For toddlers, cut out candy canes and have them marble paint with different paints to create their own candy canes.
Christmas Bell Pepper Wreaths
Let the children draw a circle on constuction paper. Cut bell peppers in half sideways and let the children dip them in green paint and put on top of circle. They can then tie a red bow out of yarn and put some red hole punch dots on the wreaths when they dry.
(This is from my student teaching days by Kindergarten teacher Sandie Bolze)
Here is an angel ornament/gift I helped my pre-k kids make for a family gift. For our picture frame mirror, I finally decided on using an angel pattern for it. The pattern is just a simple angel about 5″ tall. You have to cut 2 angels for each child. I use Christmas cards to cut the angel pattern from which gives the two angels from one card This is a good way to use old Christmas cards. What you do is cut out an oval opening in or near the “tummy”of the angel. This will be where the child’s picture shows. Tape the picture in place on the back of the frame side, positioning it as you do. Next , glue the two pieces together putting the “wrote-on” side in so that the back side looks good. The above work is teacher-work, but the children’s work is drawing a face on their angel, outlining the edges by squeezing glue all around the edges, then placing it glue-down in a paper plate with glitter in it. (I know, I’m the one that said I was scared of glitter, and I still am but this was well supervised!). Give the children a choice of glitter colors. Pick the angel up and it is oulined with the glitter. The angels end up looking different and unique because of the different colors in the Christmas cards and the different glitter colors. After they’re dry, help the children punch a hole in the top, string it with a hanger of beautiful ribbon (give choices here). They can then wrap them in envelopes for a gift for their family. The children dipped Christmas cookie cutters in assorted colors paint earlier to use for “wrapping” their ornament gifts in. They’re beautiful!! I always do ornaments with pictures of the children every year. We’ve made bells, Christmas trees, stockings, stars, and balls in the past the same way we made the angels. For the last several years I have taken a picture of each child in front of “our” Christmas tree and put them in the frame. I always get double prints made and give the extra to the parents. The parents love these ornaments with their children’s photos on them. Happy Holidays Everyone!
For a cute ornament for our class Christmas tree, I ask the parents to save bathroom tissue rolls and send them to class. I give the children a square of aluminum foil to wrap around the roll (no glue necessary) and then stick the ends inside the roll. Then I put dots of tacky glue on each roll and give the children some colored pasta (you can purchase the pasta or color your own with food coloring.) The children pick pasta to put on the dots of glue. Then I give them each a piece of ribbon or yarn to put through the hole in the roll. I tie and voila–a very pretty ornament with little expense!
I had each of my students bring in a white sweatshirt. Each child painted a Christmas tree in their handprints on their shirt. We used cotton balls to paint on ornaments, and q-tips to paint “HO! HO! HO!”.
I make a Rudolph mural with the kids. I piant each childs hands and one foot brown and have them print it on to butcher paper. The foot is the face an d the hands are the antlers. I then glue wiggle eyes and a red thumbprint for the nose. I then write their names under each deer.
Cut 12-24 inches of 20-28 gauge floral wire (available at most craft stores) have your kids thread real cranberries on wire. Wrap wire full of crannberries around something round to hold its shape, twist ends together and add a holiday ribbon or bow to make a super cute wreath.
When I was little, my mom traced my three brothers’ and my hands onto green construction paper. Then, she cut them out and glued them to a round cardboard ring. They made a beautiful wreath. This would be ideal in a preschool, but let the children trace their own hands and cut them out. Make sure names and dates go on each handprint and this is sure to be a treasured treat for many years.
Holiday Card Rubbings
Tape holiday greeting cards face up on your art table. Lay butcher paper over the cards and let the children use crayons to create rubbings.
Handprint Christmas Tree
Cut a large triangle out of butcher paper. Let the children dip their hands in tempera paint to fill the triange with handprints. When the handprints are dry, set out several colors of tempera and let the children “decorate” the tree with their thumbprints.