Category Archives: Faith-Based

Star Tree

startree

Submitted by: Tracy Emond

This is a great math activity to celebrate the Christmas/holiday season.

Goals:

  • To help children practice fractions and measurement
  • To create a beautiful centerpiece to display for the holiday season

Before You Start:
Gather all the necessary supplies, including: green and yellow construction paper, rulers, tape, glue, scissors, glitter, sequins, beads, pom-poms and other decorating items.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have children measure 1″ increments lengthwise (and draw lines) on 2-3 sheets of green construction paper. Have them cut along the lines, creating 1″ wide strips.

Step 2.
Have children measure and cut the 1″ strips into the following seven lengths: 20″, 17-1/2″, 15″, 12-1/2″, 10″, 7-1/2″ and 5″. (For longer lengths, you may need to tape 2 strips together at the ends before measuring.)

Step 3.
Demonstrate how to fan-fold (like an accordion) the 20″ strip in 2″ wide sections. Have the children fan-fold the rest of the strips in varying increments. Fold 17-1/2″ strip into 1-3/4″ increments, 15″ into 1-1/2″ increments, 12-1/2″ strip into 1-1/4″ increments, 10″ strip folded into 1″ increments, 7-1/2″ strip folded into 3/4″ increments and 5″ strip folded into 1/2″ increments.

Step 4.
Let children decorate their strips on one side with the glitter, beads and other items and let dry.

Step 5.
Have them refold each strip and tape the ends together. This will create beautiful star shapes.

Step 6.
Starting with the largest star, stack them on top of one another, turning each one just slightly so they will balance on the one below.

Step 7.
Now you have a decorated Christmas tree to display in the classroom and/or use as a centerpiece for the holiday season!

Furthermore:
You can top off your tree by creating a star out of yellow construction paper or by using a large, yellow pom-pom. This is an easy project to take apart and reassemble over and over for years to come.

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Handprint Easter Lily

easterlily

A creative and simple Easter project!

Goal:

  • To have children create an Easter Lily by using a cut-out of their hand

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed for activity: white construction paper, pencils, green foam sheets, scissors, glue and pipe cleaners.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Using a white heavyweight piece of construction paper, trace around the child’s open hand. Adult help will be needed to help young children draw around their hand and to cut it out.

Step 2.
Cut out the handprint, leaving a wide portion at the wrist.

Step 3.
Bring the two sides at the wrist together and glue. This should look like a cone at the bottom of the hand.

Step 4.
Use a yellow or gold pipe cleaner and glue it inside the flower.

Step 5.
Use a green straw as the stem and glue it inside the flower.

Step 6.
Cut out foam or paper leaves – using tacky glue, attach them to the straw.

Step 7.
When all children’s flowers are done, you can make a Easter lily bouquet.

Furthermore:
Easter lilies are known to have special significance for Easter. Talk with children about some of the different meanings and symbols that are associated with this flower and Easter.

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Holiday Wreaths

holidaywreaths

Submitted by: Laura Firpo

This is a fun, easy, hands-on (and messy) experience for preschoolers.

Goals:

  • To create a holiday gift children can take home and give to their loved ones
  • To teach children the fun of messy fun in their creations

Before You Start:
You will need shredded wheat cereal, green Liquid Watercolor™ mixed with white glue, ornament hooks, small lids such as from margarine tubs, small plastic bowls, wax paper, red-hot candies or red beads, clear varnish and red bows. You also may want to have handy wipes or wet paper towels on hand for quick clean up of sticky fingers!

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Assist children in shredding the wheat cereal into a small bowl or on wax paper until it resembles sticks.

Step 2.
Help them add their prepared green glue to the shredded wheat until it is covered completely but not runny.

Step 3.
Ask the children to scoop approximately 1/3 cup onto margarine lid.

Step 4.
Using their fingers, instruct children to form an “O” shape.

Step 5.
Place ornament hook into top back of wreath.

Step 6.
Add red-hot candies or beads as berries.

Step 7.
Allow wreath to dry thoroughly 2-3 days on wax paper until rock hard.

Furthermore:
Teacher will need to varnish with clear gloss and add a red satin bow as desired for great take home gifts for children!

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God Made Me Special Magnets

godmademe

Preschoolers are learning about themselves and their bodies. Fingerprints are a wonderful way for them to understand that no one is exactly like them and that God made them special and unique.

Goals:

  • To educate the children about fingerprints and their uniqueness
  • To teach the children the bible verse “I will praise You, for I am… wonderfully made” – Psalm 139:14
  • To help develop their fine motor skills by painting and gluing their magnet together

Before You Start:
You will need the following materials: Craft sticks (plain or colored), colored construction paper, markers, rubber stamp inkpad, glue, scissors, damp paper towels, roll of magnet tape.

