It's winter break time for a lot of you. And if you have a toddler or younger child at home, you know you'll never really have a "break." But I'm here today to show you how you CAN have a..let's say in real honest time, because how much attention span can a 3 year old have...? can have a half an hour break! woo hooooooooo!!

Of course this is also a really fun sensory activity or just plain time killer filler in the classroom as well.

2 Ingredient Snow!

You'll need:
Shaving Cream
Baking Soda

You'll also need some sort of bin to make this stuff in. And if you want a nice scent, put a couple of drops of some extract such as peppermint. 

This is my husband's "good," shaving cream. I ran out of my usual dollar tree stuff for these types of activities. He also does not know that I used it but he will probably suspect something come Monday when he needs to shave and there are just a few dollops left in there. 

Now..measurement of ingredient's sort of guess and check. I used 3/4 of the baking soda box and about half the shaving cream can. But I would say start off with some squeezes of the shaving cream, mix, see the consistency, add more, mix, see...repeat pattern. You want it to get to a soft fluffy stage that doesn't leave sticky or wet residue in your hand, and it can be molded in your hand as well. 

I did about 4 of those sized shaving cream squirts

Now the best part was inviting my daughter to come see what I had created for her,
 (or me to have a mini break, however you see it). 

First seeing what I have! Happiness!

Slowly reaching for it...

molding it and posing...

letting go... and her hand has a little powder on it but nothing sticky and nothing that can't be swiped away

Full fledged play mode


Now go give yourself a break!

Alright! This is a super fun post! The crew at the Elementary Entourage did a Secret Santa gift exchange and I am just in loveeee with everything I received! My Secret Santa was the lovely Keri from Enchanted Kinder Garden.

Enchanted Kinder Garden

You know what's awesome about her? She stalked my blog to learn about things I like.. :) And she got me just that!

So about two weeks ago, I got this Red Lobster email randomly to my blog email account. I didn't even open it. I thought, sheesh, how did Red Lobster get this address and how is it sending me spam mail? I don't even get any spam on this email. SO I deleted it. Well, I have my mail forwarded to my primary email account and as I was scrolling through that account, I saw that same email again. And for no other reason than fate, I decided to open it and it was GIFT CERTIFICATE to Red Lobster from Keri. OH. MY. GOD. THANK GOODNESS for email forwarding! I am so dumb! I would have totally gotten rid of this amazing gift certificate to my favorite restaurant! (Sorry

A few days later I received another box of more goodies from her and inside was all this:

In this mediocre to bad quality picture above (must practice), you see a bag of Pumpkin Spice mini donuts, Dove Chocolate Covered Cherries, bath fizz soaps, and a tumbler with my name on it. 

How beautiful is this customized cup? I mean, this is totally going to give me the kick in the butt to drink more water during the day. I am going to fill it up and keep it near me and hopefully be inspired by all the sparkles to keep on chugging' on....!...on water that is. 

I've never tried bath salts/fizzy stuff before but I can't wait to try these. Right now, my bathtub is filled with washable crayons, My Little Ponies, and other water toys. My husband really likes his bath time.  KIDDING. My daughter takes a bath every single day and it has become her territory. But I'll steal it for one night in the near future. 

So this is my favorite part..ha.ha! She totally learned that I love anything pumpkin flavored and anything chocolate, so these two things were perfect. Let me tell you the story behind the donuts. So I got the mailing box and I opened the bag and left it in the box, and started eating the donuts all day long but my  kids had no idea because it wasn't outside of the box, it was hidden still. Then, when we were hanging out in the basement, I snuck it downstairs and would quietly go and eat them one by one without them noticing...UNTIL THEY NOTICED. And I had 2 left in the bag. And my son STOLE IT, ran upstairs, and ATE IT! It was a a fight to the finish! So, yes, perfect gift.

So Keri, I wanted to thank you so much for the thoughtful and wonderful gifts. Everything was tailored to my likes and that was super sweet!

Alright folks, that's enough rambling from me. Now it's time for a little something special for you. I'm having a Rafflecopter giveaway for $10 to my TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS store. Just enter below for your chance to win. And then, check out the other blogs below to see their Secret Santa gifts and their gifts to you as well.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winter seasonal learning activities are my favorite. I love to do arts and crafts projects that tie in the curriculum that we are learning with a wintery mix of "craftivities." 

