Teaching Heart Mom

Just a Mom With a Teaching Heart. Find fun activities to do with your kiddos and students (infant to age 10). www.teachingheart.net blog

Monday, November 30, 2009

Giveway OF Thanks!

Only a few days left to enter... Last day is December 5th! Hurry!

One of my personal goals for November is to be aware of my many blessings and be thankful for them!

I am so thankful for my visitors both here at Teaching Heart Mom and at Teaching Heart. I am also thankful to those that purchase products from Teaching Heart... I wish I could thank everyone with a free treat. That just is not possible! But I can giveaway this basket filled with tons of treats any teacher would love plus three Teaching Heart CDROMs (valued at over $100)...
filled with all of this stuff...2 New books(one paper back and one hardback), 2 listen and play games, a hungry caterpillar puzzle, Telling Time game, pocket chart, three CDROMS from Teaching Heart (CD #3, Packet CD #2, and Any Skills game board CD), stickers, star notepad, holiday coffee, candle, hand sanitizer, hand cream...

and I can give away five CD's to five entries (you choose the CDROM if you win).

Just my way of saying thank you to my visitors and customers. You all really rock!

SIX WINNERS: You may enter for a chance to win this basket and five other entries will be drawn for a chance to win one CD of choice from:


Seven chances to enter... Last day to enter is December 5th. Winners will be posted on December 6th.

1.) Just leave your name and email in the comments section. (enter 1 x)

2.) Blog about this giveaway and then come back to the comments section and leave the link (twice) to your blog post, your name, and email. (enter 2 x)

3.) Join our facebook page at
http://www.facebook.com/#/group.php?gid=46195418417&ref=ts Once you have joined, return to the comments section and type, "I am a facebook fan." Leave your email and name too. (enter 1x)

4.)Become a follower of this blog. If you are already following, that counts too. In the comments section type, "I'm a follower." leave your name and email. (enter 1x)

5,) Tweet about this giveaway. Please use @teachingheart in your tweet. Come back and leave the comment "I tweeted this!" and your email. (enter 1 X)

6.) For those who have purchased a Teaching Heart CDROM in the past... In the comments section, please list one of the CDROM's you have and why you enjoy using it. Your name and email... make another comment: Please tell us about an activity you have used on the CD and how you and your class enjoyed it. Leave your name and email. (enter 2x)

Good luck to you all and thanks again for being a visitor/reader/follower!!!
Here's 2 more giveaways parents and teachers would love! What a month to giveaway!!!
My three favorite stores hands down are: Target, Kohl's, and Amazon! The last being the one I probably shop most at. Plus Amazon is just great all around. They have an awesome associates program that has paid me well for years... Plus I recently became an amazon vine reader ='s free things to review... Once I won a 1,000 gift card from them. That was about 8 years ago when DVD's cost like $500.00 and that is when we got our first DVD player. Anyhow, I just found this AMAZON.com giveaway for $25.00. We can all use the extra money this time of year. Hop over to My Bilingual Boys and check out the list of Great Giveaways !

Also wanted to share this teacher giveaway found at Kindergarten's 3 R's:
Go here to see how to enter this contest.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Quick Gift Idea

Get a dip plate, some dip from Gourmet Chef, & something to do the dipping with. Wrap with a clear bag. Place a bow around the treat and attach a tag:

Hope you Dip into a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Now whom ever you give the gift to is ready to entertain over the holidays or they have something quick to grab and bring to a party!!!

For more cute sayings for little gifts, check out:

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Turkey Shirts

These are shirts I made my kids for Thanksgiving last year. I LOVE iron on computer paper and I make all kinds of shirts, pillowcases, totes, and even underwear with it. For this shirt I found paper that the kids can color with regular crayons before you iron on the image (found it at Michael's). So I printed out a Turkey on the paper and had my son color it. Then I ironed on the image he colored on one side and on the other side I used a Thanksgiving graphic and typed out the words, I am thankful for my sister. The kids loved the shirts!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Toy Catalogs Galore

So now is the time of year when you go to your mailbox and find lots of catalogs. My son has been so into looking through the catalogs. I gave him a pen the other day and told him to go through each catalog and circle the toys that he would like to play with. That took him about an hour and a half. Then he read me the names of the things he circled and we talked about them and I either convinced him having that toy was a good idea or convinced him he didn't need it. Then he went through the catalogs a second time. This time I gave him a different color marker and told him to only look at the toys he circled. Out of those toys I told him to put a check next to the three toys that were his favorite in the catalog. After that he wrote the names of those three toys on his Christmas list. Too bad all of his choices were over $50.o0 bucks and one was a Star Wars toy for $150.00. The thing better clean his room for that price.

