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Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Gifts Kids Can Make

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, I figured I would tackle the topic:  What should I have the preschool  children make this year to give to their parents?

Snowman Ornaments
Submitted by GreatestResource Child Care
Paint the child's hand white (use acrylic paint), then have them press their hand onto a blue Christmas ornament with their palm on the bottom of the ornament.  Allow the paint to dry.  Add details with acrylic paint, either with a paint brush or paint pens.

Salt Dough Ornaments
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
Food coloring (optional for colored ornaments)

Mix salt and flour.  Add half the water to the dry ingredients.  Mix, then slowly add the remaining water.  Kneed until the dough is smooth.  (about 10 minutes)  For flat dough ornaments roll out the dough on baking paper.  Use cookie cutters, or a butter knife to create your shape, then dust with flour and add details with a toothpick or butter knife.

You can also make different shapes like wreaths or Christmas Balls with your hands, these do take longer to bake.

Before you bake use a straw to make a hole so you can hang your ornament.

Bake at 325 degrees.  Baking time varies based on the thickness of the ornament (about 90 minutes or until dry)

To preserve your ornaments coat with a layer of acrylic varnish after the ornaments are completely dry and cool.

Picture Frame
You will need six popsicle sticks, tacky glue, buttons, two small magnets, construction paper and a picture of the child. Then you make a frame with four popsicle sticks. Lay two stick parallel to one another (stick 1 and 2) then complete the from with sticks 3 and 4. Then to make the picture stay in you will need to add stick 5 and 6 on the top and bottom of the frame. So you have sticks 3 and 4 (the sides) with a stick on the top in front, top in back, bottom in front and bottom in back. Follow? Connect these sticks with glue. When dry have the children decorate these sticks with paint. Cut a piece of paper to fit the back of the frame. Glue that on. Cut the picture to fit in the frame, and insert the picture. Then glue the magnets at the top and bottom of the back of the frame. Viola.. an awesome gift.
Glue red and green buttons onto the frame
Glue Christmas paper pieces onto the sticks
apply Christmas stickers to the frame
Apply glitter to the frame with glue
Glue Christmas foam shapes to the frame (see left)
Use Christmas shape punch to create shapes to glue to the frame.
glue red and green puzzle pieces to the frame
glue red and green beads to the frame
glue on red  and green pom poms
decorate with bling

Popsicle Stick Snowflake
Have each child paint four pop-sickle sticks white.  (Use a quality acrylic paint) An adult should use hot glue four pop-sickle sticks together to form the shape of a snowflake.   Then the child can decorate the pop-sickle sticks with white buttons, glitter, pom-poms or other materials.

Decorate an Ornament
Obtain clear ornaments and have the children paint with quality acrylic paints.
The children can also glue bling, stickers and other items to the ornaments.  You can also get the kind that you can put things inside the ball.  The children can put tinsel and other items inside the ornament.

Decorate a Pot
Have the children decorate a terra cotta pot with acrylic paints.  They can add glitter. You can also have the children pick out some seeds to place in the pot.

Check out this handprint calendar from Little Giraffes.

Cookies in a jar

Materials Needed
Quart Size Canning Jars with Lids
Scrap Fabric

Make sure you clean the canning jars and lids and allow to dry before you begin this activity.

Have the children add the following ingredients into their jar in the order they are listed.  You can use a funnel to make this easier.  Have the children pack down each layer.  Fill the jar to the top with semi-sweet chocolate chips.

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
* chocolate chips

Create a gift tag with the following information:
Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the butter, egg and vanilla until thoroughly blended.  Add the dry ingredients from the jar to the mix.  Stir until completely blended.  Drop teaspoon sized balls of batter onto a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

I suggest that you print the directions on card stock and have the children decorate the side without the directions.

Love Box
Have the children decorate a white box however they like.  They can use paint, crayons, markers, glitter, poms, wrapping paper or other items.  Tie a ribbon around the box and attach the following poem:

This is a very special gift
That you can never see.
The reason it's so special is,
It's just for you from me.
Whenever you are happy,
or even feeling blue.
You only have to hold
this gift and know
I think of you.

You never can unwrap it
Please leave the ribbon tied.
Just hold the box close
to your heart,
It's filled with love inside.

Stepping Stone
Have the children create a stepping stone for a loved one.  They can use their hand print and decorate it with jewels, glitter and other items.

Candle Holders
Purchase glass candle holders.  Have the children decorate the holders with festive acrylic paints and glitter.  Allow to dry completely.  Add a candle for the perfect gift.

Cut shapes for the bookmark from card stock.  Have the children decorate the bookmarks with paint, markers, crayons, wrapping paper or other items.

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