This page will continue to grow and it is in chronological order. Feel free to come back and see what’s new!
Trimming the Tree:
My husband and I purchased a new tree for the classroom. It is so pretty, but it definitely needed some love.
Choosing decorations can be difficult, but not this time. I found a great post on the FIAR Official Facebook page.
Lesley Marshburn Rackley decorated her tree with ornaments she made with her kids. If that wasn’t cute enough, each ornament represented a book they rowed together.
She added some Before Five in a Row (BFIAR) and some Five in a Row (FIAR) ornaments. When I saw her post, I felt so inspired. This is how I wanted to decorate our classroom tree.
My Ornament Journey:
I was so excited to start making ornaments for our classroom tree. Typically, I don’t have much free time, but this week we were on Thanksgiving break. I was ready to pick our first ornament.
Picking the first ornament wasn’t too hard. My youngest child, Parker, LOVES teddy bears, so I chose to make a bear from our very first BFIAR book, Jesse Bear.
The kids were so young when we started our learning journey. The toddler and preschool years weren’t always easy, but most of those early childhood memories are the ones I cherish most.
Check out our Jesse Bear post to see everything we did while rowing this whimsical story.
My aunt Sally could cut out little felt shapes and transform them into adorable creatures. I loved her crafting projects. My love for crafts is definitely from her, but I’m not as skilled as she was. It took several attempts before I had a basic teddy bear shape, little his red shirt, and tiny blue shorts.
For our second ornament, I chose another BFIAR story, Yellow Ball.
We rowed Yellow Ball the last year of Parker’s preschool. We had so much fun together! You can check out our Yellow Ball post to see everything we did.
I made a simple yellow felt ball. It looks like it got the wind knocked out of it. It has that “tossed about by the wind and waves” look.
The Great Spruce:
My childhood Christmas stocking had little felt cut-outs. One of my favorites was the little Christmas tree adorned with shiny sequin ornaments.
I really wanted to make a felt Christmas tree like that for The Great Spruce. This was the first FIAR ornament I made.
We had a fun time rowing The Great Spruce last year, because it was centered in New York and very Christmasy! You can check out our The Great Spruce post to see all the things we did while rowing it.
This was such a fun ornament to make. I love how the sequins sparkle, especially hanging near the twinkle lights.
Corduroy is such a sweet story. This is one of Parker’s favorite books. We absolutely loved rowing this BFIAR book. We had studied it years before when Haley and Jordan were in preschool.
I just made a Jesse Bear ornament, so I didn’t want to make another teddy bear. I had an old green t-shirt, so I decided to make Corduroy’s overalls with a missing button.
This was a magical row. From making a mixed media Corduroy art project, to having a teddy bear tea party, I needed two collage pictures to show all the fun we had rowing this book.
The kids ran up the stairs like Lisa, sorted buttons like the one Corduroy lost, and exploring bears during math and science. Check out our Corduroy post to see all the fun we had with this beloved book.
This was a tricky little ornament to make, because the overalls were small and the material was hard to sew together. Though it took a little longer, I was happy with the end result.
We just finished rowing Fry Bread, so I decided to make this ornament next.
I thought about making the frying pan, but the multi-colored fry bread was too tempting. I chose the bowl on the front cover.
Check out our Fry Bread post to see, in detail, all the activities we did together. This was a great Thanksgiving holiday row!
This ornament was a little tricky to make, because it was top-heavy and required more stitching. Once I reinforced the top, it wasn’t so floppy. I should have made it smaller, but I love the overall look. The mixed colors of the fry bread pieces and the yellow-dots on the bowl are my favorite parts of this FIAR ornament.
I decided to make another BFIAR ornament for our tree. We needed a scotty dog to represent Angus Lost.
One of my most favorite moments rowing Angus Lost was when the little dog figure was late arriving in the mail.
I pretended Angus was lost and when he came in the mail, I placed him on the door mat and told the kids to go to the front door.
They were so excited Angus returned home. They took him inside and put him in our sensory bin!
We had so much fun rowing Angus Lost. We explored caves, pretended to be vets, made dog treats and so much more! Check out our Angus Lost post to see all the fun we had.
For Angus, I cut out a scotty dog silhouette in sparkly black felt and stitched a red collar. He’s a bit hard to see on the tree, but perhaps he could be a “find Angus on the tree” game?
I was able to squeeze in a little crafting between Thanksgiving and Christmas break. I chose Jordan’s favorite picture book of all time, Goodnight Moon.
I cannot count the times we have read Goodnight Moon, but we never tire of this sweet, calming story.
We studied this book during our preschool years and again when we rowed it on our BFIAR journey. Check out our Goodnight Moon post to see all the fun we had.
This was the most intricate ornament to make. I cut out green felt for the curtains and stitched the stripes with red thread. I cut out a felt moon and blue square night sky. I sewed sequin and bead stars. Then I cut out a plastic window and added a red adhesive foam window frame. Lastly, I hot-glued everything together.
The Snowy Day:
Now that I’m on Christmas break, I have free time before I begin our annual Christmas baking.
I thought I would make a Peter ornament from The Snowy Day.
This was another fun BFIAR book we rowed. Jordan’s cover art for this row was spectacular! Of all the covers he’s made, this is still my favorite. You can check out our The Snowy Day post to see our row in detail.
This ornament was just Peter in his snowsuit and a “snowball”, mini pom-pom, stitched to his hand.
Ask Mr. Bear:
I wanted to do an ornament for Ask Mr. Bear, another BFIAR book. I thought a present for mother would be appropriate.
We read about about farm animals, learned how to wrap presents, had a birthday party, and always￼￼ ended our reading with a special hug, just like the story.
Check out our Ask Mr. Bear post to see all the fun things we did while rowing this sweet book.
This was another pretty and sparkly ornament that I loved sewing. I would have to say that the “hug” is wrapped inside for mother. ❤️
The ABC Bunny:
I was able to cram in one more BFIAR ornament before starting my Christmas baking.
I chose to to make an ABC leaf ornament for The ABC Bunny. It was a bit trickier than I expected.
We studied bunnies, forests, the moon, and so much more! Check out our ABC Bunny post to see the fun we had!
First, I cut out the leaves from white and green felt then sewed the letters in red. Adding the white stitching around the red letters proved to be the hardest part. It was tricky getting the double-stitched letters sized just right. I had to undo my stitching a couple of times. Like the old saying goes, “good, better, best, never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best”.
The Carrot Seed:
I chose to make an ornament for The Carrot Seed. I chose to make a simple felt carrot.