Monday, November 28, 2011

Parent Gifts for the Holidays

This is an easy and fairly cheap project to do with your students to give as a gift for their parents.  We ask our local big box hardware store to donate the supplies and they are usually very willing to donate everything we need!

To make the decorative tiles, you will need the following:

6x6 white bathroom wall tile for each child
an assortment of fine and extra fine Sharpie markers
piece of fine sandpaper
clear lacquer spray paint

Lightly (very lightly) sand the tile (this is so the marker will "stick") and wipe it clean with a dry paper towel.  Give each child a piece of paper with a 6x6 square traced on it to use as a practice before they attempt the real thing...there is no turning back once a first grader is armed with a Sharpie!!!!

This is my attempt at making a practice sheet for the example.  Don't laugh at my artistic abilities!

Next, read the kids the riot act about not dropping the tile because the nice folks (over at the store that rhymes with Gnome Sheep-o) only gave us enough for each child to have ONE!  Have the nice little talk about how moms and dads won't be too thrilled if permanent marker gets on their clothes and how the markers are NOT smelly markers and that they should not put them anywhere near their nose.

When the kids are finished, I have them CAREFULLY place the tiles on a large sheet of butcher/bulletin board paper on the floor.  When they all go home for the night, I lightly coat them with the clear sealer.  (Make sure your windows are open and you warn the custodian not to be alarmed when he smells a strong odor coming from your room.)  You may want to clear your senses before you attempt to drive yourself home.  That sealer is wicked strong!!!

It is totally optional, but you can put tiny sticky felt pieces on the four corners on the bottom of the tile so it doesn't scratch tables and things.  Parents LOVE this gift and cherish it for years to come...except for the one single dad that emailed me 3 days after receiving it with a warning to tell other parents not to put it in the dishwasher.  It completely erased the whole entire image that his child put on the tile!!!  I didn't have the heart to tell him it was for decorative purposes only.  LOL

I found some red and green bubble wrap this year that I will wrap the tiles in once they are completely dry.  The kids decorate a white paper lunch bag to use as a gift bag, too!

What do you have your students make for their parents????

I will be back soon with my parent volunteer gift idea that is easy peasy and el-cheapo!


Dee said...

Wow! I LOVE this! I'll keep a copy of your directions, and maybe pass it around at school. This is so cool. Thanks for sharing!
First Impressions

Mrs. K said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! Your artistic ability kiddos laugh at mine:) I will be paying a visit to my store to see if they will share the Christmas spirit with a poor teacher.

Erika said...

So cute and something I would love from my child. Thanks for the idea!
2B Honey Bunch

Delighted said...

Loving it! Thank you for the idea. Now to get the tiles...

First Grade Delight

Cindy said...

Very CUTE!! With 61 students this year, this may be the way for me to go for gift making! ;)
THANKS for sharing!s

Amanda said...

I do something very similar. We get the blue bathroom tiles and have the kiddos put one whole finger on there with white paint. They then use paint sharpies to decorate it as a snowman. This year, I'm adding at the top "There's SNOW place like home!" So the parents can use it as a cute little coaster!

Frolicking Through First

Sra. Carro said...

Super great idea! I will definitely keep this mind! And your artwork is great! :) Thanks for sharing!

FlapJack Educational Resources

Jen R. (The Teachers' Cauldron) said...

Can I just say that I've tried getting the donations from our Gnome Sheep-o and it is like IMPOSSIBLE! First off, they have bouncers that won't even let me talk to the manager, and it's been like a WEEK since I've dropped off my "papers" to her....and I KNOW her - which I thought would help out my cause, but I guess not! lol. geesh!

Mrs. K said...

Just wanted to give you an update on my tile buying experience. I have 3 local hardware stores, and after reading Jen's, I decided to try my luck with the store that rhymes with Snows. SUCCESS!!!! I also got a GREAT discount on the sandpaper and lacquer!! WOOHOO!!! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity!! I can't wait to do this with my kiddos:-)