Once we had the list all written out we took it a step further and he went on Google typed in the name of the toy into the image search. He thought it was super cool to type in a name of a favorite toy and then be shown lots of pictures of it.

That took up most of his afternoon today and it was a pretty independent activity. So save those toy catalogs and give it a try!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ready For The Holidays Homemade Gifts

I thought I would start posting some craft projects for the holidays. Here are a few from my holidays last year. The last two include free printables for you. I need some fresh ideas, so comment if you have some ideas or good links for me!!! Thanks...I love the computer iron-on paper and I am always looking for new things to create with it. In the past I have created T-shirts, favor bags, & tote bags. When we are home in PA for Christmas, I always do Christmas Eve dinner and I wanted to have a fun centerpiece last year... I bought a table runner and printed some pictures of Christmas pasts (dating back 30 some years) on the iron on paper. I ironed the pictures onto the runner and had a great centerpiece. It got my family saying, "remember when..." I gave the runner to my mom as a gift after the dinner, since she loved it so much. Here is a picture of it in her home... I may and try and do this for my husband's family this year. If you plan to try this craft, I suggest you purchase the Avery paper. You can purchase it at Walmart, K-Mart, Target, and your local office store.

Another fun holiday thing to share. I created a nice gift idea for the child in your life... It is called Grinch on a Trip. Just get a suitcase, buy some white shirts in your child's size, get iron on computer paper, a Christmas Coloring Book, some green candy canes, the Grinch Book, and download the Grinch Soundtrack. Put this all in a suitcase and you have a great gift... see below. PS. I found the little dog stuffed animal at the dollar store. Too cute!
I think this is the last item I would like to share tonight... I made Reindeer food last year for my son's class and decided to change the tag I made a few years ago. I put the food in clear plastic bags and tied a Santa charm on the bag. It was a nice treat for the class. My son loves to sprinkle the dust every year.

Click here for more Holiday Printable Craft Treat Ideas!!! You will see my snowman soup treat and some other cute treats!

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Think Before You Talk?

I often have a problem... I say things, they come out wrong... Then I think... wow, I really should think before I talk or type. I found this today...

Is it ...

T rue?

H elpful?

I nspiring?

N ecessary?

K ind?

This is a reminder for myself and maybe it will inspire you too.


Time For Snowman Soup

Snowman Soup is basically hot chocolate with a cute snowman twist. A poem like the one below is attached to a bag with a hot chocolate packet, candy cane, and marshmallows.

When it's so cold that
you holler and whoop,
It's time to bring out
the Snowman Soup!
Pour the packet in a mug.
Add marshmallows too.
And throw in these kisses
that are special just for you.
Now add some hot water
and use the cane to stir it.
Sip slowly and soon you'll
feel the warm winter spirit!

The labels for the hot chocolate packet and the cover to the one above can be found for sale at

This year I made up a more personalized version for my son & daughter to hand out tho their friends and for my son to give as his special treat to his classmates. It is below.

The supplies I used are below: Purchased the Wilton Lollipop bags at Michaels for around $1.99 for 15. I like these bags because they have little ties already on them.
Little snowflakes to attach to the outside of the bag came from Michaels
The chocolate covered candy cane stick and the marshmallows were purchased at Oriental Trading
The hot chocolate is just regular packets with labels I made placed on both side. I purchased computer sticker paper and printed the labels on the paper.
The outside I attached this personalized poem:

When the weather in (place name of town here) is frightful,
Snowman Soup can be delightful.

So, Snowman Soup I am sending your way,
Because having you as a kindergarten classmate has made my day!

Being a Kindergartner at (place name of school here) – can’t beat it.
Being away you will probably need something to warm that “(mascot name here)” spirit!

Snowman Soup I have here!
Enjoy & I will see you next year!

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thanksgiving Hodge Podge

Just a few Thanksgiving Ideas I thought were neat & worth checking out! Some I posted last year and some are new... I hope you find an idea you can use!

First up is the Pilgrim Toilet Paper Roll over there on the right. Isn't he a cutie? DLTK will show you how to make one... It is so easy with the free printables included with the directions.

While you are at DLTK, be sure to look here... tons of great printables for Thanksgiving.

Busy Bee Kids Crafts Shares this mini cornucopia... So cute. Click here to learn more.

Check out the comments section for even more ideas.

Check out these Cereal Box Turkeys at Plum Pudding! They are very cute and unique!!!

