A Few Easy Peasy Christmas Presents!

Where has the time gone? I love the month of December, but it seems to just fly by. Which can sometimes be a great thing and sometimes not so great! I don't know about you, but I always have so, so many projects happening in the classroom, that blogging, making products, and pretty much everything else gets put on pause during November and December.

So, after a little bit of recovery time, I am ready to share! This post is going to be about the easy peasy Christmas present that my students made for their parents...with a few other added projects that we turned into gifts, as well! See? Too many projects. But, lots of fun! :)

I first made this ornament 5? years ago...when my co-worker (and wonderful friend) shared it! 

What you need:
*clear ornaments-I've used glass, but plastic is best. I got mine at Michaels for 29 cents! Yep. They were originally 99 cents, but I went when everything was 70% off. Plus, I then got my teacher discount, so actually they were less than 29 cents. You can't beat that! 
*Christmas confetti and glitter-I already had the glitter, but I got the Christmas confetti at Michaels...also 70% off, plus the teacher discount! I put the confetti in these little cups I found at Target. They are perfect because they have lids! So, it will be so easy to store the extra confetti!
Christmas trees, santa, stars, circles, and sparkles that look like snow, oh and of course, glitter! 
 *Stretch Magic (bead and jewelry cord)- reminds me of stretchy fish wire!
*Ribbon-red, green, or any color would work
*Glue gun and glue sticks
*Picture-I used their school picture...We are given small school pics of each students that are stickers. Hmmm..not sure if all school districts use these?? Even if you don't get this pic, you can take a picture, make two copies, glue them together, and then laminate. I have to do this for any new students that I have and it still works. 

This activity is done best when you just call 2-3 students over at a time. 
Step 1: Give each student an ornament and let them add the confetti to their ornament. I let them pick what they want and have them fill the bottom. Of course, many want to add A LOT! I limit the amount so I don't run out! 
Step 2: Add glitter (I do this) to the ornament. Cover the top and shake. A lot of the glitter will stick to the sides. So fun! The students LOVE that the glitter sticks to the ornament!
Step 3: Add picture to the lid/top. In order to do this, you must attach the picture to the lid, using the stretchy magic string. Put a piece of string between the two pics. Then, cut to size. Glue the string to the lid. *I did this ahead of time. When I called the students over, their lid was ready to add to their ornament. 

 Step 4: After the glue dries, you can add the top to the ornament. This is probably the trickiest part. You have to bend the picture to get it inside the ornament..it straightens out, once inside. You might have to play around with the top to get the placement that you want. 
Step 5: Have the students pick their ribbon color! Tie it to the top. 
I used my picture for the sample! It's always good to have a sample for this type of project. 
I have made this ornament with grades K, 1, 2, and 3! They all LOVE it! :)

While I was going through my own Christmas bins at home, I discovered some old photo cards that I had extras of. Not one to let anything go to waste...another gift idea was born! 

I had already taken a picture of all of my students standing in front of our Christmas tree on our pajama Polar Express Day! Go me! So, all I did was print out the pics and then laminate them. I slipped the picture into the card, and ta-da! It was ready for them to add what they wanted on the inside...They also LOVED getting an envelope to decorate. See. Easy Peasy.
The ornaments on the tree are crafts we made from Michaels. Oh, because it was Polar Express day when I took the picture...each student is holding their ticket and their bell!
The last activity that we made into a gift..was AWESOME! This is a directed drawing activity from ARTventurous!
After they followed my drawing directions, using our ELMO, we outlined in black crayon..I think she said to use black chalk, but that wasn't going to happen for us. After outlining, we water colored! So fun!!! Until the spill! But, it was okay. The water didn't get on any paintings, just all over my student's pants!!!!! But, she is a trooper and went with it, especially since she wasn't the one who spilled the water!!! She didn't even want to go to the nurse. Just took some paper towels and dried herself off. Now, that's a mature first grader! :)

So, I forgot to take a picture of the final product! We made these the last week before break, so I didn't put them up on the wall. I turned them into a gift by letting the students choose a red, blue, or green piece of construction paper. Then, I had them glue the painting to the construction paper. I had a parent add glue to any picture that needed it. Then, we laminated it! Again, easy peasy. The students were super excited to give this as a gift, as well! I LOVE how they turned out! So unique, even though it was a directed drawing! :)

I hope some of these activities can make their way into your classroom, next year! What did your students make as their parent gift? You can never have too many ideas!

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