Christmas Tree Pencil Toppers Craft { great class gift }

how to make a pencil topper christmas craft

These pencil toppers crafts are a cinch to make  but the glittery foam makes them look super festive. What makes me feel even more festive is to think about how hard my daughter worked on these pencil toppers which will be her little gift to PreK classmates for Christmas. She goes to a church affiliated school so everyone celebrates Christmas but you could adapt this idea for any occasion. The real awesome part of this craft is the use of sticky back glitter foam which is great for glitter-phobes because they are way way less mess than glitter and glue.

christmas pencil topper gifts for kids

Gather your materials. You will need some glitter sticky back foam , some pencils, and scissors.

christmas tree pencil toppers tutorial

Start by tracing your triangles on the back of the green foam. Cut out 2 per pencil.

Christmas Tree pencil toppers class gift

Cut the other colors into strips. This will make it easier for your little artists to handle it and make it small enough to fit on the mini trees.

Leaving the backing on the trees start decorating. She carefully cut, fine motor activity and christmas tree pencil toppers

peeled back the backing and placed the small pieces. pencil toppers for kids

We had a whole factory going! christmas craft pencil toppers for kids

Once we made enough for the whole class it was time to sandwich them. Christmas tree pencil toppers for class giftsPeel the backing off the decorated side ( we didn’t decorate the back), press the pencil in, and sandwich. If there are pieces hanging over the sides you can snip those off no problem.pencil toppers christmas gift kid made Press hard. This foam will stay stuck together if you press firmly and hold for 20-30 seconds. We had 2 of our 14 open the next day but I grabbed an alligator clip and popped it on them for a few minutes and they are back together. Christmas tree pencil toppers for school class gifts

Pop these babies in a little bag topped with bakers twine and you have the perfect sugar free gift for your child’s classmates! Christmas tree pencil toppers encourage writing

 

Books About Christmas

All our book lists contain affiliate links.

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Stick Man by Julia Donaldson tickles my funny bone and my son thought it was funny and full of adventure too.  Stick Man is a happy stick who loves with his stick family until a dog grabs him and he ends up far from his family but determined to get home.  As the seasons change he is used as many things from a sword, a bat and even an arm for a snowman. After that he ends up in a fireplace just as a certain jolly old guy gets stuck in the chimney. This is a unique story we both enjoyed , you will never look at another stick in your child’s hands without wondering what it’s been turned into .

the_year_of_the_perfect_christmas_tree

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston made me cry. The story is about the hardships and love of one family torn apart by World War 1 as they prepare for Christmas with no resources. I love how strong the mother in this book is, she does the best he can with what she has, treks through snow to cut that big old Christmas tree down , and the part that made me cry uses her own wedding dress to make her daughter an angel costume for the Christmas pageant. Oh but that is not all she sacrificed, she  used the silk stockings her husband sent her from the war to make a doll for Santa to give to her daughter. The father coming home right as they were leaving the church service – once again starting my water works.  It’s an awesome story but probably too long for a group of kids , or toddlers , but perfect for a bedtime story for preschoolers on up. Also this book and the one previous were illustrated by Barbara Cooney , who captures such meaningful stories with her amazing work.

Bear-Stays-Up

Bear Stays Up for Christmasby Karma Wilson is such a heartwarming story about friendship. Bear is hibernating but his friends wake him up to celebrate Christmas. It’s not easy at first , Bear is super sleepy and wants nothing more than to cuddle back up and fall back to sleep.  They get a tree, decorate it, hang their stockings and sing carols. When all the other animals snuggle in and go to sleep Bear stays up. He is busily making gifts for all his friends, he is so busy he doesn’t even notice Santa coming and filling the stockings. He delights in the friendship and when his friends present him with a lovely quilt, he snuggles under and goes back to sleep happy and filled with friendship. This is such a wonderful book , I love it’s focus on friendship and the excitement of giving gifts!

