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Toddler Lesson Plan: Christmas Giving

written by: Kathy Foust • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 11/10/2012

This Christmas creative curriculum plan is aimed at helping toddlers to see the joy in giving as they brush up on their fine motor skills. Toddlers will do these easy-to-follow crafts and learn how much fun it is to be the giver as they make presents of their crafts.

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    Elves for a Day

    Toddlers are prone to get excited about Christmas. They are not just excited about Santa, but about the entire concept of the reindeer and the magic that seems to surround Christmas. In the midst of this, they might not recognize how good it feels to give something to someone they love. Use this Christmas creative curriculum plan for toddlers to teach your little ones the value of making things with their own hands and giving them away.

    To do this activity, students should be able to manipulate scissors, glue and paint brushes. Students can discuss how fun it is to get gifts. This might also be a good time to talk about times when students have made cards or other things for their parents. Students can talk about how happy their parents were to get the gifts and how good it felt to give them.

    Toddlers probably know about elves from the Santa stories they have had read to them. Why not ask the children if they want to be elves for a day and be the ones to make the presents? Using green construction paper, help students construct cone hats for themselves, by rolling the paper into a cone. Then tape it together to keep the shape. Once this is finished, poke holes in the sides and run a string through it. Finally tie the string under their chins to hold the hat on. Then, have the toddlers roll up their sleeves and get to work!

    For this activity you will need to have students bring in pictures of themselves, or take pictures with a digital camera and print them out so that they are wallet size. You will also need a piece of construction paper for each student, scissors, string, glue, scrap paper and glitter. Give each student a piece of construction paper. Ask student to fold the paper in half. Then help students to cut a circle out of the center of one half of the paper. This will be where their picture shows through, so be careful not to cut the circle too big. Keep the paper folded in half, then cut it into the shape of an oval. Insert the string so that it is under the fold of the paper with a few inches sticking out each side. Insert the picture behind the cut out circle and glue in place. Glue the sides of construction paper together. Cover the picture with scrap paper and encourage children to draw thin lines of glue that make designs on the paper. Shake the glitter on to the glue. Remove the scrap paper and allow them to dry.

    For this activity you will need cookie cutters and modeling clay or self hardening dough, as well as tempera paints and ribbon. Help students to flatten out the dough after letting them roll it in their hands to get it soft and enjoy playing with it. Help students to use the cookie cutters to cut out Christmas shapes. Use pencils to poke holes in the top of the shapes. Help students to paint these shapes after they dry. Then, thread the ribbon through the hole and tie in a knot so that there is enough left over to hang the decoration on their trees at home.

    For this Christmas activity you will need cookie cutters in the shape of gingerbread boys and girls, ribbon, pictures of the students, glue, self hardening clay, a pencil, paintbrushes and tempera paint. Help the student to cut out the gingerbread shapes according to their sex, put a hole in the top of the gingerbread head and allow the shapes to dry. Ask the students to paint the gingerbread boys and girls. Cut and paste pictures of the students' faces on the gingerbread people. Help students to curl ribbon by running the ribbon tightly down the edge of the scissors. Glue the ribbon on top of the head and around the face to make "hair". Tie a ribbon through the hole so that the gingerbread person can be hung on their tree at home.

    After completing these lesson plans try some other Christmas activities that the toddlers will enjoy! Talk with toddlers about how different their projects might have been if they were being made for someone else. For instance, would they have used a different color paint if the gift was for someone else? This lesson is about giving and the idea is to understand that the children understand that the joy of giving can be as great as the joy of receiving.

    Ask toddlers is they think they will be able to wait to give their gifts out until Christmas. If not, why not? Ask toddlers if they did anything on their gifts based on whom they were giving them to. Discuss the things the toddlers made, whom they are for and how good it feels to give things to other people.