June 24, 2019

Just Add Mud! Bug-Inspired, Sensory Party Favor for Children +Free Printable Gift Tags

Bug Party Favors Printable

Summer--the season of children running free (maybe even wild)! No doubt many of you may find yourselves hosting a playdate or party for littles, and might be in need of a fun favor for them to take home with them or enjoy during the party/event. This was one of my go-to favorite favors to make for my younger students at the end of the year because it was affordable, non-candy, kept them occupied, developed sensory-motor skills, and got them interested in a nature subject: insects and bugs. Here's how I made them...

Bug Party Favors Printable

Each favor includes the following: floral twigs, a box of pudding mix, a handful of plastic/rubber bugs, and floral stones. Most of these items you can get through your local craft/hobby store or the dollar store at fairly cheap prices, which is great if you're working on a budget or having a large passe of children at your event. Also, can we just agree that children do not need any more overly sugary treats in their diets? Their long-suffering mamma will thank you that you sent them home with an activity to occupy their time rather than another bag of candy that leads to them jumping off her walls. 

Bug Party Favors Printable

Divide up the materials into either glass jars (again, local craft or dollar stores--or buy in bulk online) or small plastic containers:

Bug Party Favors Printable

Here's the cool thing: You're now going to click on this link to download and print the gift tags I've designed and created for your favors!

Bug Party Favors Printable

Adhere them to your jars, stack your jars on top of the pudding mix boxes, tie everything together, and you're good to go!

Bug Party Favors Printable

If you use these in your next party or event, snap a picture and tag me on Instagram: ngrimm07 I love seeing how you use my printable goodies! Keep it creepy and crawly!

June 20, 2019

5 Introductory Geography Learning Projects and Activities

Geography Learning Projects and Activities

Today I'm sharing my top 5 favorite projects and activities that I got to implement in the classroom at the beginning of the school year during our first unit of social studies, which looked at geography:

Me on the Map Booklet (1st-3rd Grade). Students make a stacked flap book to practice basic map vocabulary in conjunction to reading the popular book--Me on the Map by Joan Sweeny.

5 Introductory Geography Learning Projects and Activities

Balloon Globes (2nd-4th Grade). I snagged this idea off from Learning Lab on Teacher's Pay Teachers--for good reason--all my students have LOVED this activity!

5 Introductory Geography Learning Projects and Activities

Sculpted Landform Plates (3rd-5th Grade). Teaching landforms typically comes up early in most social studies or geography curriculums I've used. A hands-on project to assign students are landform plates. Students use clay and paint to create at least four landforms and their surrounding setting. Additionally, you can have students label them too--or as I did, verbal present and identify them to myself and the class. 

5 Introductory Geography Learning Projects and Activities

Paper Bowl Globe Modle (2nd-4th Grade). Using paper bowls, students draw and paint a model of the Earth on the outside and as it would appear interiorly if cut in half. Once the paint is dry, have students label the interior layers as your curriculum assigns as vocab words. Ours only required our students to be able to identify crust, mantle, and core.

5 Introductory Geography Learning Projects and Activities

Sketchnoting Geography Concepts (4th Grade and Up). For older students, sketchnoting (which is basically note-taking on awesome steroids--watch this video to learn more) is a great tool to both learn about a topic and the beginning stages of how to take quality notes. When I taught fourth grade, one of the very first assignments given to them was to sketchnoting the 5 themes of Geography and what the study of Geography is. Here's one example:

5 Introductory Geography Learning Projects and Activities

If you have your own favorite geography activity, share or link it in the comments below for everyone else to learn from too!

June 17, 2019

D.I.Y.: Summer Citrus Centerpieces (with Mason Jars)

DIY Summer Citrus Centerpieces

I'm all on board with the summer lemon trend this year--it has a refreshing and light feeling to it--just the way I want to (unrealistically) imagine these hot, muggy, mid-western, July days ahead of us to feel... At least a girl can dream with these super simple centerpieces for the season. They look cute both inside and out on the porch, are relatively cheap, and take only about 15-20 minutes to arrange.

DIY Summer Citrus Centerpieces

Depending on what size jar you use will influence the number of citrus fruits you'll need, but here's a rough estimate of what you'll need to get started:

  • Large-mouth Mason Jars (Of course, other size and types of jars will work too)
  • 3 Citrus fruits of your choice per jar
  • Greenery clippings 
  • Ribbon
  • Floating candles (or flowers)


DIY Summer Citrus Centerpieces

Slice your citrus up in various thickness and thinness. Just as a side note, I've found that limes tend to lose their coloring in these quicker than oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, so if you want your centerpieces to get the longest run, maybe avoid adding limes.

