Christmas Arts and Crafts

We are just finishing up with a Christmas gift for the children to give their parents. We have been working on calendars. Each month of the calendar is thematic for that month, Apple trees September, Pumpkins October, etc. I have had them all filed at home and after the children finish their pictures, I then attach them to a 2001 calendar. A piece of construction paper holds the project attached to a wide 8X11 monthly calendar, we then fastened the whole 12 together with paper fasteners. We used a lot of handprint pictures for this. Today we had the children make the wrapping paper mentioned in the Christmas art section. Next week we will have each of them wrap their gift to bring home! A long process but well worth the effort!

Dog Biscuit Reindeer.

Get large bone-shaped dog biscuits. Make antlers out of pipe cleaners – adding short bits to the main antler stem for “forks” in the antlers. Turn the biscuit vertical and glue antlers at the very top – right behind to the two bump ends of the top of a biscuit. Now glue on wiggle eyes and a red hot for a nose. Add a tiny bow tiny/ribbon tie under the nose…so cute!

Christmas cards: you need a potato, a carrot and some grease-proof paper. You also need Sweetie wrappers or shiny gift wrap (The bluish kind is the best). Cut out star shapes in the potato and chop the carrot in three. Use the two sizes of carrot to make snowmen by dipping into white paint. Also dip the star in white paint. The grease-proof paper together with the paint adds a very interesting texture. When they are dry cut the shapes out but leave a good 1/8 of an inch…3mm around the edge. this finishes the shapes off. then glue to a slightly larger square piece of festive paper…shiny, sweetie wrappers. the overall size of each piece should be no more that 2 inches long or wide. If you have a laminating machine laminate them all up and cut them out again. Stick onto card and write your festive message underneath. They are cheap, great for small hands and they look very professional when finished. We made a small fortune at our Xmas fair last year. We make them with 3 yr old in UK and they are fabulous. Merry Christmas!

This activity takes a little preparation but is sooo cute. First collect some pine cones (the bigger the better). Next the teachers spray paint the pine cones green, When they dry mix up some plaster of paris and fill a empty (one serving ) applesauce container (if your school is like mine we have thousands). Next place the pine cone in the plaster of paris standing up so it looks like a tree. This is where the kids come in, Have the children once these trees are dry (plaster of paris) decorate their tree with glitter, sequins, and other assorted trinkets to make Christmas trees. The parents adore these and keep these as a keepsake for years and years. Have Fun!

Christmas ornaments In my 3 year old class the children make snowflakes. Each child gets a small piece of waxed paper on which I have them squeeze a puddle of glue. I then give them several Q-tips cut in half which they place around the glue puddle, swab end sticking out to look like a snowflake. Stick a loop of string in the glue puddle for a holder. Have child sprinkle glitter onto the glue. Let them dry a couple of days and peel them off the waxed paper. In my four year old class the children make cinnamon ornaments with the easy recipe of one part cinnamon to one part applesauce. I but the cinnamon at the bulk store and the cheapest applesauce I can find. The children roll their dough, cut it into shapes, add a hole for string. Let dry on waxed paper a couple of days.

In December we cut Christmas tree out of green construction paper (folded in half then open it so it is perfectly symmetrical) then while it’s still folded use a hole puncher and make holes all over it. Open it up. On one side spread glue with paintbrush and let children tear small pieces of tissue paper to cover the holes creating the “lights”. When this is held up to light, they “glow” ! It’s very pretty !!

Have each child bring in the little cups from Pepto-Bismal. add school glue all over the cup. Next put the cup in a Ziploc bag filled with glitter. Close the bag and shake. You make bells from these. You insert a little jingle bell.

To make inexpensive Christmas ornaments I have saved some toilet rolls over the years. You will need glitter, paint, sequins (optional), punch holder and lace (optional). Paint the toilet rolls and decorate the rolls with your decoration. When the rolls are dry, punch a hold so you can put the yarn through it. The ornaments came out very beautiful in my class.

For a Christmas gift for the parents we take baby food jars with labels removed and fill them with layers of different colors/kinds of dried beans. Do not use rice because it’s too small and will filter down into the other layers. We then put on the cap which we have painted gold or silver. We take another painted cap and glue it upside down on top of the first cap to hold a votive candle.

