Each year the children like to make a special ornament for the tree. We generally aim for something that is unique to them, or something that reflects a particular interest of theirs for the year.
This year, I decided to go simple - a crayons, cardboard, and craft stick kind of simple. While cleaning up the breakfast table this morning, I decided on a whim, to cut a Pop-Tart box into small rectangles, with tiny slate-type chalkboards in mind (having a high school graduate in the house has had me thinking along nostalgic, old fashioned, school kind of themes).
I colored each of the rectangles, thoroughly, with a white crayon, and then covered the white with a thick layer of black crayon. Then, I tested to see if they'd work for scratch art, by scraping off a message with the sharp end of a wooden skewer.
It seemed to work, so I gave each child two of the rectangles, and had them use the skewer to write their cursive signatures on one, and "2014" on the other. We glued the two together, so their names were on the fronts, and the year on the backs of the slates. We protected them, by "sealing" them between sheets of clear contact paper (basically laminating them).
I cut/broke craft sticks for the children to glue around the edges as frames (held in place with clothes pins, until they were dry).
Finally, when they were dry, we removed the clothes pins and tied on a piece of twine, for hanging.
Now, I have a simple sample of their handwriting, their signatures, as they are this year, this moment in time, to go along with all the hand print, footprint, and photo ornaments from the past.
It's great to be a homeschooler.