Teacher Gifts: Homemade Stepping Stones

It's the end of the school year! I can't believe Red just completed her first year of preschool. It really feels like just yesterday we were dropping her off on her first day.

When I was a young 'un, I really don't remember the moms all going crazy with end-of-the-year gifts for teachers. I'm pretty sure some room mom always collected 5 bucks from each parent and bought a gift certificate "from the class." But these days, we've got Facebook and Pinterest and annoying bloggers who share their crafty stuff, forcing us to one-up each other on teacher gifts . . .

Which leads me to: Stepping Stone Teacher Gifts!

So here's the deal. Last summer I had all these supercute food containers from my son's Gerber Pasta Pick-ups. Every time he ate one, I couldn't bear to chuck the sturdy, octagonal-shaped dish in the recycling bin. I knew I looked crazy saving so many of these, but I just had a feeling they would come in handy.

Sure enough, the idea hit me when I was in the craft store one day — these would be perfect molds for cutie little stepping stones. So I picked up a box of stepping stone mix. I think it was around $10, and I used a 40% off coupon.

I mixed it up, poured it into all the containers and was pleasantly surprised to see how many stepping stones I would get out of this project — 14!

Then I just laid them out assembly line-style, sprinkled a bunch of dollar-store glass gems across the table and let Red go to town!

She was very involved with this project. She just quietly walked back and forth, adding gems as she saw fit. Then she would casually announce when one was completed and keep working on the others. My only input was pressing down any gems I felt needed to be smushed in a little deeper to ensure they'd securely stay put.

I let the molds dry for about 24 hours, then popped the stepping stones out. The food trays are very sturdy and definitely reusable, so we will be doing this project again this summer for sure!

I packaged up three stones for each teacher with this little note that read: "Thank you for being one of the first stepping stones in my education!"

Aww . . . I know, barf. A little too sweet maybe, but hey, it's true and heart-felt. It's no Starbucks gift card, but I do love the idea that it's made by Red and it really will be a useful addition to their gardens.

Jeanne McCullough is a Montgomery County, PA mom. This post was adapted from her blog Mom Hearts Pinot.

Categories: MomSpeak