Christmas ornament crafts are probably my favorite craft but I haven’t done a ton on the blog because I never taught at a school where we celebrated Christmas. Now that I am at a church run preschool you can expect a lot more Christmas ornament crafts kids can make in the coming weeks. I wanted to gather up all the ideas wee have made in the past first. Here are our favorite Christmas ornament crafts!
My daughter loved making this angel. She likes to remind up that she was an angel in the Christmas pageant at church and that she got to hold the special star. When I asked her what sort of Christmas craft she felt like making she suggested we make an angel and so I started thinking about how we could do that. I settled on a sun catcher with glitter because I was thinking about how beautiful our nativity craft was last year. This is a great easy angel craft for preschool.
Start by folding your card stock in half and cutting out the outline of an angel. When I do this I will usually draw the item then cut it out, fold it around another piece of paper and cut the final version. I would be a big ‘ol liar if I said this angel was easy for me to draw. I think I did 5 before I had one I liked. The others ended up as scrap in our cutting station.
Cut out the middle. Peel the paper off the contact paper and lay the angel outline on top.
Add a little glitter loving 4 year old and let her do her thing. Or his thing, my glitter loving 4 year old just happens to be a girl although her brother LOVED glitter when he was her age ( here is some proof) .
TIP : When working with loose glitter give your child only a little in a small shaker to minimize the mess. There will still be some glitter on your floor, in their hair etc… but it won’t be a huge pile that ends up everywhere for 6 months.
Add sequins too. You could just do glitter but the real fine motor workout is in this step. It is VERY hard to pick sequins up and she has to coordinate a lot of muscles to do this. It also gives her patience a little exercise which was not required for the glitter.
After we were done my daughter asked to color the left over angel shape so don’t immediately recycle that. Offer it up for some less adult directed creativity. She drew a little but then asked if I would be a student and she could be the teacher and we ended up playing school. What I love about pretend play like this is how much she talks during it. For some children my daughter included speech is not always a given and opportunities to work on oral language through play is always a gift. Find what gets them talking and run with it. For us that is by par pretend play. After the play was done I trimmed the angel’s contact paper even more and we hung her angel up in the window to watch over us.
Books About The Nativity
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Only a Star by Margery Facklam is a calm beautiful book about the first Christmas. A little girl asks her dad about the decorations on that very first Christmas day and readers are reminded that the true origin of the holiday. The illustrations by Nancy Carpenter are stunning, they vary in perspective and unlike so many manger scenes, this one looks like a mom and a baby. They gave me chills coupled with the simple but profound text. A great holiday read .
Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate is a sweet look at the animals in the manger preparing for Baby Jesus’ arrival. The animals aren’t sure who is coming but at the insistence of the mouse, they clean and prepare the manger until finally a very pregnant Mary on a donkey with Joseph by her side. The next page is probably my favorite image of the Baby Jesus image in any children’s book. Mary’s hair is down, feet bare and Joseph is protective by, the animals are watching and alert. Illustrator Ashley Wolff does a perfect job with this simple but fantastic book!
Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddel is another peaceful sweet book that gets to the heart of the nativity story. The story here is really about how the stable is a welcoming place to be and how Kind Ox shares his space with all who need refuge. The dog tells the cat that he won’t chase her, and the cat tells the mouse that he will be safe in the stable. It’s clear that this stable is a place for all no matter what. The symbolism is obvious but lovely and not sugary sweet. Kind Ox is showing us all how open doors and open hearts can change the world. I love this book and plan to buy it for my own bookshelf.
Did you read Paddington Bear as a child? I did and I am so excited to be able to share it not only as a book but as a movie with my own kids. I was asked to share this sponsored post about the brand new Paddington movie that will be in Theaters January 16; From the beloved novels by Michael Bond and producer David Heyman (HARRY POTTER); with a fantastic cast including Nicole Kidman. I can’t wait to check out the new film and I am using my daughter’s excitement about the film to help me keep her busy during our upcoming holiday travel. If you aren’t familiar with Paddington let me catch you up. Here is a little more about the film and how they took it from page to screen.
