Intro to the ABC's of After School Activities (After School Link UP)

We're excited that next week we'll be bringing you the ABC's of After School Activities.  We thought we'd take a moment and ask our readers to fill in the blank for things that you include or want to include in your After School Activities with your child.  We would both fill pages and pages of ideas but we want them to be full of what you need the most as your child's first teacher at home.  So here's your chance!  Tell us in a comment below! 
Ask Yourself as your Child's First Teacher....
What resources are you looking for After School Learning and fun? 
What works best for your child After School? 
Where does your child want to go After School?
What subject area do you need more support with After School?
Do you have any goals you're setting for After School Activities in 2013 with your child?  Did you print your New Years Resolutions Printable or Craft Project? We invite you to share your child's responses on our Facebook Page or Google+ After School Enrichment Community.

We would love to have you link up your School-Age Posts (Ages 5 and up) about your learning week after school including, crafts, activities, playtime and adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives after their day at school or on the weekend! When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board or Feature on our After School Party next week! Don't forget to follow along and Join our After School Enrichment Community. 
Link up your After School Activities, Crafts and Adventures! We'd love to see them!

Top 12 of 2012: Our Most Popular Posts

Are you ready to see what was your favorite posts for 2012?  We're sharing the Top 12 Most Popular Posts of 2012 from The Educators' Spin On It . We've had so much fun we sharing ideas in 2012 for your children. 

Can you believe that between the two of us we wrote 246 posts in 2012!   

The two of us dedicated our time in between raising our 3 kids each to creating and sharing ideas for Baby Time, Tot School, After School Express, Gardening with Kids, Love Books, Bilingual Babies, Little Hands that Cook with Books, Virtual Book Club for KidsAround the World in 12 Dishes and Snapshots of Parenting with Purpose!  Which do you follow the most?  Are you ready to see which posts you viewed the most?  Check them out!

Top 12 Posts of 2012 
Check out the post from above and leave a comment on the post you visit, we love hearing feedback from you! Keep your eye out for Kim's Favorites and Amanda's Favorites and The Very Best Activity of 2012 next week!  Until then we invite you to check out our favorites from 2011. 
Our Favorites from 2011
Amanda's Favorite Spin on Things by Kim in 2011
Kim's Favorite Spin On Things By Amanda in 2011

Do you have a favorite on The Educators' Spin On ItDo you have a topic you'd love for us to share more on?  It's your turn to share what you need the most support and resources for your child.  Email us or leave a Comment below. 

Stay tuned for the Best of 2012 Blog Hop from over 30 Bloggers from the Kids Blogger Network January 1! Come share your favorite blog post of 2012!  

New Years Activities & Printables for Kids

Here's a FREE New Years Interview for 2013 for all our readers of The Educators' Spin On It. 

We hope that you will join us in 2013 as we share more ideas for your child.  It's fun to capture your child's memories each year and create a keepsake of their childhood.  You might be surprised at some of their answers.  We'd love for you to share a photo of your child's completed New Years Interview with Kids on facebook or google + or in our After School Enrichment Community on Google+. 

What do you think their Goal will be in 2013?  
  • Printable New Year's Interview with Kids
  • New Year's Keepsake with Wordle


Create a printable New Year's keepsake by having your child write their answers into  We like using the program for Spelling word practice at our house and for just plain fun.  The image above is a simple version of New Years Resolutions we made using the words simplify, enjoy, grow and organize which are my goals this year!  
  • New Years Collage

Use this Printable to create a New Years Collage  Here's a fun craft to do with your child.  Check out the image below for ideas of how to create a fun New Years Activities with Kids from last year.  HERE's 2014 UPDATED VERSION

While you're here we invite you to check out our Top 12 Posts of 2012. 

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook & Pinterest for ideas in 2013!

Happy Holidays from The Educators' Spin On It

 Happy Holidays from all of us at The Educators' Spin On It!

In an effort to stay true to why we started The Educators’ Spin On It (to learn and play with OUR kids and inspire others) we will be taking a 2 week break over the holidays. We will be posting the top 12 posts of 2012 after Christmas but there won't be any new posts from December 22th - January 1st.  We hope you will stay awhile and browse all the fun and inspiring posts we have written previously!  Here are just a few from this month to get your brains spinning with ways to parent with purpose this holiday season.

As we start to plan for blogging in the new year, if there is any topic you are interested in hearing our spin on or an age group you would like to see more of, we would love to hear from you.  Feel free to comment on this post or e-mail us at the educatorsspinonit at  We value your thoughts and opinions!!!

Happy Holidays
Amanda and Kim

Gingerbread Man Gift Wrap: Jan Brett Virtual Book Club for Kids

Looking for a last minute idea for gifts? We're sharing our love of the Gingerbread Baby with others this holiday season. Reaching out to our neighbors, teachers, friends and coworkers with a little Gingerbread Love.  You can join us too! 

Gingerbread Man Gift Wrap
Grab a piece of brown paper, some leftover scrapbook paper or buttons, and a yummy chocolate bar and let's go! 


