Monday Made It with Holly from Research and Play

Hey everyone, happy summer! I'm Holly Hodges from Research and Play. I'm joining Tara this summer with her Monday Made It series, and I'm excited to show you what I made!

This is me with my sweet nephew!
I am so loving this first week off from school. Although I absolutely loved my class this past year (seriously, the sweetest class I've ever taught), I feel no shame in how much I love being done for a few weeks. I can finally accomplish that personal life to-do list that seems to always get pushed aside during the school year. And even though today included buying new tires and getting those installed (woo, #adulting), it also included some fun crafting and making!


I'm sure many of you have made your own homemade playdoh before. Being a kindergarten teacher, playdoh is part of our everyday routine. We literally use it all 180 days as part of our Play Centers (click to read more about that). So as you can imagine, we go through a lot of playdoh. It isn't super expensive, but I knew it was about time to learn how to make it myself to be even cheaper smarter with my money. And all in all, I probably spent about $4 since I had most of the ingredients already at home!

I followed THIS RECIPE I found on Pinterest. Like the pin says, it takes about 10 minutes. I made three batches and added essential oils, so it took me about 20 minutes. But if $4 and 20 minutes is all it takes for, supposedly, a batch of playdoh that lasts a year (!!!!) then why not try it out?

Here are the ingredients you need: AP flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil, water, food coloring, and wax paper. I added essential oils and vanilla extract, but you don't have to!

First, add the flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil, and water to a pot. Turn it to medium-low and begin stirring. It will be pretty lumpy, but that's ok.

Once the mixture starts to become less liquid-y (yes that's not a real word), add your food coloring. About 7-8 drops should be plenty, but you'll be able to see if you want to add more.

When the playdoh starts sticking to the spoon, it's time to take it out. It takes about 2 minutes total in the pot!

Put the playdoh on some wax paper. This is when I added essential oils/extract, but you can skip this step.

Let cool for just a minute, then start kneading until all the lumps are out and you're left with a smooth ball of playdoh!

Voila! Not only were they super fast to make but they smell SO GOOD. Each color is about twice the size of a regular tub of playdoh - yet another win!

This next one made me feel like the smartest person ever. So I'm not a seamstress, I can't sew at all. I also have an obsession with throw pillows, both at home and in my classroom. The dilemma is that throw pillows are way too expensive. Just a few days ago I was at HomeGoods and noticed most throw pillows were priced from $20-30. With the amount of pillows that I have, there's just no way I could afford to keep up my addiction. So, what's a non-sewing person to do? This GENIUS HACK. It cost $10 for the sham that was on clearance at Target (I got a sham instead of a regular pillow case for sheets because the material is thicker, much better for high-use areas like couches). I already had the feather pillow insert from IKEA, but I think those are around $7. Now I will say, the one thing I can do (as I'm sure most people could) is sew on a button. So since I have a little mini sewing kit at home with thread and buttons, I already had most of the things I needed. I'll never buy a pillow from HomeGoods again! (Well that's asking a lot...)

What you'll need: A pillow insert, clearance pillow case or sham, a needle, thread, and two buttons (not pictured).

First, put the pillow into the sham and push it all the way to one end. You'll have a floppy end.
Fold over the floppy end to the back. You'll be sewing two buttons underneath this flap.

Sew on a button, then cut a small slit in the back of the sham for the button to go into! Medium/large buttons are best for this.

There you have it! A super cute pillowcase for MUCH cheaper than the stores. 

Last step, marvel at your work and enjoy.


For my last "craft," I used Powerpoint. As in, I've been crafting away on a brand new resource for your classroom! If you're wanting something new and fresh and clean for your class decor, I've got what you need. Watercolor foliage in aqua, seafoam, teal, blue, green...what's not to love? Included in this growing resource are schedule cards, alphabet word wall cards, number wall cards, and class jobs.

But just for you, a freebie! Here is a classroom voice levels chart that matches the watercolor foliage theme. You can introduce this chart early in the school year and explain when to use each level. Ten, display this chart somewhere where students can see it throughout the day. Use a magnet or sticky note to place next to the level that the students should be using at the moment. Easy peasy! Click on the picture below to grab yours!


Thank you so much for reading along! Hopefully you can use some of these crafts in your classroom or home! Have a wonderful summer!


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Monday Made It Kickoff Summer 2017

Hello everyone!!! 

