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December 9, 2015 Christmas Handprint Crafts With Book Pairings By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    Christmas in kindergarten is a big deal at my school. Every one of my students observes this holiday, and we have a lot of fun learning about Christmas traditions and how they are celebrated differently by each of our families. I hope you and your kiddos enjoy all the festive and fun activities for kids who are excited for one of the jolliest holidays of the year!

    Also included in this post are several crafts and activities that are not tied to a Christmas theme for you to use in your classroom. Sheila Rae's Peppermint Stick, The Mitten, and Sam the Snowman are all excellent book choices to share with your class, and the projects that go with them will undoubtedly become favorites among the families of your students.

    Additionally, my fellow Top Teaching blogger, Allie Magnuson just wrote a terrific post all about celebrating Hanukah in the early childhood classroom. Read her post to learn more about this special holiday and how you and your students can bring some of these special Jewish traditions into your classroom. 

     

    1. Christmas Tree

    In The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever, Clayton and Desmond, two like-minded mice buddies team up to find the very biggest Christmas tree in Mouseville.

    After reading the story, have your students dip their entire hand in a paper plate of green paint and create the tree. After washing up, they can dip fingertip or thumb in different colored paints for the ornaments.

     

    2. Thumbprint Candy Cane

    Who doesn’t like candy canes? In I SPY a Candy Cane, you'll find an easy-to-read text that is accompanied by vivid photographs that children will love. With its festive theme, your class is sure to have tons of fun reading this book while searching for many items that are cleverly hidden within the pages.

    Have fun making extra special candy canes with your class! If you aren't brave enough to get your students' hands completely wet with paint (required by most of the other projects I share), this candy cane craft is easily (and neatly) done by using just two fingers, dipped alternately in red and white tempera paint. The ornament pictured above was backed with scrapbook paper and topped with a cute little striped bow. 

     

    3. Reindeer Photo Ornament

    The Great Reindeer Rebellion Is a playful take on The Night Before Christmas and has quickly become one of my favorite Christmas stories! The reindeer have all gone on strike and left poor Santa (just a week before Christmas!) with the great task of auditioning a new set of animals to run the Christmas Eve sleigh ride. This fun and funny story will surely be enjoyed by your students.

    I can’t wait to do these ornaments with my class! To make the ornament, have the child dip their hand in brown tempera paint to make the antlers, get a cute picture to attach the antlers, and don't forget to add a little red nose and little bow to top it off. Note: I recommend laminating the antlers and picture to make this ornament last through the years.

     

    4. Christmas Wreath

    Christmas Is by Gail Gibbons is a wonderful story that provides the reader with lots of background on why Christmas is celebrated and how many of its traditions came about. Christmas is many things to many people, and Christmas Is… will deepen and enrich your students’ understanding of the Christmas traditions we have including Santa, Christmas trees, lights, presents, and much more.

    As if one handprint isn’t sweet enough, the cuteness factor goes way up when you add lots of handprints to create this colorful Christmas wreath! The leaves are made with the students' hands and the berries are easily painted on with the tip of a finger. Just dip hands in green, tempera paint and then make handprints to form a circle. When the paint dries, have the children dip their fingers in red tempera paint to make the berries on the wreath. I loved how the wreaths turned out! When you add a pretty bow and frame it with black poster board, this art project will be ready for your students to take home to their parents. 

    Please click HERE to download the poem to put on your children’s wreaths.

     

    5. Little Angel

    In Tomie dePaola’s Country Angel Christmas, the country angels, Ari, Pip, and Kira, are elated to find out that Santa has chosen them to help plan the Christmas celebration this year! These littlest angels make the biggest difference as they finally get to help the older angels make this a Christmas that won’t soon be forgotten.

    After sharing Country Angel Christmas with your class, you can make these charming angels for your students to hang on their own Christmas trees. Simply dip hands in white tempera paint and make a handprint on blue paper. Let dry and then add a circular shape for the angel’s face and glue next to the palm of the handprint, slightly overlapping. Next, draw the face using a fine-tip Sharpie marker. Finally, add some glitter (I LOVE all things sparkly!) to make the angel's halo and glue on a little peat moss for the hair. When you are all done, back with coordinating scrapbook paper and attach a ribbon to hang on the Christmas tree. These extra touches along with the angel's sweet little face, made this one of our very favorite ornaments. 

