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alternative to gift exchange
Old 12-06-2011, 05:12 PM
 
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My 1st grade team and I are looking for ideas for an alternative to a holiday gift exchange. Often there are too many kids who do not bring in a gift and some disappointed kiddo's. Does anyone do anything like this?


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Old 12-06-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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We used to do this as a school and a couple of years ago, decided to stop for the very reasons you mentioned. Also, even though the gift just had to be a couple of dollars, it's hard for some families to scrape that up. I'm glad that we stopped doing it and hope that it's never reinstated. We bring items for the food pantry instead.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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My daughter's teacher (4th grade) chose a needy child (from an Angel Tree or something) and the class is bringing in gifts to help this child who they don't even know. I thought that was a neat idea!
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I have one but...
Old 12-06-2011, 07:13 PM
 
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I have a token economy. My students are given a partner and they use their class money to buy from the class store for another student.

I just bring in wrapping paper for them to wrap their gifts that they buy.
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Make a gift in class
Old 12-07-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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My children did one with their grade buddy class this week where they each made a bookmark, and did a "secret santa" where they drew a name out of a hat, and exchanged it with the other child at a little celebration they had.


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Old 12-07-2011, 06:00 PM
 
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I love the idea of making something for other students! We have 4th grade book buddies that we read with once a week, that will be perfect!! Thanks
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We have
Old 12-09-2011, 08:04 PM
 
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The students each bring a puzzle wrapped. We number the puzzles then have the students draw a number. They get the puzzle with the number on it that matches theirs.
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Christmas Card Exchange
Old 12-09-2011, 08:56 PM
 
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The past 2 years I sent home materials (card stock, Christmas clip-art, stickers, ribbon, a photo of themselves and their friend) for the students to make a secret Christmas Card. Those who did not complete it at home, were allowed time to make them at school. We exchanged these at our Christmas party instead of gifts.

This year, I decided to have the kids make the cards at school - I also asked for (and recieved) donations of cardstock and stickers from families. Once the basic card is created, I will have them choose a name so that they can write a secret message.
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:22 PM
 
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At our school, children and their families have the opportunity to bring in gifts for the Salvation Army in a program similar to the Angel Tree mentioned by Mrs. Claus. In the lower grades, we also make presents to exchange with our classmates, similar to Eucalyptus' comment.

Once I shared my collection of canceled stamps with my kids and they each selected several to arrange on card stock which we then laminated. Several of the kids became stamp enthusiasts after that!

Recently, I've been having the kids make friendship bracelets for each other. You can find lots of tutorials for this on youtube. I have them make one that uses a cardboard "loom". My third graders catch on very quickly, but I think first graders could do it, too, if you got everything ready for them ahead of time.
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book exchange
Old 12-13-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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We have each student bring a wrapped book and play a game where students pass the books around. I use dice and they roll the dice and the number tells them how to pass or exchange their book with another. We keep playing until each student has rolled the dice and when finished whatever book you have you get to open and keep. I have some wrapped books for students who do not bring one. I can use Scholastic points to order a few books and it doesn't cost me anything that way. The kids love it and get a new book to read over Christmas vacation.


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