Hand print Angel

Hand print Angel

This hand print angel adds some sparkle to Christmas. This hand print angel is turns your child’s hand prints into beautiful angel wings. This homemade hand print angel makes a beautiful cover for a Christmas card, or as a special piece of art for Mom and Dad!

What You Need:

  • Pink construction paper
  • Blue construction paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • White paint
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Metallic pipe cleaners
  • Glue
  • Newspaper
  • Plate

What You Do:

  1. Help your child pour a small amount of white paint onto a plate.
  2. Have her dip her hand into the paint before making a practice hand print “stamp” on a sheet of newspaper.
  3. When she’s confident with her hand print stamps, have her carefully make two stamps in the center of the blue paper. Each hand print’s fingers should be pointed out — just like angel wings.
  4. Let your child cut out a large triangle from a sheet of aluminum foil. This shiny piece will be her angel’s body.
  5. Have her glue the triangle, shiny side up, on top of the wings.
  6. Let her cut a circle from the pink construction paper to be her angel’s head.
  7. Then have her glue the pink circle to the top of the foil triangle.
  8. Time to make the angel’s halo! Help your child curve a metallic pipe cleaner into an oval or circle shape.
  9. Let her glue the halo on top of the angel’s head.
  10. To complete her angel, have her use markers to draw in the angel’s face.

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Holiday Place Cards

Holiday Place Cards

For many, green holly leaves and bright red berries are symbolic of Christmas. Here’s a useful craft that your kids can make to bring a touch of classic holly to your holiday table. These simple yet stylish place cards will make guests smile, and make fun conversation starters at dinner. And the best news? Young hands hone fine motor skills in a multitude of ways, including tracing and cutting holly leaf shapes, and taping, gluing, and writing guest’s names in their best printing. This is a great activity for older children to do with younger siblings, too!

What You Need:

  • Plain paper
  • Pencil
  • Green card stock
  • Red craft foam, felt or card stock; or, mini red pom-poms
  • Glitter glue in silver and gold
  • Toilet paper tube, cut down to 1 3/8” to 1 ½” wide pieces
  • Transparent tape
  • Red tissue paper or gift-wrap
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Black felt tip pen

What You Do:

  1. Prepare templates ahead of time. Simply draw and cut holly shapes onto a plain piece of paper and ask your child to trace them onto the green card stock with a pencil. Your child will need two leaves per place card.
  2. Have your child cut the shapes out. Holly can be tricky for small hands to cut out but the good thing is that they are very forgiving, so don’t be concerned with having your child do it perfectly.
  3. Lay one leaf over another so that they overlap or fan out slightly.
  4. Help your child glue the two into place.
  5. While the leaves dry, have your child punch holes in the red craft foam, felt or card stock. These will be the berries. Ask her to make three berries per pair of leaves.
  6. Glue three of the berries onto each pair of leaves. Or, if you are using mini pom-poms, apply a dot of glue underneath the center of all three of them and adhere them to the pair of leaves.
  7. Have your child trace around the outer edge of the leaves with glitter glue.
  8. Repeat with the rest of the place cards and set them aside to dry for several hours, or until the glitter glue is completely dry.
  9. While those are drying, ask your child to work on covering the toilet paper tubes. Have her roll each tube in red tissue paper and tuck the sides inside the tube. A small piece of tape on either side will keep the tissue ends secure inside the tube. To make it a little bit fancier, wrap the tubes in shiny red gift wrap. It helps to pre-measure and cut the tissue paper or gift wrap to fit the toilet paper rolls so that the child can focus on wrapping and taping them.
  10. Help your child practice the alphabet by asking her to print each guest’s name onto the place cards with a felt tip pen. Encourage her to sound out the letters, but if she needs a little help, say the letters out loud while she writes them down.
  11. Glue each place card onto the back of a wrapped toilet paper ring. Set the tubes down so that the glue can set without the leaves sliding around. After a couple of hours, your child can set the table with the gorgeous new place cards! Gently tuck a festive napkin through the tube and set it atop the dinnerware, or simply rest the place cards in front of each place setting. Either way, they will make a splash with your holiday guests!

Did You Know?

Significant meaning was attributed to this beautiful berry-producing plant throughout the ages. The Druids believed that holly possessed magical powers that could ward off evil spirits and misfortune. Romans associated holly with Saturn, the god of agriculture and harvest, and hung boughs of holly during the Saturnalia festival for good luck. Christians adopted the tradition of decorating with holly during Christmas, but used it to symbolize their religious beliefs. The prickly holly leaves symbolized the crown of thorns that were placed on Jesus’ head prior to his crucifixion, and the berries represented the blood that was shed when he died.

