This past year we made keychains from shrink plastic as thank yous to teachers and day care providers. As it is getting towards that time of year again, I thought I would share them. I try to make sure that my kids give something a little personal as well as something useful. One example of this is the photo books we made for a gannenet/day care provider . A fuller list of project ideas can be found in the post of ideas for teacher gifts.
Making keychains from shrink plastic is a great multi-aged project since each child makes something appropriate to their abilities and stages. In addition, each is excited about the process, what they are making, and that they are making it for their teachers.
Each of my kids created designs that they wanted to use for the keychains. Next we drew on regular paper and scanned the images for additions and sizing before printing them onto special shrink plastic for an ink jet printer. For many of the key chains, we added tefillat haderech, the wayfarer’s prayer, below the image. For my youngest, I set up the tefillat haderech prayer with his design as the background. We tried resizing the images to see how they might differ at different sizes.
We also did some designs of favorite characters to hang on bags and bottles and the like with the kid’s names in Hebrew.
I laid the designs out onto 8.5×11 pages using a graphics software to optimize the use of the shrink plastic. We printed the designs onto shrink plastic, punched holes at the top and placed the keychain designs in the toaster oven. Next we sealed the designs with white glue, and sparkley nail polish. The sparkley polish was a result of what we had on hand (we are not big on painting our nails around here.)
In retrospect, I would recommend using clear nail polish. It is much easier to read the text with a clear coating. Given that I don’t use nail polish and the only bottle we has is a bottle of sparkley polish my daughter once received as a gift from a cousin, we improvised. It was an interesting effect, but much better to use clear.
My kids really enjoyed making these, and I believe the teachers enjoyed receiving them. They are not an overwhelming handmade present and are useful. I really enjoyed the designs they came up with too, in particular my then 6 year old’s owl and ten year old’s dragon. It is fun to see a dragon on a tefillat haderech design. We will likely make them again this year. Then again, my daughter has been talking about how one of her teachers likes wafers. She wants to get her some as a thank you present, so one never knows. Maybe a wafer keychain?
What do your kids do to say thank you to their teachers?