and assembled houses to help us with the work load.  Just because we love this event so much, we even built a Gingerbread float for our hometown Christmas parade...and we won first place!

To find out more about Gingerbread for Humanity click to find them on Facebook.

Aside from the great smell and the general cuteness, Gingerbread seems to be a theme that can be adapted for the classroom in so many fun ways.  Two of my favorites happen to be math activities that can then be used as classroom displays!

The first activity has students decorating a blank Gingerbread house with 4 different types of "candy" and then calculating what fraction of the house is decorated in each type of candy.  This lesson can be differentiated for students at a variety of math levels by changing the total number of candy pieces they are allowed to use, and by requiring them to reduce all their fractions.

gingerbread house math lesson with fractions
Click to Preview

Another of my favorites is a Gingerbread Coloring Glyph.  This one is designed for those teachers who don't quite have the time to do the craftivity type glyphs (though I do think those are fabulous). This is a coloring glyph that includes a data graph and a data summary activity to go along with the graph. Mat these colored glyphs on colored paper, hang them up and then have students use the display to complete data summary activities pages in a learning station! 

gingerbread data summary and glyph
Click to Preview

To see more fantastic ideas for Gingerbread Fun be sure to check out this Gingerbread Fun Pinterest Board set up by Carla from the Comprehension Connection!

Clint: Elf Not Exactly On The Shelf

Our version of Elf of on the Shelf is a little bit different.  Several years ago I found the Elf Magic website and thought they had the most adorable elves.  I knew my son was too old to start the whole Elf of the Shelf thing, but I really wanted one of these cute little guys.  I decided to ask for one for Christmas for myself.  Clint arrived that year.

I decided that once my son was officially "in" on the whole Santa thing I was going to start having some fun with Clint. There is no pretense of Clint watching him for good behavior at our house.  It is simply a cute little elf sharing surprises each morning of Advent. Sadly, this was not quite the smashing success I was expecting. The pre-teen boy may have done a little eye rolling at Clint's antics.   I knew I had to step up my game. Thanks to Pinterest I was able to come up with a few ideas that actually brought a genuine smile to his face. Like these:

Clint Self Portrait
Son's Response

Elf Forensics

Gangnam Elf
Elves Are Not Toys

Last year, however I discovered the secret to Clint's total acceptance.....FOOD!  Again, I must credit Pinterest for most of the ideas...though I will take credit for the Hunger Games and Harry Potter themed antics.
Edible Snowmen For The Win

Frosty Cold One

Bread From Mellark Bakery

Every Flavor Beans

Oreo Elf Shoes
Elf Oven 

I Mustache You, Do You Like Elves?

I was toying with the idea of Clint not showing up this year. However, yesterday as we were all decorating the tree, Clint was mentioned and my son said, " I love Clint!"  It stopped me in my tracks and I almost started crying.   Needless to say, our unconventional Christmas Elf will be returning and so now I will be scanning Pinterest every night for new ideas to keep the teenager in love with this bit of Christmas fun!

I've pinned a few of Clint's antics to this board along with a few other ideas in case you need them. Please comment with any great ideas you might have found also!

Follow Mom2punkerdoo's board Elf Antics on Pinterest.