Do you need some last minute art and Christmas gift ideas? I get it; it's a hectic time of the year and you've run out of ideas. There is so much excitement happening in our classroom this week. Between our Elf Jingle, making reindeer food, and some holiday movies during rainy day lunch, we are beyond giddy! I don't have any munchkins of my own yet, so seeing the magic of Christmas through the eyes of my second graders ABSOLUTELY melts my heart.
Every month, I send home a family art project. Students love working on them with their families. They are proud to share them with the class and I love hanging them up in our windows for the rest of the school to see! What's even more awesome, one less project to fit in!
I found this awesome direct drawing project last year. It's so easy to do! All you need are black sharpies and watercolors. We hang them up on our memory books for all to see!
Our school loves art and each classroom has a parent who volunteers as the art docent. Our awesome art docent was a lifesaver because the made these gifts with my kiddos! Have you heard of Shrinky Dinks? Neither had I…until last week! They are these little thin pieces of plastic. Kiddos use colored sharpies to decorate them. Then, just pop them in the oven and they shrink and harden. This awesome momma attached little hooks to make keychains.
Not only did that awesome momma make key chains, she also had my class make pinch pots using the modeling clay that can air dry. Kiddos rolled the clay, flattened it out (which is a process), and shaped it using a paper bowl. They used bamboo sticks (you know, to BBQ with) to write and make designs in the clay. If I were to do this again, I'd definitely to it in a small group. We let the clay dry for a few days and then colored them with watercolors. So easy!
How awesome is this door that my room mom made with my class! She had the kids decorate the light bulbs with glitter glue.
I use to make a list of all of the love bugs who brought me an awesome gift and spend my break writing thank you cards. It was pretty time consuming and if you know me, I like quick and easy! So…last year I made these pre made cards. All I had to do was print in color or black and white on colored paper. Since they come 4 to-a-page, I just cut them, sign my name, and keep them stacked on my desk for my little friends. As soon as a kiddo or colleague gives me a gift, I can thank them right away!
Michaels and Amazon sell medium and large glass ornaments for fairly cheap. A few years ago, I made them for everyone in my family and all of my work colleagues. I'm a beach girl, so I added sand and shells (from Michaels) to the inside. I wrote fun little sayings with paint markers, tied on some raffia, and DONE! Meaningful and easy!
I saw this idea and knew I had to do it! I tried it at first with white construction paper but think the black turned out better because the colors really popped. All you need is black construction paper, chalk, 1 Q tip per kiddo, and a metallic sharpie. You'll also need to make light bulb stencils. I'm clearly not a perfectionist, so I cut a bunch out in 2 minutes. I just used construction paper, stacked a few pieces on top of each other, and cut away. Then, I cut an 8.5″x11″ piece of black paper hot dog style. Each kiddo got 1 stencil and 1 black piece of paper.
I only had 2 silver sharpies (which worked fine because these babies aren't cheap) so as they worked their way around the room. First, kiddos used their stencil and drew 4 bulbs. I like bright colors so I bought sets of chalk (pink, blue, green) from Michaels. But, any chalk, or chalk markers will work! As students traced their bulbs. I passed out the sharpies and students drew a squiggly line at the top of their page. Don't forget the rectangle for the bulb to attach! As the markers continued to make their way around a room full of 26 quiet second graders, I encouraged the kids to trace thick lines. They used the Q tips to smudge the lines. They absolutely loved this project. I loved it because it was 15 minutes of absolute silence!
Is this not the most precious thing you've ever seen! Next year, I think I'll have them do this on a 4″x6″ piece of paper and frame it!
I'm fortunate to have a lot of parent help this year. As much as I appreciate them, I can't go out and get all of them a nice gift card. So, I came up with this after I was inspired last year. I had trouble printing the tags that I used last year so I found these precious reindeer ones. When I printed them, I scaled it down to 75% so that they would fit on the lid of the jars. I bought small mason jars on Amazon because Target is always out. Eight bucks for 12 jars, SCORE! Or, go larger with 8oz jars here.
I like easy so I bought Chex Mix for 2.50 a bag. One small bag filled up 4 jars! I dumped in the mix, screwed on the lid, put on the tag, ran a coat of mod podge over the top, and tied on some twine. The whole project took 20 minutes!
I just loved the water color reindeer project we did earlier, so I created this little direct drawing based off of a stamp I have. Each kiddo was given a piece of astrobrite paper. You can use construction paper if you'd like. I'm running low so I went with this. Kiddos folder the paper in half and we got to work. Kids used a pencil and watched and listened to me as I modeled the project under our doc cam.
1. Draw a rounded triangle for the face
2. Add your ears
3. Add a large circle on the bottom of the face for a nose
4. Draw two large circles inside the face, for the eyes
5. I like crazy eyes, so I made my little eye balls look up
6. Connect the body
7. Add cute antlers
8. We used oil pastels to color our little reindeer
This whole project from start-finish filled up the last 20 minutes of our day.
UPDATE: Last year, we used didn't use these as cards but framed them to give our parents as gifts. We used these frames and then the students used our sharpies from our light bulb project to write their name and year on the back.
I hope you can use some of these last minute art and Christmas gift ideas during such a fun, busy time. If you can't use them now, make sure to pin the photos and use them next year. Have a wonderful Christmas, sweet friends!
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Love that you used my reindeer tags! Your jars turned out great! Thanksfor sharing. Have a very Merry Christmas and a relaxing and fun vacation!
Barb Johnson (Johnson Creations)
nancy john says
What a fun idea!!! Even if you didn't send it, I can think of other fun ways to use this idea at home with my kids. Thanks so much for the inspiration.
important gift ideas
Do you have a pattern for the Elf family project?
I don’t have an elf family project but I do have a Santa one here.
Thanks so much for sharing my chalk stenciled Christmas light project! They turned out so cute! It looks like the link to credit the idea accidentally leads to an affiliate link. Would love it if you could correct this. Thanks! https://buggyandbuddy.com/christmas-light-chalk-stencil-art-kids/
I just checked out the post and I link back to your tutorial in the very first paragraph. Maybe you’re clicking on a different link?