Monday, May 5, 2014

DIY Gifts for Teachers: Painted Flower Pots & Flowers

Dear Em,
Friday was your last day of school. While many of preschoolers at your school enjoy school year round, you get to enjoy a summer vacation full of family, friends, travel, & adventures. We're starting our summer a little early this year, & took you out of school much earlier this year than years past.

A few weeks ago, I started to feel a little weepy about it. You've had such a terrific school year, & I wasn't quite ready for it to end & for the worries of what we might expect for next year to set in. Sure, this year had its challenges, but we had the support of your teachers through it all. We've seen you truly love to go to school. There may have been a couple Saturdays where you were bummed about having to stay home, & you may have scolded Daddy & I for picking you up from school "too early" on occasion.

Daddy & I have both been so thrilled to see you learning & developing & having fun. I love listening to you talk about your day. We love the stories you tell us about the kids you go to school with, and we're constantly surprised by some of the new things you've learned. We've been able to watch you develop such sweet friendships. Playing with your little friends is always one of your Three Favorite Things of each day.

While there had been quite a bit of transition in your classroom, your teachers have been amazing. They've made such a difference in your life. They've made a difference in all our lives. Daddy & I were able to go to work each day knowing that our little love was getting the best care. To have provided you the love & support they did & to instill a confidence & love of learning is not a small thing. It's been a great year, & we wanted to show your teachers how very much we've appreciated all their hard work & that their efforts didn't go unnoticed.

I asked you if you wanted to give them flowers as a gift on your last day. You excitedly agreed, but you told me that you wanted to incorporate your teachers' favorite colors in their gifts. For Miss K, that was orange. For Miss L, that was blue.

We went to Home Depot a month before your last day of school & picked out flower pots, a white one for Miss L & an orange one for Miss K. Over the next week we decorated them. It's so amazing to me how much you've changed since we first started to make this project for your teachers two years ago. This time you picked the colors & the stencils. I just set up all the materials & held the stencils while you painted. You did the rest.

The last thing I asked you to do was to write your name on your painted hand print. Then I painted each letter in pink paint (your favorite). Now your teachers will forever have your sweet four year old handwriting & hand print. You & I both loved the results. There may have been some "Ooooooos" & "Awwwwwws."

We returned to Home Depot to pick out flowers. I had found blue hydrangeas a few days before, & picked them up for Miss L. I love hydrangeas, & they were the perfect color. I let you pick out Miss K's flowers. You walked around the store multiple times before finding the perfect orange flowers.

We came home & I planted the flowers in the pots while you wrote letters to your teachers. You told me what you wanted to say, & I wrote it out in yellow marker. Then you traced over the yellow letters in rainbow colors, carefully thinking about what colors your teachers like instead of just including your favorite colors (your very sweet about people's favorite colors). Then you drew pictures & signed your name all by yourself.

I don't think we could ever fully show Miss K & Miss L how much we appreciate the incredible impact they've made on our family this past year, but I hope they enjoy their flowers. Each year when they look at your painted pot, they can think of a bouncy little girl who had an amazing year of school.

I love you so,

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