Back to School Teacher Gift 2013

teacher emergency kit filled and gift tags

A year ago, I made a back to school teacher gift that I considered practically perfect (mainly because it is something this teacher mom wants to have). After making the Swim Coach Survival Kit, I decided to blend last year’s teacher gift with this summer’s swim coach gift for an updated Teacher Emergency Kit.

I originally saw the idea on a site called Tidy Mom. If you read last week’s post, the directions below are about the same, but I have new pictures and some additional notes. You do need a sewing machine for the potholder bag. If you do not have a sewing machine, use the plastic bead box from last year’s post. Or, use the bead box if you just like that container better.

teacher emergency kit baggies and tape

Materials

  • square potholders (The Tidy Mom post suggested potholders from Target. I had a hard time finding single square potholders. I ended up purchasing 2-piece oven mitt sets from Kmart. My square potholders are 7″ x 8″– not a perfect square– with a loop along one short side)

teacher emergency kit pot holders

  • Scotch tape
  • snack size Ziploc bags (6 1/2″ x 3 1/4″)
  • sewing machine
  • ~7/8″ button (coordinating color)
  • thread (coordinating color)

teacher emergency kit align baggies

Directions

  • Set your potholder on a flat surface with the loop on the right side. I have the potholder “hand pocket” facing inside, but I also made the bags with the pocket on the outside too. It is up to you how you want your potholder to face.
  • Place one snack bag on the right side with the baggie opening facing the right edge. Place a piece of tape on the top and bottom to keep the baggie from moving.
  • Place another snack bag on top with the baggie opening facing the left edge. The center should overlap with the first baggie. Place a piece of tape at the top and bottom.
  • Continue alternating baggies right and left. I liked 5 snack bags (=5 pockets). The Tidy Mom post used 10, but the bags fill up fast if you include bulky items and then the clutch won’t close.

coach survival kit zig zag stitch

  • Sew a zig zag stitch down the middle of the potholder, which should also be down the center of the Ziploc bags. Cut any loose threads. Carefully remove the tape from the edges without pulling or stretching the plastic bags.
  • Fold the clutch in half and pull the loop around to the front and eyeball where the button will need to be placed. If you do not have a loop on the potholder, follow the Tidy Mom site’s directions for adding a loop.
  • Attach the button with coordinating thread.

teacher emergency kit button

  • Gather the items you want in your emergency kit. I dug into my assortment of plastic bead bags and filled mini baggies with Advil, Tums, and mints. The clutches fill pretty quickly and flatter items work better. You won’t be able to fill the kit with as many things if you use travel sized aspirin tubes and whole rolls of Tums. I printed Avery labels and attached the Teacher Emergency Kit Baggie Labels to the little bags. The label size is 2/3″ x 1 3/4″ and is Avery #42895.

teacher emergency kit labels and tums

  • I created a Teacher Emergency Kit Gift Tag page and printed it on white cardstock, cut it into squares with my paper cutter, hole punched the corner, and tied with curly ribbon to the loop.

teacher emergency kit gift tags

Content Suggestions

  • Aquaphor and/or chapstick
  • gum or mints
  • Bandaids
  • hair elastics
  • travel toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Tampax and pantyliner for female teachers (sorry, gentlemen)
  • Tylenol or Advil
  • Tums
  • change (for the soda machine)
  • nail file
  • safety pins and/or travel sewing kit
  • Sharpie pen
  • cough drops

teacher emergency kit contents

Notes

  • Don’t cheap out on the Ziploc bags. I bought CVS generic brand on sale, and they are a little flimsy. I wish I had used Ziploc or Glad snack bags.
  • Click the picture to see the directions for last year’s Teacher Emergency Kit in the bead box.

Back to School Teacher Emergency Kit

Giveaway

  • I am giving away Back to School Emergency Kits to TWO lucky winners. Give the kit to your child’s teacher on the first day of school or keep it for yourself.
  • But wait, there’s more. Not only will each winner receive one filled Back to School Kit, he/she will also receive not ONE but TWO oven mitts because I had to buy oven mitt SETS to get the potholder I wanted, and I now own about 10 mitts!
  • Giveaway ends Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013.
  • Click on this Entry-Form link to enter the giveaway!
  • The entry form links to TheRoomMom on Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest where you complete the regular “like” or “follow” procedures on the social media sites directly then submit the entry form after you complete the like or follow. Just hitting submit does not create a follow or like. You can also leave a comment below and enter the name you used to comment in the entry form. All likes, follows, and comments are “verified” at the end of the contest, and the two winners will be randomly selected. It is more confusing than I would like, but it is my first experience with a giveaway site.
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Versatile Blogger

versatile-award

Sewing Sister thinks my blog has a split personality since I post tips about how to help children in school and then turn around and share cocktail recipes. I prefer the term Versatile Blogger. Turns out, there is a WordPress award for that. A new follower, Forestmtnhike, nominated me, and I would like to thank her. WordPress awards are fun because it is a way to pay it forward by sharing favorite blogs with followers.

