Are you looking for Christmas presents for your class?
December 2016: If you've got 'war stories' about christmas gifts at school, we'd love to hear them - we all need a laugh at this time of year!
Oli, one of the creators here at PlanBee, told us this story about his first term teaching:
"I was presented with a bag of squished, melting, hand-made chocolates by a boy in my Year 3 class – who was lovely – but had less than impeccable hygiene! As an NQT, my experience with these things was still quite limited. I'd not prepared an excuse, and when he asked if I'd like to try one I panicked - how could I say no, especially when he was so excited? I picked one of the chocolates out of the bag (which he'd clearly opened and eaten from already on his way to school) and popped it in my mouth. I concentrated, chewed, swallowed, and thanked him - hoping I wouldn't be seeing it again hours later. It was only after this that my class's Teaching Assistant advised me, when asked in future, to say 'thank you so much, I'll really enjoy that with a cup of tea in the staff room later!' I've used that line many times since, and never eaten suspicious-looking food gifts from children again!"
Share your Christmas experiences with us on Twitter, where we share stupid pictures when we should be working, and occasionally share actual, helpful teaching tips and advice!
Receiving gifts (and appearing to be grateful!) is an adventure in itself, but giving gifts to children in your class can be just as hard…
Deciding to give gifts to your class at Christmas can be a tricky decision. We have worked in schools that have a no presents policy and schools where present giving became a competition. If you decide to give your class a gift it can become pretty expensive very quickly.
To help our primary teachers, at PlanBee we have come up with a list of festive present ideas that work really well for primary school children across all ages. These won’t take too much time to create and they won’t break the bank either!
1. Turn the oven on and get baking!
Why not try baking cakes or biscuits together in the last class of the year that can be taken home for the children to enjoy with their family? Take a look at our Pinterest page for further inspiration!
Baking is a budget-friendly way to do something as a class that is bound to be appreciated by everyone! If you don’t have access to baking facilities at school then don't fear – cakes and other tasty treats will still be appreciated if you bake them at home or buy them from a shop and decorate them in school.
2. Make Christmas Decorations
There are lots of easy decorations you can make with your class, from paper creations to salt-dough decorations that can be kept for years. We have lots of ideas and examples on our Pinterest page.
If you want step-by-step instructions on how to make paper decorations with your class we have 'Secret Santa' lessons just for you.
Or you can download our free Christmas Activity Pack.
These lessons for KS1 and KS2 teach your class that money spent on gifts is not as important as the thought that goes into the gift. Each child will make paper decorations to give as gifts for all the people in your class, and this includes the adults too!
3. Make party hats to wear at a party!
Give your class the time and resources to make party hats. Take a look at our Pinterest page for party hats inspiration!
The party itself doesn't have to be a lavish banquet. Your class will appreciate some time to dance to music and play a few games. If you do decide to have food and drinks at the party, providing Christmas cups and festive napkins are bound to make even the most basic of sandwiches or biscuits exciting. Why not incorporate the party into your DT cooking lessons? We have lots of great cooking lessons including Burgers, Seasonal Food, Sandwich Snacks, Perfect Pizzas, Bread, Gingerbread Houses, and Eat more Fruit and Veg.
4. Start a Yearbook
Creating a yearbook is a brilliant way to capture how your class grow and change over the year. There are plenty of online tools like Mixbook and AllYearBooks, which are easy to use and fairly cheap to get made. Creating a yearbook is a nice way to get everyone involved by making a list of all the fun stuff you have done so far this year and by thinking about what they want to achieve during the rest of the year. You could get your class to all write hopes or pledges in their book too – the possibilities are endless really!
If you start a year book at Christmas your gift for the end of the school year is sorted too! In July you'll be able to give your class time to finish them and reminisce on the year that you and your class spent together. It’s a visual memento for you and your students to look back and see how you’ve all changed as the year went by.
5. Give Each Child a Bookmark
Making a bookmark for each child in your class is a great way to encourage reading. PlanBee have a free bookmark template that can be personalised for each child in your class. You can write a message to each child by typing directly onto the PDF, or you can simply write your message on the printed pages. Either way, these personal bookmarks are sure to be a gift they will treasure and they will only cost the price of the paper and ink!
Whatever you decide to do make sure you are inline with your schools policies. We recommend talking to your year group partner so where possible you have consistency across the year group. And as a word of warning we recommend checking before your print things using school resources, one teacher we know got into trouble for printing 30 A5 photos of their class using the school printer!