Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Cutest EVER 'Student-Made' Holiday Gift Ideas for Parents!

Now you can cross at one more thing off of your December "to-do" list... finding the perfect holiday gifts for students to make for their parents (or class volunteers, secretaries, custodians, etc...!)

Those who follow my my RED DIAMOND Pinterest Boards know that I LOVE (a.k.a. "am addicted to") searching for the best free teaching finds online. But as time is short this holiday season, I thought I would save you a trip to Pinterest and compile the cutest (and easiest!) student-made gift ideas right here, along with a FREE download for the SECRET STORIES® Guided Reader—Like a Snowball, to help keep those guided groups on-track over the next week! (And don't forget to download all of the other freebies listed in the product description!)
SECRET STORIES® Guided Reader— Like a Snow Ball!
Spotting SECRETS— ER, MOMMY E™, TH, OW, AY, and ING 
SECRET STORIES® Outlaw Words— there, to, do

Okay, first up...
Photo Ornaments from I've never seen anything like this before, but it looks so simple that I'm definitely making these with my girls for their grandparents this year!
Sliced-Photo Ornaments by Joyzz
These next two ideas for easy and adorable Holiday Angels I'd actually found on a teaching site that is not in English, but it had lots of great pictures. I've only included a few of them here, but if you click on the links below the pictures, the 'angel-creation' process is shown step-by-step!
Hand Print Angels
Glittered Angel Rolls

This Hanging-Around Ornament is from Mrs. Goff's PreK Tales, and if you visit her site, she has posted lots more pictures showing different (but equally adorable!) variations on this theme! 
Hanging-Around Ornaments from Mrs. Goff's PreK Tales  
These next two are both tied for my favorites! I saw the first one on Pinterest, and then upon going to the website, Art Projects for Kids, I found the second one. I especially like these because they both allow for easy incorporation of simple math concepts, which the directions mention, as well!
Abstract Winter Trees by Art Projects for Kids

I love this next one—Watercolor Pine Ornamentsmainly because I adore watercolors! The addition of real pine branches in contrast to the watercolor ornaments on black makes it the perfect piece of "kid-art" to frame and keep forever!!  

There was no link to this one, but the directions included with the pin were as follows:
-Have kids paint on thick paper with watercolor paint in desired colors and cut out in circle shapes. Glue circles on black paper. 
-Use a bit of gold glitter to make the ornament clasp.
-Place ornament hook around a thin pine branch and glue as shown (Kids can also make water colored frames for this, or you can purchase cheap plastic ones in black from the Dollar Store :)
Watercolor Pine Ornaments

And my personal favorite.... this beautiful Christmas Tree Window, from Kathy's Angelnik Blogspot.
It's just so gorgeous, and Kathy provides easy-to-follow directions for kids to make it on her blog—Thank you, Kathy!

And these cute little Helping Hands Holiday Mitts are super easy.... no directions required! 
Helping Hands Holiday Mitts
I also wanted to share these beautiful Pine Cone Paper Flowers from That Artist Woman as a nice alternative to the traditional wintertime gift! Believe it or not, they are easy to make by just stuffing colored tissue paper into pine cone groves! Step-by-step directions for the whole thing, including the pots, are shown with pictures on the website!

And last but not least, add some extra "sparkle and shine" to your holiday gift ideas with this easy recipe for Glossy Sparkle by Pixie Pumps! This glittery-glaze provides the finishing touch for student gifts! 

Glossy Sparkle by Pixie Pumps

I hope that these "go-to" gift ideas make your holiday just a little bit easier, and that you and your students enjoy reading (and finding SECRETS!) in Like a Snowball!

Warm Wishes for a Happy Holiday!

PS Download Secret Stories® mini-anchor pack FREE using the text link below!

CLICK HERE to download the FREE Secret Stories® Mini-Anchor Pack!


Visit Katie Garner- Educational Author/ Speaker's profile on Pinterest.


  1. I am still amazed at how effective the Secret Stories are in my Kindergarten class. I started them after spring break last year (when I first found them) and was so happy with how they helped my kids in reading and writing, including my English Language Learners and Intensive Needs Students. This year I started the better alphabet and the secrets on the first day and my kids have taken off! My teammates and our LAP interventionist are also using them this year. During snack time, I often find my kids crowding around the Secrets wall. They love to tell each other the secrets. Last week my formal evaluation was during our literacy time. Together the kids helped me read a poem that I would usually have introduced near the end of the year. My principal was blown away by the fact that my Kinders were able read it in November and that they sat full engaged for almost 20 minutes working on the poem! They then went back to their seats and insisted on highlighting all the secrets on their individual copies of the poem. Oh, and their writing! They love the story about the Zoo and work so hard to capture letters for their readers. Thanks for such a great resource!

  2. Wow! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your taking the time to share all of the above, especially at this busy time of year! I would absolutely LOVE it if you would continue to post about your progress, similarly to what Mrs. Mac does with her first grade class, as it really is of such value to other teachers!! I think this is esepcially so in Kinder, as they literally ARE like empty slates, and there is still such contraversy regarding what they "can and can't" ..... "should and shouldn't" do!

    Nothing is more vaulable than being able to peek-into another teacher's classroom and observe individual student progress! If you wouldn't mind emailing me directly, I would really appreciate it-

    Thanks so much again, and hope to hear from you soon,

    1. I sent you a message last night.
      😊Kjersti Johnson

  3. I created a tutorial for the tree in the window if you would like to add it to your post:
    A taught it last year and it turned out very nice : )

    1. I absolutely will, and thank you so much for letting me know!!!

  4. Excellent post. Now you can buy gifts online for your beloved ones from Red Moments.