First cut the brown paper and wrap your chocolate bar. The best part is that this can work on boxes and books too! Then it's time to cut out a circle for the head and 4 long oval shapes for the arms and legs.

We used a lid to create our circle on colorful scrapbook paper.  Then my daughter drew on the button holes.  You could also use real buttons for an added touch.  She also added the frosting to the arms ands legs but just cutting the paper in wavy lines. 

Now our Gingerbread Man is complete and ready to be giving to someone special in our lives.  I'm very lucky to work with a very creative coblogger that I always get to "Spin" my ideas off of.  This Gingerbread Gift Wrap was inspired by Amanda's Bear and Snowman Gift Wrap.  If you are looking for more Gingerbread Man Activities we invite you to check out our 50+ Gingerbread Activities for Kids! 

The Gingerbread Gift Wrap is our contribution to the Virtual Book Club for Kids.  This month we are featuring Jan BrettWe enjoying reading Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Friends to get us in the Gingerbread spirit.  I'd love to own the Jan Brett's Snowy Treasury which is a collection of several of her top selling stories. 

Printable Gingerbread Baby Activities
Jan Brett's YouTube Channel provides numerous videos.  Here's are some she's shared about the Gingerbread Baby.  My daughter and I both love learning how to draw characters from the illustrator and getting to know them through videos!  I think it's great inspiration for children!    

Are you ready to share your discoveries & creativeness with Jan Brett? 
Come join our Virtual Book Club for Kids featuring Jan Brett! 

Jan Brett Virtual Book Club Blog Hop
There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them:
  1. Link up ONLY posts inspired by Jan Brett that share children’s book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club button to your post if you’d like.

Here are several of the bloggers are participating in this year's Virtual Book Club for Kids:

(This post contains affiliate links)

Make Your Own Life Size Gingerbread House for Kids

Let's make a Gingerbread House!  

We can make one with Candy and Graham Crackers with Friends!

Or maybe two with wood at Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop!
Or three when we add our Foam Gingerbread House that get's built every year
Confession....Our four and five are houses planned for this week while we have some extra time at home.  Thank you JoAnn's and Target for always having fun things for my kids. 
Ok so we've made a Gingerbread Village! Did I mentioned we love Gingerbread Houses at our house!  I don't think my daughter can get enough of them.  Which brings me to her list to Santa. 

We were so lucky this week to spend time with friends making Gingerbread houses, a custom that we have shared together for many years. Have you ever wondered as you're making a Gingerbread House what it would be like to live in one?  Check out that smile, I have a feeling she's thinking about it. 
When my daughter got home and she wrote down her Christmas list to Santa one of her requests was to be able to create a Gingerbread house whenever she wanted to.  How would you respond to that?  I had to think a bit and I came up with this adorable idea.  

Here's how to make your very own Life Sized Gingerbread House!   

We are all about reusing things to make something new at The Educators' Spin On It. This holiday season we decided to tranform our outdoor play area into a Life Size Gingerbread House.  We simply grabbed a few pieces of colorful scrapbook paper and started to create!  We made candy circles, which my daughter calls gumdrops.  You could also used leftover wrapping papper.  We made curvy lines for the frosting details.  We even cut a few straight lines to create icing windows.   
Then we took the pieces and laminted them with clear contact paper so that they would last during many days of playtime.  Now it was time for the fun to begin!  Both of my daughters had so much fun hanging up the pretend candy and frosting all over their House.  
Then they played like they were real Gingerbread Cookies. Run Run as fast as you can !    Of course she's already asking for Gingerbread Costumes. 

Amanda..... do you have any ideas?  
This Gingerbread House post was inspired by Jan Brett's Gingerbread Baby for the December Virtual Book Club for Kids.  Come join us with your own ideas with her books!  You can find a printable of the Gingerbaby's house here

If you're looking for more Gingerbread Activities,
check out our page with over 50 amazing activities from top children's websites! 

50+ Gingerbread Activities for Kids

50+ Gingerbread Man Activities for Kids from the Educators' Spin On It

Here's where the Gingerbread fun begins!  We were inspired by Jan Brett's Virtual Books Club for Kids to find more Gingerbread Activities.  We have searched many of our favorite Children's Websites for Gingerbread Activities and want to share the best with you!  So...... here is our BIG LIST of GINGERBREAD IDEAS.  

This list includes Ideas for Gingerbread Man, Gingerbread Houses, and Recipes.  We even included Gingerbread Learning with activities for reading, writing, math, science and the performing arts!  Gingerbread fun for everyone! 

Gingerbread Man Crafts and Activities

Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Recipes

Shhhhhh... Don't tell them that we're learning with Gingerbread Man too!

Gingerbread Reading

Gingerbread Writing

Gingerbread Math

Gingerbread Science

Gingerbread Performing Arts

Gingerbread Man Units & Lapbooks

Gingerbread Pinterest Boards

We invite you to check out the
Virtual Book Club for Kids featuring Jan Brett for more ideas!  

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