Saturday, December 10, 2011

Classroom Christmas Projects

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my classroom! We only have 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I'm trying to fit as many activities in as I can with my first grade kiddos. We have been super busy creating ornaments and gifts to give their parents for Christmas, and I love how they have all turned out! As you'll be able to tell, I'm in love with any craft that uses kids' handprints :)

Back in the summer, I debated creating a blog dedicated solely to my classroom, but let's be honest, I'm not so great about updating this one, so having to update two probably wouldn't have worked. Ultimately, I decided since the title of this blog is "World of the Wilson's" and teaching is part of my world, I'd just include anything classroom related on this blog. It's a little glimpse into my life as a teacher.

I thought I'd post a couple of the crafts we've done so far in my classroom in case anyone (the five of you that read this...haha) needed an idea for an ornament that was super easy and affordable. First, my kids made Santa handprint ornaments for their parents. I do this every year with my kiddos, but in the past, we've made it into a card for their parents. This is the first year I've made it an ornament to hang on the tree. It's so easy to make! All you need is paper (we used manilla construction paper), paint, googly eyes, and glittery snow confetti. I painted each kid's hand red at the top of the palm and down the length of the thumb for Santa's hat, peach in the middle of the palm for his face, and white on all the fingers for his beard. I pressed their handprint on the paper and when it was fully dry, I trimmed around the handprint with scissors and laminated it. I used a hot glue gun to attach two googly eyes, a red bead for his nose, and glittery snow for his beard. I hole punched it at the top and threaded a ribbon through it. I wrote their name, the year, and their grade on the back, and then proudly displayed it on the tree in our classroom. It'll stay here until they take it home to their parents next week.

The next ornament we did was a Pinterest (I HEART THAT SITE!) inspired craft. I originally saw a "pin" that used kid's thumbprints to make reindeer. I had some old ornaments that I wasn't planning on using and I had exactly 17, which just happens to be how many kids I have in my room :) I took them to school and had the kids dip their thumbs in brown paint and then make three thumbprints on the side of the ornament. I let that dry, then with a Sharpie added antlers, a red bead for the nose, and googly eyes. I wrote their name on the bottom and then Merry Christmas around the top of the ornament with a Sharpie. Last, I sprayed them with a clear acrylic sealer which added a little bit of shine to the ornaments. This is the final product! I think they're just adorable!

The big gift that they're giving their parents this year is probably one of my favorite things ever. I wish I could claim credit for it, but the preschool where Eli used to go did this with one of their classes, and I saw one and just had to re-create it for my class. I tweaked their design just a little bit and made it my own, and I LOVE how it turned out. I found these red chargers from Wal-Mart for $0.98 and bought enough for my class. I used acrylic green paint and painted my kids' hands and then stamped them on the middle of the plate with the fingers pointed down. I used their thumbprint dipped in brown to make the trunk. I painted on a star and then poured gold glitter on top of that. I sprinkled green glitter on top of the green paint while it was wet. Once their handprint dried, I used beads to make ornaments. I found a cute font (Kwekel) and wrote "Merry Christmas" and their name around the edge of the plate. Then I sprayerd the charger with a clear acrylic sealer. I attached a label on the back with their grade, class, and the year, then wrapped it in individual clear plastic bags. I hope their parents love it as much as I would if Eli made one for me :) (In fact, I'm doing this with Eli's class the Monday before they get out for break.)

That's it for now. I have one more ornament that we're doing, but I'm going to do a tutorial on that one because it's so easy and so pretty to make. I love this time of year! I can't wait to do more fun Christmas themed activities with my kiddos at school and my little kiddo here at home :)

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