Friday, December 27, 2013

Parent Gifts 2013

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I think I'm really a fan of this year's Christmas break schedule, when we only begin break a couple days prior to the holiday - and therefore still have an entire week, plus, of break to go!

I'm sure my students loved giving their parents their presents this year, too. Each year, since I have the same students for several years at a time, it's always a challenge to find holiday gifts for my kids to make for their parents that they haven't made before, are age-appropriate, and that they can participate in creating. Last year, I had pinned these amazing tiles from Christina Bainbridge and knew they'd work great for my kiddos this year.

I loved Christina's "you light up my life" coasters! For ours, I found 4" white ceramic tiles at Home Depot for a whopping 13 cents apiece! Staff wrote the text and drew the black line with Sharpie. The kids chose their paint colors and used their fingerprints to make the lights. We did discover our classroom tempra paints flaked off the ceramic tiles when dried, so we had to figure another technique out. We found out that baby wipes cleaned off the tiles perfectly - even the Sharpie - so we could have another try. We ended up cutting pieces of white construction paper, had the kids recreate their light strands, and then Mod Podged the completed paper to their tiles. We finished with a covering of Mod Podge and then a spray of an acrylic sealer for extra protection. I also put mini adhesive furniture pads on each of the four corners of the back of each tile so the coasters would not scratch furniture at home.
Here are some of the construction paper light strands before we put them on the tiles. I can't believe I forgot to take photos of the completed coasters - they turned out great! Please excuse my messy attempt at blacking out my students' names - the bottom right corners of their coasters say "♥, [name] 2013"

We also had taken photos of the kids at our local garden/sculpture park's holiday tree display, so we decided to make those photos into a second coaster for parents, as well. The kids cut their photos out with craft/shaped scissors and we Mod Podged/sealed as we did the light strands:

I'm sure the parents loved receiving these special gifts for the holidays - the kids were sure excited to wrap and bring them home! Several were going to insist their parents wait to open their gifts until Christmas morning :)

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