Wintry Crystals

Make beautiful crystallized ornaments without having to worry about them melting! Share this wintry science experiment with students: First, mix nine tablespoons of borax with three cups of hot water. Then, bend a pipe cleaner into a desired shape (heart, star, letter). Next, fasten a string around one end of the pipe cleaner, and the other to a pencil. Pour the borax solution into the jar and dip the pipe cleaner into the solution so the pencil is resting on the rim of the jar. Let it sit for six to eight hours and watch as crystals begin to form!

Festive Photo Ornaments

Everyone loves a photograph ornament (do you still have yours from childhood hanging on the tree?). Capture students’ smiles—and the hearts of their parents—with easy, DIY paper ornaments. Just print or photocopy clear photos of students, offer an assortment of colorful paper and decorations like gemstones, feathers, and glitter, and watch as students create authentic keepsakes.

Pocket-Size Memento Books

Encourage students to think creatively and practice writing with personalized, pocket-size notebooks. To make the books, simply cut, layer, fold, and staple together festive paper. Assign themes to each book, like “Goals for 2012,” “Holiday Haikus,” or “What I’m Thankful For,” and let the writing begin!

Perfect Paper Flowers

Put extra scraps of paper to good use by creating colorful hanging wheels. Instruct students to cut the paper into equal-size strips, fold each strip in half, and glue the ends together. Assemble the wheel by putting a drop of glue on the end and middle of each loop and attaching it to the next. Keep going until you’ve formed a circle, and add a string to hang.