Every year, I desire to find a craft that has yet to be done around the holidays. It is always quite the feat! I have thought back to all the cute little ornaments and decorations my children made themselves for ideas. How do you find something that hasn’t already been overdone and yet appealing? How do you find a craft that is age appropriate (not too “babyish” for third graders), not too hard on my pocket book, politically correct, and even academically driven? I’m not really sure it’s possible.
This year all my colleagues have come to my rescue. They have provided me with the many cute little ideas I have to share here. I honestly could not imagine trying to teach each day without their inspiration and assistance!
First, the Soldiers!
These soldiers are a fun way to practice symmetry and of course those fine motor skills through all the cutting. To make the soldiers you will need the following construction paper dimensions (Click on the picture for a downloadable pdf of the dimensions):
To start, have students fold the large blue rectangle in half, hot dog style. Then have students cut an angle while folded on the fold. When it opens up, it should create the split in the pants. Then glue this to the large red rectangle. Attach the two red arms (smaller red rectangles) to the large red rectangle shirt. I tuck each red arm halfway behind the back. I do this because the green square that represents the cuff is small and would look funny if it’s not tucked enough. Then I have students take the larger white square and fold it in half hamburger style, and round the corners to create the head of the soldier. We glue this on. Then I have students do the same with the larger black square, representing the hat. We also fold up the bottom of the hat to create a bill. Students then fold the smaller pieces of white and black in half and cut two pieces out to create the feet and hands of the soldier. The hands get tucked behind also. We then cut the cuffs, by folding it and cutting it in half. We fold the pink in half and round the corners creating two circles for the face. We also do the same with the yellow to create the shoulder tulips. I have my students fold it in half and cut a design in it. Typically, we make tulips, but we have branched out. Then we create a small yellow circle for the hat and to make the parts of the shirt. Students draw faces on their soldiers and then we simply add our name in glitter!
Another cute project that we did was make stained glass windows.
This project was really easy! Students take a piece of black construction paper and trim it in the shape of a stained glass. (I have a template ready ahead of time and simply copy it on to paper on the copy machine. You could also do it with cardboard cut outs that students trace.) Then I have students use glue to create a design. They can make it abstract or they can draw in a design of their choice. We set it aside and wait for the glue to dry. Upon return later, we use various colors of chalk to color in each space. I don’t like to have a lot of black space. Then we attach it to a yellow piece of construction paper. Voila!
Finally, the last project we did this year was create Gingerbread houses and stories.
We created the gingerbread houses from Kari Bolt’s Clip Art, found here. I then placed all the materials on the copy machine, copying onto brown paper and white paper. Students then cut, colored, and assembled. We then attached a description of our Gingerbread houses (though some got really creative and created actually stories about their houses).
I’m still working on that parent craft… I’m never sure what to create for parents! As soon as I have that done, I’ll be back with that.
Until then… May your days be merry!