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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Make Beaded Candy Cane Ornaments

Make Beaded Candy Cane Ornaments

Candy cane ornaments bring some cheer to your Christmas tree. Decorate your Christmas tree with beaded candy cane ornaments made by your child. This simple but rewarding activity teaches your child an AB pattern which is taught in kindergarten and essential for learning number patterns. Her fine motor skills will get some good practice as well. Make enough for relatives and friends or attach them to holiday gifts! Make a batch of candy cane ornaments with your child this holiday season.

What You Need:

  • Red and white beads with big holes
  • Red, white, or metallic pipe cleaners

What You Do:

  1. Twist a “knot” at the end of a pipe cleaner.
  2. Ask your child what colors are on a candy cane. Tell her she will make a red and white bead pattern on the pipe cleaner. Red, white, red, white…
  3. Have her stack red and white beads on the pipe cleaner. If it helps, repeat the pattern with her as she stacks. Say “red” as she adds a red bead and “white” as she stacks a white one.
  4. When finished, twist the end again so the beads stay on. Ask the artist to bend the pipe cleaner to form a candy cane shape.
  5. Hang it on your tree! Your child can make as many as she’d like to add to the tree or give as gifts.

For extra practice, ask her to count the beads on one of the candy canes or to count the candy canes on the tree. After all this hard work, share a real candy cane with your child!

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Craft a Red Nosed Reindeer Collage

Craft a Red Nosed Reindeer Collage

Christmas is a time of celebration, but it can also provide an opportunity to learn. Regale your child with the famous Christmas story of the red nosed reindeer, and then segue into a fun paper and glue art project. Construct a portrait of the beloved red nosed reindeer with your child using shapes such as circles, rectangles, triangles, and more. This Rudolph collage will facilitate a discussion about basic math concepts such as geometry, shapes, and the part to whole relationship. Additionally, this activity can easily be used as a lesson in color recognition, the narrative process, or animals.

What You Need:

  • Construction paper (brown, red, white, black, and any additional desired colors)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Red pom pom

What You Do:

  1. First, entertain your child with the story of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer from a well-illustrated book. Ask your child to look at the illustrations, and discuss what shapes can be found in the face and body of the reindeer.
  2. Help your child cut out shapes from the construction paper to build the reindeer with. Begin with the brown paper and create a face, body, and legs. If needed, use a shape stencil or other items to trace the shapes. The bottom of a drinking cup is a good size for the head. The body can either be a rectangle or an oval, and the legs can be long rectangles. If your child can find different shapes in the reindeer, go ahead and use those as well!
  3. Help your child to cut out small shapes for the ears (triangles) and eyes (circles).
  4. Ask your child to form the reindeer by gluing shapes together on a separate piece of construction paper. For a larger reindeer, try a piece of poster board. Compare this to putting together a puzzle.
  5. Add the red nose. Your child can use a red pom pom to create a bright nose for Rudolph. Have him place a dab of glue in the middle of the reindeer’s face, and then firmly press the red pom pom on top.

Brighten Christmas morning by giving this colorful collage to a special family member or friend! Or, simple hang your child’s creation up for a festive holiday display.

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Wreath Ornament

Wreath Ornament

Wreath ornaments decorate your Christmas tree and act as a fun sensory craft for preschoolers. There’s nothing quite as special as a holiday wreath ornament made by the little hands of a child. This charming craft will give kids a chance to work out his wiggles as they mix and knead dough. They’ll also practice following directions and shape recognition, skills that are essential as they enter kindergarten and beyond. When the project is done, you’ll both have a unique ornament to treasure for many holiday seasons to come. Make wreath ornaments with your child this holiday season.

What You Need:

  • ¼ cup uncooked white rice
  • Plastic bowl
  • White glue
  • Green food coloring
  • Yogurt lid or a similar round object to use as a mold
  • Paper clip
  • Red ribbon

What You Do:

  1.  First, help your child mix the dough for the ornament. Set the rice in a plastic bowl and have him pour the glue in with the rice until the rice is completely coated. The glue should make the rice clump together and form a thick, textured dough.
  2. Have him add a few drops of green food coloring. Let him mix the color into the dough by working it with his hands. Encourage him to describe what it feels like. Is it sticky or slimy? Squishy or hard? This is a fun sensory activity in itself!
  3. Using a yogurt lid as a mold, have him press the dough inside the lid, leaving a hole in the middle. This will be the wreath. Talk to him about the shape of the wreath. What other things are circular? How many circular objects can you see in the room?
  4. Bend a paper clip into a hook shape. Then, help him press the paper clip into the dough while it is still wet. This will allow you to easily hang the wreath when it’s dry.
  5. Let the dough dry overnight.
  6. When the dough has completely hardened, help him peel the lid from the wreath. Tie a red ribbon to the hook and you have a beautiful holiday ornament!