So you might be wondering why I am promoting a movie. Movies can be amazing launching pads of more learning especially when there is a whole bunch of non screen options for learning that go with it. Not only can you use your child’s excitement to dive into all the Paddington books by Micheal Bond but you can create a fun Busy Bear suitcase filled with FREE printables to learn on the go. Here is how we made ours.
Gather your materials, You will need a paper mache suitcase ( or a plain tote bag ) , some acrylic paint, paint brushes, some baker’s twine, pencils and colored pencils, and the following free printables :
When I print out printables like these I always make master copies and keep them in a file so that when my kids ask to do another one I can easily make copies instead of finding the link again, hooking up the printer… just a little tip I wish I’d known way back when.
Time to paint your suitcase. My daughter loved this. Using ” big kid” paint was a treat and she was totally into it. While she painted we talked all about our upcoming trip as well as all the other places we both want to explore. After painting we grabbed our globe to check out where Paddington Bear was from ( Peru) and where he was when he was found ( London). We chatted about travel and tried to think about how Paddington might feel being so far from home.
When the suitcase was all dry it was time to pack it full of the printables.
How have you used movies as launching pads for more learning with your kids?
As stated above this post is sponsored by The Weinstein Company. The busy bear suitcase craft is my own idea.
I love winter crafts and activities. I think because although I grew up in Canada I now live in Washington State where we might get one good dumping of snow every winter. Winter crafts and activities have stepped in to fill the void of snowflakes, snow, and snowmen in my life! I love all these winter crafts and activities for preschoolers and my kids have too. We will have even more coming soon so make sure you follow us on Facebook and Pinterest especially my No Time For Flash Cards board on Pinterest to stay up to date with all the rad ideas we are doing.
Whenever we do a craft ( not open ended art) I try to mix in a few things. Usually some color or letter recognition, maybe some tricky fine motor skill development with small bits and pieces, or cutting practice! This Thanksgiving craft is all about cutting practice. For little guys it’s all about getting the grip right, hand position, and control. Cutting isn’t something that most kids have to be tricked into doing many love it and our Cutting Station is a great idea for those kids.
Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate for each wreath, some glue, construction paper ( this is a great craft for scraps!), some glitter glue ( it’s not really a craft according to my daughter unless it has glitter), and some raffia.
Books About Thanksgiving
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A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman is such a cute and funny book about a town that needs a turkey and the hilarious lengths they go to to find one. The town is sadly outwitted by the turkey and end up eating shredded wheat for thanksgiving. The illustrations kept my little man interested when he was a toddler but he only started understanding the dark humor at around 4. I love this book because of the humor makes me giggle. My son was a little off put by the idea of the towns folk eating the turkey and was relived when he escaped before they shoved him in the oven. I like that he is starting to understand that the meat he eats is actually a cooked animal, we take that for granted but for many young kids this is a huge realization!
Two Bad Pilgrims by Kathryn Lasky is a fantastic book that some parents might not like but kids will love it and learn a lot in the process. It’s about two boys who really did sail abroad the Mayflower and whose behavior really was bad. There is a ton of not usually shared information about Pilgrims in this book and as someone who studied colonial history I am in LOVE with this book. The format is a mix of non fiction and comic strip like narrative. I would read it to kids 5 and older although younger children might like just the narrative. There is a ton of info in this book and it would be a wonderful tool to talk about how history books don’t always tell the whole story.
Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey was such a treat to read. It’s a reworking of the classic Christmas poem, with a Thanksgiving twist. A bus full of kids head off to the turkey farm the day before Thanksgiving and are immediately enamored with the birds. When a child asks the farmer what the axe by the door is for… well let’s just say the truth is told and the kids fall apart. They don’t stay down for long though, the kids outsmart the farmer and their teacher to save the turkeys from the axe. Somehow the author finds a way to make the possible slaughter of these happy friendly, named turkey’s funny. My son was giggling while I was kinda nervous that they’d get the axe! Great rhymes throughout this hilarious book!
For more Thanksgiving books check out our round up of Thanksgiving books by clicking on the image below.