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December 12, 2016

Easy, Adorable Holiday Cards and Crafts

By Nancy Jang
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    It’s finally December and everyone is gearing up for the holidays. We celebrate all the holidays that happen during this season, but our student body largely celebrates Christmas in their homes. All the grade levels are decorating their classrooms and rehearsing their songs for the annual holiday concerts.

    I know that between shopping and decorating my home, and getting my class ready for the holidays, it can get a little stressful, but planning ahead always pays off. So in the beginning of December, I turn to Pinterest and craft sites for inspiration for crafts and cards for my kids to make. This year, I made it a goal to keep my expenses down by looking for projects that use materials that I already have in my classroom.

    In our class, we have a Maker Station, but for December, we are calling it Santa’s Workshop. My busy little elves will be making cards for our custodian, the ladies in the office, their parents, and their Little Buddies.

    I post an idea menu board with samples, and trays with the materials for them to complete the projects at the station or at their desks. However, students are allowed and encouraged to come up with their own ideas and create something different if they want. These charming yarn trees were inspired by a craft one of our students brought in from home!

    Here are five inexpensive, easy crafts for kids to make and take for the holidays:

     

    1. Crayon Picture Fame Ornament

    Every parent cherishes handmade ornaments with their child's photo. This school-themed ornament fits the bill on both accounts. I love taking the kids' pictures specifically for this craft, but sometimes the holiday craziness gets the best of me and I don’t have the time. So, as back up, I use the students' school pictures. Every year, teachers get copies of the pictures to attach to the permanent records, but I use the extra photos to also decorate ornaments!

    This frame was inspired by My Classroom Ideas.

    Materials:

    • Piece of cardboard cut to size

    • Construction paper

    • Glue

    • Four new or gently used crayons

    • Glitter

    • Student picture

    • Three inches of ribbon

    Cut cardboard and construction paper to the size of your crayon (about 3½ inches) and glue together. Glue crayons to the edge of the frame. Cover any exposed glue with the glitter. Glue photo to the center and mark with the student's grade and the year. Glue ribbon to the back to hang.

     

    2. Thumbprint Reindeers

    Each reindeer in this lineup has a sweet personality all its own. Some of the kids even named the reindeer on the cards and drew cute details like collars and lights.

    This card was inspired by Mom Always Find Out.

    Materials:

    • White construction paper cut to desired card size

    • Paper plates to hold paint

    • Brown paint

    • Paper plates

    • Black markers

    Dip thumb in brown paint and stamp on card front then set aside to dry. Using marker, draw antlers, eyes and a nose on each reindeer.

     

    3. Craft Stick Tree

    This popsicle tree ornament is super cute with buttons for trimming the tree. It makes an extra special frame for a child's picture or a little poem.

    The tree was inspired by Gingersnap Crafts.

    Materials:

    • Popsicle sticks

    • Glue

    • Green paint

    • Buttons

    • Brown construction paper

    • Ribbon to hang the ornament

    Glue popsicle sticks in a triangle and set aside to dry. Paint green and set aside to dry. Glue buttons to decorate the tree and glue a square of brown construction paper for the trunk. If desired, glue a student picture in the center of frame and a ribbon on the top to hang.

     

    4. Showman Card

    I thought this snowman card was both adorable and easy to complete. If you have little kiddos with low motor skills, you can create a template from cardboard to trace the snowman shapes.

    The snowman was inspired by DIY@Crafts.

    Materials:

    • White construction paper

    • Glue

    • Blue construction paper

    • White crayon or oil pastels

    • Colored markers 

    Have students trace and cut out the head and snowman body from a template you provide. Glue the body to the blue paper background. Glue the head on top of the body. Use the white crayon or pastel to create snowflakes. Use colored markers to draw arms, buttons, and facial details.

    5. Reindeer Head Ornament

    I saw this reindeer ornament and knew immediately that it would pair well with the reindeer card (#2 above) as a perfect parent gift.

    This craft was inspired by Crafts by Courtney.

    Materials:

    • Craft sticks

    • Glue

    • Brown paint

    • Black, white, and red construction paper

    • Black pipe cleaners

    • Ribbon

    Glue the craft sticks together in a triangle and set aside to dry. Paint sticks with brown paint, set aside to dry. Meanwhile cut out eyes and nose from construction paper and glue to the frame. Twist black pipe cleaners to create the antlers and wrap around the "head" craft stick. Glue on a strip of ribbon to hang.


    If your students finish those tasks, I have a STEAM Project Countdown to Christmas Calendar. If you click on the image, you can download my Christmas STEAM calendar for you to use in your classroom or as homework over winter break! I think many of the projects would be fun and easy to make during a class party or during some down time in between holiday concerts. 

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the engineering activity: Build a Christmas tree from newspaper that will support 10 ornaments! This project would be easy to prep and great to complete in teams during a party. Click on the photo below to grab your copy of these fun holiday STEAM activities.

    I hope that these easy crafts and cards and STEAM activities will eliminate some of the stress out of your holiday craziness.

    Wishing you a peaceful holiday break spent with people you love.

