1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Craftivities With Me
PTL things are FINALLY back to normal in my little cyber-world. Few things have the capicity to incapacitate me, as much as computer problems. I'm such a control freak that when something happens that is out of my control, it is way beyond frustrating. Anyone relate?
We now have a brand new server and everything seems to have transferred well. Sorry if you experienced broken links and error messages while I was swinging from the ceiling pulling my hair out. I'm all better now, and can't wait to share lots of new stuff that I played around with, to keep my sanity, while experiencing insane glitches.
This is a potpourri of winter-themed "stuff." My new personal favorite I call My Shapely Snowflakes. I was watching the overhead at church Sunday; they had a lovely snowflake posted on the message. The center was of all things a hexagon! That's a "toughy" shape that I'm always on the look out for fun things to do with it.
Beside the Pentagon and a few nuts and bolts, it's hard to give children an example. My husband thinks I should shut off my creative enthusiasm every now and then, especially at church, but I was so excited to design My Shapely Snowflakes I sketched a note to myself.
You can make a set to use as flashcards, a bulletin board, interesting assessment, or independent matching center. I've also included a spinner, so students can play a game. Click on the My Shapely Snowflakes link to grab it.
One of my Y5 standards was that students could recognize and spell their names. Although my kiddo's accomplished this by the end of September, they always enjoyed any activity that involved their names.
With that in mind, I designed this wintry alphabet snowman. You can give your students the option to spell their name, so they have a sweet sign to decorate their bedroom door with, or have them think of a winter word they'd like to spell out like: peace, love, joy, snow, winter or even welcome. Hang them in the hallway with the caption: "_________________'s Kinders Are Simply Brrrr-illiant!"
There are 4 different sets of alphabet cards to choose from. You can also print, laminate, trim and use for a variety of games. A 3-page list of ideas is included in the packet. This is the one I made for my grandson. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Alphabet craftivity.
If you're tossing in some poetry to cover a variety of genres, have your students make an acrostic poem. Students of all ages enjoy making them, and they are a nice way for children to review letters and words that begin with those letters. I've made a template for a snowman, winter, and frozen word acrostic. Click on the link to check out The Snowman Acrostic craftivity.
I know many of you are out there searching the web for quick, easy and inexpensive ideas for your kiddo's to make as a gift, or for you to give to them. How about a pin? The snowman tea light is not my original idea. I found it all over Pinterest as a magnet and decided to diddle around with one as a pin.
As a child I LOVED my Santa, Rudolph and Snowman (pull-the-string and light-up-the-nose) pins you could buy at the "dime" store. Anyone else remember those?
I used E6000 to glue on the pin back, wiggle eyes and bow; added the mouth with a permanent Sharpie, and cut off the finger of a black glove to make the hat. Yes it stretches that much! Roll the end up, so they don't look frayed and add a dot of glue to keep it rolled.
The Dollar Store sells these gloves in all sorts of colors. I think red or green would have looked nicer, but I had black around the house so tada! (2 pair makes 20 inexpensive pins/magnets.) You can also buy a pack of tea lights there too. Make sure you position the hat so that you don't cover the light switch.
Finally, another sweet gift is the Christmas Tree Lights bookmark made out of finger prints. "You light up my life with your love, so I left some finger prints to brighten yours." Baby Kaiden and I made this sample; my daughter loved it.
Thanks for visiting today. I try to design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more FREEBIES hot off Diane's sketch pad. Feel free to PIN away.
1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Craftivities And Games With Me!
Did you ever have one of those days where you might as well have stayed in bed? Well that was yesterday! The reason there was no blog article was that our main server (in Texas) crashed. It seemed everything techno in my world went on the fritz, from my e-mail, to the printer and even my favorite design software was having glitchy hiccups.
I apologize if you tried to visit us and got an error-connection message. I'm back to being a happy camper with lots of FREEBIES to share.
Keep review of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and skip counting fresh and interesting, by making these puzzles. Laminate for an independent center (I've included a blank grid for kiddo's to place the pieces on), or have your students pick one, run them off and then they cut and glue them to a blue or black sheet of construction paper.
