Back to School Party Ideas

Many many moons ago I was an elementary school teacher, and loved it! I actually never imagined myself NOT being a teacher. But my husband’s job transferred us to Arizona from California during the height of the recession, and trying to get a teaching job was nearly impossible. It seems it was all Gods plan, because now I get to be home with my little man, and I am counting the days down until I can be room mom when he starts school. In any case, school and kiddos hold a special place in my heart.

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I can still remember how excited, nervous, and happy I would get as a kid before the first day of school. As I am sure many kids feel this same way, why not ease those back to school jitters with a party?! Whether you throw a party for just your kids, your kids and their friends, or their whole class, here’s some party inspiration for you! Even if it’s only a special first day breakfast, a back to school party is sure to be a hit! Check out these Back to School Party Ideas…

I love this pencil and rubber band cake from One Charming Party!

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This Back to School Shoppe Party featured on We Heart Parties is precious! Look at the giant ruler, crayon, and pencil!

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Look at the creative hanging centerpieces and rainbow ruffled tablecloth featured on Kara’s Party Ideas.

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This simple S’mores Party would be perfect for an after school celebration for the older kids.

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How much fun is this chalkboard table on I Heart Naptime? The pops of red from the apples are fun too!

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Love the combination of the sweets and the school supply “cake” on this adorable yellow desk from Kara’s Party Ideas.

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If you were going to do a party for your child’s class, this set up from Snap Creativity would be so cute out in front of the classroom door!

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This is such a darling place setting if you want to do a special breakfast for your crew. I love the use of school supplies!

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These “smarties” would be a great treat on your special Back to School table or maybe even as a backpack stuffer!

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I am obsessed with this DIY Ruler Runner! I actually think I would use this as my table runner year round!

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Here are some FREE party printables for whatever type of bash you decide to have! I love these school themed prints!

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Lastly, here is a Back to School Splatter Party done at a local craft studio. Your Back to School Party doesn’t have to be at home or in the classroom!

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Hope this inspires you to make that first day or eve week of school more memorable for your little ones! They will surely remember it for years to come!

Mindy {Mindy Alyse Celebrations}



Back to School Splatter Party

It’s that time of year again, can you believe it?! Back to School season is upon us! As a former elementary school teacher and a current homeschool mom, I can honestly say that I love this time of year. I get super excited to start up the new school year and I like to make it exciting for my daughter (and former students) as well. We love to ring in the new school year with a Back to School Splatter Party!

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This can be as simple or as extravagant as you want. This year our homeschool co-op group opted to take a field trip to Pinspiration for our Back to School Party. And let me tell you, this was one of my most favorite Back to School celebrations yet!

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I shared my love for Pinspiration before (check out this post HERE) and my daughter and I really wanted to share this place with our friends, so we invited them all to join us for some Splatter Room fun and healthy, Back to School snacks. 

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Pinspiration set up a darling Back to School themed table for us, complete with apple plates, plaid placemats, and chalkboard nameplates. The kids enjoyed rainbow carrot sticks with hummus, strawberries and cream, and apple & peanut butter sandwiches for their snack before we geared up and headed for the Splatter Room.

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After the healthy snack, the kids were fueled up and ready for some messy artsy fun! Pinspiration provided canvases for the kids as well as protective gear if we didn’t want to get too messy. We chose to have our kids wear white shirts just for fun! 

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The kids had a BLAST in the Splatter Room and made beautiful works of art. There were lots of giggles and looks of concentration. 

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We all had such a great time during our Back to School Party at Pinspiration. I love that the kids could be totally engaged and as messy as they wanted (without me having a panic attack). They loved that they had paint in their hair, on their faces and thought it was even funnier when one of us moms were caught in the fire (aka: paint). Definitely a celebration we will not forget!

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How do you get your kids pumped for a new school year?  Stay tuned for more Back to School Party ideas from our party expert, Mindy Alyse!


Thank you to Brooke of Pinspiration for the beautiful Back to School table and the awesome fun time we had in the Splatter Room! Can’t wait to go back!

