Your holiday dilemma is solved!
Materials: paper towel rolls, stickers, yarn, lace, fabric, buttons
Directions: Cut the cardboard roll into 1" sections. Decorate with stickers, yarn, fabric, lace, etc.
Adaptations: 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.
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 their page with a black pen.
Run off a copy 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 their parents have sent in. Put their 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: spring clothespin, pompoms, felt scraps, glue, magnetic tape
Directions: Let each child decorate a clothespin with pompoms to look like a caterpillar or other creature. Attach a strip of magnetic tape to the other side. Use magnets for displaying children's work on the refrigerator.
Adaptations: Purchase magnetic business cards at an office supply store. Children can decorate these with their name, picture, love notes, etc.
Materials: burlap, felt scraps, glue
Directions: Cut burlap into 8" x 3" strips. Let children unravel _ from all four sides. Cut flowers or other shapes from felt and glue on the burlap.
Adaptations: Children could also use plastic needles to sew yarn designs on burlap bookmarks.
Hint! This seems like a lot of work, but it is a special and practical gift that parents will treasure!
Materials: 12 samples of children’s artwork on 8 _ " x 11" pieces of paper, 6 large sheets construction paper, yearly calendar (each month on a 8 _" x 11" piece of paper), glue, hole punch, yarn or ribbon
Directions: Collect 12 paintings, drawings, collages, prints, etc. from each child. Glue their art to the top of one side of the construction paper. Glue the monthly calendar for January – June on the bottom of the construction paper. Now, turn the construction paper over and glue another art project to the top of the paper and the calendars for July-December on the bottom. Punch holes at the top and tie with yarn or ribbon.
Here are some examples of art projects you could use: crayon drawings, crayon rubbings, water colors, colored pencil designs, sponge prints, marble painting, shape collage, magazine collage of family members, thumb print designs, or finger paintings.