Making holiday decorations is fun for your students and a nice way to bring colorful spirit to your room. These craft ideas can become multicultural by just changing the colors. Be it red and green for Christmas, blue for Hanukkah, or red, green and black for Kwanzaa – adapt these crafts for the holiday of each child.
Holiday Children Garlands
These garlands can be strung along a wall or across a doorway in the classroom. Use brown grocery bags that you have stored from shopping. Dress the children cutouts in the colors of your holiday.
These are simple paper-doll instructions. Start by cutting a 5-by-4-inch strip from a grocery bag. Next, fold the strip of paper, accordion-style, about four times. On the top layer, draw a child shape. You can draw this freehand or trace around a child or gingerbread cookie cutter. The hands and feet you draw must extend out to the folded edges. Cut through all layers of the paper, making sure not to cut where the arms touch the fold. Young children may need help with this task.
The decorating is the fun part. Cut clothing from gift-wrap or construction paper. Draw in shoes, hair, faces, and any extras with markers, puffy paints, or gel pens. For texture you can glue on pom-poms, buttons, or pieces of fur. Let your students’ creativity and imagination run wild!
Use your students’ hands to make this holiday wreath. It can be a class project or make individual ones for a gift to send home for the holidays. From a piece of cardboard, cut a 12-inch circle (a pizza box lid or carton works well). Again cut another 3-inch circle in the center to complete the wreath. A craft knife is useful to make the cuts but only by an adult. Invite the children to paint the entire cardboard wreath with poster paint in the color of their holiday.
After the paint dries, have each child make handprints on the wreath in a second color of their holiday. For example, use red and green for Christmas, blue and white for Hanukkah, and maybe red and black for Kwanzaa. Brush the child’s hand with the paint and press the hand down on the board. Continue to print handprints around the wreath in a circular fashion. For another option, trace hands on complementary-colored stiff construction paper, cut out, decorate the hands if you wish, and glue them around the circle.
Make a bow from fabric, crepe paper, large ribbons or construction paper to decorate the bottom. Make sure to write the date on the back of this memorable project.
Celebration Logs (Edible Craft)
Celebrate your holiday with pretzel logs adorned with sprinkles in colors of the season.
You will need:
- Pretzel logs
- Chips (either chocolate or white chocolate)
- Colored baking sprinkles
- Waxed paper
Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave inside a glass bowl. Dunk the pretzels halfway into the chocolate, and then roll in a dish of sprinkles. Dry on waxed paper.
Use the month of December as an opportunity to talk about the way different cultures celebrate the holidays. Some families celebrate Christmas, others Hanukkah, and December 26th starts Kwanzaa for some African-Americans. Use these crafts to make decorations that suits each child's holiday. With just a few tweaks of color, you will have symbolic decorations for your classroom or to send home as gifts.
Photo credits: Tania Cowling