To accept this award and spread the love there are 3 rules to follow:

1) I’m to first thank and link the person who nominated me for the award in my post (see above).

2) Share 7 random facts about myself (see below).

3) Nominate 15 of my favorite versatile bloggers for this award (see further below).

Random Facts about Myself:

  • Altoids make me sneeze.
  • I start planning my family holiday card by the end of September (that is probably not that random if you know how much I enjoy projects).
  • I will put about any topping on my pizza except for olives.
  • I will order any dish on a menu if the side that comes with it is mashed potatoes.
  • I dislike doing anything that makes me sweat.
  • I teach and have to stand in front of people all day, but public speaking in front of other groups makes me nervous, makes my face turn hot and red, and makes me sweat (see previous fact).
  • I read children’s literature almost exclusively. I say it is because I need to know what to recommend to students, but the truth is, I just like it.

Since I recently shared some of my favorite blogs for a WordPress Family nomination, I am listing blogs that give me ideas for new children’s book titles. It might not be very versatile, but they are a great resource for me.

Almost 15 Blogs

Porching

basil mojito finished

I learned a new word this week. We had friends rent a beach house nearby, and they invited us over to porch. This is what we do almost every weekend, and I am so glad I now have a name for it. Porching is when neighbors wander from house to house on a warm summer evening and sit on the front porch to socialize. Cocktails encouraged. We porched this week with Basil Mojitos. They are delicious.

basil mojito ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 T. simple syrup
  • 1 shot fresh lime juice
  • 1 shot white rum
  • 6-10 basil leaves
  • crushed ice
  • soda water
  • lime wedges

basil mojito muddling

Directions

  • Place the simple syrup, rum, lime juice, 2 lime wedges, and the basil in a tall sturdy glass and bash with a muddler or the back of a spoon until the basil leaves and lime wedges are mashed up.
  • Fill the glass with crushed ice.
  • Top with soda water.
  • Garnish with a fresh basil leaf and a lime wedge.
  • Ingredients list makes one large mojito. Increase amounts as needed.

Notes

  • To make simple syrup, Put equal parts water and sugar in a pot and heat on the stove until sugar is dissolved. Swirl the mixture a few times while heating. Remove from heat and let cool. If you only need a few cocktails, mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. If you are mixing cocktails for a large group, double or triple. Leftover simple syrup can be kept in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for a long time.
  • If you want to make a Strawberry Mojito, replace the lime wedges and the basil with strawberries and mint.
  • If you want to make a Cranberry Mojito, visit this post.

basil mojito

Swim Coach Survival Kit

coach survival kit tags

Swim team season officially ends tonight with a swim and pizza party, swim medal presentation, and gifts for the coaches. We have four swim coaches for our team. Three are college students, and the head coach is a science teacher during the school year. The swim team mom in charge of the coaches’ gift decided cash would be the most useful for the coaches rather than gift cards or something more specific. She needed a way to present this present, so I offered to make these easy potholder clutches.

I originally saw the idea on a site called Tidy Mom. They are really fun (and fast) to make, but you will need a sewing machine. I filled the finished clutch with items a coach might need at the pool. We filled the first pocket with the cash.

coach survival kit supplies

Materials

  • square potholders (The Tidy Mom post suggested potholders from Target. I had a hard time finding single square potholders. I ended up purchasing 2-piece oven mitt sets from Kmart. My square potholders are 7″ x 8″– not a perfect square– with a loop along one short side)
  • Scotch tape
  • snack size Ziploc bags (6 1/2″ x 3 1/4″)
  • sewing machine
  • ~7/8″ button (coordinating color)
  • thread (coordinating color)

coach survival kit tape bags

Directions

  • Set your potholder on a flat surface with the loop on the right side. I kept the potholder pocket on the outside, but it is up to you how you want your potholder to face.
  • Place one snack bag on the right side with the baggie opening facing the right edge. Place a piece of tape on the top and bottom to keep the baggie from moving.
  • Place another snack bag on top with the baggie opening facing the left edge. The center should overlap with the first baggie. Place a piece of tape at the top and bottom.
  • Continue alternating baggies right and left. I liked 5 snack bags (=5 pockets). The Tidy Mom post used 10, but the bags fill up fast if you include bulky items and then the clutch won’t close.

