Monday, January 16, 2017

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Chinese New Year Classroom Goodie Bag Ideas plus Printable Chopstick Race Game

Free printable Chopstick Race Game for a fun Chinese New Year Activity  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
Thank you to Oriental Trading Company for providing Chinese New Year goodie bag items for this project.  All opinions expressed are our own.

Chinese New Year comes early this year!  Since our twins' birthdays fall in late January, I thought it would be fun to make Chinese New Year-themed goodie bags to send in for their classrooms.  I had a few ideas, but thought that I might have trouble finding enough items to fill our goodie bags.  I had no idea that Oriental Trading Company's Chinese New Year party supplies & decorations section would have so many classroom-friendly goodie bag options.

One of the ideas I had was to create a fun game the students could play during indoor recess.  Looking through the items on Oriental Trading sparked an idea to make a game using chopsticks.  It's super-easy to make.  Here's what you'll need . . .

Chopstick Race Game

Mini Lucky Money Goody Bags
Decorated Wood Chopsticks
Mini Insect Erasers
Chopstick Race Printable (Below)
Free printable Chopstick Race Game for a fun Chinese New Year game  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

The object of the game is to pick up the various insects up with the chopsticks and move them one at a time to the jar.  These cute little insect erasers from Oriental Trading Company were the perfect size to use for this game.  The students can race against each other or try to beat their own best time.  It's a fun way to master the art of using chopsticks.
Free printable Chopstick Race Game for a fun Chinese New Year Classroom Activity  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
TO PRINT: Make sure your printer is on and ready to go.  Click on the image below to enlarge.  Then right-click on the image and select print.  Use your browser's back arrow to return to this page.
Free printable Chopstick Race Game  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
Clipart from

I found lots of fun things to include in these Chinese New Year goodie bags, but it occurred to me that some of them may seem random to the children.  This led to my making a basic label to attach to the outside of each bag.  If you're making a goodie bag like ours, then you can print these labels below.  Now the children will understand which items were included in the bag because they're considered symbols of good luck.
Chinese New Year Goodie Bag with Fun Free printable Chopstick Race Game  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

What's in our Chinese New Year goodie bags?

  • (1) Chopstick Race Game
  • (1) Laminated Jumbo Chinese Zodiac Bookmark
  • (2) Chinese Zodiac Pencils
  • (1) Fortune Cookie Eraser
  • (3) Colorful Goldfish
  • (3) Chinese New Year Goldtone Coins
  • (1) Chinese New Year Sticker
Chinese New Year Goodie Bag with Free printable Chopstick Race Game  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Free Printable Chinese New Year Goodie Bag Labels  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
To complete the presentation, I pasted a printable label to the outside of each bag.  I opted for brown paper lunch bags because they were the perfect size to hold the larger items, and they fit our label perfectly.  After filling each bag, I just folded the top of the bag down twice, holding it in place with a Chinese New Year sticker.  The stickers came in a roll of 100, so I had enough to include one inside and one on the outside of each goodie bag.

Like this idea?  Pin It for later . . . 
Chinese New Year Goodie Bag with Fun Free printable Chopstick Race Game and Bag Labels  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

What other ideas do you have for celebrating Chinese New Year in the classroom?  Share them with us in a comment here.

Check out our other ideas for classroom-friendly goodie bags . . .
DIY Comic Book and Zombie-Themed (Free Printable) Activity Goodie Bags  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Classroom-Friendly DIY Newspaper Reporter Activity for Kids  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

Friday, December 23, 2016

3G2S posts may contain commission-yielding affiliate links.

50 More Fun Things Kids Can Say to Alexa (Amazon Echo)

50 MORE fun things kids can say to Alexa (the Amazon Echo)  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires

About a year ago, I published 50 Fun Things Kids Can Say to Alexa.  It was a challenging list to put together, although the process was quite fun.  Since a year has gone by, I decided to see how many new things I could add to this list.  I can't imagine what Alexa is thinking when I tried asking her some of the silly things that popped into my head.  Here's what I came up with . . .

50 More Fun Things Kids Can Say to the Amazon Echo:

1.  "Alexa, why is six afraid of seven?"

2.  "Alexa, how many more days until Christmas?"

3.  "Alexa, what do you want for Christmas?" (Ask her multiple times.)

4.  "Alexa, who let the dogs out?" (Ask her multiple times.)

5.  "Alexa, help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi" (from Star Wars)

6.  "Alexa, every time a bell rings . . ." (from It's a Wonderful Life)

7.  "Alexa, Hey, diddle, diddle." (from Mother Goose)

8.  "Alexa, twinkle twinkle little star." (From classic nursery rhyme/ song)

9.  "Alexa, how tall are you?"