Thank you to SicFit Scottsdale and Michelle Mango Cakes for the delicious and healthy Back to School snacks!

Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags

Hello there friends! Today Shannon of Hustlemama Handmade is back to share one of her amazing back-to-school products from her handmade shop. We collaborated on this post together- she made the items and sent them to me, and I am going to share them with all of you! Check out these awesome Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags that she makes!

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These fold-over lunch pouches come in a variety of fun fabrics and colors! Lego, Frozen, My Little Pony, super heroes, Angry Birds, and more! So kid-friendly!

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I love that these pouches are easy to wash, store, and pack into lunch boxes!

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No BPAs, phthalates, or led coatings! You can wash them with hot, soapy water or machine wash or on the top rack of the dishwasher! 

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They are perfect for packing sandwiches, wraps, chips, crackers, fruit, veggies, pretzel sticks, and more! Easy to store when they aren’t being used and they fit perfectly in a lunch box. I can’t even tell you how much my daughter loves the Frozen set of bags! They are sure to make the first day of (home)school even more special!

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You can find these awesome Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags right in Shannon’s shop! Did I mention how affordable they are too? And don’t be fooled…these bags can be used by mommas too! Anyone can use them!

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Shannon is such a talented seamstress. You’ll have to stop by her shop to check out all of her other awesome, eco-friendly products. I adore her mason jar tumblers with the cute straws and sleeves! It’s my favorite cup…like ever. 

Sweet Shannon is offering a special discount in her shop for MFTM readers… get 10% off using code HUSTLEOVER at checkout. You can also get free shipping on your order until the end of today (July 31st)! So head on over to Hustlemama Handmade and get your back-to-school shopping on! 



Food-a-licious Friday: 15 Fall and Halloween Bento Lunches

Hello there friends!

I have fall on the brain, how about you? I’m ready for cool weather, scarves, boots, playing outside, warm beverages, pumpkins…you get the idea. And with it being back to school season, I thought it would be fun to share a round up of fun lunch box ideas. Take a look at these awesome 15 Fall and Halloween Bento Lunches I found around the blogland!

15 fall and halloween bento lunches

Fall Bento

Pow Wow Fall Bento

Ghost in the Pumpkin Patch Bento

Crisp Fall Air

Halloween Bento Lunch

Scarecrow Bento

Pumpkin Patch Fall Bento Lunch

Halloween Bento

Halloween Bentolicious

First Halloween Bento

Total Creepfest

The Three Witches Snack Bento

Frankenweenie Inspired Halloween Bento

An Autumn Lunch

Willow’s Lunch


Such cute lunches, aren’t they? Be sure to click on the links above to see the full blog posts and photos.

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great weekend!!

Tot School Tuesday: Top 10 Back to School Books

Hello there and welcome to another Tot School Tuesday where I share kid-friendly crafts, activities, and educational ideas.


If you’ve been around MFTM for a while, you know that I used to be an elementary school teacher (specializing in early childhood development) and you know that I LOVE children’s literature. Today I thought I would share my favorite top 10 back to school books. These books are great as read alouds for the little ones and great for the older kiddos to read themselves. These books can be found at your local library or you can book hoard like me and “buy all the books” on Amazon.

Top 10 Back to School Books

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneburg

A cute story about a girl named Sarah Jane who is nervous about the first day of school. The ending makes you laugh out loud and want to read it again.

Fancy Nancy: Jo-Jo’s First Day Jitters by Jane O’Connor

We LOVE Fancy Nancy in this house. With the fancy vocabulary and fun illustrations you’re sure to love this book.

I Am Too Absolutely Small For School (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child

Lola isn’t so sure about starting school but luckily her big brother Charlie is there to convince her that school is fun.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Such a cute story about a little raccoon seeking reassurance from his mother before his first day of venturing out in the world.

David Goes to School by David Shannon

David’s antics are sure to keep his teacher busy and the kids laughing.