If you're doing the alphabet, have students think of a word that starts with that letter on the puzzle piece, and then write it on the appropriate tree-strip.
Remind students to leave a little gap inbetween the pieces. You can add a bit of pizzazz by dipping a Q-tip in glue and then dotting on "snowflakes." For an awesome effect, sprinkle with white or silver glitter.
These make a lovely bulletin board too. Caption: Learning About Letters and Numbers Is "Snow" Much Fun! or "Look At All Of The TREE-mendous Work From Mrs. Henderson's Kinders!" Click on the link for the Snowman Tummy Puzzles or The 13 Merry-Making Tree Puzzles.
Since the Silly Shaped penguins and Owls Shape Up "craftivities" continue to be in the top 10 downloaded items from my site, I decided to design a Shapely Snowman, as well as a Gingerbread set, with plans to make special shape pals for all of the months. (i.e. pumpkins for October and butterflies for April!)
You can make the gingerbread heads a game, by running the bow pieces off on red construction paper.
Instead of gluing the shape words inside the bows and then gluing them to the gingerbread head, glue only the bows. Keep the shape-word circles separate.
Students place the shape word on to the matching shapely gingerbread's bow. To make a girl gingerbread, glue the bows to the top of the head. Glue it as a bow tie under the chin to make a gingerbread boy. To add a bit of pizzazz, I used white puffy paint for "frosting." Click on the link for the Shapely Gingerbread packet.
There are also several things you can do with the Shapely Snowman templates. Make a laminated set for a bulletin board, or use as puzzles for an independent center activity.
For a center matching game, do not glue the hats on the snowmen. Instead make only one hat with interchangeable hat bands. Students pick a shape word-hat band and place it on the hat, then they look for the matching snowman and place the hat on his head. Play continues 'til the child has used all of the hat bands and snowmen. Click on the link to view/download the Shapely Snowman Packet.
Another popular winter activity is the Snowman Glyph. Each one turns out a bit different so this too makes an adorable bulletin board. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Glyph.
Practice addition and subtraction with Dominic the Snowman Domino-Dice game. Click on the link to grab it.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for even more FREEBIES. My brain is on over-drive again, and since the weather outside is "frightful" I might as well have a "delightful" time inside designing away. Feel free to PIN away!
"Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Reindeer "Craftivities" With Me
On Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen; you too Rudolph. I wanted to finish up with reindeer-themed activities, by sharing 2 revamped favorites, + 2 new FREEBIES.
If you're looking for an inexpensive and easy treat to give your kiddo's, I think you'll enjoy making a Snack Baggie filled with 8 chocolate reindeer noses + a red gum ball (Rudolph's nose.)
This is my version from several other Pinterest pins that I've seen. My poem reads: "9 delicious reindeer noses from me. Packaged with lots of love and TLC. They come with happy smiles of joy to say--I hope you have a Merry Christmas Day!"
If you'd like to have your students make this as a gift for their family, have them make a thumb print reindeer and sign it from their little "dear." Click on the link to view/print Chocolate Reindeer Noses.
Cover a lot of Common Core State Standards as students read, add end punctuation, underline capital letters; trace and write the shape word; trace and write the color word; trace the shape and then draw and color that shaped nose on the reindeer.
A graphing extension is also included, where students tell which shaped nose they liked the best. Click on the link to view/download The Shape Of My Reindeer's Nose.
Finally, I revamped "You Can Count On Rudolph" and included trace & write pages. Students can count to 20, count backwards from 10 to 0 or 20 to 0, or skip count by 2's, 3's, 5's. and 10's.
I've also included a red-hot cinnamon "reindeer noses" counting activity in this packet as well. Click on the link to view/download the Counting On Rudolph packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. I design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by again tomorrow for even more FREEBIES.
"Christmas is like the morning; every year we experience it as new, partly because of the magic of snow and sleighs; night silver light and the silhouette of Dancer against the moon." -Unknown
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.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything from my site.