At Christmas time the children make their parents an angel on a piece of muslin. It is cut in a square and fringed around the perimeter by simply pulling out some of the threads. The top is folded over a wooden dowel and fabric glued. We then add a piece of yarn which is tied on each end of the dowel to hang it. The angel is made by painting the child’s foot with light blue paint and “stamping” it horizontally in the middle of the cloth to make the body. We make wings by making handprints in gold or silver in the middle of the footprint vertically. A thumbprint makes the head and fingerprints make the hair. We glue sequins on to make the halo and draw on a face.

Around Christmas time I take a piece of sandpaper 8×11 1/2, we then draw a picture of a Gingerbread man. Using cinnamon sticks the children color in the body of the gingerbread man. When finished they decorate the rest with scraps of fabric, yarn, glitter glues, whatever you have on hand. Not only they cute and festive they smell great. The kids love the coloring process.

You’ll need a paper/plastic plate, puffy paint/glitter glue and other various decorations. Have your child decorate the plate and write a cute letter or poem to leave Santa’s cookies in. You can also do one for Santa’s milk with a plastic cup.

You’ll need construction paper, glue, glitter and cheerio’s. Cut 2 sheets of construction paper into the shape of gingerbread boys. Then glue the 2 sheets back to back for support. Glue the cheerio’s all around the gingerbread boys body add eyes a nose, mouth and button. Finally use the glitter on it’s eyes, nose, mouth and buttons.

Wrapping Paper

Materials: Christmas cookie cutters, butcher paper, paint

Have the children dip the Christmas cookie cutters into the paint, then make prints on the butcher paper. Let their creation dry and use it to wrap their parent’s gift in.

This is an adorable wreath idea that the parents especially will love, because it will look great hanging at home! Together with your class, make gingerbread men and women. You will need quite a few. Then, with each child, help them glue the figures together in a wreath shape head to feet. To finish it off, you can tie a ribbon on the top. I like to use red and white gingham.

You will need ice cream cones (cone shaped), green icing, white icing, confectioners sugar and an assortment of candies.

Let the child place some white icing in the middle of their plate. ( I use Christmas paper plates) and stick the ice cream cone on the icing so that it looks like a tree. The white icing will make it stick to the plate. They will then ice the cone all over with green icing. I encourage them to use as much as possible so that the candy will stick. They then cover the “tree” with candy. This is a complete child-directed project. They should make their tree look however they like it! They can then take it home and eat it with their family.

Christmas Ornaments

We found a use for all those CDs you get from certain internet service providers that end up getting thrown away or laying around the house. Put some glue on the CD, and then give the children felt in different shapes, as well as glitter, confetti, or anything else you can think of. You can then put a string through the middle and make it an ornament, or stick a picture of the child in the middle and put a magnet on the back. Both make great presents for mom and dad!

This is an easy idea for making ornaments. You need a small aluminum baking pan for each child (the size of pot-pie pans) and several starlight mints. Make a circle with the mints in the bottom of the pan. Be sure the mints are touching. Put them in a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes. Let them cool and pop them out of the tins….the mints melt together, then cool to form a wreath-shaped ornament. Add a bow and hang with yarn!

Cinnamon and Spice Dough For Ornaments

1 1/2 Cups of flour

1 1/2 Cups of ground spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice)
HINT—Check out places like Michaels, Pic-N-Save, Mac Frugals, Dollar Stores, etc. for inexpensive spices.

1 Cup salt

1 Cup water (you may need to add a bit more depending on how dry the dough is)

Mix everything together. Knead the dough until it is pliable and is not sticky. Have the children use cookie cutters to create ornaments. Bake at 300 degrees for a half hours. Check the ornaments, if they are not hard enough, bake for another 15 minutes.

These ornaments smell GREAT even after they have been baked.

Instead of just decorating cookies at Christmas time we decorate sugar cones to make Christmas trees. Just turn the cone upside down on a small plate, spread some green frosting on and decorate with all kinds of yummy things. Depending upon the age we use things like gumdrops or for the older kids mini M&Ms. They turn out very cute and can be allowed to dry or eaten for a snack.