13 of the Best Gifts That Students Can Make for Parents

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‘Tis the season for holiday gift-giving! What makes the best gifts that students can make to give their parents? Handmade gifts, of course! Gifts made with love and with a loved one in mind make both the gift-giver and the gift-receiver feel all hot-chocolaty warm inside. With your help, your students can make wonderful gifts that will become cherished family-holiday decorations for years to come.

Looking for a way to make Christmas gifts on a budget? Check out these easy and inexpensive ideas that students can make in the classroom! From ornaments to frames, there's something here for everyone. Plus, these projects are perfect for getting into the holiday spirit!

At this point, you might be thinking, But, I can’t think of any gifts that students can make! Help!

Don’t worry, we’ve got you.

Or rather, all your fellow teachers have you.

Christmas Gifts that Students can make for Parents

We asked teachers to tell us about their favorite Christmas crafts and keepsake ideas their students can make as gifts for their parents, and you all delivered! In this blog, you will find amazing ideas that your students will love to make and parents will love to receive.

Make Recipe Cards or Create a Class Recipe Book

One of the things that parents always appreciate is a new recipe, especially one that their kids have helped to make! Gather up some of your student’s favorite holiday recipes and have them create beautiful (and delicious!) recipe cards to give to their parents. Be sure to include both the ingredients list and cooking instructions so that anyone can make the dish with ease.

Or make the recipe book a whole class activity and have each student’s family submit 1-2 recipes. Place them all together in one document, print it on colored paper, and have students create and decorate covers. Families can share favorite recipes with each other and try out other families’ yummy recipes.

Take it one step further and host a favorite recipe party during the week before the holiday break. Have families bring in one of the submitted recipes to share with everyone. When students give the recipe book to their parents, they will remember all the good food they sampled!

Easy Beaded Candy Canes

Beaded candy canes are easily one of the simplest crafts you can do with your students. They can also become part of their family decorations that they can enjoy for years. You and your students can get creative by following the link below or improving on it with your own new ideas (different colored/shaped beads anyone?).

Natural Wood Slice Ornaments

Let your students get super creative with this fun idea. With slices of natural wood circles, your students can create as many different ornament ideas as they can imagine. All it takes is some glue, paint, felt, and a little encouragement, and you will be amazed at what your kiddos create.

Click here for a ton of ideas to get you started!

2×4 Snowman

There are many ideas out there for 2×4 crafts, but none of them are easier or more fun than this idea given on our FaceBook page. For this, you will need:

  • 2×4 block – 6 inches (sanded smooth)
  • White acrylic paint
  • Orange felt (for the noses – you can pre-cut these for your students if needed)
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Other scrap fabric (or old gloves/scarves)
  • Glue

Directions for 2×4 Snowman

  1. Have your students paint the blocks white and let them dry.
  2. If you do not have the nose precut, have your students cut out their snowman’s nose.
  3. Have your students glue the nose to the block.
  4. Have your students paint eyes and a mouth on their snowmen.
  5. Decorate the snowmen with scrap fabric to make hats/scarves, etc.

These are very basic instructions, but there isn’t too much to this one. Be creative and have fun.

Painted Rocks are Easy Gifts that Students can Make

Painted rocks make for a unique and thoughtful Christmas gift. All you need to make painted rocks is some rocks, paint, and sealant. You can paint the rocks with Christmas designs, quotes, or anything else you like. Once the paint is dry, seal the rocks with a clear sealant to protect the design.

Snowman Candles

Turning white candles into snowmen has been around for a long time and for good reason. It’s easy, and fun, and who doesn’t love adorable snowmen? While the following link calls for white candles in glass, you can easily use them without glass (to make it safer for your students).

It’s as easy to paint on the candles as it is on the glass. Also, there are many alternative places to find white candles that are more affordable than what is called for in the link. (And don’t let us limit you to white candles and snowmen. Be creative and go for other holiday ideas with other colors, too!)

Check out this post for some ideas on how to construct them.

5×7 Canvas Art Gift Idea for Parents

Canvas, tile, or a plastic ornament – all of these will work for this holiday gift idea. Simply let your students pick a word they want to write for the gift in a loopy script to mimic a string of lights (words like love, joy, peace, Noel, etc.).

Or, they can make a loopy string for the lights and not have a word. It’s up to them. Then, let them use paint in different colors to create fingerprint light bulbs. It’s a wonderful gift idea that parents will treasure.

Here’s a good post that illustrates how to do this.

Marble-Painted Ornament

If you were wondering where you had lost your marbles, you were saving them for this craft!

This ornament is easy to make, and beautiful! All you will need are plastic ornament balls, marbles, and some paint. Your students can use as many colors as they want (or at least as many as you have). Be careful not to shake them; the plastic can crack.

This post will walk you through the steps.


Who doesn’t love a beautiful calendar of the coming year hanging in their home? Your students will love creating these calendars for their families and showing off their artistic side.

With kindergarten students, make it into a math activity by having students write the numbers for each date. Work on 3-4 sets of dates each month during the Fall and you’ll have a completed calendar by the holiday break!

Creative Coupons Gift Idea for Parents

If you’re looking for a gift that keeps on giving, try having your students create coupons for their parents. These can be things like “Good for one night of no homework,” “Good for one family movie night,” or even “Good for one big hug!”

Have your class brainstorm a list of ideas that students can include on their coupons.

Whatever you choose, these coupons are sure to bring a smile to any parent’s face – and they may even get redeemed more than once!

Sugar Scrub

Sugar scrub is another great Christmas gift that is both unique and practical. All you need to make a sugar scrub is sugar, oil, and essential oil of your choice. Mix together equal parts sugar and oil, then add enough essential oil to give the scrub a nice scent. Store the scrub in an airtight container and use it as needed.

Mason Jar Candle Gift Idea for Parents

Mason jar candles are another easy and inexpensive gift that students can make for their parents. All you need is a mason jar, some candle wax, and a wick. Simply melt the wax in a pot on the stove, pour it into the mason jar, and then add the wick. Let the wax cool and harden, and then your candle is ready to give!

Looking for a way to make Christmas gifts on a budget? Check out these easy and inexpensive ideas that students can make in the classroom! From ornaments to frames, there's something here for everyone. Plus, these projects are perfect for getting into the holiday spirit!

Your Classroom Christmas Gift Ideas

Let us know what gifts for parents you made with your students and how they worked for you. Also, we’d love to hear about any craftiness you did that isn’t on the list above.

Christmas is just around the corner which means it’s time to start thinking about gifts! If you’re searching for something special that won’t break the bank, look no further than your own classroom! With a little bit of creativity (and some help from their kids!), these ideas for gifts that students can make are sure to please any parent this holiday season.

More Christmas and Winter Holiday Teaching Ideas

Check out these holiday science experiments for some more holiday fun! If you’re looking for a fun Christmas craft for students, check out the Christmas Tree Craftivity!

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