BTS Teacher Emergency Kit 2017 Giveaway

Did you see my LAST POST with information about a fun back to school teacher gift? I’m having my annual giveaway, so you don’t have to put one together yourself; you can win two!

One Lucky Winner Will Receive TWO Back to School Teacher Emergency Kits!

Keep one kit for yourself and give one to a teacher friend (or make two teachers, friends, co-workers, neighbors… super happy and give both as gifts). Giveaway ends this Saturday, August 5 at 3 PM (EST). Shipping addresses must be within the USA or Canada.

The winner will receive two clear cosmetic bags and emergency kit contents. Each kit contains a $10 Starbucks giftcard, Blistex, travel sized Pepto Bismol chewables, cough drops, dental flossers, two hair bands, four quarters for soda money, disposable toothbrush and paste, Band-aids, tweezers, and an emery board.

To enter, comment on this blog post with any teacher or parent (or teacher parent) life emergency supply, trick, or advice you have. Do you have a great MacGyver-type move that really saves the day? I’ll share one– if you need deodorant in a pinch because you live in South Carolina and have recess on a playground in direct sun at noon with little shade, and you get totally sweaty no matter what you do, wipe some hand sanitizer under your arms with a Kleenex.

You can also leave a comment on any of my INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK giveaway posts for additional entries. Each comment = one entry. Random name chosen from all comments when the contest ends 8/5/17 at 3 PM (EST).

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Happy Birthday RoomMom

It’s my blog’s birthday today. It kind of snuck up on me, and I have not even gotten her a gift yet.  However, you are all invited to the party. Here is a little peak inside our baby book:

  • June 6, 2012– Our first post.
  • June 12, 2012– A birth announcement e-mailed to all friends, families, and acquaintances.
  • June 14, 2012– We receive notice that we have been allowed to join Pinterest.
  • June 25, 2012– We join Twitter. TheRoomMom’s mom is not so sure about Twitter, but all of her blog friends are doing it, so we feel compelled to join.
  • June 28, 2012– Our Facebook page is created, so any pictures or announcements of our milestones, big or small, can be shared with the world.
  • September 22, 2012, TheRoomMom gets an official domain but because the TheRoomMom’s mom is a first time blogger, she did not get her application in before the blog was born to reserve the name she really wanted, and she is on a waitlist. So, theroommom.wordpress.com becomes The-Room-Mom.com. We don’t really like the dashes in the name, but we have our fingers crossed that the domain name we want will not be renewed, and we will move up on the waitlist!
  • September 30, 2012– Our first giveaway.
  • February 28, 2013– We post Carpool Etiquette and have the best day (view-wise).
  • April 29, 2012– We have our first guest post on All Things Upper Elementary.

What is on TheRoomMom’s birthday list? More followers, likes, comments, and shares. So, please help spread the word and happy birthday little blog!

Back to School Teacher Emergency Kits

I cannot believe I am already preparing to go back to school, but I know it is right around the corner. I have been thinking about this little gift for awhile. It is something I would like a parent of one of my students to give me on the first day of school. Once teachers arrive at school, it is almost impossible to leave the building until after the students leave. There are days when you need a little something from CVS and there is no way to get there. I thought my children’s teachers might appreciate this little Teacher Emergency Kit; I know I would.

The Box: I purchased a few bead storage boxes from Michael’s. It has ten slots with removable dividers. I removed a few of the dividers to make one section of the box bigger.

The Contents: I chose the contents based on things I need when I am teaching. Below is the suggested list, but I also considered adding things like Band-aids, a good red pen, hair bands or a clippy, Tums, and even a feminine product or two since my children have female teachers this year (but the box was clear, and I thought that might have the potential for an embarrassing situation– although not having that item can create an embarrassing situation too, so you decide).

