December 10, 2012

A Teacher Cookie Exchange

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I thought I'd share a little about the Teacher Cookie Exchange I coordinated at the girls' school since a few people have asked me about it.  Our teachers loved it and it was a great way to involve lots of parents -- even those who work or have small children and aren't normally able to volunteer at school. This is the first year we've done this and I know it's something we'll do annually from now on.

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About a month before the event I set up a spreadsheet in Google Docs where parents could sign up to bake four dozen cookies.  (Most cookie recipes make at least four dozen.)  The spreadsheet included a space to indicate what kind of cookie they were going to bring so we didn't end up with piles of one kind.  I knew I needed 70 people to bake cookies -- 280 dozen! -- so we'd have enough cookies for each teacher and staff member to take home five dozen cookies and also have some left over to eat as well.

I ordered 10-inch x 10-inch by 5-inch bakery boxes online ($30 for 100) and then made a square label for the top of the box.   I put all the labels on the boxes while they were still flat and took them to school unassembled.
 
A week before the event we gave every teacher and staff member an invitation that said the following:

Please join us for

A Christmas
Cookie Exchange

Friday, December 7, 2012

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 Teacher’s Lounge

We’ve made 280 dozen homemade Christmas cookies just for you!

Please come box up five dozen to take home and sample as many as you like.

Merry Christmas.

The morning of the event I had lots of volunteers who helped put the cookies on trays -- I found the round, acrylic trays at Dollar Tree -- and put a table cards beside the correct tray of cookies. Each table card listed the type of cookie and the name of the person who had baked it.


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We covered the tables with white butcher paper and then put squares of different Christmas fabrics on them. We also used wrapped "presents" to raise up some of the trays.

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We then put red lanterns, that were filled with ornaments and topped with bows and gingerbread cookies, on the tables. The lanterns are from IKEA and are so cute! I have them going up my stairs outside and I've used them for a couple events. The best part is that they were only $14! The ornaments are also from IKEA and were .99 for six.  I made the bows and purchased the gingerbread pics at Hobby Lobby.

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We assembled the boxes the morning of the event and put a piece of red-and-white striped parchment paper in the bottom of each box.

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When the teachers arrived they got a box and then chose any 60 cookies they wanted.  It was so fun listening to them count as they picked their cookies!

Once they filled their box, we tied it up for them with red-and-white bakery string.

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We also had milk, egg nog, three kinds of sparkling lemonade and bottled waters to go with the cookies.

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If you decide to host a Teacher Cookie Exchange, I would be happy to answer any questions or help you figure out how to put it together.  

11 comments:

  1. As a teacher that would be the most amazing gift, wow well done and I am sure everyone appreciated all the efforts.

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  2. Anonymous9:30 AM

    Oh my, this is incredible. Every cookie looks so different and professionally made. How did you keep track of all of the cookies to ensure that you did not end up with all chocolate chip?

    What a wonderful way to celebrate teachers!

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    Replies
    1. Great question! On the Google Doc spreadsheet I set up there was a space to list what kind of cookies you were making. We ended up with a great variety of cookies -- including a few different kinds of chocolate chip. :)

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  3. Wow -- that is fabulous! What a wonderful gift for the teachers!

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  4. Thanks for sharing Kristi! I can't wait to organize this next year for our teachers and school staff!

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  5. WOW, that is amazing!!!!!!!

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  6. I just love this!!! Our parents provided cookies and home baked goodies for us just to eat today and it was lovely...but this is over the top fabulous! I am going to remember this for MY girls schools next year! Thanks for sharing!!

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  7. Anonymous10:45 PM

    Wow!! As a teacher, I would LOVE THIS!!! You are rock awesome friend!! That is just crazy...very cool! Merry Christmas!

    Sharyn and LiLi

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  8. What an AMAZING idea! And your creativity...made it look so FAB! As a former teacher...I KNOW the teachers were so touched!

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  9. Can I possibly get a copy of your Google Doc? Can you share it? The PTO at my son's preschool has decided to do this idea! Love it!

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    Replies
    1. Send me an email at kristitolman@hotmail.com and I'll get you the documents. :)

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