Set up a couple of centers with duplicate items on them. Have 4 ½” squares of a variety of colors of construction paper for the children to choose from. On the square write “God made me special and unique.”

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Recite the bible verse for the children “I will praise You, for I am… wonderfully made”- Psalm 139-14.

Step 2.
Have the children go around and comment on how they are wonderfully made.

Step 3.
Talk to the children about their fingerprints and explain that no one else has the same fingerprints as they do.

Step 4.
Let the children choose the color square they would like and have them glue four craft sticks around the edge of the paper.

Step 5.
Have the children write their name on the paper or assist them with this.

Step 6.
After the glue has dried for a bit, show the children how to put their finger on the stamp pad and then on the construction paper. Let them put as many fingerprints and any way they want to on the paper; you could even use different color inks.

Step 7.
Let the children clean off their fingers with a damp paper towel or handi wipe.

Step 8.
Add the magnet pieces to the back or you may add a loop of yarn on the back to have it hang.

Furthermore:
There may be some children that do not want to put their finger on the stamp pad, this is perfectly fine, let them make the magnet any way they want to. Play some music while the children are engaged in the activity, something calming. Don’t forget to make one for yourself, as you are special and unique too.

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Fish Necklace

fishneck

Kids can create a necklace, bracelet or anklet, using different types of beads – like ocean creature beads, glow in the dark and beads that change color in the sun.

Goals:

  • To practice grasping and stringing
  • To make a creative piece of jewelry

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Using colorful beading cord, cut a length for necklace, bracelet or anklet.

Step 2.
Have children alternate sea-themed beads with sun change beads and other assorted beads.

Step 3.
Make sure the length is the length that the child wants for what they are creating. Then, helping if necessary, have children tie the ends together in a knot.

Furthermore:
This can be a great end-of-the-year project or summer camp activity. Necklaces also make great gifts for family and friends.

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Holiday Wish Cards

wishcards

Recycle and transform common household materials into special messages of hope, thanks and good wishes for the winter season and/or New Year!

Goals:

  • To encourage children to recycle common items for creative uses
  • To promote a “greener” craft/activity for children
  • To create special messages and wishes for the new year ahead

Before You Start:
Have children gather empty cereal and cracker boxes or other dry food packaging made of cardboard from home. (Colorations® construction paper will also work for this activity.) Cut small squares of wrapping paper (recycled from other uses if possible), foil and fabric beforehand. Prepare small bowls with glue, and provide ribbon, rick rack, glitter, stickers and other decorative items. Set out a variety of Colorations® crayons, markers and colored pencils, scissors and one-hole punches. The teacher may also want to prepare a few templates of holiday shapes ahead of time for the children to trace onto their cardboard materials.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Have children cut their cardboard packages into squares to use for their cards. The children can also draw or trace other shapes and cut out from the packaging.

Step 2.
Help them punch a hole in the top of their cards. Show how to string a piece of ribbon or rick rack through the hole and tie into a loop for hanging.

Step 3.
Have children cover the side of their cardboard shapes that has the pictures/logo and writing with the wrapping paper, foil and/or fabric. Encourage them to experiment with layering the different textures and colors as they glue them on.

Step 4.
Continue embellishing cards with ribbon, rick rack, glitter and other items on top if they wish.

Step 5.
On the opposite side, have the children write a special message of cheer, hope, thanks and wishes for the season and/or New Year. The teacher may need to help younger children.

Step 6.
Now everyone has their own one-of-a-kind cards to hang up and display around the classroom!

Furthermore:
ather children at circle time and take turns sharing what they wrote on their cards. This is a great opportunity for a social/emotional-themed lesson that incorporates the different messages they wrote.

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Festive Foam Trees

foamtrees

Submitted by: Alicia Colebeck

You can make a unique Christmas tree, or even a forest, with foam and paper clips!

Goals:

  • To make holiday decor
  • To show kids that more can be done with paper clips than they think

Before You Start:
Get varying sized paper clips, festive holiday colored foam sheets and some scissors.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Show the students how to manipulate the paper clip so that there is a base and a piece sticking straight up.

Step 2.
Then cut varying shape squares out of the colored foam sheets.

Step 3.
Start to stack the shapes from largest to smallest all the way up the “tree trunk.”

Step 4.
As you place the next pieces on, turn the pieces just slightly so that they aren’t exactly the same way-this will give you the pointy-tree branches sticking out effect.

Step 5.
Once the “trunk” is full of “branches” you can simply glue the last piece to the top and your tree is finished!

Furthermore:
Try varying colors, different “trunk” lengths, and the color patterns you use for the trees, and then make a whole forest of festive trees!

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