1-2-3 Come Do Some Christmas Craftivities With Me
If you'd like to put a lid on the question: How many more days 'til Christmas vacation? make a countdown craftivity. Last week, I designed one with a gingerbread using a paper chain, so you could work on patterning, but if you'd like your kiddo's to see and practice real numbers, then you might want to make either Santa's Countdown Beard or the Finger Print Wreath.
Counting down the days to Christmas, by gluing a cotton ball on a numbered circle, is not my original idea.
I've seen it many times, in a variety of ways, all over the Internet, so I thought I'd draw a Santa and give this idea a whirl too. Click on the link to view/download the Santa's Countdown.
Make one for your class and take turns having students glue a cotton ball on each day, or run off a copy for each child and set this up as a daily center.
An easy way to set up independent centers, without taking up a lot of room, is to use TV trays. Simply keep all of your students' Santa's in a basket on one of the trays and a bottle of glue and a container of cotton balls on another.
If you'd like an alternative to Santa, I also designed a Countdown to Christmas Wreath.
So that you can reinforce the fact that December has 31 days, both the Santa and wreath have numbers to 31.
Have students circle the 25th with a red or green crayon so they can readily see that special day.
Students can opt for a paper-heart "bow" or a real ribbon one. For the added "awww-dorable" factor, have children glue a photo in the center.
To countdown days, students press their thumb onto a red stamp pad and place it on the appropriate day. Click on the link to view/download the Countdown Wreath.
If you're looking for some other keepsake wreath activities, finger painting one was a Y5's favorite.
Because learning colors was one of our standards, I'd often have students mix 2 primary ones to make a secondary color.
This also was a teachable moment for reviewing equations: Yellow + Blue = Green. A "magical" way to do this, is by fingerpainting.
Put a dollop of yellow and a much smaller dot of blue on their tag board wreath cut out. Children swirl and mix 'til they have a pretty shade of green.
My kiddo's often squealed in delight: "Mrs. H. come quick! Come see! My paint is green!" Their joy was worth the bit of mess.
Set aside to dry. Later, students add finger print holly berries and glue the poem in the middle: "I made this pretty wreath for you. I made it mixing yellow and blue. Yellow + blue as you have seen, makes a lovely Christmas green. The red berries--I'll give you a hint, are made from someone's finger print. This wreath is a circle it has no end. It's like my love, that I now send." Click on the link to view/download the Fingerpainted Wreath Craftivity.
Another idea is to draw a circle in the center of a large square of tag board. Paint child's hand with green paint and have them press it around the circle to make a wreath. (To keep things bright, paint-press; paint-press etc.)
My son, Jason, did this activity in Y5's 29 years ago and I still have it somewhere in the basement! Click on the link to see a tutorial of another mom doing this with her daughter Elsie.
Instead of paper, she used fabric. To make a fabric project do-able for a class, simply have students bring in a plain white pillowcase.
Reindeer are the perfect animals for making hand and foot print "craftivities." I've designed several for you to choose from.
The Lunch Bag Reindeer is A wonderful keepsake art project that makes a great manipulative to whole group assess spatial directions, and body part identification.
My personal favorite reindeer "craftivity" is Rudy. His head is made by tracing a child's foot with their shoe on. The antlers of course are hand prints cut from a darker shade of brown construction paper.
Add a neck and wreath collar and you have an adorable keepsake. The poem on the collar: "These are my finger prints oh so small, that I left on your heart and every wall. This is my hand you used to hold, when I was only ____ years old."
Ribbon, wiggle eyes, a red pom pom nose and a photo of the child, add those finishing touches. Click on the link to view/download the Reindeer Hand and Foot Print Crafts.
Also in this packet is Reindeer Noses. "Sliders" are a quick, easy and fun way to whole group assess, in this case, 2D shapes.
To review an ABAB pattern as well, have students alternate coloring the shapes red and black. Call out a shape; students slide to it and hold it in the air.
Call on quiet students to continue to choose shapes 'til all have been reinforced. You can see at a glance who is is having difficulty. I'm designing The Reindeer's Nose easy reader today; so I hope you can stop by tomorrow to grab that freebie as a nice language arts follow up.
The last craftivity in the reindeer keepsake packet features a reindeer that students color. You can add wiggle eyes and a pom pom nose as well. Call students up to the painting center and paint their hand a dark shade of brown. Press to make antlers.
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"To dance with the moon, you need only become friendly with the dreams of a reindeer." -Unknown