2017 Elf on the Shelf Calendar and Activities – 100 Ideas!

Hello, all! I am indoors, trying to stay occupied while the wind whistles in the air and rain pounds on the roof…just thankful the electricity is still on here. I am so ready to plan for our elves! How about you?

I have been working on the calendar for a week, I painted an elf canvas the other day (can’t wait for reveal), and made some really cute elf crafts.

Sharing this year’s calendar with you and some ways you can use it!

  1. Print out page 1 and follow along or mark them out after you’ve done them
  2. Print out pages 2-4 and laminate, mark them off after you’ve done them
  3. Print out pages 2-4 and cut them, glue or tape them on a current calendar, in any order that works for you
  4. Don’t print anything and just write down the ones you like on your calendar πŸ˜€

Here is just a sample of the calendar:

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calendar 2

There are 100 ideas!! So don’t feel overwhelmed; I just wanted to have a lot of options for easy days, activities, fun, or some that take prep. Plus, you can use this for a few years because the ones with pics aren’t in a 2017 calendar.

Some of these you may have already done, but I’ve included a lot of new ones for this year, as well. I can’t wait to get started!

Some other options to look into are the Shepherd in the Search and Kindness Elves. Similar concept, but with a more Christ centered approach. I like to keep our ideas clean and family friendly.

So if you’d like the calendar, here is the link (don’t worry, the dotted lines don’t print):

2017 Elf on the Shelf Calendar

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Lightweight, Easy, DIY Dry Erase Board

Looking for a cheaper “dry erase” board? A shower board is a great alternative, but it’s SO heavy! I’ve used it for 2 years and finally have decided the best use for the shower board…hanging on my wall and as a lego table, lol.

This year, I am trying something new. At the end of our last cycle I made a dry erase board from dry erase foam boards that I purchased at Michaels, with a coupon. πŸ™‚ They come in a package of 2 and while that is plenty large enough for some of you, you can purchase another set and still make a trifold or use all 4! What would that be called? A quartfold? Hahaha. Someone out there probably knows. πŸ™‚

Anyway, it was really simple. I just used dry erase duct tape to hold the edges together and I used mini page protectors that are made for the small binders to hold the Timeline cards. I taped the inside top of the protector to the top of the board and folded the tape over the back. The woodland critter subject titles are a post from a couple of years ago on the blog.

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Felt Map Puzzle

I found these awesome felt USA maps at Target and decided to buy 2 and cut one up to make a puzzle. It’s a decent size for my children to see the states, has the capitals, and it came with some landmarks to attach. It was a big hit! I am so thankful for ideas that keep us from always doing worksheets!

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I left the smaller states grouped together to make it easier to cut and handle. It’s probably not best for the wall (it’s kinda large) because although the 2 felts stick well enough to each other to not slide around, I don’t think it would stick well enough if it was upright. My children love getting it out and “playing” with it, so it’s a win for us!

Back To School Celebration and Traditions (Apple Theme)

 

So, “Back To School” is different for everyone. Some homeschoolers take a break, some go year round, and some of us don’t know what we’re doing, lol. πŸ™‚ So, there may not be a specific “back to school” day. If you homeschool year round, maybe you can still celebrate between cycles: after testing, after finishing a grade level, or a set number of books if you don’t do any of those.

This year our plans were derailed! I had planned to not take a break and we ended up taking a break so long that our first official day of schooling was certainly memorable for me, but not what I expected, haha.

I kind of pick my BTS theme based on what I find in the store that I think is cute when supplies make their ways to the shelf. This year, it’s apples…again, rofl. Really, those woodland critters are still a winner, but it’s hard to find that stuff and it also makes a perfect First Day of Fall theme, so it’s taken.

Here is our simple, easy celebration for our first day of school!

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I found these apple printables on Google because I wasn’t having much luck finding free ones on Pinterest.

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I found this cute chalkboard sign at Michaels. πŸ™‚ ❀

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The “pencils” are pretzel sticks with candy melts. My daughter absolutely loves covered pretzels. I have no idea why. Lol.

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We created these little apple pretzel bites in the kitchen together. She is 7, so she loves helping in the kitchen and especially if it’s sweets.

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I used construction paper and taped some leaves and stems to the red balloons. I hope they look like apples and not tomatoes. hahaha

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The printables are from DimplePrints.com but I got them from Google images.

 

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My Little Pony Birthday

My youngest “baby” turned 8 today. It’s a bittersweet event. This year she requested a My Little Pony theme out of the blue. Half the year she said she wanted a Shopkins birthday again. I kept everything. :/ It’s a good thing you can find so many free printables online. I only had to buy plates, a cup, and a couple of drinks.

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I used party dΓ©cor that could already compliment a MLP theme.

