Friday, December 14, 2012

Class Christmas Tree Canvas Craft

Here's a cute holiday ornament craft we did this year.  It took about 30 minutes and the teacher used these to decorate her class tree and then we sent them home on the last before winter break.  This goes great with math lessons about graduated sizes.

  1. Mini canvas boards (I bought mine at Michaels - they come in packs of 3-5).  
  2. paint brushes or paint sponge sticks
  3. Six coordinating 3/8 inch spools of ribbon (depending on how big your class is you may need 2 spools of each pattern/ribbon).  I pre-cut each ribbon for every student into the width of the mini canvas board (which for me was 2 inches).
  4. Star stickers - one for each student (I found these in the scrapbook section of Michaels.
  5. Modge Podge
  6. Two spools of 3/8 inch ribbon to hang the canvas with.
  7. Glue gun (to attach the ribbon to hang the canvas with).

  1. Pass out the canvas boards and sponge sticks or paint brushes (the teacher should have). 
  2. Write the children’s names on the back of each canvas with a sharpie (and the date if you like).
  3. Place a dab of paint on the canvas board and the students will cover the board with that one dab of paint.  
  4. The teacher and I each brought in our hair dryers and we helped the drying process along by having the students bring us their canvases and we dried each one quickly. 
  5. After the canvases are dry and the students are sitting back at their desks with them, pass out the ribbon and the star stickers
  6. Explain to the students that they will make a tree with their ribbon on their canvas.  They can do this however they please.  They can cut the strips of ribbon into graduated sizes and organize them in the order they want them on the canvas with the star at the top.
  7. Once they are ready to place the ribbon on the canvas you can either brush the modge podge on the entire canvas for them or you can give them a dab of modge podge and they can use a sponge or brush to spread it over the canvas and then place the ribbon and sticker onto the canvas quickly. 
  8. Lay the canvases to dry again and once they are completely dry I go back over them with more modge podge just to make sure everything sticks on.
  9. Hot glue the ribbon onto the back in a loop so it makes a hanger. 
  10. Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gingerbread House Class Party

For the past 3 years my daughter's teacher has allowed or requested us to host a gingerbread house party.  This is one of the easiest class activities to organize, it always gets great participation from the parents and the kids LOVE it.  Below I've listed the best process to have a successful party.

  1. Edit and send the letter below home explaining what you are doing and ask each child to bring a SPECIFIC bag of candy AND 1 tub of frosting (their choice).  There is a sample letter below, just right click and select download to download this letter, edit and use yourself!  And make sure you send the letter home and/or by e-mail at least one week in advance (and then send a reminder:).  
  2. As the items come in the teacher should write the child's name on the tub of frosting and keep track of what candy was sent in.  You can use the sheet below to track your items.  Again, just right click on the sheet, select download and you can download this document to edit and use yourself.  The reason you label the frosting is so each child can use their own tub of frosting.  And it is easy to see who has brought theirs in and who still needs to send theirs in.
  3. Make the gingerbread houses.  It is so much easier to pre-make these at home and just bring them assembled.  It cuts the class time WAY down and allows the children to do what they love - decorate!  Here are instructions for how I make mine.  Please STOP hot gluing graham crackers to milk cartons!!  I always make a few extra just in case one breaks. 
  4. The day of the party bring plastic table clothes to cover the desks (I buy them at the dollar store), white Styrofoam divided plates to place the candy in (they always sell these at Walmart during the holidays), Popsicle or craft sticks (I buy from the dollar store) the students use these to put the frosting on their house, plates for the students to make their houses on, and gallon size ziploc bags to send the houses home in.  You can also bring in sugar cones for the students to decorate a a tree or you can make this one of the items you ask parents to send in.  

Below I have pictures of how I set my room up and how the students got creative with their decorating.

Monday, December 3, 2012

"Merry-Mint" Holiday Lunch 2012

This year our theme was Merry-Mint!  I purchased a blue backdrop from Shindigz.  (And I still have about half of the roll left after using this much.)  I make the house and the trees and the reindeer out of insulation board (I bought 4ft x 9ft sheets from Home Depot for about $12 a sheet).  For the reindeer we just used a wooden one from a neighbor's yard as a pattern to cut the insulation board  and then I spray painted it white.  For the house and the trees we cut out the insulation board and covered it with wrapping paper I bought (the striped was from Hobby Lobby and the red glitter was from Walmart).  The roof of the house I spray painted white and then used spray adhesive to attach "snow flakes" I bought at Walmart.

Lunch Tables
For the tables I cut red and white table clothes (I purchased from the Dollar Store) in strips (red was 6 inches wide and the white was 3 inches wide).  I sewed 5 red strips together end to end lengthwise and then 5 white strips together end to end lengthwise.  Then I laid the LONG white strip I had made  on top of the LONG red strip and ran it through my sewing machine "pinching" them  together every so often to make it look ruffled.  Then I taped them down as runners across the middle of the table.  The custodians like these because the are easy to wipe off each day.

I also purchased some mint and lollipop decor on sticks from Hobby Lobby to use as centerpieces on the tables.  I purchased Styrofoam cubes and half spheres (to use as anchors).  We covered the Styrofoam in red glitter and then stuck the the mint and lollipop decor into them.  Then we just placed these out on the table and added some peppermint ornaments in between.

Guest Tables & Lunch Line
For the guest tables I used red and white round plastic table covers I bought from Party City.  Then I placed some decorations I bought from Hobby Lobby (a resin Happy Holidays sign and metal gift boxes).  For the lunch lines we just placed "snow" fabric on top and then wrapped boxes in the peppermint striped wrapping paper and used some large outdoor peppermint ornaments I bought from Hobby Lobby on top of the snow.  On the milk line we used the left over insulation board to cut squares and triangles and covered these in the wrapping paper, snow and a string of lights.