Tag 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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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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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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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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Reindeer Gift Bag

reindeerbag

Submitted by: Traci Meidl

An easy-to-make holiday gift bag that kids are sure to have fun with!

Goals:

  • To encourage creativity
  • To reinforce fine motor skills
  • To create fun gift bags with a holiday theme

Before You Start:
You will need craft paper bags with handles, brown felt, red felt (or a red pom pom), brown pipe cleaners, wiggly eyes, scissors, craft glue, and a decorative bow. You will also need an assortment of craft items for decorating the bags, such as glitter, sequins, metallic markers, etc.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
First, cut out two oval shapes from the brown felt pieces to make the reindeer head. Then, cut out reindeer ears and mouth. Shapes can vary; use your imagination! You can show the children your finished bag as an example, but encourage them to create their own unique shapes.

Step 2.
Overlap the two oval shapes (as shown in photo) to create the reindeer’s head. Glue in place.

Step 3.
Glue on ears, wiggly eyes, and mouth.

Step 4.
Bend pipe cleaners to create antlers. Glue antlers on top of reindeer head.

Step 5.
Then, glue the red pom pom onto the reindeer for the nose.

Step 6.
Next, tie the ribbon into a bow and glue in place for the reindeer’s “bowtie.”

Step 7.
Finally, you can also encourage the children to decorate the rest of their bags with glitter, metallic markers, beads, sequins, and other craft items to give them a more festive appearance!

Furthermore:
You can fill the gift bags with fun holiday sweet treats, such as candy canes, cookies, chocolate, or baked goods. Or, fill with holiday trinkets, special ornaments, or unique keepsakes for loved ones.

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Craft Roll Toy Soldiers

craftsoldiers

This cute seasonal craft transforms recycled materials into miniature toy soldiers similar to those in the cherished holiday story of “The Nutcracker.”

Goals:

  • To reuse and recycle common household items
  • To encourage a “greener” way to make a fun, seasonal craft
  • To encourage creativity and fine motor skills

Before You Start:
Have children collect empty, clean cardboard egg cartons (or provide for those who may not have any) and bring from home for this craft. Provide recycled craft rolls, and pre-cut small sections of blue construction paper to cover rolls (this will be the soldiers’ uniforms). Prepare small bowls BioColor® paint for the “hats” you will be making from the individual egg carton sections. Set out paintbrushes, Colorations® markers and crayons, scissors, glue and a variety of buttons to decorate soldiers’ “uniforms.” The teacher may also want to draw circles on the white paper for the faces beforehand to make it easier for the children to cut out.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Help the children cut out their soldiers’ faces and individual egg carton sections/”hats.”

Step 2.
Have them paint the egg carton “hats” and set aside to dry.

Step 3.
While the “hats” dry, have children glue the blue construction paper around the cardboard roll for the soldiers’ uniforms.

Step 4.
Have the children draw their soldiers’ faces on the white paper (or templates), cut out and glue to roll.

Step 5.
Allow children to decorate the bodies of their soldiers any way they like. They can add arms and legs and use the buttons to decorate the fronts of the uniforms if they wish. Encourage the children to experiment when designing the uniforms.

Step 6.
Show children how to glue a painted egg carton “hat” on top of their soldiers. Help them do the same as needed.

Step 7.
Help the child write his or her name on the backs of the rolls, so they know which one is theirs. Line their original creations up on a counter and display for the holidays in the classroom.

Furthermore:
Discuss circle shapes with the children. What attributes do all circles have in common? What are some everyday items that are shaped like circles?

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Puzzle Piece Christmas Wreath

puzzlewreath

Submitted by: Sally Miller

A quick and easy Christmas craft to celebrate the holiday season!

Goals:

  • To strengthen fine motor skills

Before You Start:
You will need a set of blank puzzle pieces (or a old puzzle you would like to recycle), green activity paint, scissors, green cardstock or construction paper (measuring 8-1/2″ x 11″), ribbons, sequins, and glue. If you have other holiday decorations like holly berries or other small craft items, you can use these to decorate the wreath as well.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Take a puzzle piece and paint one with green paint. Encourage the children to take a few pieces each and to start painting the pieces green.

Step 2.
Allow the pieces to dry, and cut a doughnut shape out of the cardstock.

Step 3.
After the pieces have dried, have the children glue the painted puzzle pieces onto the cardstock doughnut.

Step 4.
Allow the children to use sequins or other decorative craft items to decorate the wreaths.

Step 5.
Tie a bow in the ribbon and glue it onto the top of the wreath.

Furthermore:
Proudly display your wreath!

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