Elementary School Mini-Society Project Ideas

If you have a 4th grader, you’re child is probably working on their final project for the year…their Mini-Society project. In my sons class, they have the option of working alone or partnering up. They then need to “buy” their space for their store and start brainstorming about what they wanted to make and sell. Each person is required to make 100 items for their store. If they are partnered up, they are required to make 175-200 items. Below I have outlined my son and his partners idea for their “Mini-Society” project.

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Elementary School Mini-Society Project


  • Level Up Game, using stress balls

Supplies Needed

  • Balloons
  • Flour
  • Funnels
  • Spoons for each person
  • Containers to put flour in

Instructions for Making the Stress Balls

  1. Open the flour and pour it into the individual containers.
  2. Take a balloon and place it over the end of the funnel.
  3. Using a spoon, scoop a little bit of flour into the funnel and tap the side of the funnel so the flour will go into the balloon. Remember, less is more. My son put WAY too much flour into the funnel and it took him a long time to fill the balloon.
  4. Once the balloon is full (make sure you don’t have flour in the tube part of the balloon…it will spray out into your face…trust me!), tie a knot and move on to the next one!

Pro tip…Pick up these CHEAP plastic funnels. It will make it much easier getting the flour in the balloon! 

Nopro Plastic Funnel, Set of 3Nopro Plastic Funnel, Set of 3

Directions for Playing “Level-Up”

**In order to play, each player will need at least one stress ball each and two coins**

  1. Each stress ball starts out with 100 points.
  2. Decide how many stress balls you and your opponent will battle with. You will need to have the same amount.
  3. Figure out who is player 1 and who is player 2 by flipping a coin.
  4. Choose an active stress ball and take turns.
  5. Player 1 flips their coin (they are the attacker). If they get heads, player 2 will have a chance to defend by flipping their coin.
    1. Heads= successful attack or block.
    2. Tails= failed attack or block.
  6. If player 1 is successful (i.e. attacker flips heads and the defender flips tails), then player 2 subtracts 10 points from their score.
  7. If player 1 is unsuccessful (i.e. attacker flips tails), then player 2 gets a chance to flip heads. If successful, player 1 subtracts 5 points from their score.
  8. It is now player 2’s turn. Repeat rules 5 through 7 until one player is all out of points.

**If playing with more than one stress ball, each player will have ONE opportunity during the game to switch out their stress balls. You can only do this once per game. The new stress ball will start back with 100 points**

mini-society project

Other Project Ideas

  • Bookmarks
  • Flowers planted in Dixie cups
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Stress balls (to use for stress relieving!)
  • Marshmallow shooters <–this is a neat one!!

Do you have a child that is or has done a Mini-Society project? What did your child do??

How to Stay Financially Organized, Even in a Crisis

A few years ago, something happened to my family that I really never thought would happen; my husband was laid off. I still remember the day he told me. It was like time stood still and I could hear my heart beating in my ears. This was nuts! How could he be laid off? He is an awesome employee; hardworking; goes above and beyond; this had to be a mistake. But it wasn’t a mistake. We officially had ZERO money coming into the house.

I tried to make a joke of it, but nothing funny came out of my mouth. Humor is my coping mechanism, only I wasn’t coping all that well this time. There was so much to do. We got him signed up for unemployment, but that barely covered our mortgage. So I started applying for any and all jobs I could. Thing is, I hadn’t worked in YEARS. Sure I had a degree, but that’s about it. I went on countless interviews which, let me tell you, it was very nerve-wracking. I had one lady ask:

“So…tell me about any recent employment history you have”

Really? Didn’t she see my resume? I hadn’t had a job since 2004. I really didn’t want this job I was interviewing for. I knew within 10 minutes of being there that it was not for me (plus the amount I would spend in gas wasn’t really worth it in the end) so I gave her my recent job history:

“Well let’s see, I am the CEO of a small company. There are three other people, to be exact. My job duties include, cleaning, preparing meals, reading bedtime stories, doctoring up boo-boo’s, taxi driver, coach, tutoring…”

I went on and on, kind of laughing in my head, thinking she would ask me to leave. Only, she offered me the job. Shoot! That is NOT what I wanted to have happen. I told her I would think about it and get back to her by the end of the next day. Finally, after about eight interviews, I found a job. But was it enough?

This experience of having the person who was the main breadwinner for the family get laid off really shook our confidence and control over our money. We actually had no control. Every single penny we made had to go to our bills with nothing leftover. In the nine months it took before he got another job, we had pretty much depleted our entire savings. That sounds devastating, which it was, but in a way, it was also a good thing. Yes, I realize you probably think I’m crazy right now, but it was. We are in a better place now, our savings is being built up again and going through a period of literally having no money has allowed us to really think about how we need to manage our money and to come up with a budget so we know where every penny is going.

SunTrust Bank wants to help people find the way to financial well-being. They want to provide you with resources, tips and tools that you need so you feel confident and in control. This confidence and control will allow you to save for your goals and even splurge once in awhile too! But most importantly, for people going through what we went through, this confidence will help you to feel like you have the control at a time when it feels like everything around you is spinning out of control.

