Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cube decorating contest

Soooo, when your workplace decides to throw a cube decorating contest during the holiday season, what does your team of Early Childhood specialists do? Win, of course! 

I don’t think the Christmas party committee realized the monster they created when they opened up a contest to see who could decorate their “cubicle” area the most festive for the holiday. All of us at Child Care Aware have been in a situation where you are decorating your classroom or making an art activity for the kids with little to no budget money and LOTS of creativity. We know how to make anything out of nothing. Give us a little construction paper and glitter and we can make amazing things!

So, our crew consisted of seven highly competitive individuals who wanted to win. We got together and planned what our theme was going to be and started divvying out tasks to whoever had the right materials and the time/energy to devote to the task! We all came back to the office with boxes of construction paper, glitter, glue, cotton balls, scissors, Christmas trees, decorations, fishing wire, tape, cellophane paper, toilet paper tubes, brown sack lunch bags etc. You name it, we had it.

We decided to go with a gingerbread theme. We had two cubes to decorate but wanted them to be connected to each other visually. My work cube (which I share with Brittany) was going to be the main gingerbread house and the training department’s cube next door would be the outside/backyard area. 

We covered the whole outside of our cube with brown butcher paper and then put up construction paper glittered lights, gumdrops on the bottom, and lollipops in the front (made of wrapping paper tubes and colorful plastic plates). Katie made tons of cute things out of construction paper, including the adorable snowmen, the windows with the wreaths, and the street signsI managed to find some gigantic googly eyes that I placed on one of the snowmen. The rest of the colorful plastic plates were covered with clear cellophane wrap and put up as candies.

"Candy" made out of colorful plastic plates and cellophane wrap.

 We put up a trim of fake snow and covered the top with cotton balls all stretched out. The “roof” was made with wrapping paper tubes and a bunch of lunch paper bags arranged to look like shingles. A few more cotton balls on the top of the roof made it look like a fresh batch of snow had just fallen.

Brittany brought her Christmas tree and we decorated it with candy ornaments, candy canes, and lights. I brought a bunch of fake wrapped presents that Jon and I had created years ago. They looked perfect under the tree! We even found some cute candy decorations that went along perfectly with the theme! We made some paper chains ($1 section at Target!) to put up in the background.

Inside the gingerbread house, we created a fireplace with construction paper bricks, a real wreath, and a stocking for each of our co-workers. Emily created a realistic fire with toilet paper tubes and red, orange, and yellow construction paper flames. I brought my stuffed Santa and Brittany had her daughter write a note to Santa. She even brought a fake cup of milk from her kid’s dramatic play set at home. With a plate of cookies (felt gingerbread), our mantle was complete. 

We’re not quite sure who took a “bite” out of one of our gingerbread men. We’re pretty sure it was a member of a competing team! It was clever, whoever it was!

Our fireplace, mantle, stockings, and fire. Look what a little
construction paper and creativity can do!

Now, to connect our gingerbread house to the backyard. Emily’s kids helped color paper plates to look like red and white swirly peppermint candies and we taped them to the floor leading to the next cube. 

A few paper snowflakes, cut out candy cane decorations, and gingerbread also helped set the scene. Some light-up candy canes lead the way to the backyard area where there are a few more gingerbread people skating on an ice rink (aluminum foil with a border of fake snow). 

The gingerbread people were made by Katie out of cardboard and some markers and glitter! A few of us had small trees at home so we brought those in and placed them near the skating rink to look like trees outside.

Some snow falling from the sky and snow drifts on top of the cubes.

Emily and I created the illusion of snow falling by using some fishing line and tying cotton balls in random places. Deanna used her dye-cut machine to create a bunch of adorable tiny snowflakes which we also strung on the fishing line and hung from the ceiling. A few evergreen trees cut from paper and other cute lil snowmen/stuffed animals were spread throughout the area.

When the time for judging came around, Katie had made homemade gingerbread cookies (a little bribe doesn’t hurt!?) for the judges to eat as they walked by. As if they needed any convincing. There were a few other cubes that were nicely decorated, but nothing quite like our theme. 

Of course, we won the best decorated cube contest, winning us the adorable ugly trophy for the year. Now, on to next year’s planning…. Can never start thinking too early… ;)

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, indoor
Katie showing off the ugly traveling trophy that isn't going to travel! :)
Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and indoor
Deanna and Katie standing in their cube....errr....gingerbread backyard

Check out the Child Care Aware of ND facebook link for a few more panoramic pictures.

Check out the adorably hideous traveling trophy we won! Who am I kidding? Traveling trophy!? That would mean someone else would have to win next year and we aren't going to let THAT happen!

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