Paper Bag Gingerbread Men

shape paper bag ginger man craftMy daughter and I made these a while back but I forgot to post them. We’ve been learning all about shapes and in the same week that we made the Shape Wreaths my daughter and I made these simple paper bag gingerbread men with paper shapes .  I love using grocery bags and other recyclables for crafts because it’s cost effective and it teaches my kids to think creatively and to use items over and over before discarding them.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sturdy paper or thin card board ( think grocery bags or cereal boxes) , a glue stick, shape punches , scissors, thin paper like the origami paper I used, googly eyes and a pencil.      paper bag gingerbread men craft for toddlers
  2. Start by drawing a gingerbread man or two and cutting them out.gingerbread men craft
  3. Punch or cut out some shapes.shape gingerbread men
  4. Add glue .gingerbread craft
  5. Add your shapes  and eyes to the gingerbread man. Even though I pre cut many shapes she wanted to cut out more herself. ginger craft for kidsWho can blame her those punches are fun! gingerbread craft for toddlers Talk about the shapes, about the textures of the items ( our colored paper was really silky vs the rough paper bag) , about the colors and body parts too. There is so much to learn in such a simple activity.ginger bread craft for kids and toddlers
  6. Don’t forget to add your googly eyes.  My daughter has started pushing out her bottom lip when she is concentrating on a task it makes me giggle and I am forever trying to capture it . Do you see it?shape ginger bread man

Gingerbread Books

ginger

The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup was an instant hit with my son but it was too long for my daughter who sat and listened but wasn’t engrossed in it. The story was all about pirate gingerbread men who come to life on Christmas Eve and faced Santa even though most of them were left for him to eat. There is adventure, there is humor and a whole lot of Christmas magic. What made this book for me were the illustrations by Matt Tavares. I loved that they were from the perspective of the gingerbread pirates . Love this book.

fairytale books

The Gingerbread Man (Easy-to-Read Folktales) by Karen Schmidt is just such a silly story . What I do like about this tale is that while it still packs the punch of one character eating another like many fairy tales it’s just a gingerbread man so when the fox eats him it doesn’t seem so bad really.  My son loved the repetition of the text and sang along with me as we read. It’s a good story to talk about taunting, and showing off. We also played gingerbread man tag later that day, but we skipped the whole cannibalism bit. { Since writing this review my daughter had made this one of her very favorite books }.

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Alphabet Activity – Christmas Tree Alphabet

alphabet christmas tree alphabet for starters no time for flash cardsI thought I was done with Christmas crafts ( I have a few more ready to post)  but when I found these little checkers pieces I knew just what I wanted to do with them. It’s a fun, easy Alphabet For Starters activity but can be adapted for older kids as well. Alphabet for Starters is our series of fun and playful ideas for teaching children the alphabet. See the end of the post for ideas of how to play with this alphabet activity in a more structured way .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 sheets of construction paper ( any color and green) , glue, velcro dots, star sticker,  checkers pieces ( these are from the dollar store checkers games) , marker, scissors and possibly contact paper * see below for my explanation of why.alphabet christmas tree craft for toddlers
  2. Start by cutting your green paper into a Christmas tree. alphabet letter tree activity
  3. Glue to the other paper , add the star and add velcro dots. ** If you are making this for a class or for kids that might be anything but really careful I would laminate or cover with contact paper before adding the dots so that the velcro doesn’t simple rip the paper when it’s pulled.  I made sure my kids only gently placed the letters and prayed it didn’t rip. I was lucky. alphabet christmas  letter activity
  4. Write the alphabet on the checkers pieces. alphabet craft
  5. Add the other half of the velcro dots on the checkers pieces.
  6. Let all the velcro set for at least 30 minutes. We practiced cutting alphabet christmas tree craft cuttingand did puzzles while we waited.  alphabet christmas tree craft puzzle
  7. Add some garland and lights ( aka some silver sharpie) . alphabet letter tree craft for kids
  8. Add the letters! alphabet christmas tree letter recognitionMost children will narrate as they go especially if they are used to you labeling letters for them. My daughter searched for letters in her own name and those of her family. alphabet christmas tree letter activity for kids26 letters are a lot of r a 2 year old so I asked her to choose some to give to mommy to add. Of course she grabbed some labeling each before handing them to me. Then finished it herself.alphabet xmas tree
  9. Later that afternoon when we showed her brother what we did while he was at school he took each off and added them in alphabetical order . He can also spell words with it and my favorite is to fill in the blanks. alphabet christmas tree craft for kids

1 Minute Christmas Ornaments

Time is short during the holiday season and these ornaments took no time at all to fill. The fun part for your kids is to find things that fit through the hole at the top to fill the ornaments with. As you can imagine we have a lot of craft supplies that we have gathered over the years and me being me I save everything to use again . Having a bunch of ornaments and different fill in a craft buffet would be super fun activity for a holiday party. I like the idea of using these as an alternative to wrapping too.

