Category Archives: Holidays

Valentine’s Day Monster

valentinemonster

Create a friendly “monster” to share on Valentine’s Day!

Goals:

  • To create a special gift to give on Valentine’s Day
  • To practice creativity

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: cardboard craft rolls, assorted pipe cleaners, assorted craft twist ties, ceramic or foam heart shapes, wiggly eyes, pom poms, red and pink paint, paint brushes and tacky glue.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Paint a craft roll in a Valentine’s Day color. Alternatively, you could cover the roll in construction paper or foil paper.

Step 2.
Glue two lengths of either craft twist ties or pipe cleaners in the center of the craft roll. These will be the monster’s legs.

Step 3.
Glue a heart shape to the end of each leg. You can use ceramic or foam heart shapes, or simply cut your own hearts out of construction paper. Paint, if desired.

Step 4.
Glue two wiggly eyes and a pom pom nose to the outside front of the monster.

Step 5.
Twist the ends of two pipe cleaners together to create an extra-long pipe cleaner. Wrap the extra-long pipe cleaner through the back side of the monster and create a heart-shaped antenna.

Step 6.
Display your monster, or give to someone special!

Furthermore:
Stuff the monster with a small baggie of Valentine’s Day treats to give someone an extra-special delivery!

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Tape Art

tapeart

Submitted by: Alison Busby

Toddlers use tape to create amazing effects in their art.

Goals:

  • To explore cause and effect
  • To practice fine motor skills
  • To participate in a hands-on sensory activity

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: paint in multiple colors, masking or painter’s tape, cardstock or heavy painting paper, paint brushes.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Apply tape to the paper in the desired design.

Step 2.
Use fingers or painting tools to paint over the tape.

Step 3.
Carefully remove the tape from the paper.

Furthermore:
Try adding additional layers of colors. After painting with one color and removing the tape, put down more tape and paint a second color. What happens in the areas where the paint colors overlap?

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3-D Pyramid Ornament

3-D Pyramid Ornament

Submitted by: Rhonda Pena

Create a decorative holiday ornament while reinforcing knowledge of geometric properties.

Goals:

  • Create a decorative holiday ornament
  • Identify the geometric properties of a 3-D square pyramid, including faces, edges and vertices

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: Foam or tag board to cut the pyramid shapes from, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, ribbon, glue and tape.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Cut out a square and 4 identical triangles from the foam or tag board. The triangles should have a side that is the same length as the sides of the square. More-advanced students can try to create a “net” from a single piece of foam or tag board that will simply fold together to form the square pyramid.

Step 2.
Use glue or tape to put together the square pyramid. Hot glue may work best for this step, but be sure to do so carefully with adult supervision.

Step 3.
Decorate the ornaments using pipe cleaners along the edges, pom-poms at the vertices (corners) or anything else you like.

Step 4.
Attach a loop of ribbon and hang!

Furthermore:
As you are making your ornaments, discuss with the students the different attributes of a pyramid. Encourage them to discuss the attributes with their families after taking their ornament home.

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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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Gobble Gobble Jar of Thanks

jarthanks

Submitted by: Audrey Meidl

A great way to give thanks and to share what young ones are thankful for.

Goals:

  • To reinforce social/emotional development
  • To encourage creativity

Before You Start:
Have on hand craft foam, felt or construction paper in brown, red, yellow and orange. You will also need a papier-mâché flower pot or glass jar, scissors, tacky glue and wiggly eyes. You will also need sentence strips (or strips of cut-up lined paper) and pencils.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Using felt, foam or paper, cut out two ovals of the same size. Glue the two ovals to the outside of the flower pot or jar. This will be the turkey head. Allow the young ones to be creative with this; there is no “right” or “wrong” way.

Step 2.
Using felt, foam or paper in fall colors such as red, yellow, orange, etc., cut out more oval shapes (one of each color) and glue them to the opposite end of the flower pot or jar, on the outside.

Step 3.
Glue on wiggly eyes and use leftover felt, foam or paper to create the waddle and beak.

Step 4.
After the children are finished creating their turkey pots, have them write down things they are thankful for on the strips of paper and place them into the pot.

Step 5.
During circle time, have each child take turns sharing what they are thankful for.

Furthermore:
Tip: you can also use craft feathers instead of felt or foam for added texture. Also, add more details such as feet, or, you might want to paint the pot or jar to give it more color.

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Spider Hat

spiderhat

Submitted by: Kathy Worrell

Learn about spiders as children make a goofy hat!

Goals:

  • To learn about spiders
  • To learn that spiders have 8 legs

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: black construction paper, wiggly eyes, glue, staples and a stapler or black tape.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Cut black construction paper into 10 equal, long strips for each child.

Step 2.
Take two strips and attach them together to create a circle that fits around the child’s head.

Step 3.
Attach 4 legs to each side of the circle. Crinkle the legs in an accordion fashion.

Step 4.
Add wiggly eyes to the front of the spider hat.

Furthermore:
Have the children wear their hats as they sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and read books about spiders.

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Footprint Ghosts

footprintghosts

Submitted by: Laurie Shaw

Children use their feet to make ghost decorations for Halloween.

Goals:

  • To promote creative thinking
  • To encourage organizational and planning skills

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: white paint, construction paper, a small paint roller, glitter glue, wiggly eyes and other decorative items.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Lay out plastic or newspaper to protect the floor.

Step 2.
Using a paint roller, gently roll white paint onto the bottom of the children’s feet.

Step 3.
Have the children carefully stand on a piece of construction paper, placed on a hard surface.

Step 4.
Decorate the ghosts using wiggly eyes, glitter glue or any other decorative items.

Furthermore:
Have the children compare and discuss the different shapes and sizes of each other’s footprints.

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