1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Craftivities With Me!
Hopefully things are winding down this last week of school before Christmas Break. If you're looking for a few last-minute things for your kiddo's to do, you've come to the right place. Here are some quick, easy and simple activities, I think your students will enjoy.
Since the 3D cylinder shape was always the "toughy" for my Y5's to wrap their heads around, I tried to do several projects each month involving that shape. The cylinder-shaped Santa windsock, was one of their favorites. I made Santa's beard by tracing their hand once and then cutting it out 4 times.
Children work on a flat surface; when they are done, then help them roll their Santa into a cylinder shape. Pulled-cotton and glitter, add those finishing touches. Punch a hole in the top, tie a yarn loop, so it can hang from the ceiling.
Review the triangle, oval, and circle shapes as well. If you have your kiddo's do a craft on party day, these are great as a whole-group, or independent center activity.
To expedite things, make sure you trace and cut their hand prints the day before. Click on the link to view/download the Keepsake Hand Print Santa
Quite a few of my favorite Christmas Stories involve mice, so I thought it would be fun to design a sweet treat for my Y5's, featuring this Christmas character. You can review the oval shape with this craftivity as well. His ears are heart-shaped.
I don't buy peppermint candy canes for my kiddo's, as when we graphed whether they liked peppermint or not, most of them did not.
This was true every year, so I looked for the flavored candy canes. You can get a box of a dozen at The Dollar Store. Wiggle eyes and a pom pom nose added extra pizzazz.
You can make these for your students as a gift, but I liked doing them as a craftivity the last day of school. I used silver wallpaper for a sparkling effect. You could also glue metallic wrapping paper to tag board. Click on the link to view/download the Christmas Mouse.
Another peppermint activity I call "Me Mints." I made the larger one out of a sturdy 8-inch paper plate. Students striped the edges. Enlarge a photo, cut into a circle and mount it in the center of the plate.
Wrap with clear cellophane. (You can buy it by the roll at The Dollar Store.) Twist the ends and tie with curling ribbon.
These make a super bulletin board boarder, or have students glue the "greeting" to the back and suspend from the ceiling.
I also made a "Mini Mint" ornament template for you. Run off the peppermint candy. Students color with markers and glue to a circle of tag board. Follow the above directions to complete this "Awww-dorable" craftivity. Click on the link to grab this FREEBIE.
Finally, Wally,The Wallpaper Snowman, would be fun to do on the last day, so that you would have some winter decorations up when your students return from Christmas vacation.
If you look closely, you'll see that Wally's face is textured. I made the circles out of embossed wallpaper. You can buy a roll of white textured wallpaper for less that $5, or visit a paint, wallpaper, or home-decor store, where they sell wallpaper, and ask if you could have or buy a sample book.
I used these sample books for die cuts, banners, backgrounds, and stationery for my students to write on. I've included 4 winter writing prompts so that students have a choice.
Children write a rough draft and when they have finalized it, they write it on the circle and glue it to the back of Wally. These look wonderful dangling from the ceiling. Click on the link to view/download Wally,The Wallpaper Snowman Writing Prompt Dangler.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. I design and blog daily, so I hope you have the time to drop by tomorrow for even more FREEBIES.
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." - Charles Dickens from A Christmas Carol
December Does Double Duty
A Snowflake December Bulletin Board Idea You Can Keep Up For Your January Bulletin Board!
Since December seems to simply fly by, I like to make one of my bulletin boards wintry so that I can leave it up through January.
This snowflake bulletin board does the trick, gets your students writing as well + involves their families!
If you'd like a copy of my sample, click on the December bulletin board Family Snowflake sample link.
Run off copies on white construction paper and send home along with a note to families explaining the December bulletin board.
Click on the link to view/print December Bulletin board snowflake letter home to parents.
Cover the bulletin board with royal blue or navy paper and spray with silver or opalescent glitter.
They sell it by the can in most craft stores for less than $2.00 a can.
The smell can be a bit over powering, as it's alcohol-based, so you may want to run a fan, or open a window briefly, and then follow up with a few spritzes of cinnamon air freshener. The sparkling effect will be worth it!
To add a 3-D effect, twist some silver or white crepe paper around the edges or add white sparkly garland. Twinkle lights look festive, if you have a plug nearby.
Tissue paper, plastic, or white tag board-die cut snowflakes, that are suspended from fish line and dangling from the ceiling, just above your bulletin board, will also add interest and pop. I have a dozen like the ones pictured, that I purchased in a package at The Dollar store.
Hang your December bulletin board “caption” above the board. Use an Ellison die cut machine to cut out black letters that spell: Brrrr-illiant work! Or “_________________’s class is ‘snow’ special!” OR “Snow special sentiments from ________________’s class.” OR “Let is snow!” OR “A blizzard of Brrr-illiant writing!”
Sprinkle your students’ snowflakes in an interesting pattern across the bright blue background. Your students will enjoy seeing their family's pictures displayed through out the month, as well as have their self-esteem built by having their wonderful writing up on the wall!
Be sure and check out the other December bulletin board ideas in more blog articles by scrolling down. Tomorrow I'll have one last one that's just beautiful, so be sure and pop in!
As always, if you have a December bulletin board idea you'd like to share, I'd enjoy hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
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!" email@example.com
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