If he wants to make more wreath ornaments, try decorating them with different colored ribbons or giving them away as gifts!

Note:When my son was  4 years old also did not like this craft, in fact I ended up finishing it after he got upset about the glue and rice sticking to his hands. I found it to be too sticky, and I even added twice the rice. It was almost impossible for him to try to shape it in to a wreath, as most of the glue and rice was sticking to him. We even tried a cookie cutter and he liked that better. After about 10 minutes, I was able to shape them correctly without too much sticking to me. Maybe a child who isn’t so sensitive to things sticking to him would enjoy this better.

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Make Glue Ornaments for Christmas

Make Glue Ornaments for Christmas

Gooey glue is the star of this holiday creation that will delight your junior artist and add original flair to your Christmas tree. The method is so simple that it’s practically genius! Give it a try and see for yourself what a perfect indoor activity it is to keep kids occupied when it’s too cold to go outside and play.

I’m sure all the children will enjoy creating their Christmas Ornament as they stick on the many colorful beads and materials.

What You Need:

  • Glue
  • Assorted beads and small trinkets
  • Ribbon, string or wire
  • Wax paper

What You Do:

  1. Lay out a piece of wax paper on your work surface.
  2. Ask your child to squeeze a puddle of glue onto the wax paper. The glue will shift a little bit before it dries so check on it a few minutes after your child squeezes it out to be sure that it doesn’t form open gaps where the wax paper is exposed within the design. It is hard to peel if there are opening pockets.
  3. Push a curved piece of ribbon, string or wire into the top section of the glue puddle. This will be the hanger.
  4. Have your child decorate the glue by placing beads and small trinkets of her choosing onto it.
  5. Keep the wax paper in a cool place for several days until the glue is completely dry. Some colored beads may bleed and stain the glue creating pretty streaks of color and adding even more visual interest to the ornaments.
  6. Carefully peel the wax paper off of the glue. Your child has created a unique ornament that everyone will enjoy touching – albeit very gently — and admiring on the Christmas tree.

Why doesn’t the glue stick to the inside of the bottle? Because glue hardens when there is a loss of water from the formula. As long as the glue is inside the bottle and away from air, it will stay fluid. When it is exposed to the atmosphere, causing the water in it to evaporate, it becomes hard. That’s why it is important to keep the cap closed so that the glue doesn’t harden or dry out.

 

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Pine Cone Decorations

Pine Cone Decorations

Pine cone decorations are fun and festive for the winter season and Christmas holiday. When autumn arrives, there’s no shortage of pine cones falling off of trees. Rather than ask the kids to rake them up and throw them away, why not turn these little cones into something beautiful and useful for the holiday mantel or the Christmas tree?

This holiday pine cone decorations craft only requires a few pine cones, some paint and glue and a few cotton balls. The result—either a whimsical mini Christmas tree or a series of ornaments—will certainly spruce up your holiday decorations. And the best part is, the kids will look forward to raking up the pine cones! Make pine cone decorations with your child to celebrate the beauty of winter.

What You Need:

  • Pine cones – various shapes and sizes will work
  • Green paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Bowls for paint
  • Craft glue
  • Silver and gold glitter
  • Newspaper
  • Sequins – various shapes such as circle and snowflakes
  • Cotton balls
  • Red ribbon (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Lay newspaper on a work surface (this could get messy!)
  2. Turn a pine cone over and place dabs of glue on the bottom. Take a cotton ball one at a time and glue them to the bottom of the pine cone so some of the cotton ball is sticking out over the edges. Voila – we have snow!
  3. If you would like to make mini Christmas trees, you need to paint the pine cones green. If you want them to look like natural trees, wait until the next step.
  4. Turn the pine cone over and let it sit on cotton balls. Pour some green paint in to a bowl and using a paintbrush, paint the cone until it’s covered in green, being careful not to let the paint get on the cotton balls.
  5. Once it’s dry, dab some craft glue on the pointy tips of the pine cone. If your cone doesn’t have any paint, use the glue more liberally all over the cone.
  6. Sprinkle glitter on the cone until all the glue is covered in glistening silver or gold.
  7. To make the trees really sparkle and come alive (or if your kids just love sequins) dab more glue on the tips of the pine cone and place a piece of sequins all around the tree. And for even more added glamor, have the kids wrap a thin red ribbon around the pine cone like a garland.
  8. When you’re all finished, either place the trees on the mantle, or tie a ribbon to the top of the pine cone and hang from your real tree. The kids have now helped you clean up the yard and made you a new set of holiday decorations!

 

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