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All you really need are some clear plastic ornaments waiting to be filled.

Here were our ideas:

Fuse beads were so colorful and would make a cute stocking stuffer as is.

The glass beads reflected the light so well.

These wood beads would fit right in with our rustic holiday decor.

These pony beads could be packaged with a jewelry box and some beading thread as a whole jewelery themed gift.

The pom poms were fun for my toddler to help me put in and make a great unbreakable ornament for a tree for a young family or someone with cats!

The jingle bells not only looked great they also had a beautiful and a little muted jingle to them.

It goes without saying that the LEGO one was my son’s favorite. I think it might be mine too.

What would you fill your empty ornaments with ?

 

Quick Link Supply List

 

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Shape Wreath { perfect for bedroom doors!}

christmas craft for kids Shapes are such a simple way of sneaking some math into creative projects and that is exactly what I did with my kids when we made Christmas wreaths for their bedroom doors. You could make this a patterning lesson as well . The main goal with this project though wasn’t to learn the difference between a triangle and square it was to create something for my kids to decorate their own doors with. I remember feeling so grown up with my own wreath and I hope my kids feel the pride in decorating their own space too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard , green paint, glue, shape cut outs like these wood ones and felt stars from craftprojectideas.com and ribbon.
  2. Start by cutting out a wreath from cardboard. I used a salad bowl for the outside and a soup bowl for the inner one.
  3. Next get the table ready for painting. At first I had it like this. Way better for picture taking… but a table like this is way better for having fun and no one worrying about mess.
  4. Add kids and paint.
  5. Let the paint dry . Ours only took about 15 minutes to dry enough to glue. We played doll house and made Lego presents for our Little People while we waited.
  6. Now it’s time to glue and add some shapes.
  7. The mix of felt stickers and wood shapes were fun for my toddler to explore. But my favorite part was the conversation between the two of them. Listening to them talk and craft at the same time makes me so happy.
  8. Let the wreaths dry and add ribbons.Wait a full day before hanging up just to be sure everything stays put.

 Christmas Books

Oh, What a Christmas!by Micheal Garland is a sweet story about how Santa made do when the unexpected happened. As we all know reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh but when the reins break and Santa comes crashing down they are nowhere to be seen! Luckily a rag tag group of fam animals step in and save the day. The message that it’s not the reindeer but rather the magic that makes the difference is loud and clear . I like how this book can also open a dialog about how even special days can have unexpected bumps and you make do with what you have , just like Santa in this story.

Santa Duck and His Merry Helpersby David Milgrim is really funny. Santa duck is the duck liaison to Santa and he goes around to find out what all the other ducks want for Christmas. His younger siblings want in on the action too and start telling ducks that they can get them bigger and better gifts in an effort to out Santa Santa Duck.  Santa Duck explains that bigger and better gifts is not what Christmas is about . Christmas is about giving and sharing with your family. My son who is 6 and I both laughed at the smart alec ducks and while rude and annoying in many ways they were right when they said Santa Duck was hogging all the fun by being the only duck allowed to dress as Santa and be his helper.  Cute book !

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Ornament Color Match Activity

I was going to wait a few days to post this because it’s similar to our Sticky Wall Christmas Tree but after posting this picture on our Facebook wall I had so many questions about what it was I promised to post it asap. This color matching activity has a Christmas theme but could easily be simple polka dots for any time of year. My toddler loved this and we have played with it multiple times . I think her favorite thing is all I have to do is set it up after that she is good to go.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some wrapping paper for the background, ribbon, double stick tape, painter’s tape. scissors, contact paper, jar lids in various colors and paper in the same colors as the lids.
  2. Start by tracing the lids on your colored paper and cutting out.
  3. Put your wrapping paper on the wall with painter’s tape. Using the double stick tape stick the ribbon on in various lengths and add the colored paper circle on the end.
  4. Cover with contact paper **sticky side out**. The trick to doing this is to peel a little of the backing off and use push pins to keep is secure while peeling the rest off. Trim if you need to.
  5. Pop the lids in a box or basket as an invitation to play. I left 2 lids on their match as a guide for my daughter.
  6. She immediately started matching them up.  The one thing I did have to help her with was to make sure she put the lids on with the outside on the wall. The other way will result in many falling lids , a very frustrated 2 year old and not a lot of learning. She was so proud she yet again asked for a all done picture, this may be a start of a trend.
  7. Interestingly she quickly noticed that there were extras in the box and started adding them to the wall . Simple matching turned to sorting naturally. I loved it!