‘A-Doh-Able’ Play Dough Class Valentines

‘A-Doh-Able’ Play Dough Class Valentines

One of my favorite crafty projects is making customized class Valentines for each of my kids.  For me, they have all of the makings of a perfect project.  I love taking on a project like this because I can’t procrastinate for too long or I will miss Valentine’s Day (Hello Motivation!).  They are really simple and don’t take a lot of effort but turn out looking awesome.  They also make me happy because my kids get to give a rockin’ Valentine to all of their friends.  No store bought Valentine’s in this house!  Plus, they are just so darn cute.

This year inspiration struck when I was making Kool-Aid play dough for my toddler.  The dough turned out so pretty and smelled great.  I thought it would be so much fun to give each friend their own container of pretty, yummy smelling play dough.  My big kids have been having a lot of fun playing with brother’s play dough and thought this was a great idea as well.

Play Dough Class Valentine

I really love that this is a non-edible Valentine.  It feels like my kids always come home with so much candy from exchanging Valentine’s.  I always appreciate when a friend gives them something other than candy.  The absolute best part of the whole project is that each Valentine only costs about 33 cents each!!

I am excited to share these “A-Doh-Able” Class Valentine’s with you!

What You’ll Need

All you need to do is fill each cup with a small amount of the play dough.  I was able to make 10 portions of play dough with each batch.  Then trim each Valentine into a square and attach to the top of the condiment cup with a glue dot.  So simple, right?

Play Dough Class Valentine

I blinged mine up a little bit by adding a black paper border, filling in the “A-Doh-Able” with a glitter pen, and adding a few rhinestones.  You can use the printable just as it is, or you can bling them up like I did.  Use your imagination and have fun customizing the Valentine’s however you’d like.

Play Dough Class Valentine Close Up

Get your free “A-Doh-Able” Valentine’s printable here!

Free Valentine's Day Printable

Just leave your name and email and we’ll send you the link.

I hope you have enjoyed this project as much as I have sharing it with you!  If you make these “A-doh-able” Valentine’s, I’d love to see pictures or hear how it went.

3 Quick (and really simple) Back to School Cricut Projects

3 Quick (and really simple) Back to School Cricut Projects

School starts for my kiddos tomorrow so nothing like a quick last minute project to send them off in style, right?  This project was extremely easy and makes me feel like SuperMom!

For the first project, I personalized their lunch pails and my son’s backpack.  I used Heat Transfer Vinyl in Red Glitter and in Silver Glitter.  I just cut out my kids names with my Criciut Explore and ironed them on to their lunch pails and the backpack

(word of caution – the material tends to melt easily so press for as little time as possible, use a pressing cloth, and move your iron frequently).

It took minutes and I think it turned out great.  There won’t be any question who’s bags these are!

As a quick safety note – I want to mention that I put my son’s name on the back of his backpack so it will be up against his back while he’s wearing it.  The last thing I would want is some stranger seeing his name on his backpack and using it against him!

The second project was equally quick.  My daughter needed an index card box and I used Cricut Vinyl and cut our her name and a picture of a globe.  I highly recommend using transfer tape to make the process significantly easier.  I’m sure she’ll have the best-dressed box in class.

Hope you enjoyed!!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.  Doing so will not increase the cost of your purchase and does not influence my opinion.

Back to School Organization

Back to School Organization

It seems like every summer gets shorter and shorter and back to school usually creeps up on me.  This summer did fly by but I’m happy to say after lots of work and organization projects, I feel like I am more prepared and organized than I have ever been for back to school.

Ready to get organized?  Let me guide you through project by project on what being ready for Back to School looks like in our house.

