1-2-3 Come Do A Winter Craftivity With Me
Having taken down all the decorations, plus sent home lots of wonderful student work that once festooned the walls, our hallways always look a bit bleak and bare after Christmas vacation.
It's time to begin again, and since I live in Michigan where snow lasts well into March, I like to do a big snow theme in January.
With that in mind, I designed this sled-themed packet.
The name sleds are a quick, versatile, and fun craftivity, that creates a super-cute, winter bulletin board or hallway display.
I’ve included letters which spell out “Brrr-illiant Work!” to use for a header.
I've gotten a bit more tech saavy and was able to use this beautiful, blue background paper to make the letters.
Simply print, laminate, trim and hang on or above your bulletin board or wall display,
Choose your favorites or give children a choice. Younger children will find the rectanglular shape easy to trim, while older students can opt to cut around the picture.
Besides the 28 graphics, there are also 3 different style options: 1. Graphic with a face on the child, 2. Graphic with a blank face, so that students can draw on their own, and 3. Graphic with a white "photo circle" over the face, so that children can glue on a picture of themselves.
There are three writing worksheets to choose from.
My personal favorite is: “Sledding With My 5 Senses”.
I share my examples, which i've included in the packet. We close our eyes and pretend we are sledding, then discuss some things we might see, hear, feel etc.
"Expand" these thoughts with older students. For example. "I see snow" is appropropriate for little ones; while "I see sparkling white snow" is expanded to include adjectives.
This more descriptive sentence helps everyone "see" what the author does. If your students are like mine, they will really enjoy "growing" a sentence.
I’ve also included a “Come Sledding With Me” poem. Use the colorful poster for the center of your display.
"Oh no! Sloping snow. Here we go!" This rhyming poem is chock full of over 20 Dolch sight words. Have older students use the black & white version to practice reading, along with a variety of other standards.
There’s a question sheet that you can share with your class. For example, "What words rhyme in the first stanza?" "Can you think of another rhyming word?"
Have older students write their answers on their BW copy of the poem. I've included my completed sample to use as an answer key.
Another quick, easy and fun way to continue with the poetry genre, is having students make an acrostic poem, using the word sledding.
Completed projects can be displayed with the name sled craft for a really cute language arts bulletin board.
And woo hoo! Look at how many standards your students have practiced, all while enjoying making a name sled.
Ripping and tearing strips of paper into small square scraps and then gluing them to their #100 worksheet, is not only fun for your kiddos, it helps strengthen their finger muscles.
Children can do a multi-colored "rainbow" 100, like my sample, or choose 2 or 3 colors and do an AB-AB or ABC-ABC color pattern.
Completed projects make a sweet bulletin board. I've included a poster to use for the center of your display.
Well that's it for today.
The snow outside my office window is falling softly, and all over town children and teachers are rejoicing in having a "snuggle in" snow day.
Wishing you a sparkling day.
"If you listen carefully, the silence of the snow is beautiful." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Snowman Craftivities With Me!
I LOVE rip and tear craftivities for little ones. It's so important to strengthen their finger muscles and tearing strips of paper is an especially fun way to do that.
Run off my snowman template. I purposely make these small, so that children don't get tired and bored trying to fill up too big of an area. Inform students to rip up their strips, putting each color in a pile, before they start to glue.
This way, they can rub their glue stick over an entire section and simply press those colored pieces on that area. This expedites the gluing and keeps children's fingers from getting too sticky. You'll still have a few that will rub glue on that little piece and stick it on that way, which takes a lot longer.
You can do this as a whole-group activity. While students are at special, lunch or recess, place the strips on their desk/table area, so they can get started when they return.
You can also do this as an independent center. When students completed their table top morning lessons, I had special centers the Y5's could transition to. This really helped children stay on task and focused, as they wanted to make whatever fun thing I had on those TV tray centers.
So that my kiddo's didn't make a huge mess of all the colors of paper strips, I slid the paper in the openings of a plastic basket.
Another option for rip and tear, is to rip the paper parts and then glue them together like a puzzle.
I suggest this for Y5's and older, as some of my kiddo's had a hard time figuring out where to tear, while trying to keep their paper folded and stay on the line. Before hand, demonstrate this.
In later years, I held up the hat and said, "Do what I do." Doing this activity with step-by-step directions (monkey-see, monkey do) really expedited things. These look wonderful hung back-to-back from the ceiling.
In the photograph, they are hung along with our cylinder snowman windsocks. My hallway was always decorated to the hilt, which was a real self-esteem builder.
These snowmen were also the January page for my Y5's Rippin' Through The Year monthly keepsake booklet. Click on the link to view/download that booklet. Click on this link to view/download the Rip & Tear Snowmen packet which includes both kinds.
Another group activity that's great fine motor practice, is "Stuffy." We have a recycled paper box in the teachers’ lounges through out our schools. The last day we’re in school, before Christmas break, I visited these rooms and loaded up a big black trash bag, with as much paper as I could carry.
