"What in the world are we going to make for parents this year?" I'm guessing most elementary teachers have asked this same question when it comes to making Christmas presents for parents. Fortunately, I've latched onto a few projects that I'm really happy with.
My mom, bless her heart, has taken over one of them for me, and my niece Brittney joined her this year. They spent an afternoon with us and worked one-on-one with each child to make snowman ornaments. They turn out awfully cute. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I found the idea.
Part two of our parental present is one that I created years back. It ends up being more work for me than for the kids, but I keep doing it, so it can't be all that bad. Each child draws a small Christmas picture of their choosing, using their absolute best drawing. Then they add, "Merry Christmas!" with help on spelling and sign their name. Their job is done, and I take over from there. Depending on the size of the drawing, I shrink it a bit and copy it 50 times. (Actually, I place three kids' drawings spaced evenly apart on a page and copy that 50 times.) Then I add a chipboard backing, cut them, and deliver them to Office Max to be glued into notepads. A little bit of time and a little bit of money later, I've got a personalized Christmas notepad for each child's parents. They are adorable!
(Here are some close-ups.)
I'm not a parent, but who wouldn't love getting a notepad decorated with their own child's artwork? The only problem is making the pages last.