It has been a tradition in the school where I teach to have the children make a Christmas gift for their parents each year. Since I have been so busy these past few weeks preparing for my first Christmas program as directress of my school, I had kind of pushed the Christmas gift thing to the back burner until the program was over. I knew I wanted to do something with the children's handprints, but hadn't found anything online that I really liked. Over the weekend, my wheels were turning (they had no choice since this is our last week of school before break!!) and I came up with this little project. I think the parents will really like it. (Sorry to those of you who are parents of my students and are reading this.........act surprised, OK??)
This project has to be completed over two sessions since my students only attend half-days and I needed to allow drying time for the paint. Here are the steps I used to make this project. The one pictured here is my little boy's sample that we did over the weekend.
1. Paint child's hand with green tempera paint and press onto white cardstock. Be sure to have them keep their fingers together as this makes a better "tree" shape. Allow paint to dry.
2. Cut around the handprint. Glue a star at the top (I punched stars out of yellow cardstock using a scrapbook punch). NOTE: The "top" is actually the base of the handprint, not the fingertips. Use glue (or glue dots) to attach sequins or jewels to the handprint. These are the tree "ornaments".
3. Have your child use a brown marker to color one side of a wooden craft stick.
4. Use tape to attach the craft stick to the back of the tree.
5. If you wish, use a strand of tinsel (decorative yarn would also work) to wrap around the tree, taping the ends on the back.
6. Cut a small Styrofoam ball in half (I used a serrated kitchen knife) and insert the end of the craft stick into it. This is the little "snowbank" beneath your tree.
NOTE: You could also punch a hole in the top and attach a hanger or yarn to make this a tree ornament. I really liked the idea of making something that could stand on its own. It would be really cool to do this with your children every year and set up a little forest of their trees as you accumulate them over the years. I think I'll do this with my boys starting this year.
Below is a photo of the back of the project. For my students, I will attach a sticker stating the year, 2008.