Sunday, December 13, 2015


Time has slipped away from us - too much Christmas decorating, shopping, and parties!  We would like to share with you great presents for the children to make to give to their families.  You may not have time for these this year but bookmark this page for next year!  

Linda:  I used to make these pinecone trees with my entire class over a 2 or 3-day time period.  This year I did them with my grandchildren in one day! 
Materials needed: 
plaster of Paris             water            throw-away cups  
tongue depressors          old muffin tins    
cupcake liner papers      pinecones        green paint      
glitter                        stars              hot glue gun
This can be a messy project so I covered my table with a throw-away plastic table cloth from a dollar store. 
My grandchildren and I collected pinecones in my front yard.  I stopped by Hobby Lobby for plaster of Paris and was able to purchase what is now called Perfect Plaster:  

  1.  With a permanent marker, write the children’s names on the bottom of the cupcake liner paper.  I also add the year since parents will want to keep these as mementos to put out each year!
  2. Scoop about 1/3 cup of Plaster into throw-away cups.  Add a small amount of water and have the children stir until it’s the consistency of cement.  If it’s too runny, add more plaster.  Too thick, add more water.
  3. Help the child pour the plaster into a cupcake paper that’s been placed in the old muffin tin.  
  4. The child pushes a pine cone down into the plaster.  
  5. These will need to set for at least an hour or 2.  When I was teaching, I worked with about 4 or 5 children at a station to do this first step.  The next day we would decorate their trees. 
  6. Using green tempera paint and a small brush, the children paint the cones.  While the paint is wet, they sprinkle glitter on them.  
  7. I was the one who used the hot glue gun for putting a star on top.  The ones in this photo are snowflakes I purchased at the local craft store because the sequin stars were too small. 
Lisa: We have only 4 more school days before our vacation begins so I will be making thumbprint reindeer ornaments with the children.  Faster and less messy!  
Materials needed: 
ornaments with a flat or matte finish
brown acrylic paint      egg cartons for drying
permanent markers      small red pompoms
hot glue gun
  1. I write the children’s names and the year on the bottom of the ornaments.
  2. Using a small paintbrush, I paint just their thumbs and then help them make a print on the ornament.  I wanted to do 8 little reindeer but 4 works better!
  3. The ornaments are laid in egg cartons to dry for an hour or so.  
  4. Then the children can make antlers and eyes with a permanent marker.
  5. I hot glue the red pompom on for Rudolf’s nose!

    Happy Teaching!

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