With a classroom of twenty to thirty students, it’s sometimes difficult to create intricate projects around the holidays. Below are simple gift ideas that students can make that won’t break your budget.
Tape Resist Cork Coasters
Students create cool line design coasters! You can buy a set of 4 cork coasters at Ikea for 99 cents. Students tape their coasters to create a unique design using painter’s tape. Then, they paint over their coaster using any color of acrylic paint they would like. Afterwards, the teacher sprays water-resistant clear acrylic spray or adds shellac finish & sealer to hold the design. You can purchase Clear Acrylic Gloss Coating for $5.99 at Hobby Lobby.
Students create a subtle design using baby oil! First, have students cut a shape out of construction paper. Then, they dip a q-tip in baby oil and paint a design on their shape. Let their art dry, then students can punch a hole, loop some string and they have a cool gift that glows in the sunlight!
This simple gift is fun for students to make and has a hidden surprise! Grate Ivory brand bar soap with a cheese grater in a large bowl. Once soap is grated, add a little water. Then, have students take a small handful and mold it around a trinket (small figurine) and create a ball. Note: You do not have to add a hidden trinket. Snowball soap is an awesome gift without a hidden treasure. After students create a sphere snowball, let their snowballs sit and harden up. Once the soap hardens, students can gift it! For more soap ideas click here!
Crayon Shavings Art
Create stunning colorful designs by recycling old crayon shavings! First, have students sprinkle crayon shavings on top of wax paper. Next, they put another piece of wax paper over their crayon shavings. Then, they place their crayon shavings sandwich on top of newspaper. The teacher turns an iron on low and irons over the wax paper to melt the shavings. Once the artwork cools, student cut out a unique shape or design, punch a hole and add some string.
Have students make their own customized coupons for family members that encourage them to help out around the house!
Metal Washer Jewelry
Students create a unique pendant necklace by painting a metal washer with nail polish! You can purchase flat metal washers at Home Depot for 12 cents!
Popsicle Stick Bracelets
Turn a popsicle stick into a cuff bracelet! Visit Happiness is Creating for instructions on how to make wood burned cuffs!
Hot Rocks Paper Weights
Jazz up your stones! First, go on a nature walk for flat rocks. Bake rocks at 225 F for 15 minutes on a foil lined sheet. Make sure your rocks are super dry before you bake them. Remove stones, don’t touch them! Use a spatula to slide them onto your work surface. Hold a peeled crayon with the tip touching the stone. You can create swirls, lines, dots, anything you’d like!
Students measure out three circles, stack them, add features and arms and they have a snowman from an aerial view! You can have students use construction paper or cardstock.
For more ornament ideas click here!
Erin Bittman is a second-/third-grade student teacher in a multi-grade classroom at a German Magnet School. She attends the University of Cincinnati. Check out her blog, E Is for Explore!