Childcare Christmas Gift

Being a childcare provider can be difficult when it comes to Christmas time.  I always want the kids to make something for their parents but there are so many things to consider….the age and abilities of the kids, the cost, the time, the needed supplies….oh.  It’s so hard to come up with something that won’t get chucked into a trash can.  I totally understand why some things might but this year, I think I did okay.

I went to Wal-Mart and bought these little wooden frames.  They didn’t have 12 of either kind so I got heart shaped ones for the girls and square for the boys.  These would be cute for Valentines Day with the hearts.  They were only 97 cents each so that was AWESOME!

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I also bought paint, foam brushes and a couple stencils.

Neighbor Girl happened to come over on the day I was working on getting these stained so she helped me by unwrapping them….

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…and here she is staining them.

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Next for the littlest kiddos, I stenciled their name and a little decoration on the bottom of theirs.

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I hated how bright the paint ended up looking so on a whim I sanded the frame and loved the difference on how they looked.  Don’t you?Frames-5

It’s more of the rustic look I was going for.

Next up I needed a profile picture of each kid.  This was challenging!!  Here’s Carver.

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I transferred the picture to my computer.  I put them into a Word document.  I resized the picture to what I needed and printed it out in black and white.  I forgot to take a picture of Carver’s but here’s one of a different childcare kiddo.

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The photo doesn’t need to be great..I just needed the profile image.

Next I flipped the picture over and using an exacto knife I laid the picture on black construction paper and cut it out.

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I cut a piece of manila paper and a piece of cardboard to fit in the frame opening and put them in place.

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Then I glued the kids’ picture in place.

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This is Carver’s finished frame.  It’s a little bit corny but not bad.

The preschool kids and the school aged kids did the stenciling on their own.  I went back with an exacto knife and was able to “clean it up” a bit.  The sanding made their stenciling look pretty good.

All in all, I’m really happy with how they turned out!  They were a little labor intensive but not terrible.  To go along with this the kids stamped brown paper with cookie cutters for the wrapping paper and they made a little card for their parents to go with the gift.  The hardest part of all for me was to manage this with the kids’ schedules.  Kids all come at different times and different days of the week so I was always one or two kids behind…I was constantly trying to catch someone up!

For school aged kids and preschoolers, this was a great project…for kids that are two and under, I had to do most of the work.  I do have to share that the kids were VERY confused as to why they couldn’t square up their body and look at the camera as I was taking the picture.  I had to physically turn them and give them a focus point to look at.  FUN!

I’d love any ideas for parent gift projects that any of you might have.  I always need idea…you know, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day…all of those days aren’t that far away!!

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12 thoughts on “Childcare Christmas Gift

  1. Penny

    You are so talented & creative, Jo! Perfect handmade Christmas gift for your Child Care kids to give their parents! I think the special gifts will be treasured for years to come!

  2. Tina in NJ

    In the church group I helped with years ago did a picture frame, too. We snipped up some tissue paper (lots of colors) and used white glue to glue the tissue paper to the frames, kinda like decoupage. It had a stained glass effect, which might be more appropriate to a church group than regular child care. But that’s what your frames reminded me of.

  3. JennyM

    Another picture frame idea is to take an acrylic stand up frame from Walmart, have the kids glue buttons, some stacked up if desired, around the edges and in the corners. Then insert a photo of the child holding a sign saying I LOVE YOU. My kids brought those home from school many years ago and I still have them displayed in my sewing space.

  4. Eileen

    For Mothers Day in my preschool class we plated marigold seeds waaaaaaay ahead of time. I planted to have them bloom by Mothers Day. It had lots of lessons during that time. I had 24 kids in my class. I think we planted maybe 5 seeds in each container and then later I sniped off the ones to make it just one plant.

  5. Beryl BC

    This was a good idea. I remember doing the silhouette pictures in elementary school. It was still hanging on my mother’s wall, even after I turned 50.

  6. Katherine

    That was an adorable craft. I might steal your idea for next year.

    I do a different project with my grandchildren every year. Here one we did. That you can put in your idea file. LOL

    MITTEN GARLAND
    Mitten applique pattern (simple outline),
    Bright color felt sheets (cut out mittens
    Colorful buttons to glue on felt mittens
    Each child makes 5 (if to young to cutout mittens, you can have them done before they come)
    Medium size jingle bells (3 each)
    Yarn cut large enough to make a garland with mitten, bell, mitten, etc. As I recall for some I did not have enough for 3 bell, so we just tied one on to each end of the yarn. You have my permission to add as many bells as you want. LOL
    Glue buttoned mitten to yarn, string bell to garland, and continue

    This was a project from an old Country Woman magazine. We made 20 of them to give as gifts to parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. After about 7 years everyone still hangs them across hutches, windows, etc.

  7. ShirlR

    Ohhhhh, this is just the sweetest gift! If my girls were little and someone had gone to all this work I probably would have shed some tears of joy when it was presented to me. I would have displayed it in my home and loved it every time I looked at it. When my girls were little, the project in school was to make plaster of Paris hand prints with a little hole for ribbon to display them. Just within the last couple of years, I gave my youngest daughter hers so she could show it to her own grandchildren. Your frame and the idea of the children helping to make this for their parents is beyond wonderful!

  8. Mary

    I made vases with my school kids one year. We took a small bottle and covered the bottle/jar with small torn pieces of masking tape. The pieces overlapped and we covered the entire bottle/jar. Then we took shoe polish the paste kind and rubbed the shoe polish all over the jar. Where the tape overlapped the shoe polish was darker so it gave an interesting effect. I think I had the kids weat old socks on their hands to prevent the shoe polish from getting all over them. After drying, I recall we made a few fake flowers using pipe cleaners and construction paper.

  9. Mary

    Another time we made a notepad holder. I bought small inexpensive notepads and colored burlap. We began with a piece of heavy cardboard like from a shipping carton. We covered the piece – it was about 6″ x 10″ and wrapped the burlap around it. We fastened it to the back of the cardoard. Then I traced each child’s hands and cut them out. We placed the hands at the bottom of the piece and glued the pad of paper right above it. The child’s name was written on the hands. Then we poked two holes at the top of the piece and strung a thick piece of yarn through the holes. We tied the ends so it created a hanger for the note pad.

  10. bobbiesews

    Love your idea- it would be a keeper in my home. My Mom had silhouettes from when she was a child and I have hers and my children’s. I hope when I pass them on my son’s will be happy to display them.

  11. Pingback: Our Childcare Valentines Project | Jo's Country Junction

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