     

    6. Cute and Cozy Mitten 

    Jan Brett’s, The Mitten is sure to become a favorite in your classroom. This Ukrainian folktale is retold beautifully and the illustrations on each page make the reader long to see what happens next! A little boy named Nicki wants his grandmother to knit him white mittens, but his grandmother thinks white mittens will be hard to find in the snow. After much begging, grandmother gives in to Nicki’s wishes and makes him a very special pair of mittens. When Nicki goes outside, he drops one of his mittens and goes on with his day, never realizing that the mitten is lost. Many woodland animals (who get bigger in size each time), discover the mitten and go inside. The mitten magically stretches with each new animal that squeezes in. What happens at the end of the story after all the animals have squeezed into Nicki’s mitten, will surprise and delight all readers!

    This ornament is one of the easiest ones to do with your students. I like that it is super quick (teachers are always trying to beat the clock) to complete. Have students dip their hands in white tempera paint and press a handprint onto construction paper. Cut around the handprint in the shape of a mitten and then back the handprint with craft paper to make these mittens even more cute and cozy! Finally, add the child’s name to make this a keepsake that will forever be cherished!

    Here is a lesson plan for you that goes with this beautifully written book that can be used to teach sequencing, predicting, and how to retell a story. 

     

    7. Frosty Footprint Snowman

    Sam the Snowman is a great book to use with preschoolers and kindergartners. The illustrations are lovely and your students will enjoy seeing how Sam works so very hard to make snow for his friends, Sarah and Tommy! Sam the Snowman highlights the magic of giving and is a book that I will continue reading to my sweet kinders for many Christmases to come.

    I absolutely loved how this snowman turned out! Who knew a little footprint could be so cute! To make this craft, first you’ll need to paint the sole of the child’s foot and make a footprint on the center of the construction paper. I chose blue, but you really could use any color combination, or even let your students pick the colors they like best. The stick-on snowflakes (I purchased at Craft Warehouse) added just that little extra detail to make it pop and then I used craft paper for the scarf and the background to tie it all together. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! 

     

    8. Reindeer Frame

    Who doesn’t love the classic story/song of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? I look forward to reading this story to my kinders each and every year. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a timeless story about acceptance and the true meaning of the holiday spirit. Every classroom will benefit from the message this story conveys: diversity is a wonderful thing and bullying is something that should never be tolerated. Through this story, children will learn to see past the way a person looks on the outside, to looking for the special qualities that each of us possess. I hope you and your students enjoy this story as much as we do!

    To make this adorable reindeer frame, you will need to purchase unpainted wood frames (I got mine from Craft Warehouse), googly eyes, and red pom-poms; the rest of the materials I am sure can easily be found at your school. The kids get to paint their hands and frames, making this an extra special gift to give parents during this Christmas season. First dip hands onto a plate of brown tempera paint and make two handprints that will become the antler’s ears. When dry, cut out handprints and attach “antlers” at the top of the frame. I didn’t laminate the handprints on this one because I thought it looked better with the rustic surface of the wood frame. Next, glue on the two googly eyes and a red pom-pom for the nose. Finally, attach a little bow at the top of the frame and put in a picture of your student. I know as a parent, I would’ve LOVED to have received this cute present for Christmas!

     

    10. Sweet Peppermint Poem

    First and foremost, I have to give a great big shout out to this little man! During Thanksgiving break (when all my students were on vacation), my best friend’s son cheerfully assisted in helping me create all of these Christmas handprint crafts just for you. When we finished, I asked him which one was his very favorite and without hesitation, he told me that he liked the peppermint candy handprint best of all!

    Mouse Sheila Rae and her little mouse sister, Louise can teach your kids a lot about sharing. In Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick, Sheila Rae does not want to share her candy with her little sister. Even as an adult, I can surely relate to the reluctance I can still have about sharing my own favorite treat! Sheila taunts her little sister with her peppermint stick and tells her she would share with her if she only had two. Well, it doesn’t take long for natural consequences to kick in, and when the peppermint stick breaks into two, Sheila Rae finally shares the candy with her little sister. Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick is a “sweet” book with a great message and I can’t wait to share it with my own class!

    Making this craft is a snap! First, you’ll want to dip your child’s hand in red tempera paint and make handprints on white construction paper. When the handprints dry, cut them out in a shape that resembles a candy wrapper. Then, glue them onto the back of a circle cut out from scrapbook paper. Finally print out this POEM, cut it, and then back it with a contrasting piece of construction paper. Finally, glue the matted POEM to the middle of the circle and it will be ready to go. This a darling craft that I am sure your children will LOVE to make!

     

    OH DEER!

    I don’t know about you, but I love each and every one of these crafts! It’s going to be pretty hard deciding which ones my students and I will be doing in the next few weeks. My helper had so much fun putting all his creations on the tree and judging from the smile on his sweet mama’s face, she loves these treasures as much as I do!

     

    And as a holiday treat, please use the promo code in the coupon below for great savings at The Scholastic Store!


    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. 

