Presents for L’s Teachers

Soon we will be moving house, and tomorrow is L’s last day at his school.  He and I had some special time together making some presents for the teachers and teaching assistants in his class.  I thought I would share them here as they are easy and fun, and make lovely presents for children to create themselves.  L and N are always so proud of anything they have made, and can’t wait to give it to the recipient.  I hope it encourages thoughfulness, and an appreciation of the things people do for them, as they realise the effort involved, and also have to think about what other people might like.

As we made these presents we were having a conversation about how someone might feel if they were the only person left out of the present-giving thank-you’s and goodbyes, and how we can make sure nobody feels left out – I think these are really valuable conversations to have, as long as they are done in a way that doesn’t make the child feel guilty.

there was actually no danger of anyone being left out because L wanted to go on making more and more!

For his teacher, we made this notebook:

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To make this, I used a plain notebook from the pound shop.  This is what we did:

  1. We cut 2 pieces of upholstery wadding the same size as the notebook.
  2. We used spray adhesive to stick a piece to each outer side of the cover.
  3. We covered the notebook and wadding in pretty fabric, and used more spray adhesive to stick it together.  be careful not to use too much, or it stains the fabric.  An alternative would be to use PVA around the edge of the fabric.
  4. We used pritt stick to glue the first and last page of the notebook to the inside of the cover, hiding the ends of the fabric.
  5. L drew a picture of his teacher on plain fabric, using fabric markers.
  6. I used spray glue to attach the picture to the front of the notebook, and stitched around the edge to secure it and decorate.
  7. To finish, we tied a ribbon around the notebook – this is ribbon printed with “Handmade by L” which I ordered very cheaply off Ebay last year to use with their handmade gifts (N has some too, and I think F might need some soon!).

You could cover any book like this to make a pretty gift – photo albums, scrap books, the children’s own stories…

Then, L and I made some truffles.  This was messy but easy, and L loved rolling the chocolate ganache into balls.  He also very much enjoyed licking out the bowl of ganache afterwards.  The recipe we used was not really a recipe, but went something like this:

  1. Melt chocolate in a pyrex bowl over a pan of boiling water.
  2. Mix with warmed cream in a ratio of 2 parts chocolate to 1 part cream.
  3. Add some butter (I didn’t measure the butter; it was probably about 100g in 250g of chocolate).  If you are using milk chocolate, you will probably need to use more chocolate and butter relative to the cream, to get a really thick ganache.
  4. Chill until at the right consistency – it should hold its shape when you scoop a bit out.
  5. Roll into balls – a less messy way would be to use a small ice cream scoop.
  6. Coat in cocoa powder, dried coconut, crushed nuts, icing sugar – whatever you like.
  7. Keep refrigerated.

So, we needed something pretty to present our truffles in.  L decorated 3 pound shop glasses, which turned out to be perfect!  We coated them in PVA glue, rolled them in coloured glitter, and added sequins.  They would make fantastic tea light holders as the light would shine through them beautifully.  L was so proud of the way they turned out!  His favourite was a rainbow one he made by using stripes of differently coloured glitter.  It always pleases me so much when he comes up with something creative and tries it out, as even a few months ago he wouldn’t do this for fear of making a mistake.  Open ended craft activities with no set end point have really helped him develop confidence to try things out.

Here are our glass pots:

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So easy to make and so pretty, plus the children got their dose of glitter!

We also made alphabet cupcakes for the children in L’s class, using sugar letters as decoration.  Similar to the alphabet pudding we had at tea time the other day!

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