 

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Finger paint Christmas Cards

Finger paint Christmas Cards

It’s fun to receive photos of friends and family at the holidays, but it’s even more fun to receive a card that someone actually made. These homemade thumb print cards are as personalized as it gets, and your child will love using his prints to make holiday magic!

I used to do this for my Mother’s Day project when I was in my classroom. The kids would make a set of stationery for their moms. There’s a book out there that shows all of the different things they can draw from a thumb print. We would wrap it beautifully and give it to their mommies! Of course with all of the technology nowadays, I always had to explain to the kids what stationery is! Lol!

What You Need:

  • Plain white cards with matching envelopes (or white paper folded in half)
  • Non-toxic ink pads (in blue, green and brown colors, if possible)
  • Colored markers

What You Do:

  1. To make snowmen: have your child dip his thumb in the ink, then press it to the front of the card. Repeat with his pointer finger, pressing directly above the thumb print. Finish with the pink, pressing directly above the pointer finger. Use the magic markers to draw in a red scarf, a small hat, and arms. Write holiday message beneath.
  2. To make reindeer: have your child dip her thumb in brown ink and make a thumb print on the page. Draw two brown antlers above it, two dark eyes and a red nose.
  3. To make a Christmas tree: have him dip his pointed finger in green ink and make prints on the paper in a triangle shape. Dip his whole thumb in brown ink, then press the whole thumb directly below the triangle. Decorate with different colored dots to look like ornaments, a star at the top, and presents beneath.

Not only will these handmade cards make the holidays brighter for friends and relatives, your preschooler will also be practicing fine-motor skills and coordination, which form the foundation for writing!

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Learn Shapes with a Santa Collage

Learn Shapes with a Santa Collage

Shape recognition is a basic math skill that will greatly benefit your child as she moves into the kindergarten classroom. Disguise a lesson focused on these important shapes as a special holiday art project, and she won’t even realize she’s learning! This shape collage featuring St. Nick himself is a simple (yet educational) art activity that will encourage your young child to identify shapes, explore the part to whole relationship, and experiment with an artistic process!

What You Need:

  • Construction paper in holiday colors (red, green, etc.)
  • Pencil or crayon
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Cotton balls

What You Do:

  1. Create shape templates for your child. Include a circle for Santa’s head, a square for his body, a triangle for his hat, and thin rectangles for his arms and legs. Before beginning this art activity, help your child identify each shape by name.
  2. Ask your child to trace your shapes onto her own paper using a pencil or crayon.
  3. Help your child cut the shapes out using children’s scissors.
  4. Invite her to arrange the shapes onto a separate sheet of paper in the form of Santa’s body. Explain that this part of the project is similar to putting together a puzzle; she will need to mix and match the different shapes together to create his body!
  5. When she has the body parts arranged correctly, she can gently lift up each shape and glue it to the paper.
  6. Invite your child to use markers to create eyes, a nose, a mouth, and buttons for Santa’s suit. Have her glue cotton balls onto Santa’s face for the beard and on top of his hat.

After completing this activity, encourage your child to continue building her shape recognition skills! Introduce more shapes such as ovals and octagons, and challenge her to create new and different collages with them.

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Christmas Cones

Christmas Cones

Get your child into the spirit of sharing by making these treat cones for loved ones. You’ll get to reuse those beloved old Christmas cards  by filling them with candies and toys, and turn them into something to enjoy for years. This activity is a great twist on the traditional Christmas stocking, and lets the family build a tradition and practice their crafting skills together.

What You Need:

  • Old greeting cards
  • Template pattern
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn

What You Do:

  1. Help your child print out the template, and tape it onto an old greeting card.
  2. Now he can cut along the dashed lines, and then crease it along the solid lines.
  3. If the template is still taped to the card, remove it, and squeeze some glue onto the tab.
  4. Fold in the sides of the cone and hold it closed until the glue on the tab dries. The easiest way to do this is to press the cone against a table top.
  5. Have your child punch a hole into the top of the cone and thread a piece of yarn through.
  6. Tie off the yarn to create a loop to hang the cone.
  7. Fill the cones with candy or popcorn, and hang them from a tree or hook until they’re ready to give away.

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Make a Paper Plate Reindeer

Make a Paper Plate Reindeer

A popular way to measure and treasure your child’s physical growth is by making hand prints as keepsakes. This activity spotlights everyone’s favorite reindeer, Rudolph, and preserves your child’s hand prints in his “antlers”. While embarking upon this nifty winter project, your child will utilize manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination and hand/wrist flexibility.

