Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The One About Christmas Crafts

Well, again I've been away for a bit.  But, I'm sure you'll understand given the season.  I think for 2013 I'll make a resolution to blog more.  Both here and at my personal blog.  Although, come to think of it, I think I make that resolution every year.  Alas, life intervenes.  Anywho.

So, today was our last day before Christmas Break!  Not to rub it in to all of you who still have school until tomorrow or Friday.  Thankfully it was only a half day.  This is good because that is already a half day more than my kids had left in them!  Know what I'm saying?  Monday and Tuesday flew by and went surprisingly well.  In between specials and practice for our Christmas program/Advent Service we just barely got in all of our projects.

I didn't go all out this year as I have in the past.  I just played it low-key.  As it turns out, that worked out well since Christmas Break fell during a funny time this year.  Such is the case when it's on a Monday/Tuesday I guess.  I still managed to fit in my 2 favorite crafts though.  Sometimes I think I should try something new, but these 2 have always been so reliable and easy to complete, even in the busiest of times.  So I keep them around as my good old standbys and I add in some smaller new things every now and then.

I thought I'd try and get this post out there since some people (like I often am) may be looking for some last minute ideas to fill the time during these crazy last few days.  That or maybe you'll hold onto the idea for next year?  That or I can just share the ideas!

The first one is a little writing craftivity I've done for so long that I've forgotten where I got the idea from.  It's super simple and cute.  I love it because it has a uniform set of directions/procedures but the kids can personalize it in so many ways, they are always individual and different.  Plus that and I love me some reindeer at Christmastime so this is right up my alley.  All you need is a large sheet of dark brown construction paper, a smaller sheet of light brown construction paper, red construction paper scraps, the writing paper, and crayons/markers.  The kids do their writing first, why Christmas is special for them, and then assemble the reindeer.  I also like this because it's somewhat of a tiered activity, everyone can write something; from the stronger students to those who are not the best writers, they all turn out beautifully.  This is my standard hallway bulletin board display during Christmas and let's get serious, who doesn't like a board-ful of reindeer grinning at them?

Cute huh?

Here's a close-up of Braeden's.  Having your own kid in your class means you can always show their work and not worry about parental permission!

The inside of Braeden's reindeer: "I'm going to Kansas.  I get lots of presents.  It's a lot of fun.  My smile on my face says I'm happy."  Excuse his handwriting!  :/

Cute huh?  I absolutely love it.  Nothing too fancy but it just makes me smile.  Plus the kids adore it too.  The next craft is the gift I have the kids make for their parents.  Again, it is nothing super fancy, but I have gotten many compliments over the years from it.  I'm honestly stoked to finally have one for myself this year!  Yet another perk of having your own kid in your class!  It's just a standard issue noodle craft, but I am a huge fan of making an ornament with the kids' pictures in it each year.  In my mind the parents look back year after year and fondly remember me and all of the fabulous things their child learned/did in First Grade.  I know, probably delusional, but you never know.  It's a nice thought though right?  Plus, maybe they'll remember me in 20 years when they're rich and famous.  I'm just saying!  :)  I start with using the "O" die cut on poster board because the oval shape lends itself better to the picture than a circle, at least I think so.  The kids decorate 2 wreaths (because there are many different family situations out there) any way they please with noodles.  Then I spray paint them.  I take their pictures in front of our classroom Christmas tree and then hot glue those in myself.  Sorry kids.  * On a side note I gave myself a wicked bad hot glue gun burn this year.  I was assembling these and singing along, acting silly of course, to Christmas music, when I got a huge glob of hot glue on my thumb.  A student who was watching me then told me that's what happens when you use a hot glue gun and act silly.  Out of the mouths of children right?  But He was right!  :)*  Ok, back to the post.  Then I have the kids choose where their noodle bow goes (top or bottom) and hot glue that and the hanger on.  There, not too hard at all.  Plus it's super inexpensive and wallet-friendly, always a plus.  Like I told you, nothing fancy, but a great keepsake.  Again, I'll reap the benefits of having Braeden in here and show you his.

Cute huh?  Well, I love it!

So that's about it.  I make other small crafts every now and then but this years that's about all we had the time for.  We also made paper plate angels and popsicle stick reindeer but I'll post about those later.  This post is getting a bit long and I don't want you to be bored.  Plus, I really should be cleaning my room from today's party and the fun of the first semester.  I just had to take a blog break.

So, tonight is our Christmas Program/Advent Service and then I'll officially be on Christmas Break!  I hope those of you with a day or so more left survive!  I'll be thinking of you!  I'll share my secret: coffee (lots), smiles, recess, and crafts!  Again, I hope to blog more often over the break and then again in the new year!  I have some great things in my mind to create for TPT for January so hopefully that will get done!  Stay tuned!

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