Christmas Theme
Page 5

Gift Ideas

Inexpensive Parent Gift

This what I put together for the parents:

Baskets from the dollar store
2 Christmas mugs per family/basket from Walmart for $.50 each
The basket covering in red to cover the bottom of the baskets
Hot Chocolate mix
Chocolate dipping spoons
Snowman poop
Nestle Treasures and Hershey Kisses spread out in the basket

It turned out cute! It was cheap too :)

Candy Cane Pictures

What I did last year is got 2 candy canes and red cardstock. I have glued the candy canes to the cardstock in a shape of a heart. Then cut around the candy when it is dry. Then I have glued a picture of the child/ren to the heart in the candy.

The parents have loved it.

~Submitted by Johanne

Snowman Winter Scarf

Blanket fleece in your choice of color
Felt (white, black, red and any other colors you want to put on your snowman!)

Take the blanket fleece in your choice of color (I am trying to find something in a tartan plaid), and cut the fleece in even strips, about 10 inches wide the full length of the fabric (blanket fleece usually comes pretty wide, like 60 inches!) Since blanket fleece doesn't fray, you don't have to sew the edges or anything!

Now, take your strip and cut some fringe on each end if you want to (you could just leave it plain!

With the felt, trace a circle for a snowman face in a size that will look good glued to your blanket fleece at one end, just above your fringe. Cut out a hat for your snowman, also a nose, eyes, and a mouth. Could do a pipe for the dad's scarf if you wanted, Use your imagination!

Hot glue (or fabric glue if you want) your snowman to the fleece and put on your hat, eyes, nose, mouth, etc. Let it all dry and you have a very cute winter scarf for very little money!

I think I can get 6 or more scarves out of 2 yards of fleece. And felt is sooooo cheap! We should be able to make each scarf for about 2 bucks or less if I can find fleece on sale!

~Submitted by Nancy

Candle Holder

Get a votive candle holder clear one, or a small jar candle with a red or green candle in it. Have the kids dip their finger in white paint and press onto the glass, you can make one or go completely around the holder. We did them in groups of three. Then use fine tip permanent marker to add eyes, coal ,nose and hat. You can also add the date.

Use this little poem

Little Snowman 1,2,3,
Made with my fingers
For you from me
When you light the candle
It will burn so bright
To remind you that
Day and Night.

~Submitted by Ms. Laura


      Jar lid wreath: use a juice can lid, glue lace or wide ribbon to outer edge back side, use cold ribbon for hanger, glue Childs picture to inside!

      Clothespin reindeer: Paint clothespin brown add eyes by the spring middle part, add red pom pom for nose, and twist pipe cleaner into antlers.

      Candy canes: twist together a red and white pipe cleaner then form to candy cane shape

      We cut ours in half to make smaller ones

      Sponge ornaments: trace cookie cutters to a sponge then cut out, kids can glue on sequins, ribbon, use tulip fabric paints, etc to decorate. Use needle and gold thread to make a hanger push thru top and make a hanger!

      Hand a Claus: trace hand on white foam, use four fingers as beard, and thumb for part of the hat, add wiggle eyes, pom pom nose, and draw a red smile. Trace upper palm and thumb only of the white handprint to cover in red foam. Add white pom pom at end of thumb for that ball!

      Clay bells ring: Buy miniature clay pots, spray paint silver or gold. Use ribbon to put on a jingle bell, tie a knot about 1/2 inch from bell, large enough to not go thru the hole. Put ends of ribbon thru hole and tie 3 inches from pot to make a hanger. Kids can then paint use sticker, ribbon, etc on the pot to dress it up or leave it plain.

      Lightbulb snowman: FOR OLDER KIDS, or use caution when doing this, I plan to make as gifts for parents next year!

