Monday, May 7, 2012

Blog series-Gifts for Educators – Part 2--Things Children Can Make:

These are just a few suggestion that I came up with but I am sure you can think of many more ideas.  I try to stay away from bath and body stuff because children as well as adults may have allergies to these items.

T-shirt or Canvas bag project:

I have had the child choose a color fabric paint and put their hand print on the T-shirt.  Or have each student do the same and then add their name under their hand print. 
·         T-Shirt or Canvas Bag,
·         cardboard for shirt form (You can use a box or even one half of an empty cereal box as I have done in the past)
·         Dimensional Fabric Paint
·         Paper Plate
Place the cardboard inside the t-shirt as if the cardboard is wearing the shirt.   Then start out by squeezing out enough paint onto the paper plate for a child to dip his/her hand or finger tips in to the paint. Once their hand is covered by paint, have them press it onto whatever you are decorating.  Let paint dry as recommend on the fabric paint directions. The same effect works well for toe bags as you see below.


I was given a ceramic apple with the student name on one side and my name on the other side of the apple with gold paint.

You can get coffee mugs to decorate yourself at any craft store.  Recently, at Hobby Lobby they also had glasses, too.

 Creatology™ Ceramic Mug with Markers

When I taught in Middle School, I had some of my special needs children make paperweights.  See picture below.

Plaster paperweight--1:

At that time we use lid from Ricotta Cheese containers, but you could use the jar lids from Del Monte fruit which gives you a deeper and heavy paperweight.  From the floral department, we got some color stones. Take the stones and put them in the lids of your choosing. Then add on top either plaster of Paris, ceramic tile grout (available at hardware stores), or spackling compound on top to hold the stones in place.

Plaster paperweight--2

Mix 4 tbsp. plaster of paris 2 tbsp. water, then into corner of plastic bag pour.  Have the child twist the top of bag should kind of look like chocolate kiss.  You should let sit for about 2 minutes. At this point the child can made strange shapes.  Let sit for ½ hour or until completely set. After dry, remove from bag and child can decorate it with tempera paint. Parent may need to do the following depending on the age of the child---when paint is dry use clear varnish to seal paperweight.  

Button Pin: 

Get small wooden shape from the craft store (painting section of the store).  We used hearts for this project or you could use any colorful buttons without shank backs. To affix them use Aleene’s tacky glue or “Strong” Elmer’s glue (not the school version).  After everything is dry, attach a pin or pins purchased at the jewelry area of the department store to finish the button pin.

 Apple Pencil Topper or Pen

Cut one apple from a red silk flower. Then cut one small leaf from a green silk flower.  (Smaller children can use stock paper.)  Use double stick tape and tape to pencil/pen or use 1 ½ inch piece of wire, then twist wire around the top of the pencil. My suggestion would be to cover the wire with floral tape.


Teacher's Survival Kit Gift

Have the child put all or several of these items in decorated basket, lunchbox, storage container or pencil box.

 •Aspirin: When all else fails, take 2 and take a time out.
•Band-Aid: For when things get a little rough.
•Crayon: To color every day bright and cheerful.
•Ear Plugs: For when the noise gets too overwhelming.
•Life-Saver Candy: Because you are a life saver to many children.
•Marbles: To replace those you might loose from time to time.
•Mounds Candy Bar: For the mounds of knowledge you share.
•Paper Clip: For when you need help in holding things together.
•Peanuts: To remind you to be a little nutty sometimes. 
 •Puzzle Piece: Because you are a big piece of every child's life.
•Rubber Band: To remind you to be flexible.
•Starburst Candy: To give you a burst of energy when you need it.

When items are in the container, take an index card or a line piece of paper or just cut and paste the list above on it to explain the various items in the container.  Give to the educator when done.

For those who value reading--make a bookmark:


This is just one example but kids can be very creative by just giving them a strip of card stock and markers.  Some the craft stores carry bookmark template. A child can also use a rubber stamp(s) on the bookmark.

Cereal Box Magazine Holder:

Some of the above projects will also make great gifts for moms. Mother’s Day is coming soon as well so you have a few ideas for that too.

Share your ideas on this or anything here on the blog by making a comment here or e-mail me at  I look forward to hearing from you!


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