Monthly Archives: December 2011

Ornamentation Station (Part Two)

Here’s a continuation of festive Christmas ornament ideas for preschoolers to make at the Ornamentation Station!  To see Part One, click here.

Beaded Hearts

This is an adorable little ornament that really turns out beautiful.  Also, beading is great for building fine motor control; plus the children get practice with patterning.  You start with pipe cleaners bent into a V shape.  The children then bead each side of the V.  Here we used green pony beads and red wooden beads (the wooden beads we cut off of a string of garland).

Once they have beaded up both sides, they can twist it secure and bend the end down to make a heart shape (they may need your help with this part).  We finished by using short pieces of pipe cleaner to make hooks.

Scratch-Off Paper Ornaments

These are simple ornaments that are easy for little hands to do.  We used scratch-off paper, the stuff that has rainbow colors underneath when you scratch off the black on the top.  We used our Ellison die cut machine again to make a variety of shapes the kids could choose from to make their ornaments.

Some kids will draw or make designs.  Others will just scratch the whole thing off, which might not be very artistic, but is great exercise for their little fingers!

Beaded Candy Canes

I will end with an easy-to-do classic – beaded candy canes using pony beads and pipe cleaners.  Again, it’s great for building fine motor strength and patterning skills.  Plus, its something the kids can do on their own.  And while we adults might find an idea like this a little tired or over-done, the kids have only been around a few years, so to them its brand-new!

I’m always looking for more great ideas!  If you have any ornaments you love to make with children, please leave a comment and share your ideas!  Thanks!

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Simple Christmas Ideas for All Around the Classroom

Today I’d like to share with you some festive things my preschool does to make Christmas a special time in the classroom as well as help teach the real meaning of Christmas.  Again, most of the credit here goes to my wonderful director who had been implementing these great ideas for years.  

Workbench

During Christmas, our workbench turns into “Ornamentation Station,” where the children can make Christmas ornaments to their heart’s content.  The Ornamentation Station is so much fun that I wrote two separate posts about it.  You can find them here- Ornamentation Station (Part One) and Ornamentation Station (Part Two).

Dramatic Play

The most important place in our classroom during the Christmas season is our manger where we keep our baby Jesus doll (a special doll we only bring out during Christmas).  The children are invited to sit in the rocking chair and rock baby Jesus and take care of him.  On the ceiling above the Baby Jesus, we hang a star to remind the children of the star that led the Magi to the newborn king and to mark it as a special place in the classroom.  This is one hands-on way we love to use to teach the kids about what Christmas is really all about.  Plus, there is nothing more precious than to see a child rocking the baby Jesus to sleep!

Our Christmas tree is another way we make our classroom festive for the children.  We set it up with the kids, and the kids get to decorate it with shatter-proof ornaments, ornaments they make at the “Ornamentation Station“, plus mittens they bring in to help needy families.  At home, kids don’t always get to decorate the Christmas tree however they want, so this is a great opportunity for them to decorate and re-decorate however they like!

Literacy and Writing Table

The writing table is one of our favorite areas of the classroom, especially at Christmas time.  The following idea is a hit with the kids year after year.  Plus, it’s a great use for old Christmas cards!  Simply take the front off of the Christmas cards, then give the children scissors, glue, stamps, and construction paper cards.  We also provided Christmas-themed word cards.  The children are free to cut out the pictures, glue them to their cards, stamp, write, and create their very own cards!

In addition to "Merry Christmas," we provided words such as "mom," "dad," "grandma," "grandpa," and "Santa."

This next idea is a new one, and it turned out to be so much fun!  I found these great alphabet Christmas tree printables at prekinders.com (Go here for these and other Christmas printables).  We gave the children transparent magnetic bingo chips to cover the letters following the color key at the top of the page.  Then, once they had decorated the whole tree, they could use the magnet wand to clear the Christmas tree!  They had so much fun doing this!  Of course if you don’t have the magnetic chips, you could use any sort of bingo chips or small circles to play.

Water Table

One thing that is fun to put in the water table for Christmas is a miniature Christmas tree with tiny ornaments, beads, and garland.  It is fun for the kids to put decorations on the small tree; plus it’s good for building their fine motor control!

Please leave your comments and share any other great Christmas ideas you use in your classroom!