Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Madness

Whew!  I survived yet another year of Holiday madness in kindergarten.  Aside from testing letters, testing sounds, testing sight words, testing numbers to 20, and making sure every kid completed a (I bet you already guessed) TEST on Stars, we were able to sneak in some fun holiday crafts the past three weeks. Yes, I started three weeks ago; with 26 students, and no classroom aide, crafts often take a while to complete.  Here is a look at fun, madness, we conquered.

Christmas Wreath -
I cut out the center of paper plates. A parent volunteer was able to cut red and green construction paper into small squares.  The kids chose to either tear the squares into smaller pieces, or glue them on as is. This friend did a little of both :-)  When finished, I stapled a yellow bow, made of  a long construction paper strip, on the top. 
Paper Plate Christmas Wreath - kids craft

Fingerprint Candy Cane
Working two at a time, I was able to review patterns while making this fun fingerprint candy cane craft.  Using red and white paint, the kids had to alternate hands to make the prints.  It was interesting to see who was able to keep alternating hands without making the mistake of putting the same color down twice in a row.  As you can see, this friend was getting a little mixed up towards the bottom.  This was completed in two days, and needed a full afternoon to dry before sending home.  

Fingerprint Candy Cane Christmas Craft

Puzzle Snowflake Ornament
This took a lot of time!  While managing centers, I pulled two at a time throughout the week. First, the kids painted small puzzle pieces white.  We let the pieces sit on wax paper to dry until I was able to get through everyone.

Meanwhile,  I realized I needed cardboard circles for the center of the snowflakes. After cutting those out, I had the kids glue 6 puzzle pieces around the edge of the circle - forming a snowflake. The paint we have at school, would have taken several coats to cover the cardboard. Instead,  I brought them home, and Travis put a coat of white spray paint on them. The following night, he flipped them over, and did the same on the back.  This was so helpful, because it evened out all the brushstrokes on the puzzle pieces.

Next, the kids brushed on a mixture of glue and water, and sprinkled silver glitter all over their snowflake.  (Messy tables, messy fingers, messy carpet)  Last, I used a hot glue gun to attach the blue string on the back.  They turned out so cute, and make great parent gifts from the students.

Christmas Card and Reindeer Hand Print
The snowflakes are packed in small gift bags, and ready to be sent home with a card and hand print activity.

The card was an idea I had seen on Pinterest.  The kids made a strand of Christmas lights- lighting up the bulbs with colorful fingerprints.  Inside, they wrote Merry Christmas, drew a picture, signed their name, and wrote the year.

Holiday Party
Thank goodness for my Room Parent.  She and her husband came in to help, bringing a craft, a game, and cookies for the kids.  To get started, we had a classroom gift exchange.  The kids each (well, most of them) brought in a gift worth no more than $5.00.  Girls bought for girls; boys bought for boys.  Their parents were to wrap the gift and mark on a tag whether its for a girl or a boy.  This was so much fun!

Next, while my room parent was busy playing Pin the Nose on Olaf, I was able to call over groups to have an opportunity with Photo Fun.

The photo fun was planned as I laid in bed, restless, last night.  I wanted a backdrop and photo props for the kids to have some fun, and get their pictures taken with their friends.  I taped navy blue bulletin board paper to the window. Lined it with some gold garland I had in my cupboards, and quickly painted a few white snowflakes.  While the kids were enjoying The Polar Express in their jammies,  I made some Christmas photo props, including a Santa hat, Santa beard, Rudolph nose, antlers, and an elf hat.  I found red straws to tape on the back -  they made great holding sticks. I took their picture, and will get them printed for our classroom photo album.
This turned out to be a hit!  I will definitely do this, again, next year.

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