Our Next Adventure!

I know that I am incredibly blessed to have 3 wonderful grandchildren who live so close by.  In fact, my daughter in law is helping with Vacation Bible School this week which means I get to have Nana Camp with the girls!  They turned 21 months old yesterday and they could not be more adorable!  Today they tried out watercolor paint for the first time!

But the news gets even better!  My daughter is having a baby in August and we had a baby shower for her yesterday.  It was so much fun to plan and even more fun to watch her enjoy it all.  I know it has nothing to do with Kindergarten – but please indulge me – or just skip this post!  I’d love to share some of this special day with you.

My sister Linda is a master with her Cricut machine and volunteered to make the invitations.   Megan wanted a tea party theme and my sister found this adorable scrapbook paper that was perfect.

The ruffled envelopes were so cute too!

We had the food catered – tea sandwiches, petit fours, scones – regular tea party fare.  My cricut wielding talented sister made these little signs to put by all the food.

After Linda created them I typed the different foods on clear address labels, then trimmed them to fit on the signs.  They looked so cute on the food table, but I forgot to take a picture!

It took me a long time to decide what to put on the tables as a centerpiece.  I wanted them to be pretty but personal and meaningful too.  I started collecting Bible verses that I liked that had to do with babies or children.   I thought about painting (very basic) wooden frames to put the verses in at the tables, but when I saw how cute the food signs were I asked if that Cricut cartridge could make larger borders.   So Linda cut out frames that were about 5 x 7 or so.  I typed the verses on pink cardstock and put them behind the borders.

I used the same cardstock to make a 3 sided base, then I glued two Bible Verses to that stood up tent style.

Then Linda – the crafty one – made roses out of baby socks, she found the directions online.  I bought these little bean bag babies from Big Dot of Happiness.  Here is how it all looked on the table.

I used these directions that I found online to fold the fabric napkins – you can find just about anything online these days!  I chose this design because it was simple to fold and had a little pocket for the silverware.
napkin folding

Before Linda turned off her Cricut I got her to make a banner too!  Our new baby’s name is Eleanor and they plan to call her Nora.

I ordered little tape measures with a label that says “Love Beyond Measure” as favors.  I made little tea bag covers out of cardstock that I folded and stapled around a teabag for each place setting too.

Here is the template if you’d like to see how I printed these.

Tea bag covers2

I wanted to include Megan’s brother and close friend who live out of state, so I bought onesies for them to decorate and mail to me.  I bought 10 onesies so I asked other close family and friends to decorate one before the shower.  It was fun watching her guess who made each one.

Can you guess which one crafty Aunt Linda made?  Of course!

Her friend used a quote from Anne of Green Gables – their shared favorite book!

We are a Michigan State Family (except for one holdout son – but he did give me my first 3 grandchildren!)  Her brother even drew Sparty on the sleeve – impressive!

Her brother – the experienced parent – took a different approach – he used a computer graphic – they were all so cute!!

Another friend tried tie-dye, with a tea cup applique!

My daughter in law used a darling lamb theme …

She helped the children do Chicka Chicka – with the Boom Boom on the bottom!  The coconuts were their fingerprints.

Megan’s sister-in-law made beautiful, intricate flowers and her children’s fingerprints became the bumblebees!  So clever!

I made one with a tutu!

My husband was the last one to do his onesie.  I was convinced he was just going to take it out to the garage and smear grease on it, then say she needs to get dirty or something.  But he finally came through, and it was cute too!

There were a lot of people coming to the shower who did not know each other, so I made name tags.  I also wanted an activity to do that would help if conversation didn’t flow naturally at a table, so I asked each guest to make a future birthday card for Nora.

I bought the star wands at a dollar store and tied the little circles on with ribbon.

I set out prefolded cards and craft supplies, the cards were very cute.  I will put them in envelopes and mail each one on the correct year.

Here are just a few examples … I had some people make them for the same year, I assigned ages 1-20.

Not so different from when I planned special events in Kindergarten, I have a tendency to plan too much.  I had made “Advice cards” but I didn’t end up using them because of time.

We played two games – I adapted the first one from the internet.

Here are printable copies:

revised candy game questions

Candy Game answers

For the other game I made signs that said Eleanor and posted them around the room (Mine were all different – I’ll save you from that!)

I asked people to look through their purses to find things that begin with each letter of Eleanor’s name!

I bought pretty tea cups for prizes and wrapped them in clear cellophane bags with bows so guests could choose the cup they liked.

I had one more game ready to play, but decided I was asking too much!

Match Megan game

I found an old trunk of Megan’s baby clothes in my basement, and knew that I wanted to use those somehow.  So I dug through old photos (lots still in shoeboxes or stuck in those sticky page albums!) and found pictures of her wearing some of those clothes.  I took pictures of the clothing, then added pictures of Megan in the clothes and the Bible verses that I had selected for the tables.  I made them into a book on my computer – on a MAC you can make an 8 1/2 x 6 paperback book for $10.

Here is a sample.  This is the front and back cover.

The picture is of newborn Megan.

I was able to include pictures of my mom, who passed away, and other pictures that meant a lot to me.  I wrapped up the clothes, the photos and the book and gave it to her with her gifts.  Some of the guests remembered giving me different articles of the clothing.  It was very sweet and fun.

I had so much fun planning it and watching Megan enjoy it!   Thanks for letting me share it with you.

I planned to share the Bible Verses that I typed and put in clipart frames for the book, but I have been informed I have reached my upload maximum.  Please let me know if you would like them and I will add them to a new post!