"To dance with the moon, you need only become friendly with the dreams of a reindeer." -Unknown
A Quick & Easy Christmas Craft With Math Extensions!
My grandson’s last day is Tuesday. If you too are still in school and looking for a quick and easy project to plug in for a little fun, but still want some standards attached to it, then you may enjoy making these little Christmas trees.
The initial shape is a circle; students cut it in half and then fold it in 1/4th’s, for a nice fraction review. Their circle now looks like a triangle.
When it’s glued together the completed project is no longer a flat shape, but takes the 3-D pyramid shape and looks like a mini Christmas tree.
They are such fun to make; you can also cover the concept of small, medium and large by doing different size circles.
To display the 3 sizes as a centerpiece, place them on a circle of aluminum foil with a large paper doily on top.
Students can count the ornaments they dot on their tree as another math extension, or give them the option to decorate their trees with glitter garland or snow.
Dabbing glue on with a Q-tip, is a no-mess hassle-free way to accomplish decorating the trees. Remind students “A little dab will do ya.” as you don’t want the glue running when they stand to dry, after children sprinkle glitter on top.
If you are making these at home with your own children, they make adorable place cards for your table.
Simply write your family’s names in the middle of one section of the tree and then decorate around it.
I used green printed scrapbook paper that was cardstock thick, but construction paper also works well.
You can top with 2 gold star stickers pressed back-to-back or cut some with a star punch for that finishing touch.
Lightly sprtiz with evergreen scent for that final Christmas bit of magic!
Here's Ho Ho Hoping you have a Jolly Holly-Day!
I have some cute December stories that involve mice, which my Y5’s enjoy. I like to follow them up with an activity I know they will enjoy.
Merry Christmas mouse is one that’s easy, quick and fun. You can also review the oval and heart shapes with your students!
Click on the link to view/print the Merry Christmas Mouse activity.
Pop back tomorrow and see how to make adorable fingerprint keepsake Christmas Tree Ornaments!
1-2-3 Come Make Some Shaving Cream Stuff With Me!
If you haven't heard of using shaving cream in the classroom yet, you and your students are missing out on a lot of fun. Yes, it's a little bit messy, but oh the joy of hands-on learning.
Clear the work tables, or student desks and have children don a paint shirt. Shake up a can of shaving cream (they sell a variety at The Dollar store) and squirt a few big dollops in front of each child.
Tell them to smooth it out to make their very own "whiteboard!" Using their index finger as a "pencil" have students write letters, numbers, or draw shapes. This is a super-fun way to whole group assess.
As you call out each letter, number, shape or whatever, students draw that on their board. When you've checked everyone's work by simply a glance, have them "erase" their board by smoothing it over, so you can call out something else for them to write/draw. After you review, give your students one last dollop for them to write their name or draw whatever they like.
An extra bonus is that the shaving cream takes off sticky glue residue, as well as crayon and ink marks. Depending on the fragrance you chose, your room should smell simply wonderful. The cream also makes your kiddo's hands feel smooth and soft. Take a teachable moment to talk about friction, as students rub the table top or their desk. The shaving cream will disappear, and their hands will feel warm.
Shaving cream is also an excellent "frosting" or "snow" for winter craftivities. The results pack a huge "Wow!" affect and were some of my students' favorite artwork. They make an outstanding decoration for your hallway, but hang them above any one's reach, so little fingers aren't tempted to poke the fluffy "snow." To make the "snow frosting," mix equal parts of Elmer's glue to non-menthol shaving cream; mix quickly to whip up a frothy-goopy consistancy.
Students take spoonfuls, plop them on their project and then smooth with a Popsicle stick. Shaving cream craftivities need at least 24-48 hours to dry, depending on how thick the artwork is. Here are 2 of my all-time favorite shaving cream creations.
Shaving Cream Frosted Cookies Ornament: I have my students cut their cookie out of light brown paper, frost it, and then add their photo to the middle.
