So I haven’t been able to update my blog as much as I wanted to. Maintaining a blog proved harder than when I was working a full-time office job. In between juggling tasks for my part-time work, ferrying the kids around, doing household chores and attending to the kids’ needs, I’m left with not many chances to sit down in front of the computer and pen down my thoughts. No doubt that I have my mornings free now that Xan is in the nursery, but the hours are usually used to catch up on work. And when I have the free time – which is ever so seldom – I’d prefer to curl up on the sofa with a book.
Today is a rare day, when the kids are playing on their own, dinner is already prepared and I have done my work for the day. I have been itching to blog about what I was up to for the past two months – so much thoughts, so little space 🙂
After coming back for our family holiday in Southwest UK, I plunged right into the role of party planning for E’s class. The school year ends in June, with a new year beginning in September. E completed his Kindergarten 2 stage and is moving on to Year 1 in a couple months. It’s a big milestone for all of them.
Being a class mum, I was enlisted to organise a class party and prepare gifts for teachers. Here’s what I did:
Party goodies for the children
A party is not complete without goodie bags! To make it special, I assembled the snacks into robots holding flags. Each flag spells out the name of every child, with an inspirational word for each alphabet. For example: E nthusiastic; W ise; A mazing; N ice
The children also brought home an inflatable summer beach ball. It’s economical, relevant to the theme of their leaving for summer, and is personalised. It took the Husband and I almost 2 hours to inflate 25 balls and write the names of all kids on them, with the message “We had a ball at KG2!”
Thank goodness for a very sporting and cooperative teacher who entertained my request for her help in enlisting an award name for each child! I designed some chocolate bar wrappers, printed out the names of awards and stuck them on each Kit Kat. On the day of party, we had a mini awards ceremony. If you want the template, drop me an email 🙂
All children and teachers also left with a printed class photo collage which yours truly photographed and created the collage using PicMonkey. Some of the responses I got from the children had me grinning cheek to cheek the whole day!
The main gifts for the teachers were shopping gift vouchers from the collective class fund. But we decided to do more.
What’s more meaningful and memorable as a gift than the combined work of the children themselves? I visited E’s class one of those mornings to get the kids’ handprints on a canvas and formed a colourful heart shape for the Lead Teacher. I was initially thinking to write the names on each handprint but the artwork was too pretty on its own already. On the back of the canvas, I printed out a small piece of paper with the name of the teacher and class/year as well as a quote “A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart”
For the Teacher Assistant, I printed out the outline of a donut and got the kids to colour and decorate them. Then, I cut them according to shape, stuck them on a piece of paper and named each donut, completing the work with the key message “DONUT know what we would have done without you. Thank you!” This was presented to the teacher in a nice photo frame.
The third artwork for another Teacher Assistant was simpler, with scoops of ice cream on a cone. Each scoop has the name of each child. The message was “Thanks for making our year a special treat!”
Party / Graduation Day
Some photos taken on the party day which coincided with their school’s graduation day.
As for Xan’s nursery teacher and her assistants, I organised a group gift buy to get some shopping vouchers for them. We will be presenting these to them on the last day of school, along with a bouquet of flowers, donuts for all staff and DIY thank you cards by the children.
Upon seeing these efforts, some of my friends asked what motivated me to put in so much work for a party. One of my friend’s son saw me constructing the robot snacks the other day. His instant reaction was “Wowwww…” and stared for the longest time ever.
On the party day, the kids went berserk seeing the beach balls in the party room. They cost us only 5 dirhams each (RM4+) though it took us quite a bit of time and energy to inflate them all. Before the party ended, the kids were asked to take a ball each. One of the boys couldn’t believe his ears and asked me “I can take this?!” I nodded, he grabbed one and dashed out. Moments later, he came back to me and with a confused yet excited look, he asked again, “I can take this home? It’s mine?” I answered a big “YES, yes, yes dear!” That grateful look on his face was simply priceless.
It never stops to amaze me how such simple stuff can bring such big joy and gratitude to kids. Things we take for granted all the time. It only proves that gifts need not be expensive or big – but when it’s meaningful, personalised and gifted with the recipient in mind, it makes a world of difference to them.
That’s why I went the extra mile, and will never stop to. It makes me feel good when they feel special.