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Friday, December 1, 2023


Oh yeah, you just need one more thing to do this time of year - gifts for parents! Here are inexpensive, simple, and easy gifts your students can make. Or, if you have children of your own, you can save money on gifts for relatives with these crafts. Best of all, these projects will be treasured because they are one of a kind! They are made by the gifted hand of a child!

Note! It’s important to be sensitive to different beliefs children may have this time of year. Gifts don’t have to be for Christmas or Hanukkah ~ you can give someone a gift anytime just because you care about them!

*Make sure that children DO these projects themselves! They need to reflect the children’s individuality and efforts.

Materials: juice or vegetable can, glue, pasta, spray paint
Directions: Remove the label from the can. Let children glue pasta (bow ties, spirals, macaroni, etc.) around the can. Spray paint gold or silver.
Adaptation: Children can also cover a can with construction paper. Next, let them create a collage on the can with pictures and words cut from magazines.

Materials: wood scraps (4” x 10”), nails, markers, picture hangers
Directions: Let children decorate the wood with markers. Next, let them hammer 4 nails spaced evenly apart. Attach a hanger to the back.
Hint!  Let children attach sticky hooks instead of nails.


This is similar to the key rack except children attach plastic hooks to hold scarves, belts, and ties.

Materials: paper, markers, pens, construction paper, ribbon
Directions: Each child will need 3 sheets of paper. Cut the paper into fourths to make 12 pages. On each page, children write (or dictate) a different job they could do for their parents, such as set the table, give a back rub, clean their room, etc. Make a cover from construction paper. Hole punch in the upper left hand corner and tie with a ribbon.

Materials: rocks, yarn, glue, markers, felt, wiggly eyes
Directions: Go on a rock hunt and let each child find a special rock. Have children wash their rocks and set them aside to dry. Decorate the rocks with wiggly eyes, markers, yarn hair, etc. Add a piece of felt to the bottom to make a paper weight.
Adaptation: Let children name their rocks and write stories about how to care for them.


Directions: Cut the cardboard roll into 1 ½” sections. Decorate with stickers, yarn, fabric, lace, etc.
Adaptation: Insert holiday napkins.

Materials: cardboard, puzzle pieces, glue, photograph
Directions: Cut cardboard into 4” x 8” picture frames. Let children glue puzzle pieces around the edges. Tape a photo to the back.
Adaptations: Add a magnetic strip to the back so it can be hung on the refrigerator.
*Decorate with buttons for mom and say “Cute as a button!”
*Decorate with golf tees for dad.
*Stack colored craft sticks to make a frame.


Materials: copy paper, construction paper, crayons, stapler
Directions: Ask each child to bring a copy of a favorite family recipe from home. (You could ask parents to send in a recipe for a special dish from their culture, a healthy snack food, a “kid friendly” dish, etc.) Have each child decorate his page with a black pen. Run off copies for each child, and then put them in a construction paper cover to make a recipe book.
Adaptation: You could also let each child dictate how to make the recipe her parents have sent in. Put her version at the bottom of the page.

Materials: old shoes, gallon of school glue, old paint brush, gold spray paint
Directions: Ask each child to bring in one old shoe. Pour the school glue in a disposable container, and then let them paint the glue all over their shoe. (Inside, outside, all over!) Dry for several days on wax paper. Have children paint glue all over their shoe a second time. Dry. Spray paint gold or silver.
Adaptations: Stick a sprig of holly in the shoe or add this poem:
Here is my little shoe. 
I made it just for you. 
When I’m grown and tall,
you can remember me small.

Materials: burlap, felt scraps, glue
Directions: Cut burlap into 8” x 3” strips. Let children unravel ½” from all four sides. Cut flowers or other shapes from felt and glue on the burlap.
Adaptation: Children could also use plastic needles to sew yarn designs on burlap bookmarks.

Materials: pipe cleaners, letter beads
Directions: Let children string beads on a pipe cleaner. (They can do initials, names, or a pattern.) Twist the ends and you’ll have a perfect bag tag.

Materials: cardstock, black felt tip pen
Directions: Cut an 8 ½ x 11” piece of paper in half. Fold in half and ask child to draw a picture of her family with a felt tip pen on the front. Open and place two pictures at a time on the copy machine. Make 5-10 copies on cardstock. Cut apart, fold, and tie with a decorative ribbon.

Materials: white tube socks, fiber fill, rubber bands, markers, felt scraps, wiggly eyes, and other craft accessories
Directions: Have children fill the bottom of the sock with 3 large fists of fiberfill. Put a rubber band around this section. Put two fists full of fiberfill in and then put a rubber band around the middle section. Put one fist full of fiberfill in to make the head and put a rubber band. Pull the top cuff of the sock over the head to look like a hat. Decorate with wiggly eyes, felt scarf, yarn hair, etc. Draw on a mouth and buttons with markers.