Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Keep Calm and Survive Second Grade! A Second Grade Blog Hop ♡

Welcome to the Keep Calm and Survive Second Grade Blog Hop! I have teamed up with some of my favorite second grade bloggers to help you keep calm and carry out the year! We all know how tough this time can be, but with a little help from our fantastic bloggy friends, we can survive this! I hope you get some wonderful ideas and have a truly marvelous end of the year with your littles!

Today I wanted to share with you guys some ideas for end of year gifts for the kiddos! I always want to make my gift thoughtful, useful, and of course, easy on my wallet! Getting goodies for 18 kiddos adds up pretty quickly, so anytime I find something super cheap throughout the year that they would like, I'll buy it (think Target Dollar Spot when everything is like 50% or 75% off!). 

So here's what I do. It all starts with a tote bag from Oriental Trading. You can get 50 of these babies for $34.99! It sounds like alot, but not if you split it with a friend or buy it and have enough for two years! My fabulous teamie and I get together and split the cost. These totes are pretty big and sturdy, which is so nice! 

Okay, so when I receive the bags, I decide what child gets what color. Then, I get some fabric paint and write teach student's name on their bag. I use neon colors and draw something waves, sandals or a sun. I'm telling you guys, they look soooooo cute!! The kids go crazy when they see their tote! You should see them walking around with them! So adorable! They feel so grown up to have their own personalized bag that they can carry around and take everywhere they go all summer! At the end of the post I included a little freebie poem to attach to your tote bag and it was written by yours truly!!! :)

So inside the bag we must have some goodies! This is where you have to get smart, because the little things add up quickly. Throughout the year, I collect my bonus points from Scholastic orders. This time of year, they come in super handy! Using my Scholastic Bonus points, I purchase a book I think my kiddos would really enjoy. Of course, my littles are about to be third graders, so everyone gets a chapter book. This year, Scholastic Reading Club has Sideways Stories from Wayside School for $1.00 (45 points)!!! I was so excited when I saw that, I bought one for each student to put in their tote bag. This is one of their absolute favorite books we read this year, so I know they are really going to enjoy it! 

We got pretty lucky this year because we got pinwheels and gliders donated. They are actually not too pricey if you wanted to get them yourself. Oriental Trading has them 72 for $10. Once again, not too bad if you split it with a friend.

Last year I included a coloring book and a box of crayons for each child because I found coloring books on clearance for 50 cents at some point. I have not come across that deal this year, but if you do, that would be an amazing surprise to throw in there!

Another fun little addition would be a Kool-Aid Jammer. They have them at Wal-Mart for $2.78 (last time I checked) for a pack of 10. Add an adorable Pinteresty tag that says "Have a Kool Summer" and Voila! Another little simple addition to the tote.

Alrighty, so I feel like the Pièce de résistance in the tote bag is our End of the Year Slideshow CD. Every student gets a slideshow CD in their tote bag. Pictures and videos collected from our entire year are pieced together in chronological order to go into this little slideshow. I make sure it has some good music (Happy will definitely be on there this year as well as Katy Perry's Roar and a few hits from Frozen :)).  

I place the CD in a craft paper bag (they have all kinds of gorgeous patterns and colors at Jo-Ann's or Michael's) and seal it with a cute piece of Washi tape, then print a gift tag label and stick it to the front. I wish I had pictures of all of this from last year!! It was before my bloggy days, so please forgive my lack of visuals. I will definitely post them as soon as I make this year's though!!

Thank you so much for staying with me and reading through this post! I hope that you got some ideas and that they were helpful in some way. Click the picture below for the poem to attach to the tote. I hope you like the poem! If you do any of this, I would love to see how it turns out! :)
 Please go see my beautiful and talented friend, Amanda, at Teaching Maddeness. She has a wonderful End of Year post for you. Click below to head to her marvelous blog and keep on hopping!