What You Need:

  • Small paper plate
  • Large paper plate
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Paint sponge or wide brush
  • Large red pom-pom, 1 ½”
  • Brown craft foam
  • Tan craft foam or felt
  • Pair of googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Pen
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • Low temperature glue gun

What You Do:

  1. Start by asking your child to paint both plates with a coat of brown paint. Set them aside to dry for a couple of hours.
  2. Meanwhile, make the reindeer’s antlers. Trace your child’s left and right hands twice on brown craft foam.
  3. Ask your child to carefully cut both pairs of hand prints out.
  4. Next, ask your child to draw two ears on the tan craft foam or felt and cut them out. Those will be the inner section of the reindeer’s ears.
  5. Using the tan cutouts as a guideline, your child can make a larger set by drawing around those shapes about half an inch wider all the way around. Have him cut those out and set them aside.
  6. When the paint is dry, ask your youngster to glue the googly eyes onto the large plate.
  7. Then, instruct him to glue the red pom-pom onto the smaller plate as shown.
  8. Now it’s time to add the antlers. Have your child glue one antler to another and then to the back of the large plate using hot glue. Each side should have two pairs of adorable hand print antlers.
  9. Add the ears to the rim of the large plate with a dot of hot glue.
  10. Glue the tan pieces onto the brown pieces with another dot of hot glue.
  11. Assist your child in punching two holes at the top of the plate and thread ribbon or yarn through the holes and tie a knot.
  12. Pick a place in the house where your new reindeer can be prominently hung and displayed for all to enjoy!

Did You Know?

Unlike other species of deer, both male and female reindeer have antlers. They shed their antlers during the winter because doing so enables them to better camouflage themselves and avoid predators such as wolves, coyote and bears.

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Glass Candy Ornaments

Glass Candy Ornaments

Glass candy ornaments are easy to make and fun for kids. Using cookie cutters and a little help from an adult, youngsters can turn hard candies into faux glass candy ornaments for the holidays. Watch the candies melt before your very eyes in the over, and then harden as they cool! This activity will allow your child to demonstrate her ability to follow instructions, use her fine motor skills, and show off her creativity. It can also be a fun introduction to using the kitchen. Make a batch of glass candy ornaments with your child this holiday season.

This kinda runs along the lines as window-pane cookies. Take sugar cookies and cut a shaped hole out of the middle (a window) and place on wax paper covered sheet. Cook the cookies until half done. Take crushed, translucent candies and sprinkle into window to fill. Finish baking cookies. Let cool. Now cookies will have a colored “stain glass” window in the middle of them.

What You Need:

  • Assorted hard candies, like Jolly Ranchers
  • Sprinkles or other decorations
  • Cookie cutters or silicon candy molds
  • Baking sheet
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Chopstick
  • Aluminum foil
  • Ribbon

What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Help your child spray the cookie cutters with nonstick spray.
  3. If using cookie cutters, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay the cookie cutters on top, then have your child place a few candies into the cookie cutters in a single layer. A silicon candy mold works well too, and all you have to do is place the candies inside each mold.
  4. Put the cookie cutters in the oven and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the candy is fully melted. Carefully remove from the oven.
  5. Your child can drop a few sprinkles on top as decoration, then let them cool for a few minutes so they are slightly hardened.
  6. When the candy is still a little soft, insert the tapered end of s chopstick into each candy to create a hole for the ribbon.
  7. Let the candy shapes cool completely, then carefully remove them from the cookie cutters or molds.
  8. Now thread a ribbon through the hole to create an ornament.

Place these tasty and beautiful ornament on a tree, hang them in a window, or suspend them from the ceiling for a breathtaking holiday display.

Note:It seemed to work better if we took metal cookie cutters sprayed them with lots of cooking oil then filled and melted. I put mine outside for a couple min to freeze them and they came right out turned out beautiful.

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Christmas Stencils

Christmas Stencils

Christmas stencils let your preschooler make his mark on the holiday. Recycle old Christmas cards by using a craft knife to cut out basic Christmas shapes—candy canes, holly, and trees—to make festive Christmas stencils. Let your preschooler use the card as a Christmas stencil to create her own festive thank you notes made just for the holiday season! Crafting these Christmas stencils is a fun way to reuse old materials, work on important fine motor skills, and teach your child to say “thank you!”

