Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Teach Creativity Blog Hop - Valentine's Day and Olympics/Patriotic Crafts

While working on my Masters Degree at UW-Madison I took a Creativity course.
One of the many things I took away from the class is that people can be trained and/or encouraged to be more creative.
In my classroom I have a few "go-to" tips that I share with my students to encourage creative thinking.
"Try to think of something no one else would think of."
"When the thinking gets hard, keep trying and the best ideas will come."
"The first idea that popped into your head is probably the same idea that came into someone else's head first. Keep thinking to go beyond that first thought."
A trip to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is a creativity inducer!
I was recently contacted by  the people at JoAnn to share some ideas that you might try in your classroom through the #teach creativity Blog Hop.
First up - cupcake liner crafts!
I got my inspiration from this cool pin, and when I went to my local JoAnn store for supplies I was wowed by what I found!

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores have tons of cupcake liners for cooking and craft projects!

I decided to use them to create crafts that could be used in February for 
Valentine's Day and the Olympics! 

 To make this craft you will need a variety of large and small cupcake liners, glitter scrapbook paper, and coordinating ribbon.
Use two cupcake liners for each layer.  It's also suggested to fold them in half and trim the edge with a craft shears.
I love the circle cutter I got for cutting the center pieces out of glitter scrapbook paper.  The cutters are on sale this week at the Jo-Ann store and will be an even better deal with the coupon available below.
We are going to use these "medals" to wear during our Olympic celebrations (just add a safety pin to the back), and for decorating the athlete guidebooks we are creating.
You can download the USA symbol used in the center of medal here.
Next - floating yarn hearts!
These are so easy to make, and look really cool hanging in a window or on a bulletin board display.
I bought patriotic multi-colored yarn because I want it to go with the patriotic/Olympic theme I'm preparing in my room.
I cut the yarn into various lengths and soaked them for about an hour in liquid starch, which can be found at grocery stores.
Then I gave each student 2 pieces of yarn and asked them to arrange the yarn pieces in the shape of a heart on a sheet of waxed paper. 
Make sure the students squish together the loose ends of the yarn.
Leave them overnight to dry.
By the next day they will be stiff and will retain the shape of the heart.
I used thread to hang them. 
And finally - a cup of puppy love!
 These could be filled with dog treats for students to give to their favorite canine.
Or - fill with puppy chow for a Valentine's Day party snack.  I've seen some Red Velvet Puppy Chow making the rounds on Pinterest that looks pretty yummy!
I purchased some brown and white polka-dot scrapbook paper at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store.
Then I traced a heart on the back of two sheets - one with large polka dots, the other with small polka dots.
The heart from the smaller polka dot sheet was then cut in half for the ears of the puppy.
 Glue the large heart upside down on the front of the cup.  Turn the two half heart pieces sideways and glue on for the ears. 
Add two heart eyes and another small heart for the nose.
I used a small heart puncher to punch out pieces from the glitter scrapbook paper.
Color in eyes with a brown marker, and add hearts to decorate the cup!
Jo-Ann offers teachers a 15% discount with their Teacher Rewards Program. 
When you sign up you will also receive a 20% off coupon, and a calendar chock full of ideas and coupons to use in the future!
You can easily sign up for the Jo-Ann Teacher Rewards program by clicking
The coming holiday weekend is a great time to head over to Jo-Ann for a creativity inducing visit!
 Check out these blogs for more creative ideas this week through the
 #teach creativity Blog Hop:

January 15:More Time 2 Teach

This review is part of a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores® campaign. I received compensation for this review; however, this is my personal, honest option based on my experience. 


  1. LOVE the use of the cupcake liners! We just got a brand new JoAnn's here...the old one was tiny. I love going and browsing the aisles! Thanks for sharing the coupon, Jane! I will need to check this out when I come back into town on Sunday!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. Hi Alison-
      Thanks for the comment. There are so many cupcake liners to pick from at the JoAnn stores. It will be fun to explore a new one!
      Have fun shopping!

  2. This gives me so many new ideas :)

    Literacy Without Worksheets

    1. Hi Bridget,

      Thank you for the comment! I'm glad you found new ideas to use in your classroom.
      Happy creating!

  3. Blog hoppin' tonight and came across your blog. Great ideas and even better another blogger from Wisconsin! Stop by and say hi:)

    Renee from the Science School Yard