Creating Christmas crafts in the classroom is fun and full of spirit. We do need to be sensitive to the fact that not all children celebrate Christmas, so use art ideas that can easily be transformed to use in other holidays. This can easily be done by changing colors. Use red and green for Christmas, blue and white for Hanukkah, or red, green and black for Kwanzaa to adapt these crafts for any of the three major holidays. Dedicate a craft each week to help pass the time before the holidays and liven the spirit in your classroom.
Bells Are Ringing
Greet your visitors with the sound of bells by slipping this holiday star over the knob of your classroom door, or have the children take home this craft so they can enter their bedroom with a “joyful" noise. Draw a five-pointed star (about 8 inches across) onto cardboard and cut it out. It can be drawn free-form or use a stencil. Lay this star on a felt square, trace around it, then cut it also. Invite the children to glue them together. Make another felt star slightly smaller and glue it on top of the first one. Use two colors of your holiday. For Hanukkah, you might choose a six-pointed star instead.
Next, cut three strands of gold or silver cording (found in craft or fabric stores). Thread jingle bells onto the cording, knotting them in three separate places. Glue three buttons to the bottom of the felt star. Wrap the cording around the buttons so they hang from the star.
Now the fun begins as you and the children decorate this star. Use faux jewels, sequins, colorful buttons, gel paint, just about anything you can think of to glue on for glitz and glimmer. Last, attach a length of yarn, cording or ribbon to the back top of the star with heavy tape for a hanger. Adorn any doorknob and listen for the “ringing of the bells."
Pop-Up Candle Puppets
Candles play an important role in the December holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Help the children to create candle puppets to play with or act out holiday stories and songs. Begin with an empty toilet paper cardboard tube. The tubes can be covered with aluminum foil or painted with bright colors of the season. To make the flame, attach a construction paper triangular flame-shape to a Popsicle stick with tape or glue.
To use these candle puppets, the children can insert the stick flame inside the tube and raise it or lower it as desired.
Make a Special Placemat
‘Tis the season to decorate and celebrate. Weave a special place mat to be used at the child's holiday table. Take a sheet of black construction paper and fold it in half lengthwise. Draw (with chalk) one-inch lines from the fold to within one inch of the edge. Cut on these lines, but be sure NOT to cut all the way to the edge. Cut one-inch strips of red and green construction paper. Using the strips, help the child to weave taking him through the steps of over and under. Alternate between the two colors. For a holiday flair, press on holiday stickers on the front. This mat may be covered with clear adhesive paper for durability and easy clean up.
If the child celebrates Christmas or Kwanzaa use red and green strips when weaving the place mat. For Hanukkah, the children can weave blue and white strips into the place mat. Use the appropriate stickers that correspond with the child's holiday.
Making a Christmas craft brings the holiday spirit to your classroom. With these ideas above, you can ensure that all holidays are covered in your classroom and no one is left out. These ideas also make lovely gifts and memorabilia to send home, just make sure that names and dates are posted on the back.
- Photos taken by Tania Cowling.