22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Janie
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 20:28:20

    Congratulations! Great ideas 🙂


  2. Linda Warner
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 22:21:57

    I LOVE this post, and will for sure use some of these ideas! From one Grandma/Nana to another, thank you for sharing. 🙂
    And thank you for all the classroom ideas, also — your time and talent is appreciated!


  3. Ingrid
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 04:23:42

    This post made me smile!! Thank you for all your creativity, fun and thought-fulness. I understand the bit about ‘planning too much’ … but then again, you never know whether an idea going to be just the ‘bees knees’ either!!! I really enjoy your posts. Congratulations on your growing family.


  4. Lucille
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 10:28:01

    I would love a copy of the Bible verses. My son just got married and I’m hoping to be a grandma in a few years.


    • dbsenk
      Jun 26, 2012 @ 10:32:16

      I am happy to share them. I need to upgrade to add more photos. If I don’t figure out how to do that soon I will send them in an email. Congratulations on a new daughter in law. Let the babies begin! (I know they really don’t like to hear that!) Diane

      Sent from my iPad


  5. Jan
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 09:05:44

    This had some great ideas. I also would love a copy of the Bible verses as I work with many new moms. Sometimes if you make it into a .pdf it is a smaller format for uploading.


  6. Isabel Rafael
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 15:09:38

    Thanks for sharing so many wonderful ideas – I’ve bookmarked your post for the next grandbaby! Please share the Bible verses.


  7. deb
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 10:12:08

    Where can I find out more about Elizbeth Sulzby’s kindergarten literacy program?


    • dbsenk
      Jul 15, 2012 @ 23:05:02

      I just searched online for a few minutes and found that Elizabeth Sulzby has published a book called Teacher’s Workshop…An Instructional Handbook for Kindergarten Teachers. I have not read this book, or seen it before, but it might be a good resource. I met Elizabeth Sulzby at a week long conference years ago when Reader’s Workshop was pretty new in our area. I was impressed with the way Elizabeth created a program that was so appropriate for Kindergarten. You can find a lot of sites online but I don’t know if she has actually published KLP as a program. You can find lists of books that she used for re-reading, and also her assessments for emergent reading. She really impacted the way I taught.


      • Deb
        Jul 24, 2012 @ 08:12:23

        I’ve tried to find Sulzby’s star book list but can’t seem to locate it. I also can’t find the Teacher’s workshop book you mentioned. Can you please point me in the right direction? Thank-you!

      • dbsenk
        Jul 26, 2012 @ 07:55:30

        Hi Deb, Sorry it took me a few days to get back to you. I did a Google search by typing in Elizabeth Sulzby kindergarten literature program. One of the first links listed is the book Teacher’s Workshop: an instructional handbook for kindergarten. Then a little further into the search there is a link called Thinking About Story Elements – it is a 31 page pdf. Page 30 is a list of Emergent Storybooks. A lot of them are ones I am sure was on Elizabeth’s first list – but she said the exact titles were not required, just good basic simple stories that have elements for retelling and make it easy for the child to “read” by looking at pictures. Her list was made quite a few years ago so they were all older books. I included books like Brown Bear because kids are so comfortable with this, but she suggested all books that told a story. Hope this helps! Please let me know if you can’t find them in your search – I can try to forward them to you. Diane


      • Debbie
        Jul 28, 2012 @ 16:42:38

        Hi Diane!
        I did find the PDF document. Thank-you! I was unable to find the link for the book Teacher’s Workshop. I did find a book by that title written by Tracey Morrow. Did you write your own LA curriculum? I get so overwhelmed by all the “stuff” out there!
        Appreciate your help!

  8. Deb
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 14:16:06

    I will investigate further!


  9. Deb
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 14:30:47

    PS Can you please explain how to embed document images?


  10. Shannon
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 13:36:08

    This made me smile! I loved all the amazing ideas. How exciting to have another grandchild coming into such a blessed & loving environment! Congrats!


  11. Shannon Mac
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 13:39:45

    Also, I see you have slowed down your creativity in your retirement. Ha ha! No way! I am going to use these great ideas for some upcoming showers just as I still use so many of your ideas regularly at COE.


  12. Debbie
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 02:39:39

    Wow! Sounds like a fun baby shower. How special that the baby will have all the special mementos for years to come and the guests will remember the party as well.


  13. Deb
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 07:51:00

    Love your baby shower ideas! Could you please post the other games you did for your daughter’s baby shower? (I’m planning a tea party shower for my daughter, too!) Also wondering if you can post the tea bag cover in WORD so I can modify the name…Hope I’m not being to greedy. Thanks! Deb


  14. deb
    Oct 07, 2012 @ 08:30:52

    Hello again! I hate to keep bugging you but I haven’t found any ideas cuter than yours! Can you please convert the tea bag cover to a WORD document so I could change the name? I’d love to use the games you planned, too. I am so grateful. Thank-you!


    • dbsenk
      Oct 07, 2012 @ 08:34:27

      I am so glad you like my ideas. I’m sorry but I am using a MAC computer and the only way I can share documents is by using pdf. I did buy the Word program for MAC trying to share things that way but when I use clipart it all jumps into different places. My only suggestion would be to print it, then cut and paste by hand and then re-scan it. I know that is a pain and there may be better ways to do it, but that is my best guess.



      • Deborah Jordan
        Oct 07, 2012 @ 08:41:08

        Thank-you for trying! I was thinking I could put an address label over the name too. I appreciate your suggestions! On a different note…I’m back in K after 3 years in first. Your blog has been so helpful. I refer to it often. How did you manage small group time? I have 22 children. As you can imagine, some are reading already and some don’t know the letters in there name. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  15. deb
    Oct 14, 2012 @ 19:17:56

    Thank-you for trying…I was thinking a sticker might do the trick, too!


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