  • cough drops
  • Advil
  • chocolate
  • Tylenol
  • peppermints
  • soda money (quarters)
  • travel toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Aquaphor (or ChapStick of some kind)
  • emery board
  • travel lotion
  • Sharpie pen (I always need one of these at odd times and never have one in my classroom)

The Labels: I printed a 2″x 4″ label for the lid of the box using the Red Cross logo to make it look like an emergency kit. I created a table for the inside of the box and printed it on cardstock. Using a paper cutter, I cut it down to fit the inside lid and attached it with clear tape. I wanted the “map” on the inside to look like one of those lists they have in the big chocolate candy boxes, so you know what kind of chocolate you are eating. Here is a copy of the teacher emergency kit map.

Footnote: I did a little Pinterest research, and (big gasp) I am not the only one with the Teacher Emergency Kit idea. After analyzing my competition, I noticed a few flaws with the other kits’ contents. They often contain colorful paper clips or Starburst candies or things that make the packaging look better, but these items are not that useful. A Starburst is not going to make my breath better after I eat garlic-y hummus for lunch. I don’t need colorful paper clips; I can get a whole box of paper clips in the supply cabinet next to my school’s copy machine. When you fill your emergency kit, think about items that a teacher would not be able to access in a school building and might desperately need.

Pretzel Chocolate Snacks

I found this snack idea on Pinterest, and it actually looked like the original picture when we finished making them! These little bites are easy and taste delicious. They have that perfect salty and sweet combination. We are eating them so fast, they may not make it to our neighborhood 4th of July party (which is the reason I made them in the first place).

The Ingredients: Snyder’s Snaps Pretzels (the ones that look like a tic tac toe board), Hershey Kisses, M&Ms (plain and/or peanut)

The Directions: Line up pretzels on a cookie sheet. Put one Hershey kiss on each pretzel. Bake at 275 degrees for ~3 minutes. Take out of the oven and immediately smush M&M into the top. Refrigerate to re-harden the Hershey kiss.

Variations: Whatever holiday, smush the coordinating colored M&M. Halloween– orange. Christmas– red and green. Valentine’s Day– pink, red, and white. St. Patrick’s Day– green. You get the idea.

** I had a student give me a bag of these little morsels at Christmas.  He (and by “he” I mean the mom) made them to look like Rudolph.  I know they used the mini traditional shaped pretzel and a red mini M&M for the nose.  I ate them before I thought to pay attention to the construction.  If anyone has made the reindeer version, please let me know the details!

Pirate Birthday Party

I know it is crazy to plan a backyard birthday party in late August in South Carolina, but my son wanted to dig for treasure, and I saw this great cardboard pirate ship at Mr. McGroovy’s.  The day was super hot and humid, but everybody had a great time (and I lost five pounds) so it all worked out!

The Invitations: I ordered blank invitations from Fine Stationery and ran them through my home printer.  The invite said things like, “Aaaargh Mateys” and “Join (name) for pirate adventures and buried treasures” and “RSVP to the first mate or prepare to walk the plank!” The font, Blackadder, is very pirate-y looking.

The Pirate Ship: Plan ahead!  It took several weeks of calls to every appliance store in the area to collect all of the refrigerator boxes I needed for the pirate ship.  We then spent two weekends cutting and painting the boxes.  The assembly wasn’t too difficult, and Mr. McGroovy’s instructions are pretty simple.

The Outfits: As guests arrived at the party, we painted faces with scars, mustaches, and beards. We also gave each guest a man’s white t-shirt that we had cut along the bottom to look like rags. We offered red sashes (plain red fabric cut into strips) and bandanas to each child too. The foam swords came from the $1 aisle at Target.

The Treasure Hunt: On brown paper grocery bags, we printed different clues/riddles that sent the kids all over our front and backyard. We buried two separate treasure chests (shoe boxes painted brown).  The pirate chests were filled with plastic jewels, plastic insects, individual candies, dice, and other booty from Oriental Trading.

The Treat Bags: We ordered black drawstring bags along with the other loot.  We wrote pirate names on playing cards and tied those to each bag.  The guests put their loot in the bags after the treasure hunt.