Thursday, November 29, 2012

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas: Perfect Pre-K Parent Gift

Five years ago, we started a tradition in our classroom that each year the children will paint a glass Christmas bulb as a gift to their parents.  In an effort to keep this year’s ornament a surprise, I am going to share the designs from the past four years. 

Last year, we made the "Loving Candy Canes" ornament. Use the student’s thumbprints to paint two red & white patterned candy canes in the shape of a heart on a green bulb. 

Poem for "Loving Candy Canes" Ornament
Thumbprints of red and white,
Oh, what a beautiful sight!
Loving Candy Canes, don’t you see. . .
One for you and one for me!

Two years ago, we made the "Tree-mendous Christmas Tree" ornament.  Use the student’s thumbprints to make a Christmas tree. Make one green thumbprint on the top, then two on the next row, three on the third, and four on the fourth row.  Next using the student’s other thumb, paint a brown trunk.  After the paint dries, help your students glue small jewels to the tree with craft glue.  Finally, help them use glittery gold puffy paint to make a star at the  top of the tree.

Poem for "Tree-mendous Christmas Tree" Ornament.
Oh Christmas tree, 
Oh Christmas tree, 
This tree was made. . .
Especially for you by me!

Three years ago, I purchased clear glass bulbs from Hobby Lobby and had the students blow different colors of paint into the ornament with a straw.  They then painted a red heart on the outside of their ornament using the sides of their hands. 

Teacher's Tip:  Use a paintbrush to paint the outside of the
student's hands.  This makes a better print than having the
students dip the sides their hands in paint.


Poem for the "Blown from the Heart" Ornament
This ornament was stamped with my hands,
and blown from my heart!

Rework:  For students who did not understand the concept of blowing paint out of a straw and to prevent them from sucking painting into their mouth (how you would typically use a straw), I had them do a marble effect by dipping heart beads into different colors of paint and then dropping them into the inside of the bulb and rolling them gently around.  We left the heart beads in the bulb and rewrote the poem.  The children put one heart beads for every person in their family into the bulb.  

Adapted Poem for this Ornament
This ornament is special don’t you see. . .
Painted hearts circled around for all of you and me.
Together we make a wonderful family!

Four years ago, we started our glass bulb tradition by borrowing an idea from Miss Andrea, one of our paras, who got the snowman bulb from her son the previous year.  You can see the snowman bulb here

Home Adaption:  What makes our glass ornament tradition even more dear to my heart is that my paras and I take each year’s idea home and make the glass ornaments with our own children.  Each year my boys make the ornaments for special people in our lives like their aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors, teachers and daycare providers.  

To me, the best part of our glass ornament tradition is making a bulb each year for our family tree.  The boys and I love decorating the tree with all the ornaments they have made.  

For our own tree, the boys make the ornaments by themselves and sign them versus an ornament they make together.  That way the ornaments can eventually be keepsakes for each boy when he's grown.

Extra Credit:  Printing the poems on card stock, cutting them apart with scrapbook scissors, and then laminating them makes for a longer lasting keepsake!  

***Post Update:  In response to popular demand, here are the gift tag templates from this post:  Blown from the Heart OrnamentBlown from the Heart - Adapted VersionTree-mendous Christmas TreeLoving Candy Canes.***


  1. Thanks for the ideas. Our kids love using TickleMe Plant Party Favors as ornaments. They include everything needed to grow a live plant that will in fact close its leaves when tickled. I thought you and your readers would enjoy them. Found them on can also paint them as some kits include paint.

  2. Thanks for the tip! I will definitely check that out.

  3. I agree with Lindy and Anon - it's the way we do things and it comes together with a beautiful Christmas Hamper with gourmet at this time of year.