Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.
Every Christmas, when my family decorates our tree, we make sure to put on the “Silver Walnut” ornament. This was a gift that my husband, Brian, made for his mother when he was a 7-year-old Cub Scout. It’s a hollowed walnut shell that he glued back together, secured with a red satin ribbon then dipped in silver paint. My mother-in-law gave me this ornament the first Christmas after Brian and I were married.
It was hard for her to part with this because it brought back memories of my husband as a child. Even though the silver paint is chipped, and the satin ribbon is frayed, it still makes me smile, thinking how he lovingly made this for his Mom so many years ago.
Here are six simple handmade gifts you can easily make with your child. Over time, they may become part of your family’s holiday memories:
Help your child draw and print “tickets” for a sibling. These “tickets” can be redeemed for various activities, such as playing a game together, helping to clean a room, etc.
Let an older child download, print, and bind together some free activity pages from web sites such as SchoolFamily.com, such as coloring pages, dot-to-dots, mazes, etc. This booklet makes a great gift for younger brothers and sisters.
Have her decorate and print a “coupon book” for jobs that Mom can redeem. Some examples might be, “Take out the trash,” “Feed the dog,” “Clean my room,” etc.
Help your child create a short story as a present. He can use photographs or drawings on the pages. Some examples could be, “What I Love about My Grandma” or “The Best Time I Ever Had with Grandpa.” Make a front and back cover from poster board, punch two holes through the pages, and tie together with a ribbon.
Recycle a small foam meat tray. Thoroughly wash the tray in hot, soapy water. Dry with a towel. Then let your child paint and decorate it with drawings or stickers of Dad’s favorite sport. Now, Dad can have a special place to put his keys and change.
With a Q-Tip, “paint” the edges of a pinecone with glue. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle with colorful glitter. When the glue is dry, loop a ribbon through the top to hang on the tree or in a window.
Do you have a favorite hand-made gift idea you’d like to share?