Surf's Up on a New School Year!

Surf’s up!  Let your kids surf into the summer or new school year with this fun craft activity.
Craft activity that will send your students surfing into summer or into a new school year.  Find out how to make these cool crayon transfer surf boards!

Materials: fine grain sandpaper, 150 grit works well.
light blue and light brown paper, two 9X12 pieces for each student.
glue, crayons, scissors, and surfer boy and girl patterns. The free download (click on the picture) has all the patterns you need for this craft activity.

You'll need sandpaper for the surfboards.  Let the kids trace the surfboard pattern onto the sandpaper and cut them out.  Then have them color the designs on the sandy side of the sandpaper.  Simple designs work best.  It's also important that they color very darkly.  Have them press firmly as they color so the surfboard is completely covered with the wax from the crayon.  You'll be using an iron to transfer the crayon wax to the final picture, so you need a heavy layer of crayon on the sandpaper surfboard.

Crayon transfer art activity with a surfing theme.  Kids will love seeing their surfboard design is transferred to the paper with the heat from an iron.  The final result is really eye catching.

For the background you can use blue and beige paper, blue for the ocean and beige for the beach.  I had the students cut a wavy line off the edge of the beige paper and glue the pieces together to make one tall background.

Students can decide if they want the surfboard standing with them on the beach, or in the ocean with their character riding the waves. In the free download you'll find the patterns for the surfboards, the girl and boy figure, plus a few accessories.  The kids can draw and color in anything else they want in their beach scene. 

Hope your kids enjoy this activity to surf into the summer or sail into a new school year!

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Summer Pen Pals

This simple idea will encourage your students to keep reading and writing through the summer!  
Summer Pen Pals, encourage your students to keep reading and writing through the summer by being pen pals with each other.

Before the end of the year have each student bring in two stamped envelopes.  (Or just two stamps if you already have envelopes.) Show them how to write their address on the front of each. Then collect the envelopes.  Of course, they'll all be curious about these envelopes, but don't tell them anything yet. Let the excitement and curiosity build a little!

Later, or the next day, explain to the students they are to read a book this summer.  After they read the book they'll write a letter to a friend to convince them they need to read this book. They will place the persuasive letter in one of the envelopes and mail it to a classmate.  They will include in the second envelope that has their own address on it.  The second envelope will be used by the receiver to write a return letter!

Click on this image for the directions and letter to send home with students.

 Summer Pen Pals, super easy and fun idea to encourage your students to read and write through the summer.


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Say it in a Postcard

 Postcards are the perfect way to reach out to your kids with birthday wishes, words of encouragement or to celebrate accomplishments.

Do you remember how excited you felt the last time you got a card or letter in the mail?  In our world of email and texting that thrill is disappearing.  But, what if I told you there's a way to bring that excitement to your students and not break your budget?!

I recently discovered a company called Send Out Cards.  This online company is unique because you can select and personalize cards that are sent through the mail.  These aren't e-cards, they're real, hold in your hand, treasure forever cards and postcards. 

One of my favorite features of the site is the scheduler.  The very first thing you should do is add all your student addresses to the Contact List. Then, at the beginning of the year you can set up a schedule to send out a birthday card to all of your students. All you do is choose a card, add a personal note and your name.  Then, schedule the date you want it sent.  Once your cards are scheduled you don't have to worry about ever missing a student birthday!

Birthdays aren't the only time to send a message to your students. What about those days when a student needs a little encouragement, or has reached an important goal?  You can quickly and easily send out a personalized postcard to any student at any time! 
 Kids love getting real mail! Send them a postcard when they need a little encouragement, to celebrate an accomplishment, or just for fun!

I also love that each postcard costs less than $1.00!  The site works on a point system.  You can purchase different amounts of points.  The more points you buy, the cheaper each point.  For example, 100 points are $59, so that's $.59 for each point.  It costs 1 point to send a postcard.  With the $.35 postage that comes to $.94 for each postcard.  Regular, folding cards cost 3 points, which is still much cheaper than you'll find in a card rack at the store.

You can get started with Send Out Cards  now by sending a free card. Click on this link. Then click on the menu icon (three little bars in the upper right hand corner) to send a free card.
 Check out Send Out Cards for your classroom.  Follow this link to send out a free card!


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