    Thanks for reading, and see you next time!

    Shari 

    Christmas in kindergarten is a big deal at my school. Every one of my students observes this holiday, and we have a lot of fun learning about Christmas traditions and how they are celebrated differently by each of our families. I hope you and your kiddos enjoy all the festive and fun activities for kids who are excited for one of the jolliest holidays of the year!

    Also included in this post are several crafts and activities that are not tied to a Christmas theme for you to use in your classroom. Sheila Rae's Peppermint Stick, The Mitten, and Sam the Snowman are all excellent book choices to share with your class, and the projects that go with them will undoubtedly become favorites among the families of your students.

    Additionally, my fellow Top Teaching blogger, Allie Magnuson just wrote a terrific post all about celebrating Hanukah in the early childhood classroom. Read her post to learn more about this special holiday and how you and your students can bring some of these special Jewish traditions into your classroom. 

     

    1. Christmas Tree

    In The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever, Clayton and Desmond, two like-minded mice buddies team up to find the very biggest Christmas tree in Mouseville.

    After reading the story, have your students dip their entire hand in a paper plate of green paint and create the tree. After washing up, they can dip fingertip or thumb in different colored paints for the ornaments.

     

    2. Thumbprint Candy Cane

    Who doesn’t like candy canes? In I SPY a Candy Cane, you'll find an easy-to-read text that is accompanied by vivid photographs that children will love. With its festive theme, your class is sure to have tons of fun reading this book while searching for many items that are cleverly hidden within the pages.

    Have fun making extra special candy canes with your class! If you aren't brave enough to get your students' hands completely wet with paint (required by most of the other projects I share), this candy cane craft is easily (and neatly) done by using just two fingers, dipped alternately in red and white tempera paint. The ornament pictured above was backed with scrapbook paper and topped with a cute little striped bow. 

     

    3. Reindeer Photo Ornament

    The Great Reindeer Rebellion Is a playful take on The Night Before Christmas and has quickly become one of my favorite Christmas stories! The reindeer have all gone on strike and left poor Santa (just a week before Christmas!) with the great task of auditioning a new set of animals to run the Christmas Eve sleigh ride. This fun and funny story will surely be enjoyed by your students.

    I can’t wait to do these ornaments with my class! To make the ornament, have the child dip their hand in brown tempera paint to make the antlers, get a cute picture to attach the antlers, and don't forget to add a little red nose and little bow to top it off. Note: I recommend laminating the antlers and picture to make this ornament last through the years.

     

    4. Christmas Wreath

    Christmas Is by Gail Gibbons is a wonderful story that provides the reader with lots of background on why Christmas is celebrated and how many of its traditions came about. Christmas is many things to many people, and Christmas Is… will deepen and enrich your students’ understanding of the Christmas traditions we have including Santa, Christmas trees, lights, presents, and much more.

    As if one handprint isn’t sweet enough, the cuteness factor goes way up when you add lots of handprints to create this colorful Christmas wreath! The leaves are made with the students' hands and the berries are easily painted on with the tip of a finger. Just dip hands in green, tempera paint and then make handprints to form a circle. When the paint dries, have the children dip their fingers in red tempera paint to make the berries on the wreath. I loved how the wreaths turned out! When you add a pretty bow and frame it with black poster board, this art project will be ready for your students to take home to their parents. 

    Please click HERE to download the poem to put on your children’s wreaths.

     

    5. Little Angel

    In Tomie dePaola’s Country Angel Christmas, the country angels, Ari, Pip, and Kira, are elated to find out that Santa has chosen them to help plan the Christmas celebration this year! These littlest angels make the biggest difference as they finally get to help the older angels make this a Christmas that won’t soon be forgotten.

    After sharing Country Angel Christmas with your class, you can make these charming angels for your students to hang on their own Christmas trees. Simply dip hands in white tempera paint and make a handprint on blue paper. Let dry and then add a circular shape for the angel’s face and glue next to the palm of the handprint, slightly overlapping. Next, draw the face using a fine-tip Sharpie marker. Finally, add some glitter (I LOVE all things sparkly!) to make the angel's halo and glue on a little peat moss for the hair. When you are all done, back with coordinating scrapbook paper and attach a ribbon to hang on the Christmas tree. These extra touches along with the angel's sweet little face, made this one of our very favorite ornaments. 

