Stress, Morale Booster

Stress! Stress! Stress! My least favorite time of the year is the time between winter break and spring break. Bad weather means inside recess, preparing for standardized tests, students who are catching every virus that is floating through the air, and teachers too . . . is it any wonder why everyone is feeling extra stress?

If this sounds familiar, why not do a little de-stressing?

To bring a little joy and stress-relief to your school, why not celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a Baked Potato Bar? This is one of the easiest luncheons to plan. You can do this with your grade level team or at the school level. Here's how to do it:

1. You can either collect money so one person can purchase the supplies or you can have a signup. When I was hospitality chairman I did a combination of this. Staff members could either pay $5 or sign up to provide a dessert. Everyone was happy this way! If you use a signup I highly recommend the site signupgenius.com.

2. For potatoes, I recommend the baked potatoes at Costco. They have 20 lbs. bags of potatoes for $6.99. Each bag has 28-30 potatoes and are fairly uniform in size which will help with the cooking time. Be sure to get the "baked" potatoes. They also carry other types of potatoes.
3. There are different ways to cook baked potatoes. It depends on your school and its resources. At one of my former schools, we had a great cafeteria manager who baked them for us. Here's a website that tells of different ways to cook potatoes: BAKING INSTRUCTIONS. If different grade levels eat at different times, you can put baked potatoes in a cooler to keep them warm.

Another fun stress relief is magical golden nuggets. These are like the stress balls you see at the store - only cheaper!
To make magical golden nuggets you will need:
Supplies needed: Lentils (16 oz. bag makes 8 pouches), funnel, a black pot to add a touch of St. Patrick's Day fun, and balloons. I've tried different brands of balloons. Some brands are thin and break easily. Spritz, sold at Target, is the brand I prefer.

1. Blow into your balloon to open it up. Sometimes the sides of the balloon are stuck together which makes it difficult to fill with lentils. Then attach the balloon to the funnel. I fill the balloon over a bowl to catch any stray lentils.
2. I fill the balloon, then try to get as much trapped air out of the balloon as possible before I tie the balloon.
3. Fill the black pot with the golden pouches and hang the sign near it.

Download the free sign here.

Do you have any fun stress buster ideas?

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