This week’s Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series challenged us to repurpose old puzzle pieces. I think we can all admit as parents that there is no shortage of random, useless pieces in our homes once we let the kids crack into a new puzzle. I decided to do a little something different this week and instead of centering my project around activities for the twins, I decided to hold a mother daughter night and make a project that served as an extension of the Emily Speaks series. Over a scary movie, a pile of style magazines, some Mod Podge and an Exacto knife, we made puzzle piece affirmation magnets.
I’ve always been a big fan of Mod Podge. I pretty much used it to decorate my entire college bedroom, with collages and furniture statement pieces that all had a touch of the crazy that was my thought process in those formative years. I was excited to share it with Emily, and hope maybe she’ll find a similar manner of self-expression through art with this awesome little super wonder of sticky.
After digging through the magazines and finding words that would fit on the puzzle pieces, we got to work. I’ll admit, finding the right words and cutting them in a way that would work on the puzzle piece was a bit of a challenge and it took some getting used to and more than a few of hopeful phrases that ended up in the trash bin due to poor cutting on our parts. But once we figured it out, we had a pile of great phrases to work from.
We painted each puzzle piece and the word affirmation with Mod Podge and set them to dry. We planned on waiting overnight, but Emily brilliantly suggested we speed up the process with her blowdryer. This did the trick, although I admit they came out a bit more wrinkly than I would have liked and hopefully with time, as with normal drying periods with Mod Podge, the wrinkles will stretch and dry some more and disappear.
We used the Exacto knife to cut off the excess from the magazine clippings and stuck an adhesive magnet on the back and voila! Puzzle piece affirmation magnets. Now Emily and I can put them on the fridge, she can pop them in her locker at school or we can put them up in other places as constant reminders of our awesome.
Check out what the other ladies did with their extra puzzle pieces and if you happen to have repurposed some of your own in kid-friendly fun ways, be sure to link them up below!
Back to School Blues: Emily Speaks
I know that some of you may be scared of going back to school, maybe because you don’t want to be bullied again, or you’re scared that you won’t make any new friends. Or maybe you’re just nervous you might not do that well in school this year. Well let me tell you this…I’m nervous to go back to school myself !
All that you need to do is believe in yourself. Believe that you will be successful. Believe that you will make a ton of new friends. Believe that you will have the best year that you can have!
Some of you might get excited when summer comes along every year because it gives you a break from all your teachers, tests and most of all some distance from the people around you. Summer gives you a break from all of the teasing, the people laughing at you, and the people that try to bring you down the minute you step on that bus until the minute you step off every day. Summer also brings feelings of relief, because you know that you won’t have a test or a quiz the next day and you can relax and not stress so much.
I know all of this, because these are all of the things that I’m fearing of right now. I’m scared to go back to school every day, because I know there will be some tough moments for me. I’m not afraid to say that I don’t do very well in school. Part of it is because I’m not understanding what we are learning, or I get distracted really easily in class. Or sometimes I’m just not having the best day and it’s hard to focus. Even though I’m scared to be going back to school this year, I’m going to try and make the most of it, not only because it’s my last year in middle school, but because I want to know that I did my best, and did everything that I could to be the best that I can be.
Don’t let school make you someone that you’re not and don’t let bullies make you someone that you’re not. Be you and be happy with who you are and what you’ve got, because trust me it’s better that way. Be brave!
I hope everyone has a good year! Love and make it the best that you can! Love, Emily
True Friendship and Letting Go: Emily Speaks
Knowing what true friendship looks like is very important. People can be very cruel and you may think you know someone, but they can turn out to be a whole different person from who you thought they were. Your friends, best friends, sometimes even your family.
I had a friend who I thought was amazing, so nice. I thought she was the best friend I could ever have. We did everything together; we basically lived in each other’s houses. We had our ups and downs, but we always made up the next day. She was always there for me and we could tell each other anything. Well that’s what I thought…
Then one day it all changed…She started teasing me more and more, she acted differently towards me when we were with our other friends. She would tell me lies about other people, (for ex. She would say something about me to someone and then come back to me and say that they said it about me) or she would say something about someone to me and then tell them that I said it. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was basically bullying me throughout what I thought was a strong friendship.
‘Til this day, I have ended all contact and any relationship I once had with her. She still tries sometimes to say that she misses me and she still tries to talk to me, but I don’t fall for it anymore. She’s not the type of person I need in my life or the type of friend that I want or deserve.
You shouldn’t have anyone in your life that’s going to bring you down or bully you. If you have a friend like that, maybe you should think about this: You’re basically wasting your time staying with that person, when you are being a true friend to them but they aren’t being true to you. It’s just not worth it. It’s not worth being put down all the time. It’s better to have one true friend than a million fake ones. My life has gotten so much better since letting go of that one person. This also goes for adults too, not just kids.
It can make a major difference when you let go of someone that is not nice to you at all. If you don’t believe me, try it. See what happens.
These are 5 examples of a bad friendship:
1. When they are mean to you around other people.
2. When they lie to you.
3. When they tease you.
4. If you feel bullied by them.
5. If they make you feel used.
These are 5 examples of a good friendship:
1. You can trust them.
2. They are loyal.
3. They are honest.
4. You can laugh with them.
5. You feel like they care about you.
11 Alternatives to Self Harm: Emily Speaks
If you’re just connecting with the Emily Speaks series, be sure to check out her first post, Cyber Bullying and Self-Harm, to catch up. Today, Emily will be sharing 11 alternatives to self harm to help those hurting to make healthier choices to cope with emotional struggles.
I know it can be hard not to self-harm if you’re being bullied, but you need to try to think of other ways to deal with the pain. Cutting leaves angry scars on your body. You should try to deal with your hurt in other ways. Here are 11 good examples that will hopefully help you out a little bit.
1. Try talking to somebody about what’s going on so that you can get it out of your system.
2. Go outside where nobody is around and just scream as loud as you can for as long as you want.
3. Take a rubber band and keep it on your wrist so whenever you feel like cutting you can just take that rubber band and snap it on your wrist (softly – not to where it harms you).
4. Get an old teddy bear or stuffed animal that you don’t want and take your anger out on that.
5. Go on a jog or go out and ride your bike or long board or whatever you have and just ride around to calm yourself down.
6. Go hang out with your friend(s) and get your mind off things that would make you want to cut or do anything else to harm yourself.
7. Sleep it out and take a long nap and see how you’re feeling when you wake up.
8. Go hang out with your family and just relax.
9. Listen to some music.
10. Read a book.
11. Get an art journal and draw out your feelings. You can paint, draw pictures, even just scribble hard.
These are some of the ways that I stop myself from cutting, because I do still think about it when things get rough. When that happens, I try to do these instead and it helps. It does! You need to do anything that would take your mind off of any bad thoughts you are having and make you want to hurt yourself. This might not be the best list of ideas, but if you take a chance and try them out, they might end up working for you. You’re not only helping yourself, but you’re helping everyone else around you by making a better choice to not self-harm.