Next year, during the holiday season, when your children are rolling with marbles to create a one-of-a-kind design, provide loose jingle bells instead of marbles. They always enjoy this favorite activity but with a new, “musical” twist, they LOVE it! Try this fun activity at the same time you’re singing “Jingle Bells” during Circle Time. (This activity was “invented” by one of my assistants. Thanks, Mary).
Sticky Trees Fold a piece of green construction paper and cut out a simple tree shape on the fold. Cut a piece of contact paper (not clear) slightly smaller than the construction paper. Open the construction paper and attach the contact paper by pressing down firmly. when you flip the paper over you will have a sticky tree to decorate by attaching any lightweight collage material you desire. This process may be used for any shape at any time of the year for a quick and fun activity.
Silver bells – give each child 2 Styrofoam cups. poke a hole in the bottom of each one. cover with aluminum foil. put a colored pipe cleaner through the inside of the cup and bend to hold. tie together at the top. the children love it, and so do the parents.
Here is a super simple idea that even young children may do with a little assistance. First, cut out a Christmas tree from green construction paper. Draw lines of glue across the tree as garland, and sprinkle with glitter. Cover the rest of the tree with glue and then sprinkle it with ornaments made from punching different colors of construction paper with a hole punch. Cut out a yellow construction paper star to glue to the top. Makes a real nice looking tree!
Reindeer Farm 1 brown poster board (must be cut in half) 2 large construction paper about a yardstick long a red circle for the nose white large googly eyes popsicle sticks for the antlers
Use the poster board and cut in half to make the face of a reindeer. I made the reindeer’s face with ears circular to make easy for the students to cut. Use the red circle for the nose and large googly eyes. Use popsicle sticks (I used four each) and have kids construct antlers by gluing ends in different directions. Take 2 (1 yard each) large brown construction paper and trace the body of a reindeer and staple both sides together leaving and opening to fill with crumpled paper. Once filled, staple. Staple on head of reindeer. The kids loved to see how big and round, almost lifelike, the reindeer became! I made one corner of the room the reindeer farm complete with a “reindeer crossing” sign and a wood-like sign saying” reindeer farm: please feed” and cream crumpled paper and plastic hay with a rope surrounding the reindeer. The kids cannot wait to take it home for winter break!
I love to do Christmas crafts that can be used every year. Ones that are not made out of paper are far more durable & more than likely to be saved by parents. My kids love the Candy Cane mice ornaments made out of felt & a candy cane. Give each child a teardrop shape cut out of white or gray felt. With the pointed end being the face, glue on 2 little googly eyes, whiskers ( I made mine out of white tinsel) & a red pom pom nose. Carefully fold up the nose over the back & cut 2 slits about 1/2 ” apart to fit the ears through. Cut ears out of felt. They look like 2 circles joined side by side with a little strip of felt. Looks a little like a set of barbells. Hold candy cane with hook part at the tail end & slip the ears through each little slit & adjust till they stand up. Hang on tree by the hook. Actually looks like the mouse is eating the cane.
Table centerpieces To make great looking centerpieces, take meat trays & cover with floral tin foil (buy at florist) Put a blob of playdough in the center of tray & stuff little pieces of cedar branches into the do till playdough is covered. Attach a little red bow & perhaps a pine cone or 2. Lightly spray with fake snow & VIOLA!! A great looking table centerpiece. Last year, I used floral arranging Styrofoam. It held the branches quite well. I also used a votive candle in the center rather than a taper. It seemed to stay standing better.
Christmas trees with lights!!
Give each child a green construction paper tree with several holes punched all over it. (Fold tree in 1/2 if necessary to get holes closer to center) Give children lots of colored squares of pear to glue over the holes on the backside. When all holes have been covered, turn tree over & it looks like Christmas lights shining through. Easy for 3 yr. olds to do.
OSCAR THE GROUCH.
Take an empty black film canister & stuff a large green pompom into it partially sticking up at the top. Add 2 googly eyes. Carefully poke a hole in the lid of the canister & put wool or string through to hang. Attach lid to head of Oscar on a slight tip. Looks just like Oscar poking his head out. I usually attach a little note to the can saying something silly like Merry Grouchmas or ?????
Paint child’s hand with green paint. Place on paper with fingers together, pointing up. This will be the Christmas tree. After it dries, give the children stickers, beads, pompoms, etc. to decorate. You can have them use their fingertips to paint on dots for ornaments but I found I would have to sit with them one on one or they would just smear it around.