I wasn't sure I was going to get this going this year but had several sweet messages and questions asking me and now here we are!  And I'm glad because it will help me to pace myself and not waste my summer, YET take some MUCH needed time for me too!
If you are new to Monday Made It, WELCOME!  If you are a #mondaymadeit tribe member, welcome back!!  Either way, I am excited to share and also be inspired this summer.
For both newbies and "oldies" here are the "rules":
- You can link up any time during the week, it doesn't have to just be on Monday.
- Please DO NOT link directly to your TPT store.  If you have a product you want to show, then link to your blog post about it, explain it, and link to your store from there.  This rule I am strict about and will delete your link up if it goes directly to your store.
- Sweet comments on others link ups aren't mandatory, but always nice;)
- You can link up "home" made its and school made its, or both.
That's about it y'all.  This linky is for fun and inspiration!

So I will be honest....it has taken me a while to get out of my post school coma....so much happens that last week, it.is.draining.  So, some of my home made its were done a while ago and I'm just sharing now:)
Ok, so if you follow my teacher account on instagram, you will know that I have made the decision to redo my classroom!!!!  Yikes....sometimes I think....what was I thinking!  But, most of the time I am so excited.  It will be a fresh new look and I can't wait to see how it turns out.  So, needless to say, there will be a ton of pics of the items I am preparing for the makeover!

I have decided to go with a watercolor, tropical theme this year.  I love watercolors anyway, I use them all the time in my journal and bible journaling so it seemed like a perfect fit for me!  When I saw Samantha Henry's Tropical Decor Classroom set, I fell in love and knew I had to do it.  AND, it's editable which has been wonderful for me to make additional items that are specific to my classroom.
So I have been crazy busy buying and making #allthingstropical.
Can we talk about these popsicle lights?!?!?!
So first up I printed up the student understanding rubric.
I love how it turned out.  I'm going to use burlap ribbon to hang it:)
Next up is the alphabet.  Samantha has 2 options, round or rectangular, and of course I couldn't make up my mind SOOOO I am alternating shapes and can't wait to see how it will look.  I just love the colors in this set.
My final school made it is my math workshop.  That's where her editable set made me so super happy:)


I love the colors and can't wait to see things come together once I'm back in my classroom.
I love to find inspiration on instagram and pinterest to help me spice up my house.  I have forever wanted a gallery wall in my house but have been scared to do it.  Why?  I have no clue.  Well, it finally happened and I love it!

The top is the before a few pics of the after.  I actually have added a few more pieces that I will get some pics of.  I love it.  Hubs had to help a lot with this....he has a lot of patience;)
I can't show you much of my next home made it....just know that it's a hot mess.  We are making over my office.  I have recently become an empty nester so I'm changing one of the bedrooms into an office and creative space for me:)
See....hot mess!
Below is a hint of what's to come (although lighting is terrible and you can't tell what colors those are.) The walls were a beige....now they are a light gray called Sparrow, the color on the right is the new color.
So I will be updating you on the progress.  Just know that floating shelves, pipes, jute, chalkboard paint, and ruffles are all included!!!  Eek!  I'm so excited!

Now it's your turn!  Can't wait to see what everyone has been up to!  Tell your bloggy friends to join in on the fun.  If you post on IG, be sure to use the hashtag #mondaymadeit and tag me so I can check it out:)




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Math Review Fun


I can't believe this school year is about over.  I am doing my best to keep my head above water with all the testing, state testing, paperwork, more testing for the district, and end of the year junk.  With all that going on, it's easy to get caught up in it and get a little.....ok, a lot stressed.  I know my kiddos feel the effects of all this testing, sooooooo, I have been trying to squeeze in fun whenever possible. 

Anytime you can bring out the Playdoh is FUN time!  I had my kiddos review their math vocabulary making examples with playdoh.  They picked their own words.  
They did 4, raised their hands and had me check them and then flipped their paper over and did 4 more.  They loved this activity and I was impressed with how detailed and complex some of them got:)


Another fun review is an awesome activity from my friend Meg at The Teacher Studio.  Her blog is a math jackpot!!!  You have to check it out!  Area and perimeter.  I teach a little chant, we practice with hand movements, they can do it in their sleep, and YET, some of them still flip it!   This activity was the perfect review before our tests.
This activity is one she shared on All Things Upper Elementary.  
I gave the kids their rectangle guide lines and some graph paper to draw out each one.  
Once they had their 3 rectangles and I checked to make sure they followed the guidelines, they were off to make them. 
I cut strips of Astrobrights for them to use:)
Another review we do, more because the kids LOVE it... our symmetry bugs.
These are a hit every year and I just love how unique they all are.  You can find step by step directions HERE in a older blog post.

Hope you found something you can use.  I would love to hear about any other math/art related ideas.  If you have some, leave me a comment:)


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