Easy Holiday Crafts and Activities for Children

Just in time for the Holidays

Well It's been a busy winter season, and I've been finding it hard to get to writing up some new hubs with all the running around, staff parties, and stuff in between. With Christmas coming up soon, and all the rampaging traffic I haven't had much enthusiasm to go shopping the usual way. In avoiding all the holiday rush I found it much easier to do my Christmas shopping online. Plus, with decorating the house I've had fun making my own, and sharing the ideas in my preschool, and daycare classrooms. I mentioned I'd be coming out with a December hub here soon, and it took a while to finally get around to it, but here's a few crafts, and ideas that you might find of use for this holiday season.

Easy Crafts

Holiday Stocking Wish List

This one's super simple. All you need to do is print out a picture of a stocking, and collect some toy magazines, and flyers for the children to cut and paste what they want to their stocking. It's a great activity for exploring stores through their catalogs, and developing those fine motor tasks like cutting, and pasting.

Christmas Stars

For this one all you need is some glue glitter, toilet paper rolls, and paper. Cut out some stars and rip up yellow paper to small chunks. Mesh paper works best for a crumpled effect. Glue the scraps to the star, and decorate with some glitter. Then attach a paper roll to the back, and once it's dry it makes a great tree topper decoration.

Marble Painted Ornaments

The children in my class loved this activity, and its pretty simple. Cut out some bulb shapes from white paper, and cut some larger bulb shapes from colored paper to glue the white paper to. Before gluing them together tape the white bulb into a bin, and put some colored paint, and marbles into it to roll around and create a neat effect on the bulb. If you have some glitter then feel free to sprinkle some on to give it a bit of shine. Once it's dry then glue the painted bulb to the colored paper to create a nice border around the painted picture. Attach a string and hang wherever you like.

Paper Christmas Trees

Collect some glitter, glue, pipe cleaners, and paper scraps. Cut some Christmas tree shapes out of green paper, and invite the children to glue what they like onto the tree to decorate it. This is a fun way of exploring tree decorations, and creating your own using the supplies provided. You can even show the children how they can twist the pipe cleaner to add more effects, or cut the paper scraps into specific shapes. If you have some wrapping paper then maybe use some of that for your paper scraps as well.

Party Games

Stocking Hop

This one is kind of like a beanbag race but using red pillow cases or oversize stockings instead of beanbags. Have the children place both feet inside a case and hop from one point to another to win the race, or make it harder by having them tag a friend at the other end to return to the starting point. This game is great for getting some movements into your activities.

Pin the nose on Frosty (or Reindeer)

Print out or make a large picture of either a snowman or reindeer, and post it on the wall. Use a Santa hat to blindfold the children with, and place a nose to the picture with some tape on the back in their hand. Give the children a few spins each, and then send them off to place the nose on the picture. Give them clues like hot or cold while they try to find it.

Candy Cane Grab

Hang some candy canes from the ceiling low enough for the children to reach with their mouths. Have them place their hand behind their backs and try to get the candy cane off the string using their mouth only. This activity is great, and the children love watching as the teachers even take a try at it.

Find the Present Guessing Game

Have 3 stocking, and a picture of a present. While everyone closes their eyes hide the present under or in one of the stockings. Invite the children to take turns guessing where the present is hidden. Make it even more fun by having the child that just took a turn hide the present themselves, and return to their seat.

Who Has the Present?

Use the same tune as "Whose under the blanket", but switch the words with who has the present instead. Have one child hide the present under their lap, and everyone pretend to be hiding it at the same time. Before having the present hidden chose a child to cover their eyes, and try to guess where the present is hidden.

Movement Songs and Games

Broken Present

Have a small gift box with can tabs in it taped up on the sides so it won't open. Invite the children to play a game similiar to hot potato, but with a broken present instead. This activity is great for a transition as whoever the present lands on can leave circle. As you pass it around the circle have the children chant, "Broken present pass it on, broken present pass it on, broken present pass it on, get rid of that broken present!"

The Bells on the Sleigh

(Same tune as wheels on the bus)

The bells on the sleigh go jingle, jingle, jingle.... Jingle, jingle, jingle.... Jingle, jingle, jingle.... The bells on the sleigh go jingle, jingle, jingle... all around the world.

The hooves of the reindeer go clunk, clunk, clunk... The Man in red goes HO, HO, HO... The stars in the sky go twinkle, twinkle, twinkle...

*add some movements with intruments, or hand motions to make this some more fun.

Sleeping Reindeer

(Same as sleeping children)

Have the children all pretend to be sleeping on the ground, and sing the following tune.. when they wake up they can dance and pretend to be reindeer. Add some bells for them to shake to make it more fun. "See the sleeping reindeer.. sleeping until Christmas.. come with me and wake them with a merry song... oh so still... are they ill?.. Wake up sleeping reindeer prance, prance, prance.. Wake up sleeping reindeer prance, prance, prance!"

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