When December hits and I start making my Christmas gift list I am always struck with the “oh no! What do we gift their teachers?” thought. Do you have this moment?
I used to teach preschool and first grade so I remember the gifts.
The dozens of plates of cookies and chocolates.
The ornaments. I have a tree worth of teacher ornaments.
Don’t get me wrong – I adored each thoughtful gift because it came from a place of kindness. These families I adored and still adore spent time and money and thought on me. That is really all you need to give a teacher you love.
But I feel the pressure anyways.
I have gone the gift card route because those are always appreciated, but if you want to do something else – or pair that with something else – that is where a kid-made Christmas gift can be the perfect thing.
But first I need to come up with a creative idea.
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This year it started with a book…
Let’s face it – most wonderful things in my life start with a book. A children’s book to be specific.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal passed away this March. She has long been one of my favorite children’s book authors. She has so many thought provoking, silly, and sweet books to her name. You can read more about her and her books on her site.
SPOON is one such book.
SPOON is about a spoon, obviously, that lately has been feeling less unique and helpful than the other utensils. Who hasn’t felt that way a time or two. It’s a funny book with a great message about all of us being unique and wonderful in our own way. Read more and find Spoon here.
I was reading this delightful book when a fun kid made Christmas gift idea popped in my head.
…then came the gift.
My goal is always to give people gifts they will actually use. This is especially true of teachers. As a teacher I truly appreciated every plate of cookies and hand crafted ornament, but eventually your tummy starts to hurt and your tree is a little full.
After ogling over them for about a year, I thought my kids could do that, right?
Kid Painted Spoons
Obviously I’ve been lusting after painted spoons on Pinterest so this is not a new idea. I wish I knew where the idea originated so I could point you to the genius who first did this. (If you know please tell me and I’ll happily link this to them!)
Below are the steps I used to paint spoons with my 6 year old twins. I think these directions would work for about 4 and up. I hesitate to use more permanent paint before the age of 4 – but judge your own child’s abilities.
- Wooden Spoons (I got mine right here)
- Favorite Colors of Acrylic Craft Paint. (We used this one – it is non-toxic but not food safe so DO NOT paint the entire spoon.)
- Mod Podge
- Tape (we used washi tape)
- Paint Brushes
- Drying Station. (We used drinking glasses to dry ours)
- Printable Tag (You can print ours here: Painted Spoons Labels)
- Twine or String
Kid Friendly Guide to Painting Spoons
- Cover your work space.
- Apply the Washi Tape (easy to remove) around the handle to use as a painting guide. They will only be painting the handle – not the part that touches food.
- Painting Time! Invite your kids to put on paint shirts and come help you paint the spoons! We did a couple of coats.
- Put the spoons on a rack of some sort (or glasses like we used – aren’t we fancy?) to let the paint dry for an hour.
- Wash hands.
- After the hour has passed, I used Mod Podge to seal the paint. I bought Bamboo Wood spoons which cannot be cured in the oven – learned that one the hard way.
- Wait about 3 days before gifting, using or washing them.
- Tags! I printed out our tags on cardstock and tied them through the holes on the ends of the spoons. Click here to download the printable tags we used: Painted Spoons Labels
More Kid-Made Christmas
One of my favorite crafty bloggers hosts an incredible hop every year – the 10 Days of Kid Made Christmas. Looking for Christmas ornament and gift inspiration? Make sure to check out these beautiful ideas.
- Hand Painted Candle Holders from Rhythms of Play
- Gingerbread Kid Made Gift from Books and Giggles
- Glow in the Dark Kid Art Gift Jar from Freshly Planted
- Full 10 Days of Kid Made Christmas Ornaments and Gifts