August 23, 2012

Mommy Gives Back - Elmer's Glue Crew #BagItForward

Giving back is incredibly important to our family and this week I got the chance to do something meaningful for Kayla's school and put a smile on the face of one of the hard working teachers there in the process.

I was excited when I was offered the opportunity to challenge the creative portion of my brain and make a recycling box for the Elmer's Glue Crew to encourage the Pre-K kids at Kayla's preschool to recycle their used up glue sticks and bottles of glue.

Elmer's Glue Crew, Elmer's Glue Crew recycle box , #BagItForward, Elmer's Donation, Recycling box

I also got to shop for school supplies to donate to the school through the Bag It Forward program.  Sometimes I forget just how lucky our family is that all of our needs and many of our wants are taken care of.  This was a good reminder that there are SO many families across the country that truly can't afford the basic necessities for back to school and so many teachers that reach deep into their own pockets to make up the difference.

Bag It Forward is a movement to help solve this exact problem by working together as a community to donate quality school supplies and help send kids back to school with what they need to succeed. This is a wonderful, teachable and easy way to instill a love of giving from an early age, so I encourage you and your kids to join in and help Bag It Forward by picking up a few supplies to donate on your next shopping trip.

Short on time or resources? Elmer's has made it insanely easy to join in and help donate school supplies.  You can download their 1st Day app on your smartphone and upload a picture of your child heading off to school.  For every picture uploaded, Elmer's will donate supplies to the Kids In Need Foundation.  How neat and easy is that?

Elmer's 1st Day App, Elmer's Glue Crew, #BagItForward

Anyway, back to my Glue Crew recycling box! While perusing our game cabinet trying to find something to entertain Kayla after school I stumbled upon our Feed The Woozle game and got inspired. The kid testers had LOVED sticking things in the Woozle's mouth and I was sure that nothing would be more appealing to a group of 4 and 5 year olds than a glue eating monster!

My goal was to get the most out of every dollar I had and to embrace reducing, reusing and recycling so first I figured out what we had at home that I could up-cycle and put that money towards the actual supplies and not creating my box or donation bag.

#BagItForward Donation bag, Creation Elmer's Glue Crew

I found this old bucket that held some holiday trinkets last year and figured I could turn it into something cute to coordinate with my monster.  I also used some old cardboard boxes from all the packages that Mommy Testers receives each week to craft the monster.

I headed off to Walmart to shop for my supplies because everyone knows that Walmart has "I don't know how they do it" low prices.  I was able to get a bunch of quality school supplies on the cheap.  These bottles of glue were only $.50 each.  I  even saw notebooks for $.17 each-  honestly I really didn't think you could buy anything for $.17 these days....mind blown!

Elmer's School Glue at Walmart #BagItForward  Elmer's Glue Crew

I grabbed some adorable animal scissors, Elmer's School Glue, Crayola crayons and markers, reward stickers and our house favorite- disappearing purple glue sticks which go on purple so kids can see where they have put the glue and then dry clear...genius!  You can see all the photos from my shopping trip right here: Elmer's Glue Crew Shopping Trip

Quality School Supplies from Walmart to donate through #BagItForward Elmer's Glue Crew

After Kayla went to bed I started crafting my glue eating monster and the donation bucket.  We usually do a ton of craft projects together but this time I wanted a chance to do one on my own as some well needed alone time.  I'm not going to lie, this was almost therapeutic.  I wasn't at my computer, I wasn't trying to figure out what to feed my crazy little family for dinner and I wasn't chasing a mermaid/pirate/dragon costume clad child around...life was good!

I made the face of the monster and the body of the box from some cardboard boxes I had put in the garage to get recycled.  I also used some construction paper to cover the cardboard and make it colorful,  Elmer's School Glue, an X-Acto knife to cut out the monster, pipe cleaners for a little tuft of hair, a black marker and some bamboo skewers we had in the kitchen for little flag poles.

Creating the Elmer's Glue Crew recycling box #BagItForward

I also decided to make some printables for the teacher to use as coloring sheets and as a way to bring up the topic of recycling with such a young crowd.  This was the super easy part because there are a ton of pre-made printables available on the Glue Crew site to create a recycling box with right here: Glue Crew Templates

Printables from Elmer's Glue Crew #BagItForward

Kayla was VERY excited and proud to deliver our glue eating monster and our #BagItForward donation to school.  The Pre-K teacher, Ms. Pam was so grateful for our donation and impressed with the monster that she told me I should be a teacher!  I told her I'll stick to projects to help teachers because I don't think I have what it takes in the patience department to wrangle a gaggle of preschoolers (one is hard enough) but I have the utmost respect for anyone who does!

Elmer's Glue Crew, Our Elmer's Glue Crew Recycling box and our #BagItForward School Supplies donation

After school, Kayla wanted to do some "glue art" so I let her go to work with my scraps from the monster and bucket.  She told me she was making a monster just for me which melted my heart, so it goes to show that it pays to Bag It Forward!

Kayla reusing the scraps from our Elmer's Glue Crew Recycling Box #BagItForward

Want to keep up with what's happening in the world of #BagItForward?  You can see more great pictures of charitable creations and some great recyling boxes on Pinterest and you can check out Elmer's on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and and Elmer’s.  #BagItForward #CBias #SocialFabric As always, everything you see is my personal (and quite picky) opinion and I was honored to be a part of this charitable event!

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