If you have an Ellison Die Cutter at your disposal these cookies are adorable cut into your student's initials. Add a few real candy sprinkles and these honestly look so real, and good enough to eat! Frosted Cookie Ornament pattern
By far, my favorite craft that I ever made with my Y5's was the shaving cream snowman. I hung my students snowmen as a border, just under the ceiling in the hallway. We always got zillions of compliments and everyone wanted to know the secret of the awesome looking snow!
Before hand my students drew their snowman on a pre-cut piece of tag board. Little ones have a tendency to either draw way too small or way too large, so demonstrate drawing 2 simple circles “just the right size.” For really little ones, I suggest having these pre-drawn and have included a template for you. Make sure students have written their name in the corner of their creation.
I collected a large tub of pieces and parts to decorate the snowmen via a note home making a request, searching my house, taking apart jewelry and going junking.
Put several scoops of “stuff” in paper bowls and set 2 on each table. Give students 5-10 minutes to pick out 2 eyes, 1 nose, something for a mouth and 3-5 items for their snowman's buttons.
It’s very important to have children design their snowman BEFORE you give them a dollop of shaving cream, because they need to work rather quickly spreading their “snow” with a popsicle stick. It’s helpful if they arrange their parts on the side, so that they don’t forget what they chose for each feature. They get so excited when they get the “goop” that they sometimes forgot and this really helped in the past.
I also did the shaving cream board, discussed above a day or two before. This really helped to avoid children's curiosity of how shaving cream felt and they got down to the business of creating a snowman, instead of getting off task and simply playing with the shaving cream.
Mix up a huge bowl of “fluff” and use a wooden spoon to give each student enough dollops so they can “frost” their snowman. I also demonstrate how this is done. When they are satisfied with the results they gently plop their pieces in the appropriate places.
Remember to remove the bowls of decorations before you give them the frosting to avoid children taking more and putting it all over their snowman, instead of making it look like a snowman. After they have completed decorating, set aside in a designated "keep out!" drying area.
You will need at least 24-48 hours of dry time. When you return to school they should have dried and really “puffed” up! They look simply amazing! Click on the link to view/download the Shaving Cream Snowman “craftivity.” I hope you have a delightful time with these ideas. If you take pictures, I'd LOVE to hear from you and see your "mess-terpieces!" firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. To check out all of the creative-educational things I spend way too much time pinning, click on the big heart to the right of the blog. I have lots of winter boards. I blog and design daily, so I hope you can pop in tomorrow for even more FREEBIES.
"If you don't mind smelling like peanut butter for several days, peanut butter makes good shaving cream!" -Barry Goldwater
Quick And Easy Gifts For Your Students/Children To Make
With Tips On How To Go About It
December’s quite a whirl wind month and it’s easy to be swept along in the Christmas excitement of children. One can almost feel the energy in the air; it’s invigorating if you let it!
So that I’m not overwhelmed with a zillion things to do, I incorporate the “making of gifts” as center activities instead of “extra” activities. There’s also enough expense on the home front so I try to keep things on a low-budget scale in the classroom. I do this in several ways:
Keepsake Potholder Christmas Gift For Mom: Ever since my daughter Kelli lovingly presented me with her handmade one years ago; I vowed that this would be a standard “have-to-do” on my make-it/take-it craft list. It’s one of my all-time favorite gifts that she ever made me and it’s launched hundred’s of cute little handprints into other mommy’s hearts. Potholder Christmas Gift
Christmas Cookie Cookbook: Wrap the potholder along with a class-made cook book and a cute paper gingerbread ornament with their little darling’s face on it (See December bulletin board ideas-Gingerbread men.) and you have a “Wow!” gift that any mom will love. If you'd like to teach a Gingerbread Unit, or do more Gingerbread Art & Activities click on the links for all sorts of wonderful ideas. Christmas Cookie Class Cookbook.