coach survival kit zig zag stitch

  • Sew a zig zag stitch down the middle of the potholder, which should also be down the center of the Ziploc bags. Cut any loose threads. Carefully remove the tape from the edges without pulling or stretching the plastic bags.
  • Fold the clutch in half and pull the loop around to the front and eyeball where the button will need to be placed. If you do not have a loop on the potholder, follow the Tidy Mom site’s directions for adding a loop.
  • Attach the button with coordinating thread. I used green thread and black/green buttons in honor of our swim team colors.

coach survival kit buttons

  • I printed gift tags on white cardstock and tied with curly ribbon to the loop.

coach survival kit finished

Survival Kit Content Suggestions

  • plastic comb
  • chapstick
  • sunblock stick
  • gum
  • Bandaids
  • hair rubberbands (for the girl coaches)
  • travel toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Tylenol or Advil
  • Tums
  • travel size lotion
  • travel size shampoo
  • some cash or change (for trips to the snack bar or soda machine)

coach survival kit contents

Notes

  • Flatter items work better. The sunblock stick took up a lot of room. I ended up removing the toothbrush and toothpaste because the combination of the 3 created too much bulk.
  • When possible, I used items that matched our team colors (black comb, green gum, black and green hair bands). I did not force the color thing, though.
  • Don’t cheap out on the Ziploc bags. I bought CVS generic brand on sale, and they are a little flimsy. I wish I had used Ziploc or Glad snack bags.
  • This could easily be adapted to a Teacher Emergency Kit for a great back to school teacher gift. It could also be used for many other sports as an end of season coach gift. It is not very girly if you use solid colored potholders, so it works for males and females.

coach survival kit filled

Man’s Best Friends

black stallion book

TheRoomDad suggested my son read The Black Stallion since it was TheRoomDad’s favorite book when he was a kid. I was skeptical. I saw the movie when I was about nine years old and thought it was the most boring movie I had ever seen. Turns out, as is almost always true, the book is much better than the movie.

There are several things I like about the book, but the best part is the relationship between Alec and Black. Alec assumes complete responsibility for the horse, and while adults support Alec, ultimately, Alec is the one who has to care for Black every day even if it might be inconvenient. Alec and the horse rely on each other and develop a deep friendship. These themes of companionship, trust, responsibility, and independence can be found in many animal books and are reasons I think kids love to read books with animal characters.

Below is a list of other animal-centered chapter books that we like. As you may suspect, more than a handful of animal books also fall in the Sad but Good book category, so if you don’t see your favorite animal book here, check the other list.

Mr. Star Wars likes the more realistic animal books; I prefer the fantasy animal books. Do you enjoy animal books? If so, which style do you prefer?

julie of the wolves book

Animals as Pets (realistic-ish)

  • Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs
  • The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley
  • The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
  • Julie of the Wolves series by Jean Craighead George
  • Kavik the Wolf Dog by Walt Morey
  • A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
  • Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
  • The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • Rascal by Sterling North
  • Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Sounder by William H. Armstrong
  • The Yearling by Marjorie K. Rawlings

trumpet of the swan book

Animals with Human Qualities (fantasy)

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe series by C.S. Lewis
  • Mistmantle Chronicles by M.I. McAllister
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
  • Mousenet by Prudence Breitrose
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
  • Poppy series by Avi
  • Stuart Little by E.B. White
  • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  • Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • What the Dog Said by Randi Reisfeld
  • Wildwood series by Colin Meloy
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • Winnie the Pooh series by A.A. Milne

As a little bonus, here are a few picture books we like too!

Picture Books

  • Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem
  • Brave Bitsy and the Bear by Angela McAllister
  • Bread and Jam for Frances and others by Russell Hoban
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  • Curious George and others by Margret and H.A. Rey
  • Olivia and others by Ian Falconer
  • Peter Rabbit and others by Beatrix Potter
  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  • Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg

complete brambly hedge