How to print two per page in Adobe Acrobat

When I set up a new dramatic play center for my daughter in our home I tend to more often than not have a very limited amount of space available to use. We live in a tiny home for a family of four that houses two work from home adults and two very active little explorers. When I was teaching in the classroom, I was fortunate that I had tons more space available to me to set up such centers. Not all classroom teachers have this luxury; if this is you then welcome. I'm here to help you regardless of whether you are a home-based teacher, classroom teacher, or a free-range life educator (mama or other caregivers) with your small space issue when printing out one of my
dramatic play centers

First off, you will need to open your PDF file in Adobe Acrobat.

from here go to file

click on print 

Select multiple and make sure you have selected: two pages per sheet, page order: verticle, and orientation: portrait. Make sure you enter here which pages you want to print at the half size by entering their numbers in the pages to print section. 

then select print.

And that's it! Enjoy your freshly printed dramatic play set. 

How to make a play mailbox

The excitement of collecting the mail is an age-old fun tradition for children. They are yet to be bitten by the sting of adulthood that brings with it the postal expectation of bills, bills, and more bills. It's a beautiful, creative time in little explorers lives. To make this time even more magical, I've created a mailbox freebie printable to set your little explorer(s) imagination on its course to creative freedom (not that they needed much of a nudge). It's a super simple and easy printable to use. 

Supplies Needed

> printer 
> paper 
> old cardboard box 
> craft knife 
> tape 
> scissors 
>  tack/putty 

Step One: download the free mailbox printable here.

Step Two: print the mailbox printable.

Step Three: find an old cardboard box that you can reuse. Here's my cardboard box beauty which also happens to double as undeniable evidence of the love I have for Kmart (down under version of Target really).

I've intentionally reused instead of buying new because a) I've striving to consume less and b) I want you to be reassured that new isn't an essential ingredient for children to have fun (in fact they will probably destroy a new box to the point of looking resued in 0.000348 seconds anyway). But use whatever works best for you.

Step Four: trim the two pages if desired

Step Five: put tack/putty on all four edges of the two pages and then stick them onto the box on two opposite sides. Leave enough room at the bottom of the collection side to cut-out a collection flap.

Step Six: Cut-out a collection flap using your craft knife. I did a bit of a rough job, I think my craft knife is nearing retirement.

Step Seven: push in two opposites of the top flaps of the cardboard so that they are flush with the inside of the box.

Step Eight: fold down the last two flaps as usual and then tape them down.

Step Nine: stand back and soak in your latest creation.

Adaption: if you don't have a box that will easily fold the flaps down, or if you do this and the gap is too big for the post slot then you will need to sellotape all four flaps as they would usually go and then cut-out with your craft knife a post slot.

My daughter loves her mailbox. We use it along with her Post Office Dramatic Playset for imaginary play time. If you want your own copy of this set then click here to check it out on my website

How to encourage random acts of kindness in your classroom this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the most precious holidays because of its emphasis on one of the most valuable and uplifting feelings - gratitude. Doing good deeds is an essential part of being grateful. Random acts of kindness are uncalled for selfless acts performed to make other people feel good, without expecting anything in return.

There are several ways to encourage and catalyze random acts of kindness in your classroom this Thanksgiving.

7-day Gratitude Challenge

Ask your students to create a list of five things they are grateful for from the top of their heads. Then in the coming days, ask them to think about and write down one thing they are grateful for each day, the one that makes the greatest impression on them on a particular day. To make the task more engaging, you can ask them to create the list in the form of a poster. You can analyze if their lists have gotten more profound as they dedicate more time to thinking about things they're grateful for.

Ho'oponopono: "I'm Sorry, Forgive Me, Thank You, I Love You!"

Saying these four magical expressions has become more popular in recent years through the practice of Ho'oponopono. Originally, Ho'oponopono was a traditional practice of "setting things right," of resolving conflicts and "errors of thought" within individuals and families in Hawaii and Oceania. The now-popular Ho'oponopono is something of a new age spin-off of the original practice. In the modern version, it comes down to repeating these four important words "I'm Sorry, Forgive Me, Thank You, I Love You".

Without diving deep into philosophy, ask your students to stand in line. One student should turn towards the other and say these words (they don't have to be in a particular order). It is incredible how simple but profound words can open little people's hearts. Watch the mood and emotions change as this chain of kindness comes to an end.

The art of writing thank-you notes

Thank-you notes used to be common. Now, with instant messaging options, they are going extinct, but it is amazing that along with forgetting about thank-you notes we seem to be forgetting to thank each other enough altogether.

Help your students learn how to write proper thank-you notes. Besides practicing kindness, it is a good skill to have in life.

Thank You Letters for School Community

Here's the first opportunity to practice those Thank-you note skills. Talk to children about jobs and chores people in the school community do every day in order for your school lives to run smoothly. Imagine together how a janitor's day must look like. Try to really imagine yourself in their shoes. Then after a discussion, write short letters of gratitude and deliver them to people in the greater school community: the janitor, food staff, the gym teacher, or the principal.

Good-doers society

Ask students to form small groups - "secret societies" made out of two to three kids that will do random acts of kindness for other students. Whether this means leaving a candy or a flower on their desk, or cleaning their table, or leaving anonymous positive notes, the only rule is that others must not discover them. At the end of the week, groups can "confess" the things that they have done if they wish. Children will love doing the undercover tasks. This way, you're subverting the usual secret mischief stereotype and using it to do good. You will see how profound effects the secret good-doers societies will have on your students in the long run.

Looking for a low prep option this Thanksgiving? Why not check out my Thanksgiving Celebration Study? Students love this resources and learn so much about Thanksgiving from it. 

Setting Up Your Santa's Workshop Dramatic Play Center

Fancy seeing your students turn into real-life elves, helpers, and maybe even Santa? Well, sprinkle a little magic, add a cup full of dramatic play, and you'll see your very own learning environment transform into Santa's Workshop itself! Don't have faith in the magic? Carry on reading to see how you too can get the Santa's Workshop dramatic play center of your dreams. 

First off, you will need to get your hands on a copy of my Santa's Workshop Dramatic Playset. Once you have instantly downloaded your copy, you can start hunting for the props you need. I recommend looking for props such as toys, wrapping paper, Santa sacks, baskets, elf costumes, and anything else Santa or Christmas themed that might catch your eye. The beauty of Santa's Workshop is that because it fits into a festive theme, most educators will already have in their bag of tricks some Christmas resources they can use. I encourage reusing, and creatively sourcing props to use alongside my dramatic play sets because a) it's fun and b) it's cost saving. 

Once you are all set with props, print out your Santa's Workshop Dramatic Playset, laminate it for durability if you wish, and then set it up however you please. Remember to mix it up. Use the photos for inspiration, but know that there are no hard and fast rules around how you should set up your center. It's fun thinking that no two ways of setting it up will be the same and that there will be tones of different setup variations out there all across the world.

I recommend setting this up before the students arrive and not when they can see what is going on. This adds an element of magic and excitement to the center the first time they see it. You can either prepare them or surprise them with this setup. 

Once the students (or should I say elves) have had their initial look at the center all set up, you can introduce the different elements they can play with. Give them all their Job ID cards and set them to (pretend) work. Santa's got a sleigh to fill people! 

I hope you've enjoyed this blog about my Santa's Workshop resource. Please note that in all the photos the bunting, labels, ID cards, and Job cards have been printed at two per page instead of the normal one per page. For me, this was to save on the space needed as I homeschool my preschooler and don't have much space. Depending on your own learning environment size you may want to do this too or to have it at full size if your area allows such as in a traditional classroom.