      Save your burned out light bulbs or get new ones, paint it completely white, except for the screw in part, while still wet sprinkle with iridescent glitter or silver can be used lightly. Take florist wire, make a hoop for hanging, then twist a few times, use the ends and twist around the screw in part, and what's left over curl over a pencil to make a spring-like tie for HAT~ paint all this a color for his hat, blue, red, green etc. use scrap material to make a scarf and hot glue on. The add features with the tulip puffy paints like eyes, nose, buttons etc. Very cute but FRAGILE!

~Submitted by Christie

Plaster Ornaments - soooo cute

This is what we made yesterday. So easy, even a 2 year old can make it beautiful. Plaster ornaments from Michael's, rub on, and some iridescent glitter.

Click here to see a picture!

~Submitted by Nancy in IL

Reindeer Gift Bags

Open a brown lunch bag and attach a red pompom nose near its base. Glue in place eyes made of black and white construction paper scraps. Trace both hands on Brown construction paper and cut out the resulting antler shapes. Approximately 2" from the top, attach one antler to the pleat at each side. of the bag. Fill the bag as desired; then fold down and staple the top in place. or for a festive finish, fold down the bag top and punch 2 holes near the center of the folded portion. Thread the ends of a curling ribbon length through the holes and through a jingle bell; then tie and curl ribbon ends.

Christmas Picture Coasters

You can use empty cd cases for coasters. Put a photo of the child/children inside. Just use the back of the case for the photo, not the front since liquid can seep into the front. You can also use them for stand-up photo frames.

~Submitted by Dani from Michigan

Puzzle Piece Frame

Place puzzle pieces on a sheet of newspaper and spray with paint in your choice of holiday colors. (Old incomplete puzzles can often be purchased inexpensively at yard sales, garage sales or thrift stores, and are perfect for this project!) Cut a square or rectangular frame out of cardboard or poster board. Cut the center out of the shape, leaving at least a 1" wide frame. Glue the puzzle pieces around the frame, layering them to cover any bare spots. Tape the child's picture to the back of the frame so that it shows through the front. Add a ribbon or bow.

Colorful Handprint Gift

You need: a pie tin, plaster of Paris, a paper clip, food coloring and water, eye droppers or paint brushes, Watered down glue and iridescent glitter.

Mix up enough plaster to fill the pie tin, Be sure to mount the paper clip in the plaster while it is still wet. When the plaster is tacky (I let it get almost hard) Press the child's hand or foot into the plaster for a clear print. When the plaster has hardened completely let the children paint by supplying the food coloring and water. I have had the children use eyedroppers or paint brushes both work. The more colors the children add the prettier the piece. When dry cover with the watered down glue and sprinkle the work with iridescent glitter. It looks almost like a sugar cookie. I have had a great response from this. It is a 1/2 and 1/2 project the children can do half but the teacher has to help with the other half.

Handkerchief Angel

1 antique style handkerchief
1 wooden ball - 3/4"
2 wooden balls - 1/4"
1/8 wide ribbon
Doll Hair
Pearl garland
Permanent marker pens (black and red)
Low-temp glue gun and glue stick

Put wooden ball in center of hanky and bring material around ball and tie with ribbon. Smooth out the lines of the hanky over the ball. You may spray the hankie with spray starch and iron, to give it a crisper look. Put a ball where each of the hands should be and again tie with a piece of ribbon into a bow. Using fine black permanent marker-draw closed eyes with eyelashes, using red marker draw a heart-shaped mouth, and add a little bit of blush for the cheeks. Glue hair to the head. Shape an 18" piece of the pearl garland into shape of wings and glue to back. Shape a small halo and glue to head.

Attach the following poem:

Handkerchief Angel

I have an angel for your tree and it's as special as can be.
Look real close and you will see
your angel's made from an old hankie.
During Grandma's many years
She collected hankies from all the Dears
who shared her life and wished her well,
And now these hankies are here to tell
That Gramma dear is remembered and loved
Like the hankie-angel on your tree above.

