Parent Gifts for Christmas

by Rachel Stepp

Comment on this post to win a $20 School Box Gift Card! One winner is picked every week!

As an adult, I can still go “home” to my parents’ house around Christmas time and see little “treasures” that I made in elementary school on the Christmas tree. This holiday season, you might want to make something with your students (or with your own children–maybe for their grandparents!) that will be treasured forever. There are many crafts to do, but you want to do something that parents and grandparents are going to want to hold onto and look at for years to come.

Idea #1: Fingerprint Snowman Ornaments

  1. To do this activity, you will need enough glass ornaments for all of your students. Any color will work, but clear and frosted blue are especially pretty. You can usually find these at seasonal stores or craft stores around the holiday season. Each child will get one.
  2. Paint the children’s fingers white and stamp them onto an ornament. Let them dry completely (probably over night).
  3. Then draw (or have the students draw) carrot noses, eyes and mouths made of coal, and snowmen hats with permanent markers or paint pens.
  4. Write each child’s name and the year on the back of the ornament. Tie a festive bow around the top of the ornament.
  5. Be sure to wrap the ornaments in tissue paper and in a paper bag before you send them home with the students because you don’t want them to break. Let your students know that they need to be careful with them.

Idea #2: Puzzle Piece Wreaths

  1. You can also make puzzle piece wreaths that can be either ornaments or pins.
  2. Find some puzzles with small pieces that you don’t want to have around anymore.
  3. Children should flip the puzzle pieces over to their brown side and paint them green. Each child should have enough puzzles pieces to lay them out in the shape of a wreath with pieces overlapping.
  4. You (or an adult volunteer) will need to do this next step: After the pieces have dried, use a hot glue gun to glue all of the pieces into the shape of a wreath.
  5. Then, children should take a picture of themselves and cut it out so that their face fits into the middle of the wreath. Glue the picture showing through the wreath from the back.
  6. You can add string in a loop at the top to make an ornament or buy pins with self adhesive backs to make it into pins. These are great because they are personable and it is fun to look at them year after year on your Christmas tree.

(For additional puzzle-piece wreath ideas, including the cute button look featured in the photo, visit

If you’re not feeling crafty this year, don’t panic! There are many small craft kits available at school supply and craft stores (like picture frame ornaments and foam stickers) that you could use to make something special. It is always fun to use students’ pictures so that they feel proud of what they make. It’s even possible that your yearbook staff (if your school has one) can give you a page of all of your children’s pictures so that you don’t have to print them yourself!

Merry Christmas…and happy crafting!

Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia with creative ideas aplenty!



Filed under Activities

5 responses to “Parent Gifts for Christmas

  1. peggy

    I make the snowmen ornaments with my children too. But, I paint all 5 of their fingers and have a little poem I print to add to the ornament. I also make their handprints on tiles to create angels. They make great trivets for parents. But, as a parent of 3 children myself, I love any ornament that has thier picture on it. I love putting up our tree each year and putting up their ornaments and seeing how they have grown.

  2. Kay Wallin

    You can take a small photo and place it inside a clear ornament. . .perhaps the new school photo! Glitter or other small embellishments can be added to the clear ornament (inside and out). The child can then paint or use a paint marker or even a sharpie to write his/her name and the year on the outside of the ornament.

  3. Karen

    I loved your ideas for the presents for the parents. It is hard to come up with different ones every few years. But these ones are so cute and very easy to make. I think the students will love making them and the parents will love getting them and then keeping them for future Christmas’s.

  4. connie wiley

    Great ideas for parents. I really enjoy all the ornaments my kids made. I have a special tree for all the handmade ornaments. These gifts would also work well for grandparents. A picture in the middle of the wreath would be a great way to show off those grandkids. Thick craft glue (instead of hot glue) would make the wreath completely child friendly and easy to make.

  5. ecossick

    Great ideas, Rachel. I’m a SUCKER for a finger print. Or hand print. Or toe print. It’s all good.
    Karen is our randomly selected comment winner from this week. Congrats, Karen! And thanks for all of you for your thoughtful comments. We really enjoy reading them…and learning from them!!