Christmas time always puts a little bit of a hop in your step. All of the carols, food, and lights are hard to ignore and poor spirits are hard to keep up with all of the merriment in the air. However, as we get older, it is inevitable that Christmas just does not mean the same thing to us that it did when we were children. Having children around at Christmas time is truly magical, and if you are lucky enough to have, say, a whole classroom full of them, you are bound to be a busy happy grown up for the Christmas season.
Children’s curiosity and creativity are challenged at this very special time of year. Most of them are truly enchanted by the mysterious Saint Nick, and they all want to make something special to give their parents or grandparents since they obviously don’t have expendable income of their own just yet. Obviously there are a number projects that you can do with a classroom of young children around the Christmas season. Some are more difficult than others, and some require a lot more clean up, but they are all worthwhile when you see the smile on their proud faces.
For younger children, simple things like placemats and greeting cards are a great way to give your kindergarteners a special way to say Merry Christmas to their loved ones. Greeting cards are easy: just get multi-colored construction paper, glitter, markers, safety scissors, glue sticks and other small craft supplies, and let the kids go crazy. If you have very young children, you can write the special messages that they’d like for them. Placemats are also a great way to engage younger children in a simple gift that will last a long time. A large piece of construction paper can be decorated as your student sees fit and then laminated by you to create a long lasting memory. My father still has the placemat I made him in kindergarten, nearly twenty years ago.
For older students, more intricate projects like popsicle stick birdhouse ornaments and origami swans are a little bit more challenging. Also, by crossing two popsicle sticks and joining them with glue you have the beginning of a beautiful ornament. Next, give the students a strand of yarn that they can wrap around each of the four prongs of the popsicle stick cross one at a time in a clockwise order until the entire stick are covered in yarn. The winding makes a beautiful pattern, especially if you give the kids a multi-colored yarn.
Of course there are some things that are classics no matter what age you are. Paper snowflakes that you can make by simply folding a piece of paper into quarters and chipping away patterns into the tiny square are a timeless decoration staple for any classroom. Try switching things up a little, and have the kids make their Christmas snowflakes out of multi-colored construction paper. Remember, no two snowflakes are alike.
Paul Buckley has published a website packed full of fascinating and useful articles, stories and ideas certain to make this you best holiday season yet. Happy Holidays