Easy Angel Craft For Preschool

angel craft for kids 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.

Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, card stock, scissors, sequins, and glitter.angel craft

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. angek craft for children

Cut out the middle. Peel the paper off the contact paper and lay the angel outline on top.

Trim the edges and prepare the materials for your artist. angel craft for christmas

Add a little glitter loving 4 year old and let her do her thing. angel craft for kids 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.angel craft sun catcher

Add sequins too.angel craft for kids 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.fine motor angel craft for kids

Give the whole angel a little shake over a garbage can to shake off any loose glitter. Hang it up. angel craft for preschool

 

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.angel craft and activity for preschool 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.

angel craft for preschool

 

Books About The Nativity

All our book lists include affiliate links.

only a star book

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

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

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.

Christmas Crafts & Early Learning

preschool blogI am so excited to be doing Christmas crafts! My kids are both begging to spend time at the art table, are coming up with their own ideas ( yay!) and I have so many posts waiting to be published. But that is what’s new with me. I want to know what’s new with you and what you have created and shared on your blog.  Link up!

It’s no biggie if you aren’t a blogger – Link & Learn is still for you. Scroll through the ideas below and find a few new blogs to follow and some great Christmas crafts to try.



“Busy Bear” Suitcase inspired by Paddington

paddington movie activity pack for kidsDid 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.

paddington bear busy bag

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 :

Connect the Dots

Paddington Story Starter

Paddington Memory Game

Map Game

Learn to Draw Paddington’s Hat

Paddington Word Search

Paddington Fill-in-the-Blank

Paddington Coloring Page (1)

Paddington Coloring Page (2)

Paddington Coloring Page (3)

Paddington Coloring Page (4)

Paddington Coloring Page (5)

Paddington Coloring Page (6)

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. paddington bear movieMy 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.

paddington movie craft

While she finished up painting the other side I gathered the colored pencils and tied some baker’s twine around them. busy bear paddington

When the suitcase was all dry it was time to pack it full of the printables.

paddinton bear printables

She couldn’t wait until our trip, she had to do some of the activities right away. paddington bear printables bagShe was especially proud of the lipstick she drew on Paddington!paddington bear busy bag briefcase

How have you used movies as launching pads for more learning with your kids?

Connect with #PaddingtonMovie
Like Paddington on Facebook        Follow on Twitter           Instagram,              Pinterest

 

As stated above this post is sponsored by The Weinstein Company. The busy bear suitcase craft is my own idea.

Winter Crafts and Activities For Preschoolers

winter crafts for preschool

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.

winter activities for preschool

Snow Window Sensory Play

snowman craft for preschool
Snowglobe Snowman

painting the snow winter activities for kids
Painting Snow & Color Mixing

snowflake crafts for kids
Cotton Ball Snowflakes

winter sensory bin for preschool
Winter Sensory Bin

snowman crafts for preK
Letter Snowman

footprint in the snow playdoh play
Footprints In The Snow – Winter Playdough Play

snowman crafts for kids
Marshmallow Snowman

science for kids
Snow Science – Easy experiment for kids

snowman craft
Snowman at Night

glitter and confetti popscicle stick snowflake christmas ornaments
Popscicle Stick Snowflakes

snowman treat container
Snowman Playdough Giftswrite letters in the snow
Writing In The Snow – Pre-Wrting Activity

Snow Play
Winter Train Table Play

winter craft for kids
Cork Stamped Snowflake Toddler Craft

rp_snowball.jpg
Sensory Snow

SPICE JAR SNOWMAN BLOCKS
Spice Jar Snowman Blockswinter activities for kids
Arctic Ice Sensory Play

rp_different-emotions.jpg
Emotional Snowmen

Marshmallow Snowflake Kids Craft
Marshmallow Snowflake

paper plate snowman craft
Snowflake Snowman

hole punch snowmen
Hole Punch Snowflakes

make a magnetic snowman
Magnetic Snowman

snowflake garland
Snowflake Garland

wintercrafts&activities9
Winter W Letter Craft

Christmas Books Without Santa

Christmas books for kids without Santa

I celebrate Christmas from all angles now as an adult but as a child it was all about Santa. I still adore the Santa side of things but have better respect for the religious side as well. Christmas Eve service at our church is deeply meaningful for me and we try our best to be at home every Christmas Eve so we can go as a family. I know every family who celebrates Christmas does so in their own way and I wanted to gather a book list for families looking for books about Christmas that don’t include Santa.

All our book lists include affiliate links.