DIY Summer Citrus Centerpieces

Then you'll want to fill your jar little by little as you layer in your citrus slices in the jar with the "meaty" sections facing out towards view. Doing it a layer at a time avoids the frustration of wrestling your fruit around as it tries to float in the water and overspill messes that happen if you fill it up all the way right at the beginning. It may take some maneuvering, but you'll want to stuff those slices in to keep them in place. 

Feel free to add in some sprigs of greenery in as you go to add more interest. Herbs look lovely in these, but honestly, use what you have in your backyard if you don't have a garden to pick from. I used boxwood trimmings because most of my herbs are not in abundance yet, and we had a storm come through that knocked some twigs off my bushes anyway. If it looks beautiful to you--use it!

DIY Summer Citrus Centerpieces

I decided to put floating candles in these, but you could also stick some flowers in the center (just use fewer citrus slices in filling the jar with water) and have a bouquet look instead. Finally, add a ribbon around the top lip of the jar--and it is ready to go!

DIY Summer Citrus Centerpieces

Typically, I can get two-three days out of these before the water starts to get cloudy or the slices start to lose their coloring. 

DIY Summer Citrus Centerpieces

June 10, 2019

A Vintage, Baking-Inspired Fairy Garden DIY

Vintage Baking Themed Fairy Garden DIY

In my opinion, the best dates--be they with friends or a loved one--are those that lead to new spots and places to explore unexpectedly. And that is how this first little fairy garden of mine started because even as an adult I need to give in to my inner whimsicality on occasion and I can also be easily manipulated into buying old farmhouse finds--especially when it is a shop going out of business. 

I might have also been talked into purchasing a barn door too. 

Andrew and I were on a date which somehow led to us poking around old thrift stores downtown, where we purchased a couple of tin pie plants and a tin measuring cup. I had been binging on Garden Answer's Fairy Garden videos at the time and decided to give it a shot using our thrift store finds.

Vintage Baking Themed Fairy Garden DIY

To make it two-tiered, I had to use a couple of rocks to set the measuring cup on so it would be flush with the top of the plate. Both had holes in their bottoms, making them natural drainage containers.

Vintage Baking Themed Fairy Garden DIY

In the measuring cup, I planted a creeping fairy moss, hens n' chicks, and some sedum. The sedum gives the arrangement some height, and with the moss spilling over, it provides more texture and variety interest to the overall arrangement for the eye. 

Vintage Baking Themed Fairy Garden DIY

The bottom tray has more hens and chicks (Sempervivum) as they do just as well in shallow depths as they do in deeper containers. Then using sand and rocks I made a trail to frame the measuring cup which I wanted to be the focal point of this miniature garden. 

Vintage Baking Themed Fairy Garden DIY

Little stone pebbles do just fine in lining out the paths.

Vintage Baking Themed Fairy Garden DIY

The final step is adding in all the little tiny treasures to make it look like a "fairy" lives in the garden. I molded these using polymer clay, then baked and painted them.

Vintage Baking Themed Fairy Garden DIY

Using scrap fabric, twine, and sticks I glued together with a little bunting banner for the top tier.

Vintage Baking Themed Fairy Garden DIY

For the bottom tier, using sticks and washi tape I made a tiny sign for one end of the garden; the other end has a little treat table with the clay donuts and cakes. 

Vintage Baking Themed Fairy Garden DIY

Ta-Dah! The finished result--and it was super cute on display on the kitchen counter for that summer.

If you have made a fairy garden recently, share the link below in the comments--I'd love to see it! 

Vintage Baking Themed Fairy Garden DIY

June 3, 2019

ABJ Night: Summer of Wonder+For the Life of the World

Illustrated Faith Summer of Wonder

This past spring and upcoming summer and fall, our art Bible Journaling group is focusing in on the themes of wonder, delight, and worship--and how those all interact with each other. In our study, we've been using the video series For the Life of the World and its' content. Here are a few other little peeks at our evening and the supplies we used:

Illustrated Faith Summer of Wonder


Illustrated Faith Summer of Wonder Supplies

Extra craft goodies that each woman got this month was a small stack of summer-themed scrapbook papers (1), a watercolor pencil (2), both tied up in bakers twine to be re-used (3).

Illustrated Faith Summer of Wonder Supplies

Additional, I filled a small mason jar of scrap fabric, colorful paperclips, and carpet tape to make fabric washi and paperclip bookmarks.

Illustrated Faith Wonder

And here is my finished pages from the evening! (I'll share more about them in a future post here soon!) 
© Natalie Grimm. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.