A Meetup with a Twist: The First-Ever Kinder Craze Event

Can I just tell you how much I love Kinder Craze readers? This little ol’ blog is visited daily by the most wonderful, thoughtful, caring educators. I’ve learned over time that there are several local teachers that love Kinder Craze just as much as I do and I have had a chance to connect with many teachers on Instagram and Facebook. I had never met most of them in real life, but I had come to know a little about them. After a series of separate comments on social media, I decided it was time for us to finally connect and I organized the first-ever Kinder Craze social event for teachers.

For our very first meetup, I kept things pretty simple and organized a Saturday morning painting party at Painting with a Twist. If you’re not familiar, Painting with a Twist hosts painting parties. The participants can bring their own food and beverages (even beer or wine!) and sit down for a personalize two-hour painting class.

At first, we just sort of gathered, drank coffee and munched on a little breakfast. It was so nice to finally meet some of these amazingly sweet women!

Kinder Craze social events for teachersKinder Craze social events for teachers

You may recognize Kathy from the Teacher Appreciation surprise I arranged with Stitch Fix. She had already signed up for the event when I surprised her at her classroom and the painting party was just a few days after. It was so fun to go from being virtual friends to seeing each other twice in one week.

Detroit area teachers meet upMichigan teacher-bloggers Marsha McGuire from A Differentiated Kindergarten Maria Gavin - Kinder Craze social events for teachers

A little more conversation, and then it was time to paint. We were instructed to grab an apron and let the creativity flow.

Kinder Craze Painting Party

Our instructor, Lori, was a gem. She didn’t mind teaching to a room full of kindergarten teachers, even though we may have been the most social group of people she ever had to corral.

Kinder Craze painting party for teachers

Somehow, we were eventually able to put our conversations on “pause” and start painting! There were a few “Painting with a Twist” veterans in the group, but it was my first time. I loved how therapeutic it was to have a paintbrush in my hand. Each step was clearly described and demonstrated by Lori, so we didn’t have to worry about messing up and “ruining” our painting. It was much easier than I imagined.

Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze painting party for Detoit area teachers

Each time we painted a layer, we took a break so let the paint dry and resumed our conversations.

Ashley from One Sharp Bunch Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze events for local teachers

Then it was back to work …

Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze events for local teachers kinder craze painting party kinder craze painting party Kinder Craze events for local teachers

During the final drying state, our instructor, Lori played a game that required us to stay seated. Like any good teacher, I think she figured out that the best way to manage us was to keep us from moving around the classroom. Clearly, we didn’t mind. Lori was a great entertainer.

Kinder Craze events for local teachers

We played Pictionary and Amanda won a prize. It’s funny because I was the organizer of the party and even I had no idea there would be prizes. The games and the prizes were a really sweet touch.

Fun fact about Amanda: her mom was my seventh grade teacher! The longer I blog, the more I am convinced that the internet makes this giant world seem really, really small.

Kinder Craze events for local teachers

While all of us were hanging on the instructor’s every word and praying that we didn’t mess up our paintings, Kelly followed her own spark of creativity and made an original painting. I have no idea how she did that, but isn’t it beautiful?

Kinder Craze events for local teachers

When it was time for all of us to add lettering onto our paintings, you could have heard a pin drop. Every single person admitted to being nervous about making the lettering look nice, which was funny because we voted on the painting ahead of time and this particular design was the winner by a landslide 🙂  We were all pleasantly surprised to learn that the lettering wasn’t too difficult if you knew a few tricks of the trade.

Like writing the letters with chalk before adding paint. Seriously, genius idea.

Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze events for local teachers Kinder Craze events for local teachers

You may have spotted a few familiar faces in the crowd. I was overjoyed to see that several of my “local” teacher-blogger friends made the trip to join us.

Kinder Craze events for local teachers

From left to right: Marsha, Ashley, Kristen, me, and Kelly

At last, our masterpieces were complete!

Kinder Craze events for local teachers

The timing was purely coincidental, but our little painting party just happened to be on the same day that Teachers Pay Teachers was celebrating their 10th Anniversary. So, naturally, we had to bring a little of the celebration into Southeast Michigan.

Kinder Craze events for local teachers

This little painting party truly was a fantastic experience. It was great to unwind, relax and have a little fun with some local teachers. I couldn’t have had a better time and I’m so thankful for the new teacher friends I made that day.

 

Join Us for the Next Kinder Craze Event

I’m already working out a few details for the next Kinder Craze event. I’m not quite ready to share all of the details yet, but I can assure you that it is going to be a one-of-a-kind opportunity!

If you teach in the Detroit area (or if you live a little further away but you love a good road trip), you can find details about upcoming events here on the blog or sign up for the email list to get the latest information as soon as it becomes available.

kinder craze teacher events

Special thanks to my friend Brian from BTW Photography
for capturing such great photos from our day.

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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4 Responses

  1. Hello there! I am so glad I have found Kinder Craze.. 🙂 I am a kindergarten teacher too. I was so amazed when I first time viewed your classroom through google search of kindergarten classrooms. I was like… Oh my! ..my ever dream kindergarten classroom! I am so loving the fresh & lively colors, the decors.., the set up.., everything.. so perfectly organized, indeed. I know it would be so impossible for me to have a classroom like yours, but I would never stop being INSPIRED by your passion in art & style. Thank You for sharing your BRILLIANT MIND, may Our Almighty God Bless You more.. <3

  2. Thanks again, Maria, for organizing this. It was so much fun meeting new teachers and rubbing elbows with “celebrities” 🙂 Looking forward to the next get together!

  3. Wow! I wish I lived near by. Its so much fun to get together with other k teachers. I always feel like we’re our own kind of crazy. 🙂 come visit me at kobbskinders.blogspot.com. I’m just getting started but hope to be as helpful as you are in the future!

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)

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