Plaster Pins: Did you know that you can use chocolate molds to make plaster pins? They pop out perfectly and can easily be painted by the youngest child and still look quite fantastic. There’s a huge variety out there and they start at only a dollar! Children can make these as another gift for mommy, or something for grandma as most grandparents will be popping over for the holidays. The one in the photo is painted with metallic lavender paint. The metallic paints are wonderful to use because they not only have a shimmery luster, they also have a gloss finish. Plaster pins Christmas gift
Christmas Gift For Dads: A heat-filled "Soothing Sock": It’s easy to make a present for mommy, so often times daddies are left out. Not in my class; and this is a proven winner. Fill a tube sock with rice and cinnamon-clove Christmas potpourri, attach a note and you’re set. What could be easier than that? Click on the link to view/print directions and pattern for how to make a "soothing sock" filled with rice for dad. . Christmas gift for dads.
Bun Warmers or Trivet Christmas Gift: These too are wonderful keepsakes. You can put a handprint on them, or use any kind of rubber stamp. Children put the paint on with a sponge brush and then they pat, not brush the paint on the stamp; one hard press and you have a very professional looking picture. So that it doesn’t scrape off, I take the tiles outside and spray them with clear-gloss varnish.
I choose a Christmas tree and the children decorate it with different colored balls using a Q-tip. If you heat the tile in the microwave for 30-seconds it will get hot. Tuck it in your basket of rolls under the napkin to keep them warm, or use your tile as a trivet. This too is an inexpensive gift as you can pick discounted tiles up for as little as 29¢ Watch for them at garage sales at new homes. Small tiles (4x4) are perfect for little hands, but I got an entire box full of 5x8 tiles for only $1.00 and we simply used a bigger tree stamp. You could also use more than one stamp on the tile too.
Gingerbread Banner Christmas Gift: This is the same paint-stamping concept as above. Go to a wallpaper store and ask them if you could have one of their discontinued fabric-looking wallpaper books. Then tear the neutral pages out and cut the bottom edges off using pinking shears. These stores also have fabric swatch books that make perfect banners. Most stores will give them to teachers for free if you ask, and tell them that you’re a teacher. I’ve only had to pay $1 or $2 in one store and it was well worth it to get such perfect backgrounds for my banner projects.
These too look so neat and professional because “paint stamping” is very easy for even the youngest child to do. I punch a hole in the top of this banner and use a pipe cleaner twisted into a circular shape so parents can hang it on a doorknob. I've also glued a Popsicle stick to the top and knotted yarn to either end for hanging.
Puzzle Frame: When you lose puzzle pieces from puzzles in your class, don’t dismay: keep them for crafts! You can also pick up 100-piece puzzles at The Dollar Store, or at garage sales for as little as a quarter. Simply glue them to a Popsicle stick frame and you have a darling keepsake for any member of the family. If you don’t want to take pictures of your students, send a note home asking parents to send in a family photo for this project. Make sure to tell them that it will be used in a craft and they will not be getting it back in the same form they sent it. Puzzle Frame Christmas Gift
Secondary-Color Study Wreath: Even though we are doing crafts and making gifts, all of these in some way or another are linked to my report card standards. We are counting, measuring, reviewing shapes, comparing, writing, etc. If you ever need clarification on that, just drop me an e-mail and I’ll send you the specifics. The wreath is a mini science study of colors. Your students will get so excited when yellow and blue change right before their eyes. Mine squeal: “Mrs. Henderson come quick! It’s green. It’s green!” It’s a bit messy, but they have so much fun, and works as a wonderful math equation of yellow + blue= green. Just by doing this simple and fun project they remember that little bit of science because it was so “hands-on” (pardon the pun)! Keepsake Wreath Christmas Gift
Don’t Open It Magnet: Is your fridge covered with magnets? Mine too! A warm feeling seems to flow through you when you glance at a child’s photo or work of art as you fly through your busy day. That’s exactly what I want this little magnet to do, “So don’t open it…there’s nothing but love inside.” Magnet Christmas Gift
Glass Pin Christmas Gift: If you didn't want to mess with the plaster above, and still wanted to make a pin, you could make a flat-backed clear glass stone pin. These too are easy and inexpensive. Most craft stores sell these flat "marbles" that are used in floral arrangements or put in vases for wedding centerpieces. They usually sell for $1.99 a bag at Hobby Lobby, but this department and product are always on sale for 50% off, so watch for sales. Brush Elmer's glue or spray adhesive to the back of the stone and press on your cut out picture, add a piece of tag board so that the glue from the pin doesn't bleed through, and then glue a pin to the back and you are done. You can use a child's school photo, pictures from wrapping paper, etc. I designed labels with 3 Winnie the Pooh pictures in a row and printed them off. I cut the labels into 1/3's so that each child had a Pooh head to glue on their glass pin. Before hand they stuck the sticker on a circular piece of tag board and then glued it to the back of the glass, and then glued on a pin.
