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Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas gifts for your preschool parents

I had a teacher post on the Teach Preschool facebook site a request for new and fresh ideas for parent Christmas gifts. This got me thinking and I wanted to share a few personal and professional thoughts on the topic of parent gifts.

Photos are always treasured
Hanging on my tree are many ornaments that my daughter, now age 23, made when she was little. The one above is a photo of my daughter taped behind a paper plate. What makes this ornament so special to me? It is the photo of course, but I have kept it over the years and each year I enjoy looking at the photo once again.

On the back of the paper-plate framed ornament is written my daughter's age and the date. And my daughter printed her own name - I recognize her handwriting.

It isn't that the ornament is a fabulous piece of art - what matters is that it is a little piece of my daughter and creates a memory that is special to me.

Simple art can mean a great deal
A little squiggle of glue and some glitter and a memory of my daughter at age two. Again, I place this little paper star on the tree every year and love it.

Notice the date is 1988 - I am always thankful that the teacher took the time to clearly print my daughter's name and the date on the ornament. I would never be able to remember what year my daughter made this but because the date is on there - it makes this little yellow star all that more special.

A Star for the tree
This has been the star on my Christmas trees for over 19 years. It is simply two stars cut out and wrapped around a cardboard tissue tube then glued together. It doesn't make our tree fancy but it brings us joy. For this my daughter also added some glue and glitter.

When planning a parent gift...

Feel free to keep it simple: What may seem like an old worn out idea to you is often times new and fresh to your preschoolers and parents. What may seem too simple may be something that a parent will treasure for life.

Add the child's name and a date: Over time, parents will appreciate having the date on the gift - it helps them remember how old their child was when the gift was made. If they have more than one child it will help keep it straight as to which child made the gift.

Involve the child in the process: It isn't how cute or expensive or creative the gift is as much as that it was made by and comes from the child. Looking back, I love the funny little glitter designs on the star - I am sure my daughter loved playing with the glue and glitter and I fondly remember her preschool years each time I place the star on our tree.

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Unknown said...

So Sorry! I just clicked the follow button...I "thought" I was following your blog! I can be such a goof-ball! Thank you so much for joining mine! You were the "first" and I will always be forever grateful!!!:)

Unknown said...

I too love the ornaments my children have made over the years! But this year,I will be laminating them, because they are starting to look worn and tearing!

I also have 2 cute little pics my kids made me...both at the age of 4...and they are 2 1/2 years apart. My son made his first...a picture of Me with him, our hands held high and favorite part...with great big smiles on our faces! He stamped the words "I Love You" and over the years they have faded away!! :(

My daughter , not wanting to be out done by her older brother also made me a picture of she and I dancing "with green tutus", holding purple balloons! :) She wrote I Love Mom! I will be laminating both this year!

These memories are too precious to me! A time when I was "All That!" to them and could do nothing wrong!Since then my kids have become "Teenagers", I have become more of an embarrassment to them because of my silliest!

I will forever hold tight those wonderful days of their childhood and be ever so grateful to all their teachers for putting "dates" on their projects!:)

Teacher Tom said...

Hmm, you've made me feel a little guilty. Parents often tell me that they still have this or that piece of art, but I've never used photos or insisted that dates get put on them.

You've opened by eyes today. Thanks.

Michelle said...

I love those special gifts. We love going down memory lane when we decorate the tree. The kids love opening their own box of ornaments and looking at them, knowing that they will get that box when they leave to go to their own home and family. My favorite though... is the hand print wreath my littlest made last year. It was on a man's hankerchief, little green hands, little red berries made with his thumb and finger. His name and date were written on the bottom, it is something I will cherish for years and years to come!!

Deborah Stewart said...

Reading what you all cherish reminds me that every parent is as much as an individual as their child in what will be most meaningful to them! Thanks for that reminder as well.

Tom - you are too fabulous to need to feel guilty about anything:) The ladies at one of the schools were all talking about your blog today! They love all you do.

Unknown said...

I am visiting from Teacher Tom's again. I just love your blog and your outlook! This post was BRILLIANT! I agree 100% Parents will love simple if it is from their child and they were involved in making it : )

Deborah Stewart said...

I am so glad you have visited again - Teach Tom is amazing so it is an honor to have one of his guests visits me:)

Deborah Stewart said...

Man - did I mess that comment up:) Let me say it again...

I am so glad you have visited again - Teacher Tom is amazing so it is an honor to have one of his guests visit me:)

Now I feel much better!

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