Letter Harvest Corn – Alphabet Craft for Kids

alphabet craftsWe love adding letters to plain old crafts and making them into an  alphabet craft. It’s a simple way to work on letter recognition and kids love it. This simple ear of harvest corn went from plain to rad with some letters. More importantly my daughter spent time with each letter making it’s sound, suggesting words that also make that sound, and really being engaged. I didn’t plan on her tracing the letters with a marker but I loved her suggestion. I always run with her suggestions because even though I came up with the idea this is HER creation and I don’t want her to think there are steps so much as options. So try adding some letter stickers to whatever you are creating to turn a simple craft into a literacy activity.

Gather your materials. You will need some watercolor paper, a pencil, scissor, foam stickers in any color but we chose to match ours, some paint ( use paint daubers if you want them to dry quickly), and some glue or double stick tape. harvest corn letter craft

Start by drawing an ear of corn and the stalks separately.letter corn craft

Time to paint. These Do A Dot Art ( affiliate link) really do dry quickly especially when you use water color paper. corn letter craft for preschool Kids love them too. My class and I just did a variation of this number art project with them and they painted for ages! As you can see I didn’t cut the pieces out. Over the years I have discovered kids will paint all the way to the edges if you leave it but if you cut the shapes out they will often paint in the middle only. corn painting for thanksgiving

When both are done you can grab the foam letters and play a little game of ” Can you find the letter…” while the paint dries. alphabet craft indian corn

Add on the letters. letter indian corn craftPeeling stickers of the backing is a valuable fine motor activity so let them take their time and only help if they ask. No need to rush. corn craft for kids with letters

After she popped the yellow letter stickers on she decided to trace the letters with a red marker. It took a lot of concentration and hand control. I thought it was rad. corn craft for children

Cut out and glue or tape together with double stick tape. corn craft farm craft for preschool

All done! Don’t forget to display it someplace where your child can see all their hard work!fall alphabet craft letter corn on the cob

Books About Farms

All book lists include affiliate links

Margaret_Wise_Brown_Big_Red_Barn

Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown is one of my very favorite books to read to my daughter before bed although it took a while before she warmed up to it. I was worried because I loved reading it to my son and couldn’t wait to share it with her.  The story is simple readers see a day in the life of a big red barn and all the animals inside. Each animal is introduced in the seamless text that reads like a melodic poem. It’s  calm , soothing and Felicia Bond’s illustrations are perfect, I love how the sky subtly changes as the night beckons.  A wonderful book for anytime, but especially poignant before bed.

The Grumpy Morning

The Grumpy Morning by Pamela Duncan Edwards is a great book. I think I got it as a freebie with a scholastic order years ago, either way I am so glad I have it. The book follows all the animals on a farm as they wake up grumpy and hungry and needing attention from the farmer.As a parent I like this because it’s a great reminder that we need to feed our bodies for the day to be at our best.  As a teacher I love this book because I could talk about whining, and demanding and ask my students if there are better ways to get what you want.

duck-on-a-bike

Duck on a Bike by David Shannon tickles my funny bone. I love this book, the message is awesome too. Just because it’s never been done before doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try. Also how cute is a duck riding a bike? Kids even young ones get the message loud and clear as well.  The illustrations are amazing and your child will love the farm animals and the tractor at the end. Oh and please tell me I am not the only one waiting for “Duck on a Tractor” ? I’d buy it in a heartbeat !

Pinecone Painting & Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

Pinecone painting thanksgiving turkey craftPinecones are everywhere!  As certain as the fallen leaves, the pinecones that beg to be picked up and thrown ( hopefully not at each other) are everywhere. I decided we should create with the pinecones and what better to make right now than a Thanksgiving turkey craft ? What I love about these Thanksgiving turkey crafts is that you get to choose if you want to just do some painting with pinecones or if you want to use that painting to make a turkey craft, OR do multiple paintings and leave one as just that and create a craft with the other. Whatever you choose I hope you have as much fun as we did shaking that box and watching the paper fill with bits of color.