"There's an Angel In The Kitchen" Towel: I've been making these for over 20 years! I designed them a very long time ago as thank you gifts for people who were angels in my life, and later sold them in my Victorian gift shop, Hastings House. They were always a huge hit. They make the perfect gift for those special volunteers who make your life easier by helping out in your classroom, but are easy enough to make if you want to do this as a class gift for your little ones to make. Simply send the letter home so that your students bring in the towel and 2 dishcloths; you provide the ribbon and poem I have poems for a parent, grandparent and volunteer helper. Angel in the Kitchen towel Christmas giftIf you're doing a faculty gift exchange this is a nice alternative and will help you with the "I don't know what to buy anymore!" dilemma. To make our teacher's party a bit more fun everyone sits with their gift on their lap and I read Twas the Night Before Christmas. Each time I read the word THE everyone passes their gift to the right. When I read the word AND they pass the gift to the left. Whatever gift you end up with at the end of the story is the one you get to open. You can add "stealing" to the silliness if you want to. My church group has really enjoyed this and opted to do our white elephant gift exchange this way every year. I've typed up the story with the words highlighted if you'd like a copy. Twas The Night Before Christmas Story
Chocolate Spoons: This was another "hot seller" in my store. They came in a zillion different flavors. My daughter's favorites were Irish Cream, and Raspberry Amaretto. It only seemed natural that I would whip up a batch for my Y5's to help "dunk" , wrap and take home as a sweet treat for their loved ones. I do this on our Reindeer Theme Day when my students are counting red-hot Rudolph noses! We tuck a package of those in with our chocolate spoon. This is really simple, lots of fun for little ones, and a pleasurable gift for anyone on the list! Chocolate Spoon Christmas gift
Angel Toilet Paper Roll Christmas Note Holder: I save toilet paper rolls all year so it's not a big deal to whip these little angels together with my students. Gather a bit of aluminum foil, some scraps of construction paper and ribbon, 2 coffee filters, and a child's photograph + a pair of scissors and a glue stick and you're ready to make this cute keepsake. Besides being a table decoration you can hot glue a spring clothespin to the back and she becomes a note or recipe card holder. Angel Christmas Gift
These are a few of my easy-breezy favorites. I could go on and on, but that's what next year's for...I hope you got an idea or two here that will help you sail through the gift-giving dilemma of what on earth to do for a project this year! As always if you have something fun that you do with your children I'd love to hear from you. email@example.com Sharing is caring and isn't that a big part of what Christmas is all about?
Click here for all of the projects directions and patterns + the article. All Christmas Gifts
And if you'd like to tuck a "Merry Christmas!" note in with a gift to your students, click on the link for a nice selection, including some bookmarks, a slap bracelet and even a skill sheet for your students to practice writing Merry Christmas!
Happy Merry Making!
Get Ready; Get Set; Let's Go Around The World For Christmas!
Happy TBT (Throw Back Thursday). Since I'm buried in over 12 inches of snow, as schools and activities continue to be cancelled for the last two days, I decided it was time to do some Christmas activities.
I realize there's still 10 days left in November, but with winter beating on my window, I can no longer cling to fall. It's time to move on.