Kids Cubby

A few years ago I found myself getting frequently frustrated by supplies all over the place.  Backpacks in one place, shoes in another. Homework was lucky if it make it back in a backpack let alone back to school.  If it was a chilly morning the kids were usually late to school because they were searching for a jacket.  My husband manages the mornings with the kids and let’s me sleep in if I don’t have an early meeting (love him for this!).  But often the utter chaos that was going on in the morning rush would mean that I’d have to drag myself out of bed and help put out the fire dejour anyway.  Enough was enough.  I finally solved this with the kid’s cubby.  I gave up 1/2 of our hall closet and designated a shelf for each kid.  Because I don’t want to have to stoop down, the baby gets the top shelf.  Our daughter gets the middle and our older son gets the bottom.  I bought a plastic milk crate for the big kids for their shoes and the rest of the shelf space is for their backpack.

Kid’s Out Box & Weekly Schedule

With inspiration from over at Organizing Home Life, I also designed these cool pockets that have been designated as the kids “out boxes”.  If there are papers that need to go back to school that would require my attention/signature (think field trip permission slips), I will put them in their “outbox” and they are responsible for getting them into their backpacks on the way out.

Now I know what you’re thinking, why don’t I just give them to the kids and have them put them in their backpack? Well, often by the time I have a chance to sit down and process a paper or sign a form, the kids are already in bed.  Rather than leaving them on the kitchen table (where they are often forgotten), they have a designated place to be that gets checked as backpack get put on every morning.  I also posted a weekly schedule so the kid’s can take responsibility to ensure they have the right clothes and supplies they need every day.  Jazz shoes on Thursdays, guys shoes on Tuesdays, library books on Fridays, etc.

Mom’s Inbox

Ok so the kid’s have an outbox, Mom has an “inbox”.  Every day when the kids get home from school, they put their “lunch pails on the counter” (this has kind of become a mantra in our house) and before they put their backpacks and shoes in their cubby, they unload any papers that have come home and put them in Mom’s Inbox.  This could be graded papers, permission or information  papers, or for my son, homework papers to be completed.  Since my daughter gets assigned homework most nights, she removes all homework and needs books and stacks them on the table where we review what she needs to get done before heading off to the desk in her room to work on it independently.

I picked this hanging folder at Target for $4! And hung it on our fridge with Command Strips.  What a score!  You’ll notice that there are 5 pockets but I’ve only accounted for 2 so far.  I’m thinking of making a “dad’s folder” which is where I’ll put grades work I’ve seen before it gets stored away.  He’s often working evenings so doesn’t see it when I do.  It would be nice for him to have a folder to review.  Then I’ll have 2 more spaces.  Perhaps for each child’s teacher’s newsletter?  We will see what works best for us.

Finished Work Boxes

So we all know tons of graded papers and art projects come home with kids every year.  Like WAY TOO MANY!  And of course, my son wants me to save every single scrap of paper he touched.  I’ve taken to sneaking the extras into recycling because we literally have waterworks if he sees anything in the trash.  My strategy has been to get a 12×12 scrapbook paper storage box for each kid for each year (yeah, I know over time it gets to be a lot of boxes, but so far it’s what’s working).  I label each of them with their name and the year and all of their finished work, papers and art projects go into the boxes.  Once they are full, I start purging so any given year doesn’t have more than 1 box.  The boxes are really convenient on top of the fridge and have worked really well for us.

Mom’s Homework Box

The last element in my back to school organization plan is Mom’s Homework Box.  I’ve done this every year for the past few years and it has worked so well.  So why do the kids get to have all of the fun of new supplies at the beginning of the year?  And why on earth can they never find a pencil when it’s time for homework?  MHB solves for both of these.  I load up on one or two extras of all of the school supplies that are on huge sales during back to school and designate them as mine.  Then we use this box for homework time and everyone is easily able to find what they need.  Because it’s Mom’s box, they are responsible for keeping it clean and organized and returning everything when they are done.  This year I have: pencils, pens, markers, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, glue and a pencil sharpener.  It makes being ready for homework so much easier.

So there you have it.  A few strategies that took me a few years to get in place but are truly pretty simple that have really helped us be organized for back to school.

I hope you find my tips helpful!  What other Back to School Organization strategies do you use in your house?

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.  Doing so will not increase the cost of your purchase and does not influence my opinion.