Christmas is only a week away, and now the kids are out of school. What's a busy mom to do when there are still presents to be wrapped or there is a need for that last perfect ingredient from the specialty food store all the way across town?

Here's some ways to occupy little fingers that help introduce them to the arts, and to the spirit of giving. Maybe even Dad will get some paint on his fingers and give you a rest.

Summerville

Summerville Mothers and More invites children of all ages to join the group in making their own Christmas ornaments 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday at Saul Alexander Park on Laurel Street.

A parent must attend with their children (great dad opportunity here). Bring a lunch and picnic and play in the park afterward. A small dessert will be provided. RSVP by email to summervillemoms@yahoo.com. The event is free.

Mount Pleasant

At Creative Spark, there is a Holiday Giftmaking Workshop 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Children ages 5-12 will make handmade gifts for the holidays in this popular two-day workshop. Creative Spark's faculty artists will guide students in creating at least eight gifts that families will treasure.

Classes will be divided into two age groups, 5-8 and 9-12. The workshop is $100, including a snack. Register at 881-3780. Creative Spark is at 757 Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant.

West Ashley

Just walk in and start painting at earthArt Pottery & Art Studio.

No appointments are needed, and you can learn glass fusing or make something out of clay if you want to do more than paint. Projects range from $7 to $75. All pottery, glass and clay projects will be fired in their kilns and ready for pickup in five to seven days.

Wednesday is the last day to paint for Christmas Eve gift pickup, but they also will be open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Christmas Eve, so you can get the teens out of your hair. It's at 34 Windermere Blvd. in the South Windermere Shopping Center in West Ashley. Call 769-4669.

Downtown

While not a hands-on experience, it certainly is filled with the sounds and smells of holiday cheer. "The Polar Express 4-D Experience" at the S.C. Aquarium tells the story of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole. He embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. "The Polar Express 4-D Experience" is based on the inspiring and beloved Caldecott Medal children's book by Chris Van Allsburg.

Seats move and the audience smells the hot chocolate and feels the blasts of icy air in this total-immersion experience.

Tickets for the show are $6.95, and it lasts 15 minutes. Or you can combine it with admission to the aquarium. Prices range from $24.95 for adults to $17.95 for children under 12. It's a great way to let them explore the aquarium. While you're there, see Scuba Clause swim with the fishes in the great Ocean Tank. (Hint: He appears at 3 p.m.)