I love this idea... maybe we will try this today: My Little Gems has a free Turkey printable you can use with this idea. Go check it out!

Check out these very cute Turkey Finger Puppets you can make from Skip to My Lou!!!

Learn How to Make This Paper Plate Turkey With Your Kids at Ramblings of a Crazy Women! Also, check out the Turkey Spoon Craft!

For Your Older Kids (age 6 to 9), Roll a Grocery List to Make Pumpkin Pie Game off The Teaching Heart Thanksgiving Packet which is emailed to you in less than 24 hours after you place the order. Filled with lots of fun for Thanksgiving!!! Keep them busy while you cook. My son even plays this by himself.


Friday, November 6, 2009

November Reminds Us to Give Thanks

We should be thankful all year long... right? It seems like the month of November is there to remind us to be Thankful... So here I am being thankful to God for the most important things in my life...

1.) My Children - their health, smiles, and laughter... the way little things get them so excited. That quiet moment when they don't know I am watching them and thanking God for them, the greatest gift he has ever given me.

2.) My Husband - my best friend (for about 16 years now) even though he drives me nuts... sometimes! I love the man with all my soul (if only he read my blog he would know that - hee-hee!!!) He has to be the best Dad in the world. Watching him with my kids makes me love him more and when he swiffers I love him even more!!! He is a silly guy with a huge heart! Thank you God for him!

3.) My Good Friends - God just seems to always give me the friends I need at the right time. I am also blessed to have a variety of friends... My high school friends, my college friends, and my mom friends! Many of which I have been friends with for over 20 years. Friendship is very important to me and I am just so blessed with the word's greatest friends.

4.) My Mom and Dad - Two people that have always been there for me and loved me even when they heard some of the things I did in high school. They are the best mom and dad. Their love for each other is a great example of a perfect marriage.

Thankful By A. R. Gronos

I'm thankful for all good with which

I've been blessed throughout life.

For hardships, and for heartaches, too,

For failures, trials and strife.

I'm thankful for each little prayer

Someone has said for me;

For loving thoughts, for friendliness,

For all good will I see.

My thanks for hands, with which I could

Scribe someone on life's way;

For all small deeds of kindness

I'm allowed to do each day.

I'm thankful for all happiness,

Each long hour of deep sorrow;

God thus in his great mercy gives

More wisdom for tomorrow.

Inspirational Words of Wisdom for Reflection:

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." Oprah Winfrey

"Every time we remember to say 'thank you', we experience nothing less than heaven on earth." Sarah Ban Breathnach

What are you thankful for...

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Goodbye Cookies & Some Cookie Exchange Talk

This is a post I started in 2008 and never posted.... so I thought I would share it now. It's that time when people start planning cookie exchanges.

My six year old & soon to be 3 year old, ate the last two cookies in my house today. So glad to be rid of all the cookies. I think I made about 20 dozen this year. My mom gave me an extra three dozen and a friend gave me some extra cookies too. Now, I did give away about 6 dozen altogether. We took the rest of the 20 dozen cookies I had to VT with us over the holidays and they were eaten up quickly over Christmas week. Actually, the day after Christmas all the adults ate were cookies, except for dinner.

Just when I thought the cookies were gone, my mom gave me the last three dozen of her cookies: "for the kids!" she said... We all know, that about six went to the kids and the rest my hubby and I ate. I feel sick with how much junk I ate this holiday season. So I am ready to say goodbye to the cookies and holiday snacks and start eating healthy again.

A cookie exchange is a party to swap goodies you bake with those that other guests bake—so everyone takes home an assortment of homemade treats. Cookie exchanges are a great way to get a variety of cookies for your Christmas table without baking them all yourself. They also make great gifts.

This is about my fifth or sixth year of cookie exchanges. I LOVE them. I have never actually hosted one myself, but some of my friends have called me the cookie police. Maybe that is because I get kind of annoyed when people try to bring bar cookies or no bake cookies to a cookie exchange. Why should I spend three to five hours baking when they spent half the time cutting out bars or melting a pretzel to an M&M! Sorry, people... those are not true cookies. I agree the seven layer bar cookies are to die for, but you don't even have to make a batter. They are so easy to make. Just dump, bake, cool, and cut. Not a real cookie! Real cookies have flour in them or you had to at least mix some ingredients together. If you want to make bar cookies or no-bakes then you have to rename your exchange (bar swap/no bake swap), so people don't get disappointed... That's just my take... but I am kinda type A.

