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.

rp_stickman-248x300.jpg

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!

Princess Playdough Activity For Kids

sparkle playdoughMy daughter loves princesses and when we were buying leaf cookie cutters for my classroom a few weeks ago she spied this pink crown cookie cutter and HAD to have it. At our house cookie cutters are not really a food item, they are for playdough. When craftprojectideas.com sent us some pearl beads I knew exactly how I could make plain playdough into princess playdough.  My daughter loved this activity and my favorite part was seeing how carefully she placed the beads taking time to really consider what she was doing.

princess playdough invitation to create

Gather your materials. You will need some playdough in your child’s favorite color, some glitter, a crown shaped cookie cutter ( see supply links below tutorial), some fun beads, and if you want a tray to keep everything organized. As you can see this is not homemade playdough but if you want learn how to make your own playdough , I have some great recipes.playdough princess party activity

Start by kneading your playdough colors together if you have multiple colors and/or adding glitter to your playdough. This is great and no where near as messy as you’d think because any spills can easily be picked up with the playdough. Shake it on and knead it in. Kneading playdough is a wonderful exercise to strengthen hands, which will come in handy when learning to write.Princess playdough activity for preschool

When the playdough is ready it’s time to cut some crowns!princess play doh activity

Add some bling.  princess beads in playdoughThe pearl beads were her favorite!princess crown playdough tiara

I played along with her but eventually she asked if she could have my crown to make another one. I obliged.playdough tiaras for princesses

Books About Princesses

great princess picture books

Check out our list of positive princess books here and find something that will make your princess obsessed child happy and something you feel good about reading them all in one book.

 

Quick Link Supply List
This list of supplies from the tutorial above contains affiliate links.
Play-Doh
Silver Glitter
Pink crown cookie cutter
Pearl Princess Beads

Fingerpaint & Fine Motor Acorn Craft

fingerpaint acorn craftEven though we don’t see many acorns around here we still love creating fun acorn crafts like this simple fine motor acorn craft. We love mixing colors and I wanted to incorporate making the color brown into our lesson. While you and I know that the simplest way to make brown is to mix two complimentary colors together ( red & green , yellow & purple , orange & blue ) that doesn’t let your child explore as much as I know she’d want to. Instead I let her use trial and error to make it. If paint or time is short put two complimentary colors out and have them mix them together.

The buttons add another dimension to the craft but their inclusion also welcomes counting, shape recognition and some great fine motor work.

Gather your materials. You will need some light colored card stock, a pencil, scissors, plate, paint colors in whatever colors your child thinks will mix to make brown, glue, and some buttons. We also used some paper towel to blot the paint. I find when we finger paint we glop it on super think and this technique is a fun and practical way to make drying time reasonable. acorn craft for children

Start by drawing an acorn on the card stock. I made the bottom part a little longer than usual because after it’s painted you will cut these two sections apart and glue the top onto the bottom. It will need a little extra length so that the bottom and top can be glue together later. acorn craft for kids drawing

Mix the paint. These are the colors we initially chose to mix brown. It ended up too green so we kept mixing. color mixing color brown acorn craft

 

Add more paint as you wish to get closer to brown.  If your child doesn’t want to keep mixing and the color isn’t brown yet. Don’t worry just label the color you did make ” Wow the blue, red and white paint mixed to make light purple, cool!” acorns can be purple, or olive green, or neon yellow when they are handmade acorns. Do not get hung up on everything looking just like it does in nature. If you are worried that your child will think acorns really are purple simply make a note to say that the purple acorn is extra special because in real life acorns are brown. You can get the facts straight but don’t squash the artistic spirit either. acorn painting for preschool

Paint the acorn. We chose to finger paint but you can use brushes, bath poofs, sponges, even bubble wrap would make a cool texture! acorn activity for children

If like my little artist you end up with HEAPS of paint you can blot it with paper towel. I love doing this and my daughter loves it too because it leaves a neat texture behind. acorn craft with finger paint

Let dry. This makes a great 2 day project for a young classroom or a two part one for a older class letting it dry throughout the day and revisiting this second half after lunch.

Cut the top half and bottom half out and then glue back together. Use some of the discarded painted paper to make a little stem. acorn craft for preschool

Time to glue on the buttons. acorn fine motor craft for kidsWhen I envisioned this I imagined an acorn cap FULL of buttons but this wasn’t MY project. I didn’t tell my daughter where to add them just handed her the glue and buttons. Some children might line the cap in buttons, fill it completely, add the buttons to the bottom, maybe even add an initial made of buttons to the acorn… there are so many different possibilities let your little artists explore.button acorn craft for kids

Add glue and buttons. She LOVED watching the glue squish through the holes in the buttons. acorn craft for preschool fine motor development

Let dry again! acorn craft for kids

 

15 Fall Books For Children

 

Need some great fall books for your little readers? These are our favorites! See the full list here.

Spin Painted Leaves – Fall Art Project

spin painted leaves fall art project for kidsWe eat a lot of salad at our house but the only thing our $5 salad spinner is used for is art. These fall art project is super simple to make. As a treat we made ours with acrylic paint known as ” Mama’s adult paint” at our house. It worked well but in my experience the best paint for spin painting is Liquid Tempera Paint like these ( affiliate link) the consistency is just right for spinning. I cut the leaves out free hand ( like you can’t tell…) but you can use real leaves as templates or cookie cutters. Art like this is so dynamic and fun and it focuses heavily on the process but still had an end product.

Gather your materials. You will need some card stock, scissors, paint, a salad spinner, some string and tape to hang them once they are dry. We used some gold glitter paint as well and this MADE the leaves. So cool. spin painted leaves for for fall art project

Cut out your leaves. Don’t  laugh I know mine are terrible but the little artists loved them and that is all that matters!fall art project spin painted art for kids

Pop a card stock leaf into the spinner and choose some paint. spin painted leaves fall art activity for kids

Add the paint fall spin art for childrenin and spin! fall art spinner painting

Our paint was a little thicker so we printed the leaves on some extra paper, then left them in the sun to dry. fall leaves art for kids

Once dry I added thread to the back  and hung them in the window.

spin painted leaves for children fall art project