Gather your materials. You will need a couple of dried pinecones, some paint in any colors you want, a box that your child can handle themselves, and some great paper. If you want to turn the painting into a turkey you will also need some scissors, googly eyes, brown, red and orange paper and glue. We added some fun glitter paint for some sparkle. pinecone painting supplies

Start by placing the paper in your box and adding paint. pinecone painting activity for toddlers

Pop the pinecones in. pinecone painting for kids

Shake it up! pinecone painting for preschool

Make them roll, bang together, and generally have fun with it! pine cone painting for kids

Let it dry. pinecone painting for kids two ways

While it’s drying cut out a simple turkey torso ( do they have torsos?) , waddle, and beak. turkey craft for kids pinecone painting

Cut  the painting into a half circle. pinecone painted turkey craft for thanksgiving

Add glue for the turkey torso. pinecone painted turkeys

Add it and more glue for the eyes, beak, and waddle. thanksgiving turkey craft with pinecones

Let dry. pinecone painted turkey craft for kids

 

Books About Turkeys

all book lists contain affiliate links.

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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!

10 fat turkeys

10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston was a classroom favorite, it’s about as silly as a book gets and the kids had no clue they were actually learning about subtraction while listening to the crazy rhymes. This won’t explain the pilgrims , or talk about the Mayflower, but it will make your kids laugh! Very cute!

t is for turkey

T is for Turkey: A True Thanksgiving Storyby Tanya Lee Stone is a cute alphabet book with simple but accurate facts about Thanksgiving. I love that there is such a push for telling kids about what really happened and not just the closely held myths. The reader follows a long with a class play that covers all the important parts of the first Thanksgiving from the Mayflower landing on. This is a great introduction for young preschoolers. The illustrations are fun and rich so there is more than just the limited text to explore.

Thanksgiving and Christmas Crafts For Kids { link yours! }

preschool blogI know it’s not even Thanksgiving and already I am pinning Christmas crafts but for teachers, home daycare providers and well organized parents it’s time to plan for these amazing holidays. Even though the title of Link & Learn this week is Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts for kids please feel free to add other celebrations as well. I know that Hanukkah is starting mid December this year, Winter Solstice is the 21st, and Kwanzaa begins on December 26th. My point is that everything and everyone is welcomed. Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts for kids are just the two most searched for on our site right now!

You can see more of our holiday ideas on our Pinterest boards :

best pinterest boards for Christmas planning

DIY Thanksgiving {everything Thanksgiving}

Holiday Crafts & Activities { all holidays }

Christmas with Little Kids {gifts, crafts, activities for 10 and under crowd }

Christmas at Home { everything Christmas but mostly sugary treats… I am not eating sugar right now but man am I pinning it}

Enough about MY stuff, let me see yours!



Harvest Crafts & Activities

thanksgiving harvest craft ideas for kids While lesson planning for my classroom I was thinking about Thanksgiving and what other themes go with it. For young children I like to add on to a Thanksgiving theme with more concrete ideas like farm animals, harvest vegetables, and turkeys. While exploring these you can work in tidbits about the history and traditions of the holiday. We celebrate food, farms, and harvest together to remember the ways the Native Americans shared their knowledge with the Pilgrims and where we get our food to celebrate together today.

Here are 17 harvest and farm themed crafts to help you explore Thanksgiving.

harvest sensory tub

Farm Sensory Tub

paper plate pig craft
Paper Plate Pig

turkey paper bag puppet for kids
Turkey Puppets

Thanksgiving Math with Candy Corn
Candy Corn Math

paper plate scarecrow craft
Paper Plate Scarecrow

potato print turkey craft for thanksgiving
Potato Print Turkey Craft

painting with garden vegetables
Vegetable Printing

marshmallow harvest cornMarshmallow Corn Craft

outside activities for kidsGardening For Letters

farm animal activity for preschoolSheep Craft

Simple Sensory Tub Simple Harvest Sensory Bin

indian corn craft for kidsConfetti Corn Craft

pumpkin printing for kids and toddlersMini Pumpkin Prints

handprint henHand Print Hen Craft

feather finder gameTurkey Feather Hunt

Scarecrow Craft

Shape Scarecrow

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Mosaic Harvest Corn