Below are a few pics. of my past cookies. The last two years I have done sugar cookies because they always look great on a tray. But here are some other kinds I have done:

Look at how pretty they all are when you have them all out on the table... Then combine them to make a beautiful tray. You could wrap a cardboard box with Christmas paper and put a few cookies on it to give to the bus driver, teacher, or neighbor. I show you how here.

There are so many resources online for cookie exchanges... Check them out:

http://www.robinsweb.com/cookies/index.html - This really is the only site you need to plan an exchange and learn all out the cookie exchange. Robin is the cookie expert and if you are planning exchange, you must stop here first!

Check out this Virtual Cookie Exchange

Thought this was a neat twist to a cookie exchange!

Gadget Exchange Game - Fun to play at a cookie exchange.

My friend Nancy once had us play, "The Bakery Name Game" Before the party we emailed her what we would call our bakery if we had one. Guests had to guess which bakery name went with what guest. It was lots of fun. The last exchange I attended, the hostess hid Santa's Reindeer around the house and we had to find them. She also played a fun Christmas Trivia game.
More Game Ideas Here!

Some people give awards for Best Cookie Presentation & Best Holiday outfit.
Do you do a cookie exchange? I would love to hear your tips in my comments section...

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Family Holiday Game Time!!!

Reposting my family game from two years ago... If you are looking for a game to play, feel free to steal this one! I need something new this year... Any ideas???

Just wanted to share this game I made up for my family to play on Christmas Eve 07. It was a HUGE hit with everyone. I thought I would share it & you could save it for next year or another family gathering... if you are looking for a fun family activity. I know I searched online and could only find Power Point Christmas Jeopardy and nothing too much more exciting. So I tweaked a friends idea and came up with this game. I had each family member send me (keeping their answers only to me) the name of their favorite song, favorite guilty pleasure, favorite Christmas song, a song that reminded them of the person they were buying for (we each bought for one person this year), and a song that would be a great song for our family theme song (you know, if your family was on TV, what song would start the show). I put all the songs on my ipod so that I could play them when needed throughout the 5 rounds (I only played songs in three of the five rounds and only played like 30 seconds from each song). The game sheet is attached in PDF. It is printed two sided and folded like a brochure. Below you can download it in Publisher (which you can modify to fit your family) or in PDF. Of course there were prizes for the big winners! You can get creative with that! I also burned each couple five CD's that included all the chosen songs. It was an interesting collections, to say the least... especially when your age span is 15 to 60 years. Once you open a file below, you will have a better understanding of how the game works. Hopefully one of you will enjoy this game as much as we did!!
Christmas Rock'in Game is PDF

If you have a family game idea for the holiday, please comment below... I am always looking for new ideas!!!

We also played Scene-It: which is another fun family game that can be played in teams. Below you will find links to the Scene-It games found on Amazon.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Here Comes the Turkey...

He will be here soon, some things to get you excited:

My favorite Turkey Poem:

I have a turkey, big and fat
He spreads his wings, (Fan hands at hips)
And walks like that (Strut)
His daily corn he would not miss (Pretend to eat corn)
And when he walks, he sounds like this, ('Gobble, Gobble, Gobble')

My favorite Turkey Song (You can download off of Itunes. I suggest the Dr. Jean version)
It is on her happy Everything CD

Sing to tune of "O' My Darlin' Clementine"
Albuquerque, he's my turkey,
and he's feathered and he's fine
and he wobbles and he gobbles
and I'm awfully glad he's mine.
He's the best pet you could ever get
better than a dog or cat
Albuquerque, he's my turkey
and I'm awfully glad of that.
Albuquerque, he's my turkey
he's so cozy in his bed
because for our Thanksgiving dinner
we had scrambled eggs instead.

Some of my favorite Turkey Reads:


Family Fun has a resource filled with Thanksgiving Printables

Tip Junkie has place card ideas.

mmmm... these acron cookies look yummy!
Ramblings of a Crazy Women has awesome Thanksgiving Kiddo Craft Ideas!
Many Thanksgiving Ideas on Teaching Heart's Turkey Time Page!

Keep Them Busy Activity From Teaching Heart: My son had fun with this pumpkin Pie Rhyme Center. You match the whip topping to the piece of pie. He loved doing this on his own and then I could check his work when he was done. This is a printable from the Teaching Heart Thanksgiving Packet. You can see more by clicking here!
Hope you have found a few ideas to start your Thanksgiving fun!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Gobble, Gobble... Before you know it!

October is gone and time to start thinking about that Turkey... Let Teaching Heart make learning fun for your child or students with our Thanksgiving Packet...
Click here to learn more...

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