Houston Homemade Christmas

Due to the fact that the homemade signs we made were Christmas gifts for my mother and mother-in-law, I unfortunately couldn’t post this piece prior to the holidays (I didn’t want to ruin the surprise).  Furthermore, due to Emma’s (4 years old), Olivia’s (18 months), and Isabelle’s (also 18 months) ability to surf the internet and read this blog (sarcasm), I feared they would discover the homemade aprons thus ruining their Christmas morning…I wouldn’t dare.  So, I humbly apologize for the tardiness of this post.

Regardless of the tardiness, here are some great homemade gift ideas that might help you stretch your teachers’ salary a little further!

Mistletoes Sign

A popular pin on pinterest this year, this idea really excited me.  It was extremely easy to accomplish and with just a few changes (construction paper vice canvas) you could turn this project into a parent present for your class.  Here is the original post and tutorial from Child Care Soup.

Aprons

Have any fabric scraps you are ready to get rid of?  Any clothes or pillowcases you’re ready take to Goodwill?  I quickly whipped up these with leftover scraps.  Aprons, or perhaps smocks, are great for role-playing (or perhaps retelling) centers in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade.  They’re also great for little ones at home.   I found a very easy tutorial here.

Cloth Pull

Since pulling tissues or wipes out of boxes is the obvious rage for 18-month-olds, I made Isabelle and Olivia a “cloth pull.”  This has produced a dramatic decrease in grocery store purchases of tissues and wipes (further benefit – Isabelle and Olivia have actually been staying busy for more than 38 seconds!).  To provide an area where they can stick the fabric, I added contact paper to our wall.  This helps with fine motor skills and they love seeing their creation take shape.  Perhaps you would like to try this with your class (18 months-3 years) if they require work on motor skills.

Bath Fizzies

Out of all the homemade projects we completed, this is the only one that I did not have the necessary supplies handy.  However, at completion of the project, I found that it was completely worth it.  Citric acid is typically used as a preservative (or to add sour taste to food).  A secondary effect of citric acid when mixed with water is a fun “fizz” making it the key ingredient for bath fizzies.  While citric acid is available at some specialty stores (wine-making or spice stores) I ordered mine off eBay (toting three small children into a wine making store evoked a little too much fear for me).  I followed Martha Stewart’s tutorial here.

This would make a great science experiment or fun project at home.

Sunshine Canvas

Last but not least, I made this “You Are My Sunshine” work of art for my mother (this happens to be her favorite song).  It turned out so well, I decided to make an additional one for our play room.  Similar to the “Mistletoes” work of art, this was easy to make and can easily be adapted for a classroom project.  Students could make this for loved ones or you could elect to make a large version for a school bulletin board.  This would brighten up any school hallway!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

Happy Teaching!

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