As much as teachers love gift cards or beautiful store-bought items, sometimes it’s nice to receive a thoughtful, hand-made gift from a child. With many families on tight budgets this holiday season, homemade gifts are often the perfect solution to show just how much you care and appreciate your children’s teachers.

This favorite DIY Christmas gift for teachers not only serves to create some special memories with your kids as you make these together, but it also facilitates educational conversations about math and science concepts as you go along.

Step One: Peppermint Pretzel Buttons

How To: These treats are extremely easy to make. You will need pretzels (waffle-shaped work best), Candy Cane Mint Hershey’s Kisses™, and Dark Chocolate M&M’s®. Place the Kisses™ on the pretzels and heat in a 350 degree oven for no more than 4 minutes. Remove these from the oven and place red and green M&M’s® in the middle, pressing gently. These will need to cool in order to have the chocolate harden once again. If you are in a hurry, these can be placed in the refrigerator to cool more quickly.

Learning Lesson: Use these peppermint pretzel buttons as a learning opportunity to explain the concept of changing a solid to liquid and the melting points for various substances.

Step Two: Decorative Glass Jar Lids

How To: You can easily find glass canning jars at your local craft store or on Amazon. There are numerous ways to decorate these, but a simple way is to use cupcake liners. Simply glue the cupcake liner to the inner flat circle of the jar lid. The outside ring will still be able to thread around the liner, giving the appearance of a skirt.

How To: Once this is done, your child can have fun with ribbons and bows. Chances are that you have some extra ribbon or twine left over from other crafts, so have your children pick their favorites and wrap and tie these around the outer ring. Glue may be helpful to secure the bows in place.

Learning Lesson: While working with the lids and ribbons, you can teach your children about the radius and diameter of a circle. You can also measure the string using a ruler and talk about inches and fractions.

Step Three: Cinnamon Stick Rudolph

How To: It only takes three cinnamon sticks, a pair of googly eyes, a bell, and a pipe cleaner to make a Rudolph ornament. Glue these all in place as seen in the image below. Not only will this be a cute ornament for your child’s teacher, but it will also smell great as it hangs on the tree!

Learning Lesson: As you make the triangle shape with the cinnamon sticks, talk to your child about geometric shapes. Prior to gluing, if you have extra sticks on hand, create different shapes such as squares, rectangles, and parallelograms. Once you make the triangle, discuss acute, obtuse, and congruent angles.

When putting this all together, be sure that the peppermint pretzel buttons are fully cooled. Affix a gift tag for your child’s teacher, and use the ribbon to attach the cinnamon stick Rudolph. Remind your children that they should be extremely grateful for their teacher’s commitment to them, not only at Christmastime but all throughout the year.

Thank you to all the teachers who dedicate their lives to educating our students and equipping them for success in life!

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