One of my favorites is doing a creative writing assignment titled, "Oh No! My Snowman Melted!" Students use a graphic organizer to jot down ideas of how they built their snowman, what they used, where they built it, and how it melted. Then they do their final copies to attach to a melting snowman craft. This is a fan favorite every year for sure! You can see more of it HERE. 

Continuing on with writing - teaching paragraph writing can be sort of tough ya know! But sometimes if the topic is "fun," enough, the whole "formatting," business can be snuck in there. Kind of like hiding veggies in some kid dish! :) The winter edition of Power Paragraphs has just that. 

What you get for each of the 10 paragraph prompts

Included in this Power Paragraph winter themed set are 10 paragraph prompts. Each prompt comes with a graphic organizer to brainstorm ideas. A rough draft page is provided where students outline their properly formatted paragraph with a topic sentence, three reasons/details/facts/opinions/steps, and a closing sentence. Students use that information to create a final copy on the final copy template. 
Rubrics are provided for Narrative, Informative, Persuasive, Opinion, and How-To writing. The writing topics include:

Snow Day
Snowball Machine
It’s Snowing in My House!

All About Penguins

Winter Sport
Let’s Live in a Snow Globe

The Best Part of Winter

How to Build a Snowman
How to Make Hot Chocolate
How to Bundle Up

Sooooo handwriting??  That's something that often gets left in the back burner. But how about making a game out of it? Kids love Handwriting Scoot. It's the Scoot style game format but with seasonally themed words to practice writing. Check out the winter edition or the Christmas edition!

Winter vacation is coming up SOON! Do you need to send home homework? I've sent this no prep 10 day homework packet and reading log home the last two years and it is always a hit with kids and parents. I love that I don't have to do anything and everything is self explanatory - good enough for kids to do on their own. Plus, the reading log is interactive and fun - asking kids to read in fun places or read different types of material, then cut out a "snowball," and glue that reading snowball on a snow pile.

During this season, I am normally on my addition and subtraction with double digits unit. The class always needs a review with these concepts - especially after the winter break. So these printables are perfect and fun! 

Soon.. did you make it through all  of that? Because now comes the FREEBIE.  These next two next projects were super fun to do last year with the kids. And they practice double digit addition and subtraction with or without regrouping.  First up is the double digit addition and subtraction snowmen and next is the just double digit addition marshmallow and hot cocoa project. I would love to share these with you. Click HERE

Talk to you soon!!

The Elementary Entourage crew is coming to you this month with a spectacular blog hop. We are sharing simple little teaching tricks as well as some treats for you all! I would love to share with you a small management trick that I've used and that kids love!

Keeping kids walking in a straight and quiet line through the hallways is something I would always dread. It was a source of stress for me to have to manage a large class down the hallway and make sure that they weren't fooling around. Either that, or I would risk injury walking backwards to keep an eye on them.

So last year, I came up with these walking in line prompt cards. 

Great incentive to have quiet lines in the hallway! If they behave, allow them to act like different characters while walking in line!

I thought up of different and funny ways students could walk like, such as a soldier, robot, or ninja. I stuck them onto sticks - well in this picture - plastic knives because I didn't have sticks at the time - which didn't hold up for long - so use craft sticks people.. :) Anywayyy, I let them know of this fun plan right at the start of the school, but told them they will come out after a couple of weeks of practicing how to walk properly. Once I saw that they were really working on following directions in line, I told them we could once in a while bring out the can of prompts. So every once in a while, as a surprise, I would pick a random prompt from the can and we would walk that way down the hall! 

Now for the treats!

I would love to share these walking prompts with you! Not sure why I hadn't uploaded them to TpT until now but you can grab the set of these walking in line prompts HERE. 

Great incentive to have quiet lines in the hallway! If they behave, allow them to act like different characters while walking in line!
But wait, I'm not done with the treats. Have you read the story, Room on the Broom? Love, Love, Love that story. So engaging and exciting for the kiddos. I just created this interactive notebook companion to go along with the story and I have it for 20% off through Sunday. You'll find tons of comprehension checks in an interactive format, along with vocabulary practice, and a fun craftivity! Check out the pics below and then click HERE for the product. 

Room on the Broom Interactive Notebook activities.

Room on the Broom Interactive Notebook activities.

Room on the Broom Interactive Notebook activities.

Room on the Broom creative writing craft

Make sure to hop along for the whole ride and visit everyone's blogs below!

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