Christmas in the barn

Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown will sound very familiar to you if you are a fan of her book The Big Red Barn, which both my son and I am. I like this book but my son kept saying ” That’s not right” thinking that this was the other book. They are that similar. In this book though there is something that the other doesn’t have, most notably Baby Jesus. It’s a calm and gentle book about the birth of Jesus in a way only Margaret Wise Brown could accomplish.  I would like to read it next year to my son when he can appreciate that it’s not supposed to be exactly the same as  the Big Red Barn. Great book for toddlers and preschoolers alike.

who built the stable

Who Built the Stable?: A Nativity Poem by Ashley Bryan is a beautiful illustrated poem all about who it was that built the stable where Jesus was born. The bright colorful illustrations will wow you as will the heart of this book. The vibrant colors are in contrast with the simplistic poem that tells the familiar nativity story from a fresh perspective. What wowed me was the way that Joseph and Mary were depicted as a loving and vulnerable couple waiting for their first child in less than perfect conditions.The book depicts all the people with dark skin which for me is a great opportunity to talk about this with my children since so much of their experience is with the blonde blue eyed Baby Jesus.

The most precious gift

The Most Precious Gift by Marty Crisp made me tear up. This touching story of giving is really what Christmas should be about. The book follows Ameer a young boy who works for one of the wise men and is part of the caravan to meet Baby Jesus. We learn of his devoted dog Ra and their deep connection and when it is time to offer something to Jesus Ameer gives him Ra. It is not easy to give away his best friend but he knows it is what he should do, and is blessed because of it. The tender relationship between Ameer and his dog Ra will pull at your heart in all the right ways. Children will also be able to really understand sacrifice and giving because they can relate to how important a dog is to a young boy. This book is a great choice for kids 4 and up.

Great Joy

Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo made me cry. It’s a simple story about children’s innocence and giving hearts. A little girl sees a homeless man, and that’s what she sees , a man in need, instead of the stranger her mother sees. When she leaves to go to her Christmas pageant she calls out to him to come, when he does the true meaning of her line in the pageant comes to life. Which is when I choked up. Beautiful illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline accompany this simple tale.

din dan

Din Dan Don, It’s Christmas by Janina Domanska is one of a kind. The books follows the pilgrimage to the manger to see the infant Jesus . It starts with a single duck playing bagpipes, but it builds on it self until they spot the manger and the infant Jesus wakes. The story is simple because there is no need for lots of text , the illustrations are amazing. Every page looks like a cross between a stained glass window and a ornate mosaic in a Orthodox church somewhere in Eastern Europe. My son exclaimed “WOW” many times as we turned the pages of this book, and I know I let out a gasp or two as well, simply beautiful! * When I did a search for a photo I could not find this book in print , so you may not be able to find it in store, try your library though!

only a star book

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 .

cockadoodlechristmas

Cock-A-Doodle Christmas by Will Hillenbrand is a really unique Christmas story. A little rooster is at the center of this book, he is so little that his cock-a-doodle doesn’t wake anyone up.  He is very sad about his inability until that night he finds himself in the manger with Baby Jesus and finds his voice. It’s a simple book, with profound meanings. This is a great book for a Christan family or to read at Sunday school.

 

 

song of stars without santa

Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones is a peaceful book about how all the animals all over the earth passed along the news that Jesus was coming. Every page depicts a different habitat with different animals all chattering in anticipation. Young children will love the pictures of the animals and the beautiful illustrations of the Holy Family. The details are few but the overall ambiance of the book really helps make the point that this birth was ever changing and brought a peace with it.  Lovely book.

little_drummer_mouse

The Little Drummer Mouse by Mercer Mayer is a beautiful book. The dedication to his grandchild is perhaps my favorite part even though the book itself is wonderful too! Read it and you’ll see !  The story is a retelling of the little drummer boy , but in this book he’s a tiny little insignificant mouse. At least he thinks he’s insignificant until he follows the bright star to the manger on the very first Christmas night! The little acorn drum that this little mouse beats is anything but insignificant and he is thrust into the spotlight as Baby Jesus likes his music best of all ! The illustrations are amazing, they have so much detail I find myself opening this book over and over to just look. Great book, the test is lengthy for toddlers but preschoolers and older will love it.

what is christmas

What Is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams is a great board book for little children about Christmas. It touches on all the fun and cultural aspects of Christmas in a positive way but reminds the readers that really it’s about Jesus’ birth. I like the book because it doesn’t make the rest of the traditions out to be wrong or bad but explains that the holiday’s Christian origin in a simple matter of fact way. While there is a little discussion about Santa , this book really downplays it so I still thought it best for this list.

 

there was no snow books without Santa

There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve by Pam Munoz Ryan is very different than many other books about the birth of Jesus, because it’s simple and intimate. Instead readers first see children in winter scenes before seeing  Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem in a dessert climate. No one pays much notice to these two until after the baby is born and even then the group is small and simply portrayed. There is little discussion about what this baby will go one to do , instead it’s a look at his birth and I think that is a powerful point of connection for children.

who-is-coming-to-our-house

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!

The brick bible

The Christmas Story: The Brick Bible for Kids by Brendan Powell Smith is actually one of my favorite Christmas books this year. I grabbed it at Costco because my son is all about Lego but I have read it over and over to my kids because it is a great telling of the Christmas story. Now it doesn’t sugar coat much so if you don’t want to read about mean old King Herod and how he ordered babies to be killed then skip it. It really helped explain the story of Jesus’ birth to my 6 year old and the Lego photographs were a great novelty.

room for a little one

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.