I've heard dozens of endings to 'the best things in life . . . '. Small packages, are free, whatever. But today, I found myself thinking that the best Christmas presents come home in my children's backpacks. My preschoolers' packs were such a treasure trove today that I honestly feel like I should send their teacher a thank you note! And of course, since they're projects for small children, they could be easily and frugally replicated, even made more sophisticated, by an adult. or not--they're seriously precious as they are :D
These snowmen are cut out of a thin, quilted fabric (not sure if you can find this fabric for a good price, but placemats from the dollar tree should work). They then have black glittery fabric hats, tiny black craft dots for the buttons and eyes, a scrap of fabric for the scarf, and tiny scraps of fabric for the mouth and nose. Cut it all out, glue it together, and you're done.
This one is from my kindergartener, and they may have bought kits (or even premade ornaments) but you could easily replicate this one with craft foam or even wood. Find a coloring book picture of a train engine (Like these or this one )to use as a template. Cut out the base train from craft foam and a piece of cardstock. Cut out the smaller pieces from a different color of craft foam. Cut a rectangle slightly smaller than your picture in the craft foam, where the 'engineer' would sit. Put it all together :D
These were made from craft foam, but you could also make them from cardboard, cardstock, construction paper, or even disposable plates! Again, just cut out the shape and glue on whatever you have lying around for the features. And of course, you could do them in actual gingerbread, and use chocolate chips, candy, and/or icing for the features.
I definitely saved the best for last--these next two are my favorites. They would also make lovely gifts for grandparents or other relatives.
*no idea why this is on it's side. I'm going to have to do some research on blogger's photo uploads :( *
This is not an ornament I've seen done before, but it is beautiful (at least to the mommy of the handprint owners :P). Put white paint on the child's hand, and gently induce them to grab the ornament (one of my twins' smeared his a little). After the paint dries, use permanent markers or paint markers to draw the hats and other features necessary to turn each 'finger' into a snowman! Turn the ornament around, write the child's name and the year, attach a card with the poem, and you're done. In case you can't read it, the poem on the attached card is:
These aren't just five snowmen
As anyone can see
I made them with my hand
Which is a part of me.
Now each year when you trim the tree
You'll look back and recall
Christmas of 2010
When my hand was just this small.
*sorry it's on it's side. No idea why :( *
This one isn't technically an ornament, but I love it so much I wanted to include it. My mother has two of these, framed--one I did, and one my brother did. The handprints are (of course) the child's handprints, and the poem in the center reads:
Sometimes you may get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls.
But everyday I'm growing
I'll be grown up someday
And all those tiny handprints
will surely fade away.
So here's a final hand print
Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small.
And now I understand why my mother always gets teary eyed when she looks at those framed prints my brother and I made.