If you don’t have a recycled paper box in your school, start one. These scraps are great to make “shred” and do all sorts of activities with.
When my students came back from vacation, we'd build our own two-snowball snowman out of a couple of white garbage bags. My Y5’s named him “Stuffy.” Children sat on our Circle of Friends carpet and crinkled up paper “snowballs.”
As they got a snowball done, I had them toss it towards our big garbage can that was lined with the white garbage bag. Every time they made a “bucket” they gave themselves a tally mark, under their name that I’d written on the white board. If they missed, they simply tried again.
Afterwards, everyone got a snowman sticker, and the one who made the most “buckets” got a trip to the treasure box. This is great counting, and tally mark practice, as well as wonderful fine and gross motor exercise too.
Take the garbage bag out when it’s pretty full and have students continue to stuff ‘til the bag is nice and round. Make sure the bottom bag is bigger than the “head”. When you are happy with Stuffy’s size, put your snowman "ball" in the corner of the classroom, so he leans against the wall for support and “build” him from there.
Using duct tape (It’s nice and sticky) put on the head. Decorate with a real stocking cap and scarf. Poke a hole on either side and use two rulers as arms. Two paint sticks work well too. A pair of gloves or mittens, go on each end and wahla (!) your own inside snowman.
Add a construction paper nose, “coal” black eyes and red cherry mouth pieces, + some circles for the buttons; stick them on with duct tape.
Each month I tried to do something that was RECYCLED and Stuffy fit the bill for January. Click on the link to print Stuffy's directions.
Finally, a simple and quick decoration for your students' lockers is to make the Snowman Name Stacker.
If you don't have lockers, these look adorable lined up on a hallway wall. Have your students help you arrange them in alphabetical order, or from tallest to shortest.
You can make a template, trace once and cut out 3-6 circles at a time, or run off my template on white construction paper and have students cut out their own circles.
For younger children, especially those with long names, have a 2-3-circle cutting limit and then allow them to add as many pre-cut circles as they need to spell their name.
Demonstrate how to glue just the edge of the "snowball" to another to "build" their vertical snowman stacker. Review vertical and horizontal vocabulary with them, as well as the circle, rectangle and square shapes.
Give each child a pre-cut black square and rectangle. Have them glue the shapes together to make a hat to glue to the top of their snowman.
Using crayons or markers students draw and color a face. Wiggle eyes are also fun. You could cut their school photo in the shape of a heart, and have them glue that to their hat as well.
Afterwards, students write a letter on each of the belly snowballs, so that they spell their name. If you have the time, go over their letters with Elmer's glue and have them sprinkle on glitter.
As a math extension, graph how many letters in students' names, or which letters were used the most. Add up everyone's totals for a grand total of how many letters for the entire class. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Name Stacker.
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"Getting an inch of snow, is like winning 10 cents in the lottery." -Bill Waterson
Get To The Point!
A Lovely December Bulletin Board IdeaHere’s How:
Cover your bulletin board with black paper. If you want to add a 3-D effect, twirl some green crepe paper and use it as a border.
Run off the leaf pattern on green construction paper. Each student needs two leaves. One they will add “veins” to with a green marker or crayon.
On the other leaf they will complete the sentence: In December I like to…
Before hand, assemble your students in front of the board and brainstorm things they like to do in December.
Write the list of activities on the board so that children can choose several and compose a sentence that they will write on their second leaf.
Students cut out their leaves and glue them to the back of their poinsettia flower after they have glued it together.
Run off the petal template on red construction paper. Each student will need 12.
This is a lot of cutting for younger students, so you might want them pre-cut and folded by a room helper. Older students will have no problem.
I think these poinsettias are prettiest when run off on red construction paper, but you could also shrink the pattern and have your students make a smaller white version with less petals as well.
When you scatter both the large red and smaller white blooms on the black background you will have a really striking December bulletin board.
Students rub glue on the folded part of the petal and glue it to another folded part of another petal continuing until they have connected all 12 petals so they have a huge poinsettia flower.
The day before, make gold glitter blobs on yellow construction paper. Children or a room helper can cut these into circles.
Students make a 3-circle clump and using glue dots, stick it to the center of their poinsettia.
One big yellow pom pom also works well, but I think the glitter is more striking.
Using an Ellison die cut machine, cut letters out for your caption and run it above your bulletin board: “Our Writing is Blooming!” “Wishing you a Brrrr-illiant December!” “A Bouquet of December Thoughts.” “Our Writing Skills Have Blossomed!”
Click on the link to view/print Poinsettia December bulletin board pattern.
Click on the link to view/print History of the Poinsettia. You can print this off and hang it on or next to your December Bulletin board.
Be sure to check out the other December Bulletin board ideas by scrolling down!
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