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November Means It's Turkey Time!

November Means It's Turkey Time!

Hi there!

November is here and that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  We took advantage of the warmer temps this week and the leaves still on trees and holding their color to do a little leaf picking for a craft project. 

We had so many beautiful red, yellow, and orange leaves in our yard that I thought we just HAD to do a craft with them, and I loved the idea of using the leaves to make a colorful turkey tail.  So that is what we did! 

After we collected our leaves we brought them in and began to lay out and plan our turkey.  We cut out a turkey body from an extra brown paper bag, glued it down on our canvas, and then began gluing down and arranging our leaves around our turkey to make its feathers. 

We used our scissors with our Noggins stickers on them to trim off the stem and cut out a gobble for the turkey's face.  Add some googly eyes and we were set!  

This project was really great for a ton of readiness skills - like motor planning and practicing multi-step directions.  Our little guy got lots of fine motor work in with the pressing and gluing of the leaves, too.  The best part was this was a real open ended art project and he could make his turkey to be whatever he wanted - so it was a totally customized and creative project.  

What are your favorite turkey crafts?  Post them in the comments and let us know!  Maybe we will try one!
Stay tuned for more fall fun and turkey craft projects coming your way.  
Till next time!
Nancy 

All things fun for fall!

All things fun for fall!

Hi friends!

It's been a while since I posted - things have been so busy with school starting for both myself and my son.  Even with the hustle and bustle we have still managed to make some time for some fun fall activities.  I wanted to share some with you in today's blog! 

The other day we went on a leaf hunt.  The leaves have just begun to start to turn their beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows in our neighborhood, and it was such a beautiful day, we had to take advantage of it. I decided to create something to help us collect and hold all our leaves.  I took a square piece of cardboard, drew a basic tree shape on it, and then poked holes through it all throughout the branches.  Then when we took our walk and collected leaves, we simply pushed the stems through the holes, and woila!  We have the perfect fall tree "leaf collector!"

Take a look at the video below to see the project in action. 

Fall is also a perfect time for leaf rubbings!  A while back Miriam from @cardboardschoolhouse did a beautiful IG story of how she used our Effortless Art Crayons for a leaf rubbing activity with her children.  Check out her posts HERE.  We had to share it with you all and hopefully inspire you to go out on a leaf hunt and bring them back so you can create your own leaf rubbings. 

Send us your pictures of your own leaf rubbing project and you can be featured in our social media pages.  Happy leaf hunting! 

Till next time,

Nancy

We all need to give ourselves a little grace

We all need to give ourselves a little grace

I follow a lot of teachers, occupational therapists, administrators, and entrepreneurs on social media.  You find your people, right?  All these people are in professions where we had to pivot and reinvent the wheel months ago, and honestly, we are still building the plane as we are flying it.  There have been so many times in the last month that I felt like I was not living up to my standards in doing my job - as a mom, as a teacher, as a business owner.  I know there are other people out there that are feeling that same way.  I can feel the stress in the classroom from my students as we are all trying our hardest to stay safe and stay open.  I feel the stress from my colleagues as we navigate a new normal in instructional delivery.  I feel the stress with my husband as our typical means of reaching customers has been limited.  I feel the stress from my son who is going to school and learning in a COVID restrained environment.  We are all stressed.

Even in all this, I have found glimpses of positivity and energy, like from our friend, Jon Box and @theboxstreetwear, and it helps me to keep taking steps forward.  Now I know that I have seen people talk about how they don't want to hear any more "toxic positivity" from anyone.  I read posts about how they are struggling and they don't want to see any messages of how things will get better.  I get it.  When you are stuck in a hole, you don't necessarily want to see people around you with shovels having a party and digging themselves out.  I get it.  My intent is not to shove positivity down anyone's throat.  My intent is to let you know that I get it, I understand, I have felt the same way, and let me try to help you feel different.  As Merideth Grey from Grey's Anatomy would say, "If you need a twisted sister, I'm here for you."  And I am. But we all need a plan and a path to get ourselves out eventually.  And I want to help be that path. 

We all need to give ourselves a little grace and understanding.  We need to give ourselves a gosh darn break.  We are doing the best we can and that's enough.  Once I let myself believe that, I was able to move forward and begin to change my mindset.  I accepted that maybe yesterday or the day before was not perfect, but I was going to move on and move forward and do something differently the next day to change.  And honestly, it would be very easy for me to stay negative, however, I chose to read, watch, and absorb the positive messages that people are putting out and allow them to affect me for the better.  I can be exhausted, stressed, angry, frustrated, all that, but I can also have a positive and compassionate mindset at the same time, and let THAT drive my actions forward. 

My son love TikTok, and he loves making videos with me.  I month ago I posted a video we made and I recently posted another one that had a positive mindset message.  I figure, make a video with a cute kid, and people will watch it, right?  Anyways, it was a video trend that was originally created by @jt_laybourne.  My son and I recreated it and I made it about a message to our teachers, parents, students, and children to say that we are all going through tough times, but we can all get through it together.  It's ok to not always be ok.  But when you need help, lean in and take it.  I am taking this all one day at a time and learning to be ok that it  - my teaching, my classes, my house (you should see the pile of dishes in the sink and baskets of clothes that need folded) is not the same as what it used to be.  But I am determined to come out of this better than when I started.  I hope that you can find your determination to keep going, too.  Don't be afraid to reach out to others in your life to help give you a little push in the right direction.   Till next time - here is another positive video from @jt_laybourne to keep you going.

Nancy

Creator, Effortless Art Crayons

Co-Owner, Two Sparrows LS