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Thankfully, I also found some MLP posters while visiting my Mom. I had them saved away in keepsakes. I used my daughter’s little ponies for the props and I would say it turned out great for almost free!

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I dressed up Isabella, her AG doll. I found mini party hats at Target that I was saving for an AG tea party (still to come).

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I almost went with the usual go-to birthday breakfast for us: pancakes. It’s nothing fancy or memorable, though and wondered what I could do instead. But, I already had made the confetti sprinkle pancakes, cinnamon streusel muffins, and bought donuts (her fave breakfast). No worries…they don’t eat all that in one morning. πŸ™‚Β  I decided to add some topping and make it a pancake bar for a special treat. I’ve been saving up ideas from Pinterest for when we do a sleepover/party (yes, also still to come) and thought I would give a mini version a try. She loved it! My son loved the yogurt parfait the best. That’s unusual for him, so I was pleased!

I had to go with what I already had on hand since it was so spur of the moment.

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I made these polymer clay sweet treats ornaments a few years ago for a Sweet Shoppe theme I had for them. It’s one of my daughter’s favorite birthday decorations every year. She loves to play with them.

I want to make more if I ever have the time. πŸ˜€

I used my chalk markers to make a sign for her.

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This year, instead of the regular ‘ol balloons cascading into her room when she opens the door, I wanted something “more”…something meaningful and special. So, I aired up the balloons and wrote scripture on them with a marker as I prayed for her. I am calling them Blessing Balloons! πŸ™‚ I thought it would be so much more meaningful having blessings flow on her! She saw them and said she wants to read them and keep them. ❀

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I also have birthday magnets on the fridge, a cupcake birthday towel in the bathroom for her, window cling on the back door, a birthday flag in the garden, and window clings on the window where she sits in the vehicle. Usually, we throw some balloons in there with her, but the weather temp here is at the melting degree.

Some fun things we also do: a birthday scavenger hunt, birthday child gets to do everything first (eat, check the mail, out the door, etc), picks lunch and dinner, and most activities for the day. She wanted to go to the pool, which we did (and I burnt, lol), do a craft (so we made birdseed ornaments), play the Birthday Cupcake Book/Game, and if the weather had been nice, we would finish it off watching the meteor shower that is on her birthday every year.

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Then we have dinner (she chose to order pizza and not go out to eat in the yucky weather), have cake, and read our books. We give/get hugs and kisses and she tells me it’s the best birthday ever. And then my heart melts a little. πŸ™‚

Planning Pages for CC Tutors & Home

 

Hello, all! It’s that time of year again. I’ve enjoyed my summer long vacation, but it’s time to get back to homeschooling (well, more structured homeschooling, right) and our beloved community of CC.

A fellow CCer requested planning pages for Cycle 3 as we all gear up, so I created these with 2 options. The first page is totally blank…just subjects. They can be used for any cycle and you can write anything you want in them. The rest of the pages are filled in with the weekly memory work, but just enough to jog your own memory what we’re doing for the week. I’ve included spots for you to fill in the details below the subjects for what you’d like to do in class, as well as a place to write in your supplies and presentation ideas (sorry, not included, yet πŸ˜‰ ).

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Update: I changed “Presentation Idea” to “Review.” I think I had that last year and used it more. πŸ™‚

I am especially excited about it this time because last year I bought a manual binding machine and haven’t even used it (gasp). This was my opportunity to try it out and it didn’t turn out too bad! I liked it so much, I made one for my sis. :*

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If you like these pages, I have uploaded the file onto CC Connected. Hope it blesses you!

 

Dining Table Makeover DIY

I am so excited to be done with this table! And I love it! I wasn’t so sure how it would turn out when I started this project. I haven’t taken on a furniture makeover this “big” before. Quite a vital, expensive kind of thing to redo, but it really wasn’t my style when it was given to us. When I got the green light for keeping it and doing what I wanted to it, I decided to go with a white base and chairs with a deeper wood top. And I wanted to see reflections in it! πŸ˜€

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I primed it first and put on a couple of coats of white paint. Then I stained the top portion with a gel stain. Let me tell you the biggest tip I learned from this furniture venture: let each coat dry completely. And by completely, I mean about 24 hours. Especially once you move on to the sealing.

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After I painted the white, I sealed it with polycrylic. I decided to make the top really thick and reflective, so I used epoxy. Boy, do I have the story about that! Hah. Make sure to cover every crack if you have a table with a leaf. Do not let epoxy settle into the sliding wood. I put 2 coats of epoxy on it and let it harden for 2 weeks before using it or putting anything on it. It takes that long to cure so you won’t see the fingerprints or get dents.

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Voila! All done. πŸ™‚ Hoping after the work I put into it, that it will last for many more years.