I can’t believe that another school year is upon us. With my daughter going into third grade and my son now going into sixth grade, I feel like I am swinging back into school a lot easier than I used to.
I always try to do one special thing for my kids on their first day of school to remind them how much they are loved. When my daughter started Kindergarten, I made hair bows that had a heart center, reminding her that my heart was with her on her big first day. For my son, it was always lots of jokes and comics tucked away in his lunchbox to share with his friends.
This year I was inspired by a scene from “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, you really must. In this particular scene, the sweet character Aibileen gives the little girl she cares for a self-esteem boost each day saying, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” These encouraging words are what help shape this little girl and help her grow and thrive.
I wanted to create personalized pencils for my own little girl for her first day of school that would capture why she is so special to me and capture a little of that self-esteem magic that I found so endearing in the film.
I jotted down a list of words that I think of when I think of my little girl. Kind, smart, funny, sassy, and joyful are just a few examples of what I think makes her so special. I wanted to create a project around these words and thought a pencil could remind her daily of why her mom thinks she is so darn wonderful.
- 1 or 2 packages of pencils
- Metal Stamping Letter Kit (you can do uppercase or lowercase)
- Black Ink Pad
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Paper Towel
- Ribbon to tie
1. Jot down a list of words about what makes your child so special that you can use to stamp on your pencils.
2. Begin by sorting out your metal stamps into alphabetical order. I wrote a letter on the side of the stamp so it would be easy to find the stamp I needed while creating these. For me, the sorting was the most consuming part, but once you have this done it will make this project a lot faster.
3. Stamp your letter stamp into your black ink pad several times, until the letter is completely covered in the ink.
4. Then align your stamp, checking to make sure it’s about centered on one of the pencils’ flat sides, and also that it’s right-side up. You will want to give the end of your stamp a tap or two with the hammer. Keep in mind that wood is soft so you don’t want to pound it too hard, just hard enough to make that impression. Keep repeating this until you have spelled out your word.
5. Finish by dabbing your paper towel with rubbing alcohol and rubbing swiftly across the top of it to remove any excess ink that may have carried over from the stamping pad.
6. Wrap these in ribbon and give them to your child for their first day of school!
I hope this project inspires you to create a little bouquet of pencils for your child’s first day of school. Older children might enjoy assisting with this project or love stamping their own name. Not only is this a great activity for mastering spelling, but it is also a great way to use their imagination to create words of their own.
Happy first day of school, Kenmore readers!