I'm throwing things way back today, with one of the first big units I ever designed. I'm reposting it, because my Christmas Around The World packet, continues to be one of my most downloaded items.
I hope you enjoy this blast from the past. Keep in mind that it was designed before I had all the cute fonts, clip art and design programs that I now use, but it's never the less filled with lots of goodies that I think you'll enjoy. My personal favorite, is the cereal box suitcase that you store everything in.
So hop on board the Global Holiday Express and enjoy a reindeer ride to Mexico, Canada, England and other parts of the globe.The internet has brought our world closer and put it virtually at our fingertips.
We are truly just a click away from the Far East where we can grab some spices for our gingerbread creations. So if you're ready for a little adventure, then come celebrate Christmas Around The World by clicking on the link for 124 pages of fun. Pick and choose whatever you feel is age appropriate for your kiddos.
Because of special requests from upper elementary teachers, I've up-dated this packet to include some templates for older students, including an interesting writing prompt: If you REALLY could go to any country in the world for Christmas break, where would you go; who would you go with; how would you get there? etc.
First stop, we need to make a cereal box suitcase. It comes complete with travel stickers and a luggage tag, which helps students practice writing their first and last name as well as their address.
Two file folders become a briefcase that holds a passport that children help create. I used real passports to help me design one.
This activity reinforces name and address writing and is a math extension where students measure each other to determine their height and weight.
The Christmas Around The World suitcase is the perfect place to put souvenirs that represent the countries they visit! (Completed art projects, maps and papers.)
There’s also a pocket that holds airline tickets.
Children have a ticket for the country that they’re researching, one for the USA and one for their favorite country, to be determined after the unit.
Besides traveling to foreign countries, students also learn about their own state.
Children write a page about their family’s Christmas traditions or winter festivities if they don’t celebrate Christmas.
Their “State” pages and these two personal pages become part of their suitcase; and copies are made into a class book.
There are many graphing opportunities in this study: Do you hang a stocking? Do you have a fireplace? Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Each student chooses a country and armed with a list of websites to check out, must find 4-5 facts about how Christmas is celebrated there.
They are given a map and flag of their country; this is cut and glued on their Christmas Around the World page, along with how people say “Merry Christmas” in that country.
When students finish their research/writing assignment, they share it with their classmates; and a copy is made for another class book.
All students keep a Christmas Around The World travel journal, of all the countries visited. For some super-interesting background information, click on the Christmas Around the World link.This site lists 32 countries. Click on the country you want to learn about, and you'll find out super-interesting details of how they celbrate Christmas.
As students share their country, everyone's passport is stamped and they put a sticker dot on their world map, locating that country.
The Christmas Around The World crafts I’ve chosen to share, are ones that you could plug in for quite a few countries.
Putting up a tree and lighting candles seem to be universal practices for many.
The poinsettia is perfect to represent Mexico, but also the USA. Did you know that an average of 65 million are sold nationwide, grown commercially in every state, and that California is the leading producer?
Besides America, gingerbread also fits several countries, especially Germany where Nuremberg is known as the gingerbread capital of the world. However, England and France are famous for their gingerbread “fairs”, and several places in Canada have Christmas cookie exchange parties.
December wouldn’t be complete without climbing aboard The Polar Express, and reading stories like Mem Fox’s Australian animal tale Wombat Divine, Australia) and Robert Barry’s tale from England, Mr. Willoby’s Christmas Tree, as well as several different gingerbread stories that can be compared and contrasted; they all make great additions to your Christmas Around The World traveling adventures.
While celebrating Christmas Around The World we also sang songs like, We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands, adapted for this unit. (Students trace and cut out their hands and wrap them around the world for an awesome 3D craftivity.)
Come embark on a most extraordinary adventure, discovering unique cultures and traditions, that although different, bring you a little bit closer, as your students celebrate Christmas Around the World.
Whatever you’re doing this season as you study geography, I hope you hear the jingling of those sleigh bells, that help transport you on a magical journey. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away!
"God bless us everyone!" -Tiny Tim