10.  "Alexa, how old are you?"

11.  "Alexa, how much do you weigh?"

12.  "Alexa, who is your best friend?"

13.  "Alexa, what is your favorite color?" (Ask her multiple times.)

14.  "Alexa, what is your favorite ice cream?"

15.  "Alexa, do you like to dance?"

16.  "Alexa, who did you vote for?"

17.  "Alexa, what is black, white, and red all over?"

18.  "Alexa, who are the seven dwarfs?"

19.  "Alexa, do you like flowers?"

20.   "Alexa, do you like chocolate?"

21.   "Alexa, who are Santa's reindeer?"

22.   "Alexa, do you fly?"

23.   "Alexa, do you sing?" (Ask her multiple times.)

24.   "Alexa, do you sleep?"

25.   "Alexa, do you like Star Trek?"

26.   "Alexa, who is your favorite super hero?"

27.   "Alexa, who stole a cookie from the cookie jar?"

28.   "Alexa, do you speak French?" (Works with any language.)

29.   "Alexa, what are your New Year's resolutions?"

30.   "Alexa, what is on your bucket list?"

31.  "Alexa, who you gonna call?" (from Ghostbusters)

32.  "Alexa, do you have any pets?"

33.  "Alexa, will you marry me?"

34.  "Alexa, who is man's best friend?"

35.  "Alexa, where do you come from?"

36.  "Alexa, what is your favorite Star Wars movie?"

37.  "Alexa, it's nice to meet you."

38.  "Alexa, I am one with the force." (From Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

39.  "Alexa, will you be my Valentine?"

40.  "Alexa, who sings _______?" (Fill-in the blank with a song title to test Alexa's knowledge)

41.  "Alexa, who wrote _______?" (Fill-in the blank with a book title to test Alexa's knowledge)

42.  "Alexa, who was _______?" (Fill-in the blank with a famous person from history)

43.  "Alexa, where does Santa live?"

44.  "Alexa, who is your hero?"

45.  "Alexa, what is the longest word in the English language?"

46.  "Alexa, do you rap?"

47.  "Alexa, good morning!" (Also try afternoon, evening, and night)

48.  "Alexa, what's for dinner?" (Also try breakfast and lunch)

49.  "Alexa, who is your favorite Star Wars character?"

50.  "Alexa, what is your dream job?"

You can learn more about the Amazon Echo here.  Also, find out what new things have been added to the Echo here.

If you've discovered even more fun things kids can say to Alexa, please share them with us in a comment here.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

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4 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Tweens

Gift ideas for tweens  |  3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires
Thank you to Mixbook for sponsoring this post about thoughtful gift ideas for tweens. All opinions expressed are my own.

We have not one, but two tweens in our house!  Our twins turn 10 this January, and are growing increasingly difficult to shop for when it comes to gifts.  It's such a tough age because they are no longer little kids, but they are not yet teens.  Here are some ideas for thoughtful gifts you may consider for your tween . . .

1.  Custom Poster - If it's time to take down the little kid posters from their room, a cool custom poster would make the perfect gift.  Choose a special photo of a person, place, or thing, and have it printed on a large poster that fits that empty wall space.  Regular posters work fine, but an acrylic or metal poster print would look super-cool on your child's wall, not to mention they would be more durable than the standard poster.  Some fun subjects for a poster would be your child and his or her BFF, your family pet, or a special place that holds wonderful memories for your child.

2.  6" Tablet - If your child is too young for a smartphone, but finds a full-size tablet to be too cumbersome to carry around, then a smaller 6" tablet might be the solution.  A tablet, like the Fire HD 6, is about the size of a large smartphone, making it super-portable.  With an Android OS, your child will have a plethora of apps to choose from without having access to a smartphone.  Be sure to include a tablet case with your gift.  Most are quite inexpensive, so it's a no-brainer to add that extra protection.

3.  Experience Gift Card - A gift card is always a safe gift for anybody on your list, but what about giving a gift card or gift certificate for something your child can experience?  How much fun would it be for your child (along with a friend or sibling) to create a painting, paint pottery, take a cooking class, experience Taekwondo classes, learn about archery, etc . . . ?  The possibilities are endless, and the memories made from experiencing something new will last forever.

4.  Photo Calendar - If you like our idea of a custom poster, but are having trouble narrowing down the subject matter to just one, a custom photo calendar is a smart solution.  A calendar is the perfect gift for your tween because he or she is starting to have 'plans' to keep track of.  Having a place to record play dates, study dates, team games and practices, dance recitals, and friends' birthdays will also help your tween to feel more organized.  When the year is over, you can frame each photo from your calendar to make a photo wall in your child's room.

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Have a fun and thoughtful gift idea for tweens?  Share it with us in a comment here.