How We Stay Organized

It wasn’t easy setting up a budget, but we broke our budget up into the following categories:

Home (mortgage, insurance, taxes, maintenance)
Auto (car payment, gas, insurance, tags/registration, maintenance)
Utilities (gas/electric, water, phone, internet, cable)
Food (groceries, dining out)
Personal (clothing, hair care, medical expenses)
Activities (gym membership, kids sports, vacation, entertainment, gifts)

This allowed us to see what we needed each month and where we could save for things in the personal and activities categories. Another thing that we did was, we set up another checking account and we each have a debit card for that account. Each week $25 is directly deposited into that account as our “fun money”. This is money that I save up for frivolous things that are not “needs”, but something I want…like a pedicure! Since doing this, I find that we don’t argue about who is spending what, etc.

What are some things you do to stay financially organized?

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on waht matters most to you.

To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

Summer Projects and Utilizing Small Spaces

Yes I realize it is still winter (especially since we just got a bunch of snow dumped on us), but I can’t help but dream about our backyard and what kinds of things we can do to make it better. We moved into our house 10 years ago and for the last 10 years we’ve talked about putting a deck in. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will. Hopefully this summer.

We have a rather large backyard, but the actual space for a deck is minimal…but doable. We have a very large tree back there that will eventually need to come out. We were told it has a disease, however we were also told that it is about $1000 to have it removed.

Gulp. Maybe if I find some of that black gold on my land

Back there is also a play structure that the kids don’t play on anymore that I would love to have taken out since it takes up SOOO much room, but the mere mention of it leaving our backyard and my daughter’s head starts spinning around. So we need to figure out what to do that will still leave space for that tree and the play structure that is never used.

*This is a partnered post. All opinions are 100% my own.

We have two sliding glass doors; one in the kitchen and one in the family room. We only use the one in the kitchen right now. I would like to have a wooden deck coming off the house from the sliding glass door in the kitchen. This deck could go out pretty far into the yard since it is no where near the play structure. On that deck we would have our grill, patio table set and an outdoor storage box, something like this:

outdoor storage boxGetting a storage box/bench like this, we would be utilizing the space well AND creating more storage. Who doesn’t need more storage, especially of outdoor items?

In front of the other sliding glass window, I would like to have a paver patio. It doesn’t have to be that large, especially since it would need to stay a certain amount of feet away from the play structure (darn play structure. Let’s just get rid of it). On this patio I would have rattan furniture. I have ALWAYS loved this outdoor furniture. Not only are they cute and comfortable, but they also hold up outside very nicely, or so my friends tell me…I don’t have any…YET!

keter120512P_474I love this set, though I would get darker cushions. I would have to imagine light cushions would always be dirty.

What about you? What are your summer plans? Any projects you are itching to get started?



How to Carve your Pumpkin for Halloween

My son is forever trying to come up with creative ways to carve his pumpkin each year.  Usually it is super elaborate and hard for me to help him with.  A few years ago he begged my husband to help him make a storm trooper…so they did it:



Honestly…I don’t see it.  But look at that smile!  He’s happy!  Halloween is quickly approaching and we are all trying to come up with a neat way to carve or decorate our pumpkins.

Bella is pretty simple in what she likes, but I know that she would be thrilled to have a Hello Kitty pumpkin:

Hello Kitty Witch Pumpkin


Zachary, on the other hand, will want something much more difficult.  I could see him asking my husband to help him with this particular design…

Star Wars Darth Maul/Savage Opress Pumpkin


Personally, I like simply, yet funny.  That’s why these next couple pumpkins are something I would totally do!!

Cannibal Pumpkin eats unfortunate coworker.

pumpkin pi


Get it?!?  Pumpkin pie!  OK so this particular pumpkin would totally make me a nerd!

Trick or treat, smell my feet



Now this is one Bella would like!  She just learned “Trick or Treat, smell my feet.  Gimmie something good to eat” this year and thinks it’s absolutely hilarious.  She even tried to teach my two year old nephew…that…not so hilarious!

How do you usually carve your pumpkins?  And most importantly, do you bake the pumpkin seeds??

How to Handle Sassy Kids

My kids are six and nine and they are all around good kids, however…lately it seems like they are sassier than normal.  Taking away video games or their Kindle Fire’s does not work.  That used to be their “currency”; the thing that really mattered if I took it away.  Until now.  I don’t know what changed, but all of a sudden, they just don’t care anymore.

Until now.

You see…Sunday was like any other day.  We got up, got ready for Zachary’s football game, and their sassiness started to come out in full force.  I warned them to stop and be respectful.  Well, they didn’t heed my warning.  So guess what…they were told they were doing a chore.  Since we were literally walking out the door, they were told that as soon as we got home from the game, they both had a chore to do.  Zachary actually looked at me and said “a chore?  Why don’t you just take the Xbox away?”.  Exactly.  Taking the Xbox away was not a big deal, but a chore was.

So what chore did that have to do?  They had to clean EVERY baseboard on my first floor.  I walked around, sprayed the cleaner and they cleaned.  This is a chore that I do not like doing at all.



From now on, both kids know that they will be given a warning. If they don’t do what they are asked, they will be told that they will be given a chore. Some of the chores may be:

  • Clean the toilets
  • Clean the bathroom sinks
  • Clean the bathtub or shower
  • Mop the bathroom floor on your hands and knees
  • Mop the kitchen floor on your hands and knees
  • Scoop the litter box

As you can see…they are not fun chores at all.  Zachary hates having to clean the toilet.  He is one that gets grossed out very easily.  Maybe if they have to do things they don’t like to do, they would be more apt to listen to warnings or better yet…learn from their mistakes and act better towards me, each other and our house.

When your kids are sassy, what do you do for discipline?