~Submitted by Becce from Missouri

Christmas Candle Gift

This makes a beautiful centerpiece that preschoolers can easily make with little help. Find an old log about 6 to 8 inches in diameter, that can be sliced into pieces 2 to 3 inches thick. Buy or collect tall candles that can be put in the middle of these. (You'll have to get your candles first) Then take the diameter of the candles and drill a hole in the middle of the wood slices for the candle to fit snuggly.After all this preparation work is done, children can insert the candle and start to decorate. You'll need Ivory Snow laundry detergent, water, a beater, beads, greenery (plastic will do), pine cones etc. Mix the detergent with water and beat until it has a fluffy consistency. Add more water as needed. Put directly on the wood, around the candle then stick the decorations in the "snow". Work relatively quickly as the "snow" hardens. You may even add glitter to the "snow". Children are very proud as they always turn out beautiful.

Cinnamon Pomanders

2 cups powdered cinnamon
1 to 1/2 cups smooth apple sauce
plastic drinking straw
tiny dried flowers
narrow ribbons
Hot glue or Duco cement

Mix the cinnamon with 1 cup of applesauce. The mixture will be dry and crumbly. Knead in more applesauce, a little at a time, until the mixture turns into a very firm sort of "clay". It should not be sticky. Dust your cookie cutters with some cinnamon and cut out thick shapes. Cut a hole at the top with a straw prior to baking. Bake your pomanders for about 2 hours in a 150 degree oven. After the first hour, remove them from the baking sheet and lay them directly on the oven racks. This will help the pomanders dry out evenly. Remove the pomanders from the oven to a cooling rack when they feel dry and hard. When cool, tie ribbons through the holes and glue on the tiny dried flowers.

Fragrant Soap Balls

Use water to moisten Ivory Snow Flakes to the consistency of a very stiff dough. Divide the dough into several bowls. Add a different perfume and food coloring to each bowl for variety. Have children shape large spoonfuls of the soap into balls. Have them make about three balls each. Place the balls on trays (labeled with their modeler�s name!) to harden for several days. Have each child wrap their three soap balls in colored cellophane paper and tie the package with a pretty ribbon.

Christmas Pins

1 cup flour, 1 cups warm water, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tsp. cream of tartar, 1 tsp. oil, Food coloring of your choosing.

Mix together the flour, water, salt, cream of tartar, oil, and food coloring. Stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from pan and knead until blended smooth. Place in plastic bag or airtight container when cooled. Will last for a long time. To make brooch(es), use cookie cutters that are Christmas-shapes (stars, snowmen, etc.) Before they are totally dry, press pins into backs of brooches (buy the pins at a craft store). When they are dry, paint them with your favorite Christmas colors.


Take at least one (or up to three) good group photos each month showing the children in different activities (dressed up, working on theme projects, group collages, arriving or departing, etc). Scan the photos into your computer and print out with date pages to make calendars that can be used for the entire upcoming year.

Handprint Tile

4-inch square plain white ceramic tiles (Home Depot has them), and using regular craft acrylic paint, make red handprints on the tile, and then spray with a sealer. Glue green felt on the back of the tile to make a coaster/trivet.

Nesting cans

In Russia a traditional gift is called a matryoshka - an outer doll which opens to store several smaller dolls, each nesting inside of one another. To make your own, matryoshka, find three or more cans that can nest inside each other. Place the cans with the open end down. Cover the cans with holidays wrapping paper and add holiday stickers.

Handprint Poem

I'm sure you all have seen this but this is one of the things I'm going to help make with the children to give to their parents for Christmas. Put handprints on the paper with this saying on it:

Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my finger prints
On furniture and walls.
But every day I'm growing up
I'll be all grown up someday
And all those little hand prints
Will surely fade away.
So here's a special hand print
Just so that you can recall,
Just how my fingers looked
When I was very small.