What You Need:

  • Christmas cards
  • Craft knife
  • Blank greeting cards or card stock
  • Crayons

What You Do:

  1. Have your child choose one or more Christmas cards with simple designs that will be recognizable in the silhouette.
  2. Ask her to help you draw some recognizable holiday shapes on each card.
  3. Place a cutting board or thick section of newspaper on your table to use as a cutting surface. Make cuts around the outline of each shape by drawing the knife toward you—this will make for a steadier, straighter, cut. Stop and turn the work surface and card as needed to cut out the appropriate shape.
  4. Give the stencil(s) to your child. If your child has never used a stencil before, show her how to hold the stencil steady with her non-dominant hand while tracing the shape with a crayon held in her dominant hand. If necessary, practice on scrap paper first!
  5. Encourage your child to decorate the cards in a variety of ways, tracing just the outline or coloring the shape in entirely.
  6. Help your child write her “thank you,” and the card is ready to send to a lucky friend or relative!
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Create Your Own Lyrics to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

Create Your Own Lyrics to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

Rewriting this classic Christmas carol will spark your child’s creativity while strengthening his familiarity with grammar and style elements including alliteration, parts of speech, syllables, and poetic rhythm. He can make it as poetic or zany as he likes. To emphasize the theme, try to think of words that pertain to Christmas or to winter in general.

What You Need:

  • Copy of the original “Twelve Days of Christmas” song
    • Paper and pencil
    • A quiet room so that your child can focus and let his imagination run wild

    What You Do:

    1. If you have access to it, play the original song in its entirety so that your child is reminded of the lyrics and melody.
    2. This is a collaborative project since you will probably want to replay the song or sing it aloud so that your child can be sure to emulate the rhythm and alliteration as in the original version.
    3. If your junior lyricist gets stuck along the way, suggest that she refer to other Christmas stories in her home library for imagery and motifs that may provide inspiration. Once she has rewritten the words to all 12 days, ask her to make copies of the song and pass them out to every family member.
    4. If she likes, have her create illustrations to accompany the newfangled song.
    5. Give the newly written version a whirl together!

    “The 12 Days of Christmas” has been re-worded in many whimsical ways. Here are a few kids books that offer entertaining versions:

    • If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond – contains sheet music for Christmas carols including a mouse-ified version of The 12 Days of Christmas
    • Barney’s 12 Days of Christmas, by Guy Davis, illustrated by Mark S. Bernthal
    • The Twelve Days of Christmas, State By State series, various authors

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Homemade Snow Globe

Homemade Snow Globe

This homemade snow globe craft is fun for kids who are excited about winter! Often associated with holiday celebrations, homemade snow globes are a favorite glittery creation for both kids and adults. Store-bought snow globes tend to be expensive and delicate, but a DIY snow globe is an inexpensive winter decoration that is tough enough for kids to play with. This snow globe is made with just a few supplies, and the craft is simple enough for kids to make themselves.

What You Need:

  • Clean jar with a water-tight lid (test it by filling it with water, turning it upside down, and holding it over your sink)
  • Festive, waterproof figurine or holiday ornament that fits inside the jar
  • Cork
  • Knife
  • Waterproof glue
  • Water
  • Coarse glitter
  • Ribbon
  • Glycerin (optional: available at drug stores)
  • Small bowl or dish

What You Do:

  1. Trim the cork so one piece is just a little taller than the jar lid. Discard the extra cork.
  2. Remove the lid from the jar and set the jar aside.
  3. Put the lid upside down and help your child affix the cork piece to the center with a dab of waterproof glue.
  4. Glue the figurine, bottom down, to the cork (if you’re using a little person as the figure, glue the feet to the cork). The cork is a platform that will allow the figurine to show above the rim of the lid, and the lid will eventually be the bottom of the snow globe.
  5. Let the cork and figure dry completely.
  6. Have your child add a few dashes of glitter to the jar, along with a few drops of glycerin if you’d like the glitter to slowly move around in the globe.
  7. Help your child fill the jar almost to the top with water.
  8. Screw lid back on jar, so the figure is pointing down. Reverse the jar so the figurine is right side up.
  9. Tie a ribbon around the jar lid and knot decoratively.
  10. Have your child shake gently and watch the glitter float around! Watch carefully for leaks and store in a small bowl or dish, just in case.

Not only is this homemade globe a hit with kids, it also makes a great holiday gift for friends and relatives, so stock up and make several!

Note:KY ( the brand) and vegetable glycerine are the same thing.. just different prices because of brand name and what the first is marketed for.

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