What is a former art teacher to do? Since I don't have access to my own kiln anymore, I try to get my girls into a Paint Your Own Pottery-type store a couple of times a year to make keepsakes for myself and to give as gifts to their adoring grandparents.
One of my favorite things to make are platters and dessert plates with hand or foot prints. You paint the background while they sit next to you painting a small doo-dad, ornament, or mug (great teacher or grandparent gift). Then, you take off their shoes and socks and paint some underglaze on their foot. To make this super cute reindeer platter with my Frog Princess in 2006, I painted her foot to make the deer's head and her hands to make the antlers.
Last year, I painted dessert plates black and purple. Then I painted each girl's foot with white underglaze to make Halloween ghost plates (upside down foot prints). They were so cute the owner of the shop wanted to keep them for examples. If you still want to do Halloween plates this year you could fudge a little bit and take your kids to the shop now and make one before they have another growth spurt. Use them next year or just put them on display!
I have dreams this year of taking both girls to make a Thanksgiving turkey platter layering their hand prints in different colors to make the tail feathers and using Mini-Saurus' little foot to make the body. This is a fun way to make memories with your kids and you have a wonderful keepsake when you're finished. Now is the time to make your Christmas plates, mugs, and platters so they will be ready to give (or just show off!) in December.