Celebrate the season and hone writing skills with these seven festive, kid-made creations!
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
1. Create a Greeting Card Center
Wish favorite classroom friends a happy holiday season with personal greetings from your students. Set up a card-writing center equipped with various kinds of paper, colored pencils, other decorating tools, and a small basket of old greeting cards as models. Students can write and decorate their own greetings.
2. Pocketful of Gift Coupons
Parents will be thrilled to redeem these gift coupons, and students' confidence will be boosted by their extra responsibilities during the busy holiday season. Brainstorm jobs students can do for parents, such as setting the table. Choose five of these jobs and fill out a gift coupon for each.
To create the pocket for holding the coupons, ask students to fold colorful pieces of construction paper in half and cut them into pocket shapes, using the fold as the bottom of the pocket. The sides can then be glued or stapled together, leaving the top open.
Punch a hole on each side, twist two pipe cleaners together, and fasten to the holes to create a handle. Using glue, markers, and glitter, students can decorate the pocket.
3. My Own Fairy Tale Book
Make the holidays special with these personalized storybooks. Parents, siblings, and friends will be touched when they realize they are the characters inside!
Read one or two fairy tales aloud or do a fairy tale genre study, so students have models from which to work. Older students can create their own fairy tales or write a "fractured" tale. Then suggest students replace characters with family and friends.
Once the story has been written and edited, format it like a picture book, with one or two sentences and an illustration on each page, along with a border, copyright page, dedication, and a holiday greeting. Next, create a front cover, add an author photo to the back, punch holes, and bind with holiday string or ribbon.
4. Holiday Plates
Delight parents with holiday plates that will preserve their child's favorite tradition for years to come. For this project, you'll need 6-inch clear-glass plates (available at craft stores), holiday wrapping paper, freezer paper, decoupage medium (or glue mixed with water), and paintbrushes.
Share your favorite tradition with students, while encouraging them to share their own. Write the chosen tradition on a circular piece of paper. Use the plate to trace a circle onto the waxed side of the freezer paper. Create a collage on the freezer-paper circle using the "tradition" and cutout wrapping-paper images.
Brush decoupage medium over the collage and press it onto the underside of the plate. Smooth out any wrinkles and wipe away excess glue using a wet sponge. Once the collage has set, add a final coat of medium to seal the outside of the plate.
5. New Year Cootie Catcher
Your class will be buzzing with good cheer when they make these easy-to-fold cootie catchers that combine writing, reading, and FUN! First, supply the class with colorful paper and materials, such as markers, glitter, and stickers. Then, show your students how to fold the paper into an old-fashioned cootie catcher.
Ask students to decorate the outside of the cootie catcher with holiday symbols, such as stars or snowflakes. On each inside fold, have students add a number. In each fold that is read aloud, students can write a New Year fortune. Use predictive sentences such as: In the New Year, you will score 20 goals in soccer, or You will make a new friend in the New Year!
6. New Year Wall Hanging
Ask your students to think about their hopes for the New Year, then help them write a wish, poem, or celebratory greeting. Complete the project by creating a "holiday hanger" to hold the messages. Parents won't be able to resist hanging it up year after year!
To make, have each student decorate two clothespins with small construction-paper stars or snowflakes. Clip these onto a colored wire hanger. The message can then be glued to a colorful piece of construction paper, decorated with a holiday symbol, and clipped to the hanger.
7. Mark My Words!
Put book reviews to good use! Students can create gift bookmarks for friends, parents, or siblings. Take time to have students share their favorite books, then ask them to write short reviews. As they work on writing and typing their reviews, encourage them to brainstorm creative design ideas for the bookmarks.
Make the bookmarks by formatting an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper into two equal columns. This can be printed, cut, and decorated to illustrate a favorite scene from a book. Punch a hole at one end and tie with decorative ribbon or yarn.
Students can explain to the person receiving the gift why they chose the book they did. This is a great way to encourage students to move discussions about books outside the classroom.
More Writing Gifts to Make
- Our Holiday Recipe Book: Students can bring in traditional family holiday recipes to create a classroom recipe book.
- Thank You! Create ready-made holiday gift thank-you notes for kids to send to family and friends.
- Classroom Carols: Ask students to bring in their favorite or traditional carols to collect into a book.