     

    6. Cute and Cozy Mitten 

    Jan Brett’s, The Mitten is sure to become a favorite in your classroom. This Ukrainian folktale is retold beautifully and the illustrations on each page make the reader long to see what happens next! A little boy named Nicki wants his grandmother to knit him white mittens, but his grandmother thinks white mittens will be hard to find in the snow. After much begging, grandmother gives in to Nicki’s wishes and makes him a very special pair of mittens. When Nicki goes outside, he drops one of his mittens and goes on with his day, never realizing that the mitten is lost. Many woodland animals (who get bigger in size each time), discover the mitten and go inside. The mitten magically stretches with each new animal that squeezes in. What happens at the end of the story after all the animals have squeezed into Nicki’s mitten, will surprise and delight all readers!

    This ornament is one of the easiest ones to do with your students. I like that it is super quick (teachers are always trying to beat the clock) to complete. Have students dip their hands in white tempera paint and press a handprint onto construction paper. Cut around the handprint in the shape of a mitten and then back the handprint with craft paper to make these mittens even more cute and cozy! Finally, add the child’s name to make this a keepsake that will forever be cherished!

    Here is a lesson plan for you that goes with this beautifully written book that can be used to teach sequencing, predicting, and how to retell a story. 

     

    7. Frosty Footprint Snowman

    Sam the Snowman is a great book to use with preschoolers and kindergartners. The illustrations are lovely and your students will enjoy seeing how Sam works so very hard to make snow for his friends, Sarah and Tommy! Sam the Snowman highlights the magic of giving and is a book that I will continue reading to my sweet kinders for many Christmases to come.

    I absolutely loved how this snowman turned out! Who knew a little footprint could be so cute! To make this craft, first you’ll need to paint the sole of the child’s foot and make a footprint on the center of the construction paper. I chose blue, but you really could use any color combination, or even let your students pick the colors they like best. The stick-on snowflakes (I purchased at Craft Warehouse) added just that little extra detail to make it pop and then I used craft paper for the scarf and the background to tie it all together. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! 

     

    8. Reindeer Frame

    Who doesn’t love the classic story/song of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? I look forward to reading this story to my kinders each and every year. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a timeless story about acceptance and the true meaning of the holiday spirit. Every classroom will benefit from the message this story conveys: diversity is a wonderful thing and bullying is something that should never be tolerated. Through this story, children will learn to see past the way a person looks on the outside, to looking for the special qualities that each of us possess. I hope you and your students enjoy this story as much as we do!

    To make this adorable reindeer frame, you will need to purchase unpainted wood frames (I got mine from Craft Warehouse), googly eyes, and red pom-poms; the rest of the materials I am sure can easily be found at your school. The kids get to paint their hands and frames, making this an extra special gift to give parents during this Christmas season. First dip hands onto a plate of brown tempera paint and make two handprints that will become the antler’s ears. When dry, cut out handprints and attach “antlers” at the top of the frame. I didn’t laminate the handprints on this one because I thought it looked better with the rustic surface of the wood frame. Next, glue on the two googly eyes and a red pom-pom for the nose. Finally, attach a little bow at the top of the frame and put in a picture of your student. I know as a parent, I would’ve LOVED to have received this cute present for Christmas!

     

    10. Sweet Peppermint Poem

    First and foremost, I have to give a great big shout out to this little man! During Thanksgiving break (when all my students were on vacation), my best friend’s son cheerfully assisted in helping me create all of these Christmas handprint crafts just for you. When we finished, I asked him which one was his very favorite and without hesitation, he told me that he liked the peppermint candy handprint best of all!

    Mouse Sheila Rae and her little mouse sister, Louise can teach your kids a lot about sharing. In Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick, Sheila Rae does not want to share her candy with her little sister. Even as an adult, I can surely relate to the reluctance I can still have about sharing my own favorite treat! Sheila taunts her little sister with her peppermint stick and tells her she would share with her if she only had two. Well, it doesn’t take long for natural consequences to kick in, and when the peppermint stick breaks into two, Sheila Rae finally shares the candy with her little sister. Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick is a “sweet” book with a great message and I can’t wait to share it with my own class!

    Making this craft is a snap! First, you’ll want to dip your child’s hand in red tempera paint and make handprints on white construction paper. When the handprints dry, cut them out in a shape that resembles a candy wrapper. Then, glue them onto the back of a circle cut out from scrapbook paper. Finally print out this POEM, cut it, and then back it with a contrasting piece of construction paper. Finally, glue the matted POEM to the middle of the circle and it will be ready to go. This a darling craft that I am sure your children will LOVE to make!

     

    OH DEER!

    I don’t know about you, but I love each and every one of these crafts! It’s going to be pretty hard deciding which ones my students and I will be doing in the next few weeks. My helper had so much fun putting all his creations on the tree and judging from the smile on his sweet mama’s face, she loves these treasures as much as I do!

     

    And as a holiday treat, please use the promo code in the coupon below for great savings at The Scholastic Store!


    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. 

    Thanks for reading, and see you next time!

    Shari 

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