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff

We love Laura Numeroff books and this one is a must read for back to school season. Join the silly mouse as each item he needs for school leads to another that is just as important.

My Teacher Sleeps in School by Leatie Weiss

A cute story about the silly things students assume about their teachers.

Little Critter: First Day of School by Mercer Mayer

Little Critter has a lot to do to get ready for the first day of school and he is a bit nervous.

Franklin Goes to School by Paulette Bourgeois

Franklin is ready for his first day of school…until it’s time to get on the bus.

Countdown to the First Day of School by AnnMarie Harris

A cute book that counts down to the first day of school and talks about all the things you need to do to get ready for the first day.

There you have it… our 10 favorite back to school books. There are TONS of great children’s literature out there…I encourage you to snoop around your public library (I love searching for books online too). If you click on the titles of the books above, it will take you to directly to Amazon so that you can price check and read more about what the books are about.

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you find this post helpful while you are looking for new books to read with your kids. Be sure to link up your kid-friendly ideas, crafts and activities below and visit See Vanessa Craft for more Tot School ideas!

Back to School Teacher Gift Tags

Can you believe it’s that time of year already? Back to school season is in full swing. If your kids haven’t started up school again, they probably will in the next few weeks.

Being a former teacher I can tell you how much we love to feel appreciated. I came up with a cute and inexpensive gift to give to any teacher on the first day (or week) of school. And what makes it even cuter? The back to school teacher gift tags that go along with it.

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Cute right? And so perfect for a teacher. The tags look like mini chalkboards!

I found the cute plastic mason jar cup at Walmart (but I’m told they are at Costco as well) for under $5. I filled it with Crystal Light pouches, screwed the lid on, and tied the cute tag on with baker’s twine. SIMPLE but I can promise you that every teacher would love to have one.

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And if you can’t find this exact cup…not to worry! You can pair this tag with ANY cup, mug, the teacher’s favorite drink (mine was diet coke!), or even a gift card to Starbucks. Just download, print, cut, punch a hole, and tie on with twine, ribbon, or yarn. Have your kiddo sign the back and viola! You got yourself a super cute teacher gift.

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You can download a set of 4 Back to School Teacher Gift Tags HERE. I sized mine down (under print settings) before printing.

Please remember that all printables are free and for personal use only. I would love for you to pin and share this with your friends if it’s something you think they will enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by today! Happy Back to School Season, y’all!

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{Fall} Preschool Printables

Happy Monday!
It’s the start to a new and busy week for us…how about you?
I felt inspired by our strangely cool weather (for September in Arizona) to take out my fall decor, browse through my favorite fall recipes, make a list of new fall projects, and even create a few fall teaching resources for my preschooler. And because I love and appreciate my readers, I thought I would share the {Fall} Preschool Printables with you!
I created 4 different preschool printable themed to fall. 
Each printable focuses on a different concept or skill.
(Math, Reading, and Writing)
Before downloading the prints I made, I ask that you follow Mine for the Making one (or more) of the following ways:
Following MFTM means you will get all of the latest updates on projects, freebies, giveaways, and much more!
Click the links below to download the 
{Fall} Preschool Printables
Please remember to use common courtesy using this prints. Do not alter or claim them as your own. They are for personal use ONLY and if you decide to share them, please link back to MFTM.
I hope you have a GREAT week, friends!!!
If you like these printables, I would love for you to share them on Facebook or Pinterest!

Teacher Gift {printable}

Just in case you missed this one over at VixenMade when I visited last week….

Today I am sharing a simple and {almost} free teacher gift!
With the new school year here already (where the heck did summer go?!), it’s always nice to get the new teacher a little something to start off the year. As a former teacher, I know that most teachers start preparing for the upcoming school year several weeks before school actually begins. Let’s show them we appreciate their hard work…

I designed this print using my favorite teacher quote and happy colors.
I also clipped it to a fun clipboard (found for a dollar at Michael’s) rather than putting it in a frame.
The clipboard just says “teacher” so much more than a frame, don’t you think?