    Happy teaching and happy holidays,

    Nancy

    It’s finally December and everyone is gearing up for the holidays. We celebrate all the holidays that happen during this season, but our student body largely celebrates Christmas in their homes. All the grade levels are decorating their classrooms and rehearsing their songs for the annual holiday concerts.

    I know that between shopping and decorating my home, and getting my class ready for the holidays, it can get a little stressful, but planning ahead always pays off. So in the beginning of December, I turn to Pinterest and craft sites for inspiration for crafts and cards for my kids to make. This year, I made it a goal to keep my expenses down by looking for projects that use materials that I already have in my classroom.

    In our class, we have a Maker Station, but for December, we are calling it Santa’s Workshop. My busy little elves will be making cards for our custodian, the ladies in the office, their parents, and their Little Buddies.

    I post an idea menu board with samples, and trays with the materials for them to complete the projects at the station or at their desks. However, students are allowed and encouraged to come up with their own ideas and create something different if they want. These charming yarn trees were inspired by a craft one of our students brought in from home!

    Here are five inexpensive, easy crafts for kids to make and take for the holidays:

     

    1. Crayon Picture Fame Ornament

    Every parent cherishes handmade ornaments with their child's photo. This school-themed ornament fits the bill on both accounts. I love taking the kids' pictures specifically for this craft, but sometimes the holiday craziness gets the best of me and I don’t have the time. So, as back up, I use the students' school pictures. Every year, teachers get copies of the pictures to attach to the permanent records, but I use the extra photos to also decorate ornaments!

    This frame was inspired by My Classroom Ideas.

    Materials:

    • Piece of cardboard cut to size

    • Construction paper

    • Glue

    • Four new or gently used crayons

    • Glitter

    • Student picture

    • Three inches of ribbon

    Cut cardboard and construction paper to the size of your crayon (about 3½ inches) and glue together. Glue crayons to the edge of the frame. Cover any exposed glue with the glitter. Glue photo to the center and mark with the student's grade and the year. Glue ribbon to the back to hang.

     

    2. Thumbprint Reindeers

    Each reindeer in this lineup has a sweet personality all its own. Some of the kids even named the reindeer on the cards and drew cute details like collars and lights.

    This card was inspired by Mom Always Find Out.

    Materials:

    • White construction paper cut to desired card size

    • Paper plates to hold paint

    • Brown paint

    • Paper plates

    • Black markers

    Dip thumb in brown paint and stamp on card front then set aside to dry. Using marker, draw antlers, eyes and a nose on each reindeer.

     

    3. Craft Stick Tree

    This popsicle tree ornament is super cute with buttons for trimming the tree. It makes an extra special frame for a child's picture or a little poem.

    The tree was inspired by Gingersnap Crafts.

    Materials:

    • Popsicle sticks

    • Glue

    • Green paint

    • Buttons

    • Brown construction paper

    • Ribbon to hang the ornament

    Glue popsicle sticks in a triangle and set aside to dry. Paint green and set aside to dry. Glue buttons to decorate the tree and glue a square of brown construction paper for the trunk. If desired, glue a student picture in the center of frame and a ribbon on the top to hang.

     

    4. Showman Card

    I thought this snowman card was both adorable and easy to complete. If you have little kiddos with low motor skills, you can create a template from cardboard to trace the snowman shapes.

    The snowman was inspired by DIY@Crafts.

    Materials:

    • White construction paper

    • Glue

    • Blue construction paper

    • White crayon or oil pastels

    • Colored markers 

    Have students trace and cut out the head and snowman body from a template you provide. Glue the body to the blue paper background. Glue the head on top of the body. Use the white crayon or pastel to create snowflakes. Use colored markers to draw arms, buttons, and facial details.

    5. Reindeer Head Ornament

    I saw this reindeer ornament and knew immediately that it would pair well with the reindeer card (#2 above) as a perfect parent gift.

    This craft was inspired by Crafts by Courtney.

    Materials:

    • Craft sticks

    • Glue

    • Brown paint

    • Black, white, and red construction paper

    • Black pipe cleaners

    • Ribbon

    Glue the craft sticks together in a triangle and set aside to dry. Paint sticks with brown paint, set aside to dry. Meanwhile cut out eyes and nose from construction paper and glue to the frame. Twist black pipe cleaners to create the antlers and wrap around the "head" craft stick. Glue on a strip of ribbon to hang.


    If your students finish those tasks, I have a STEAM Project Countdown to Christmas Calendar. If you click on the image, you can download my Christmas STEAM calendar for you to use in your classroom or as homework over winter break! I think many of the projects would be fun and easy to make during a class party or during some down time in between holiday concerts. 

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the engineering activity: Build a Christmas tree from newspaper that will support 10 ornaments! This project would be easy to prep and great to complete in teams during a party. Click on the photo below to grab your copy of these fun holiday STEAM activities.

    I hope that these easy crafts and cards and STEAM activities will eliminate some of the stress out of your holiday craziness.

    Wishing you a peaceful holiday break spent with people you love.

    Happy teaching and happy holidays,

    Nancy

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