Bees are all the buzz around here right now! That’s because bees are the theme in our classroom. We love having bees as our focus not just for this month but for the whole year.
There are so many cute but simple bee crafts for starting the school year like this bee made from a toilet paper roll with wax paper wings
Toilet Paper Roll Bee
and this beehive with little yellow and black pipe cleaner bees.
Bees offer such good learning opportunities for science too. We discuss their life cycle, act out how they communicate with the “waggle dance,” role play how they collect pollen from flowers, taste honey, and observe honeycombs.
The best part of starting the year with bees though is that the topic sets a great foundation for a strong classroom community throughout the year. We discuss how bees must work together and how we will work together too. Bees are busy and hardworking just like we want the kids to be in our classroom. Because of this, studying bees at the beginning of the year goes hand in hand with learning classroom routines and rules and learning to get along with new classmates. This year we are also trying a new “Buzzing with Compliments” hive. This is a combination of several different ideas from Pinterest. We have rules (such as “Bee Kind”) that are color coded. When children are given compliments for following one of the rules, they get a hexagon in the color of the rule to add to the hive. It will be fun to watch the hive fill up throughout the year.
I’m excited to start the school year with our little hive full of worker bees!
I love making cards with all of my paper and stamping supplies. It’s something I enjoy but often run out of time to do. So in hopes of forcing myself to find more time for making cards, I am going to start sharing a card of the month each month.
August’s card is a birthday card. I like to make several birthday cards at a time to ensure that I have enough cards to cover lots of birthdays. For any set of cards I make, I like to plan them out then punch, stamp, color, fold, etc. all the pieces for the cards. When all the individual parts are ready, I put them together assembly line style.
August Card of the Month: Birthday
This set of cards was fun because I got to mix and match color combos and patterns, so each card turned out to be a little different from the others. I punched out circles from patterned paper. I stamped birthday hats (although you could use any birthday type stamp you want) on white paper and punched them out in little circles. After attaching all the circles to the cards, I finished them off with little stick on dots. I love how they turned out, and I can’t wait to send them to friends and family.
One of my favorite days every year is the day my mom and I go on a back to school shopping trip. Our day always follows the same schedule: We start with lunch at Applebee’s. Then we head off to the mall. We usually get a couple of fun outfits or accessories for fall. Rarely do we have an all out fill-up-the-trunk-of-the-car-entirely shopping spree (although it has happened), but it’s the quality of the time together rather than the quantity of the purchases that makes the day so special. After that we stop for a cookie at Mrs. Field’s in the mall. It’s always such a happy, wonderful day together. It may be simple, but it puts a nice cap on summer and always helps me feel energized for the new school year ahead. (Energized that is is after getting some post shop ’til you drop rest, of course.)
A bunch of kids around here went back to school today, so this idea might be a little late, but I thought I’d share anyway. This is the perfect time of year for a back to school party!
When I started kindergarten, my mom had several of the neighborhood kids who would also be starting school with me over for a little party a few days before school started. I still remember how much fun the party was and how it made the start of school even more exciting! It’s a great way to help kids get acquainted or reacquainted with their classmates before school starts and maybe alleviate some of the pre first day of school jitters. I think it would be fun for any age – not just kindergarteners. It would even give older kids a chance to compare schedules and find out about the really important things – who has lunch at the same time as you do and who has a locker close to yours!
There are lots of neat possibilities for party decorations with a school theme. My mom used these darling crayon glasses way back when.
If you don’t have anything like these, you could always wrap paper around glasses and decorate them to look like crayons. You could put all kinds of school supplies on the tables as decorations too – crayons, pencils, rulers, erasers, etc. And be sure to use bright primary colored plates and napkins to go with the school theme. You could even get some folders and notebooks and have kids decorate them for a fun party activity.
As we move into August, you have just enough time to plan a back to school party. Whether your kids start school soon or have already started, a little get together would be lots of fun for them and their friends.