I love the chevron and polka dot washi tape, don’t you? Total cuteness.

Feel free to use this print as a gift for the teachers that will be educating your kidlets’ this school year! (Maybe even throw in a few Fancy Paperclip Bookmarks while you are at it!)

Remember, this is for personal use only and if you decide to share it with others, please link back to this post. You can download the print HERE.

Have a great day friends!

Thanks for taking the time to pop in.

Partying with some of my faves!

Busy Bags

I am so excited to share these Busy Bags with you today! I originally saw this idea through Pinterest.  (surprised? no? yeah I didn’t think so…)

As soon as I saw them, I knew I just had to make some for my 3 year old.

Everything I used for these bags I already had or purchased at the dollar store, dollar spot at Target, or got on clearance at Target.

Let me break it down for you…

You have an active little one who has the attention span of a… little one. Organize easy activities that your child can do on their own or with minimal help. The activities need to be things that your child enjoys, but the bags/activities do NOT need to cost you a fortune. Switch the activities out often and let your child have choice in which activity they would like to do. I was going to label my busy bags, but decided against it since I will be switching out the activities as Luci tires of them.

Genius, right?


 Pencil pouches on clearance at Target {$0.74 each}

 Alphabet Match Up

I got this idea from delicateConstruction here. I arranged the ABC magnets on a white piece of paper, took a picture of it, and printed it off on cardstock. The alphabet ‘mat’ doesn’t fit in the pencil pouch, but I am okay with that (I don’t want it folded.)

ABC magnets bought at Dollar Tree, but I had them on hand.


The small coloring book, crayon pack, and stickers were purchase in the dollar spot at Target; they are called “Play Packs.” I bought 6 of them a while back to take to restaurants or appointments.

 Finger Puppets

These were also purchased in Target’s dollar spot. I have a few sets of finger puppets and small plastic princesses that I can swap in this bag.


This came as a pack of 6. I only included 3 so that I can switch them out. I bought this about a year ago in the dollar spot at Target (but for $2.50…totally worth it…they are great quality).

 Colorful Shape Match Up

I did the same method here as I did with the alphabet mat. I found the foam shapes at Target’s dollar spot.


The notebook was on clearance at Target for $0.30 and the pencils (came in a pack of 8…only included 4) were found in the dollar spot. I also put mini gel pens in this pouch (not pictured) that I found in the dollar spot  and had on hand.


I bought these wooden beads with laces at Dollar Tree about a year ago.

 I love using the pencil pouches because they were cheap, cute, easy to store, and easy to grab on your way out the door.

Are you wondering where I store them when they are not in use?

This is hanging in the playroom closet. I got this canvas shoe storage thingy from Target on clearance for $0.30. Yeah. Not sure why I didn’t buy more of them…

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

*Don’t forget to grab your 50% off coupon to Michael’s!*
Click on the banner at the top of this page
{coupon expires on 9/21/11}

Linking up!

A Crafty Soiree

36th Avenue

Classified: Mom

Get Your Study On {printable}

It’s that time of year again! It’s time for another busy year of school…which means homework, book reports, spelling tests, field trips, class parties, new math concepts, projects and presentations…. Are you all ready?
This is my VERY first year not in school. I went directly from being a student to being a teacher. This year I will be staying home with my daughter and helping my husband with our bakery/cafe’, so I am missing the back to school shopping and decorating my classroom and bulletin boards.
Hence the reason why I decided to create a back to school printable!
I am sharing this printable, free of charge, with Mine for the Making readers. I ask that this printable is used for personal use and not monetary gain. If you would like to share this printable with others, please be sure to link back…it’s the polite thing to do : )
To print: Click on the image so that it is in a new window. Click on it again so that it is it’s actual size. Then right click and save to your computer.
The Study On printable is $3.00 without the watermark. If you are interested in one, they are $3.00. Just send me an email at MinefortheMaking(at)gmail(dot)com.
Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you and your kids have a fantastic school year!