~ Author Unknown~

~Submitted by Charity

Cocoa Snowman Jars

My mom is making Cocoa Snowman Jars, for her co-workers. They are jelly jars with lids (bought at Dollar General), the jar is filled with a cocoa mix and a few marshmallows, on the top of the lid is a wooden ball (bought at craft stores) painted white and hot glued to the top of the lid, facial features of a snowman are painted on, a black felt hat or sock hat on top and a scarf or ribbon tied to a spoon around the rim of the jar. I included in this email 6 of the labels I made up for her on the computer using one of Grandma George's free Christmas Graphics (Jana at Playground4Providers) sent in. The labels are attached to the outside of the jar! It is a cute gift to give to party hosts during the holiday season, daycare parents, friends, dirty Santa gifts, etc! Just sign your name at the bottom of the label and there is your gift to give!

~Submitted by Christi

Voltive Candle Holder

Purchase clear plastic cups (8 oz.). In a small margarine tub pour white glue and dilute with water. Tear red and green tissue paper into small pieces. With a paintbrush let children paint the glue mixture onto the outside of the plastic cup then put tissue pieces on top of the glue. Have them cover the entire cup. Let dry. Now a tea light candle can be placed inside and when lit shows the Christmas colors beautifully.

Handprint Calendars

This being a *flux* week ~ done with Nov themes and not ready to jump into Dec themes, my sis and I decided to get our parent gifts done and out of the way. We made calendars ~ and decided to make it a handprint calendar. Each month is a handprint picture:

Jan ~ palm print snowman with fingerprint snowflakes
Feb ~ Handprint lion (No lion, you're my valentine)
Mar ~ handprint shamrock
Apr ~ Chick with handprint wings
May ~ Handprint flowers
June ~ Handprint sun
July ~ Handprint Flag
Aug ~ Palm print beehive with thumbprint bumble bees
Sept ~ Hand/Arm tree w/ tissue square leaves
Oct ~ handprint spiders
Nov ~ handprint turkeys
Dec ~ handprint Xmas tree

We pretty much alternated either printing the hand with paint or tracing the hand and cutting out handprints. It was a lot of work! So glad I had my sis to do this with ~ but they turned out adorable. Tomorrow we will work on the cover ~ Handprints all over and inscribed "Daniel's Hands through Time 2001" (of course, you'd change the name to the correct child! LOL I know, you knew that).

~Submitted by Nan

Glitter Jars

Clean empty jam jar
Gold spray paint
Plastic toy or ceramic figure
Old tea light in container
6 fl ox water
10 tbs. granulated sugar
Strong epoxy resin glue

Spray the jar lids with the gold spray paint, then leave to dry. Spray tea light gold; leave to dry. Glue toy to upside down tea light to build up the height inside the jar. Leave to dry.

Pour the water and sugar into a small saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Pour the solution into the jar and sprinkle glitter on top. Smear the glue on the lid and stick the tea tree light with the toy on to it. put more glue on the screw fastening on the jar and screw the lid on tightly. Allow the glue to set then shake the jar to distribute the glitter.

(Ideas from Essentials Magazine Dec 1999)
~Submitted by Rosanne at Rosanne's Childminding Services

Drum Ornament

Take a little paper dixie cup and place a little square piece of material on the top and fold down, and put a piece of ribbon around it like a band (you will need to hot glue it on for them)along with a q-tip cut in half and placed over each other on the top for the drum sticks, the kids can color the little cup prior to you gluing it for them, and then they can add a long piece of ribbon from the drum for hanging it on the tree....they turn out sooo cute...

~Submitted by Konnie

Snowman Soup

The Soup:
1 Pkg. Hot Chocolate Mix
3 Hershey Kisses
15 Marshmallows (More If Needed)
1 candy cane

"Put items in colored plastic wrap"

The Poem:
Put on paper and give with items in a mug

Was told you've been really good this year
Always glad to hear it
With freezing weather drawing near
You'll need to warm the spirit
So here's a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick
Add hot water, sip it slow
It's sure to do the trick!

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