The week leading up to Christmas, I usually slow down on the main curriculum and decide to have a little fun. The little ones are usually too excited about the holiday to focus anyway and this is my way of celebrating with them.
This year I'm planning to do a different Christmas craft every day of the week. Last year I bought some craft kits from Oriental Trading but this year I just searched the Internet for some fun and easy ideas.
Here is my plan for next week:
Monday / Make a Paper Christmas Tree
I like this idea because it's not too complicated and I have the supplies laying around the house. All you really need is green construction paper, crayons/markers, and glue. It stands up and will make a great centerpiece at home and it looks substantial. Plus, the fine motor practice of cutting the tree shape out of the paper is always bonus for the older preschoolers.
Tuesday / Paint Chip Christmas Tree Ornaments
Again, another simple idea that doesn't cost much in the supply department. Grab some free paint chip samples from your local department store and some ribbon and you are good to go. What a neat idea! Use scrapbooking scissors to create a stylized edge to the trees, if you have them.
Wednesday / Peppermint Playdoh
I adore the smell of peppermint and I haven't made homemade playdoh yet, but I have all the ingredients in my kitchen (including the peppermint extract) and this one makes me excited to try it out! This fun craft gets the kids away from paper for a bit and it is still something they could take and enjoy at home at the end of the day.
Thursday / Brown Paper Christmas Stocking
This is a fantastic fine motor skill activity. However, I plan to help each child individually, pulling them aside during free play. This is because I feel this craft will be a bit challenging. That is not a bad thing but I don't want the kiddos sitting and waiting on their turn and getting impatient. At the end, I'll bring them all together at the table to decorate their craft.
Friday / Handprint Snowman Ornament
Saving my favorite for last, this ornament craft will involve close supervision but will make an excellent keepsake for many holidays to come. I fell in love with the concept as soon as I saw it. A box of six clear ornaments cost me around $4 at Michaels.
There are, of course, hundreds of ideas for holiday crafts on the Internet. These were just the first five I stumbled across that I liked and believed I could make work with my toddlers and preschoolers.