Nov 15, 2014

Preschool Christmas Presents

To prepare for the holiday season, preschool and daycare educators begin planning a variety of arts and crafts for children to make. One of the art projects will be the "Christmas" gift for the parents. This gift tends to be one of those projects that is more product orientated, and teacher directed. Many teachers and caregivers prefer to have young children make presents that are orientated around winter holiday celebration versus traditional Christmas gifts. This way each family, regardless of their personal beliefs and religion, can appreciate the gifts being made. Following are some ideas for this holiday gift making process.

The Holiday Centerpiece

This centerpiece can be used with real pine branches, which of course will be a temporary gift, or plastic pine branches that can be purchased at most shopping outlets. Each child will have a container holding a floral foam that is usually used for flower arrangements (a firm play dough mixture can be used as well). In the middle a candle will be placed, and then children will be given a variety of branches and other decorative items to place around the candle. Adults, ahead of time, should prepare sticks, for example, skewers or chopsticks, by glueing items on top such as small bells, tiny bows, pinecones and so forth. The branches and the other sticks can be pushed into the foam to create a wonderful centerpiece that can be used to help decorate a family home.

The Holiday Handprint Wreath

The handprints will be made either by having a child dip his/her hand repeatedly into green paint, or by tracing his/her hands onto green construction paper. The handprints can be placed onto firm paper, a paper plate or material, such as a large napkin. Once the paper handprints are cut out they are ready to be glued onto paper or paperplates to create the wreath.If older children are tracing their hands, they can also cut out the handprints. Approximately 8-10 handprints are needed. The handprints can be positioned different ways to make the holiday wreath. One way is to have the palms of the hands in the middle, facing out and the other is to have the hands one behind the other in a circle. If painting, red thumbprints can make the berries, or small hearts can be used. Finish the wreath with a big red bow, and this poem:

My handprints made this wreath
My thumbprints, each berry
I hope this helps you have
A Christmas, that's merry!

Handprint Gift for Toddlers to Make

This art project for toddlers to make for mommy and daddy is very simple. Have a child place their hands into redpaint and place onto firm construction paper. When the handprints are dry, the adult will cut out the handprints and place a magnet on the back. Add a poem to add a special touch to this present. Alternatively, have the young children decorate the handprints with glitter and glue and place a string on each hand for Christmas Tree decorations

Picture Frame Holiday Present

A photo of a child always make a wonderful present. In this arts and crafts project, children will decorate stryofoam trays with pasta. Collect styrofoam trays that are used for packaging at grocery stores ahead of time or try and have them donated by family members or stores themselves.
Each child will decorate the outside of a tray with pasta. Bowtie pasta works well for this holiday gift. When the glue is all dry, an adult will spray paint the entire tray with silver or gold paint. Make sure to wear a facemask in a well vented area and away from all children for this step. When the tray is completely dry, finish the gift by placing the child's photo in the middle and by putting a magnet on the back.


The tree decorations are age and developmentally appropriate for preschool and toddler aged children. Above is one idea. For more, please visit my Pinterest Board.