Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Homemade Card and Decorations

The holidays are such an exciting time for everyone! Children want to be involved in all kinds of projects and here are three to get you started. Great for a variety of ages, these three projects include creativity and the spirit of the season. Next week . . . more ideas!!

Homemade Holiday Cards

Holiday cards are a wonderful creative project that need only a few basic items which you probably already have in your art supplies. Paper, crayons, markers, glue sticks get things started. You may want to add seasonal stickers, glitter glue or other specialty items to your supplies for this project. You'll also want envelopes if you plan to send the cards out in the mail. This is one of those projects that you can get out and work on for one day or over several weeks.  I liked to keep this project at the ready in a plastic storage box so that we could pull it out when we were feeling like working on it. I had cut the paper for the base cards, usually out of card stock, sized for the envelopes. You can also purchase blank cards with envelopes ready to use. We sent the cards along with a photo of the children to family and close friends and also used them with holiday gifts. Learning concepts include: creative expression, small motor skills - cutting / gluing / assembly, previewing, planning and writing skills.

Paper Chains

This classic activity is aways fun. We enjoyed using all types of papers - construction paper, craft paper, heavy duty wrapping paper, etc. Although we traditionally made the chains for the winter holiday season we would also make them for other occasions throughout the year. The children enjoyed decorating the plain paper with drawings and we also liked to write messages that reflected the season - holiday wishes, words of gratitude, hopes and dreams. Sometimes the chains graced our tree or staircase banister. The children really loved to decorate their rooms with these cheerful chains. Learning concepts include: small motor skills - cutting / gluing / assembly, patterns, planning and construction, creative expression and writing skills.

Beaded Ornaments

This simple activity uses colored pipe cleaners and large sized pony beads. Obviously this isn't recommended for the very young child but we started making these when the children were about three. As with most of our projects I was right there with them. Part of the activity was sorting out the beads they wanted to use. We used a muffin tin to keep the colors separated. This is another project that can be worked on as time allows. I had a plastic bead storage container to keep the beads ready to use. Each child had their own zip lock bag with their creations safely stored.  These designs look wonderful as gift box decorations, on the tree or around the house. We've used this idea to make napkin rings and brought these out to create other shapes for other holidays and seasons. Learning concepts include: sorting, patterns, small motor skills - loading beads onto pipe cleaners and shaping, previewing and planning skills, creative expression.

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