A.W. asks from Bushland, TX on November 29, 2010
Class Christmas Craft (Say That 3 Times Fast!)
Hey Mamas! Y'all always have such great suggestions, so I'm turning to you once again! I am the homeroom parent for my daughter's second grade class (yikes, I know). Part of that job decription is taking care of the class Christmas party. I have come up with a gift for the teacher and sent a list of breakfasty food items home to the parents (the party is at 9am), but I need ideas for a craft the kids can do at the party and take home. It needs to be something relatively simple and easy to administer among 18 kids. Also, it needs to be cheap. I told the parents over a month ago the whole thing (teacher gift included) would be about $5 per student. So far, I have received 10 bucks. Maybe that will change, but just in case, I need to be prepared to cover the cost myself. For instance, I asked parents for a dollar or two per kid to help cover the cost of supplies for a pumpkin decorating contest. I received one dollar!
Anyway, if you could just think of something that your kids have made that is special to you, that you still put out at Christmas, and that seemed simple and inexpensive to make that would be great. Thank you!!!
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L.P. answers from Dallas on November 30, 2010
You can buy a package of foam stickers for 5 bucks at Wal-mart. I get the snowman set with mittens and hats. I cut circles out of black posterboard and punch a hole in the top. The kids put the stickers on to decorate their snow scene and then I have them spread glue at the bottom and sprinkle with white glitter. Tie on a piece of ribbon and you are all set. I also sent the supplies to my daughter's preschool class when she was three. Super easy. Have fun.
J.M. answers from Houston on November 29, 2010
Just for future reference...you will never get money from every parent. I would send a note asking how each parent would like to participate either by sending in food/craft supplies or a monetary donation. You don't need food/supplies from all 18 students. That will be way too much. Whatever they commit to send out reminders so that they feel committed. If you don't get a reply from a parent send a reminder to them stating that you need a donation to cover the cost of the party and teacher gift because it is only your job to organize the party not fund it exclusively.
Regarding crafts, pick something easy to make, requires minimal glue, and something boys and girls with both enjoy. I always had better luck with games than crafts. Most kids love playing games. I've included some of my favorites. Good luck!
Homeroom Party Games
1. Wrap the Gift Race - Give each table of 4 students a shoe box, piece of wrapping paper (that almost perfectly covers the box), strip of ribbon that fits around the box, bow, and tape. The winning team is the one that wraps the present first with wrapping paper completely covering the box. The only rules are that you must use all of the supplies and that each student can only use one hand and the other hand must be kept behind their back at all times. This is a great team building game. You should encourage them to talk to each other and for everyone to cooperate with each other to get the job done. You only want 4 students per table so that they all get the opportunity to participate.
2. The Mitten Challenge Relay - (2 pair of bulky mittens (not gloves), 2 pails/buckets, Hershey's Kisses) Relay Race of 2 teams. First person from each team puts on a pair of mittens , walks down to the pail of Hershey's Kisses, picks up one kiss, unwraps it, eats it, then goes back to the line to give the next person the mittens to put on. The winning team is the first team where each member successfully unwraps and eats a Hershey's kiss while wearing the mittens.
3. Chop Stick Relay - (2 pair of chop sticks, 4 pails/buckets, individually wrapped candy) Relay Race of 2 teams. The object is to move all the candy from one bucket to another by using only Chop Sticks...so of course the smaller the candy the harder it is.
4. Snow Ball Relay Race - (1 straw for each student, 4 buckets/pails, cotton balls) Relay Race of 2 teams. The object is for each student to move a "snow ball" (cotton ball) from one pail to the next by sucking it up to remove it from the pail and then blowing the "snow ball" to the next pail with the straw then sucking it up again to place it into the pail.
5. Candy Cane Pass Relay Race - (1 Candy Cane per student plus extra to cover for breakage, 4 buckets/pails) Relay Race of 2 teams. Line the students up shoulder to shoulder in each team and have the 2 teams face each other. Put one bucket on one end of each line and another bucket on the other end. The object is for each team to pass 10 candy canes down the row from one bucket to the next without touching the candy canes they are passing. Each student will have one candy cane in their hand to use as a hook to transfer each candy cane to the next student. Tell the students that if a candy cane drops and breaks it doesn't count and is removed from the game. If it drops and doesn't break it can be hooked up and remain in the game. Be prepared that many candy canes will get dropped and broken. The winning team is the team that gets the most unbroken candy canes into their bucket the fastest.
For Relay Races - Make sure each line has an equal number of students or have the teacher play to even out the teams. After the first game I usually have them play again to give the other team a chance to win. You can also time them and then see if they can beat their time the second time. Plastic Holiday Buckets can be purchased at Wal-Mart or possibly the Dollar Store.
Stocking Word Scramble: (2 teams) Put letters to a Christmas type word (ornament, Santa etc.) on separate index cards (make 2 sets each team). Put a set of the cards in each stocking (1 for each of 2 teams). The team works to figure out what word it is by arranging the letters. First team to decipher the word wins. I am doing two of these as I do not think they will require much time to complete.
Stocking Candy Relay: (2 teams) Hang stockings from a stocking hanger. Place a large bowl of candy that is hard to scoop or carry. The teams relay to get 1 piece of candy scooped onto the spoon which they have to race to put in the stocking without it falling off the spoon. First team with all team members having delivered their goody to the stocking wins.
Rudolph Relay: Cut out 1/2 dollar size red circles from paper. Spread out on a table. Each student puts Vaseline on their nose and runs to the red dot table and must get a single dot attached to their nose. If it falls off they have to go back and get another dot. First team with all red noses to the finish line wins.
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K.P. answers from New York on November 29, 2010
My mom did this craft with each of our Kindergarten classes! Super super easy, cheap and still hangs on my tree 25 years later!
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V.M. answers from Erie on November 29, 2010
I"m sure you'll get some great ideas. I like Marthastewart.com for christmas crafts she has a section for kids crafts, I want to try making a snowman by stacking different sized white buttons. Usually her ideas are ones you need to playwith a little and adapt. but it might give you an idea.
I don't know how easily you could do this, but my favoritest things the kids have made have been photo ornaments. If you could get a photo of each child, take a camera in an do individual shots and develope them for around 10cents. then you could use a plastic lid off a margerine tub to glue the picture on and have the kids add some foam sticky decorations. one year when i taught preschool i dressed the kids up in old fashioned hats and gloves and feather boas and did the pictures in black and white. too cute.
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J.S. answers from Tampa on November 29, 2010
A very easy and cute ornament idea is to take an old spoon, which can be bought in bulk very inexpensive at thrift stores for under 5 cents each or even less, and bend it at the neck. It would be bent with the concave part of the spoon facing the handle, and the bend is where you hang it on a branch on the tree. Then the kids paint the outside of the spoon with white paint and glue on google eyes and red construction paper and cotton balls for a santa hat and beard, (or felt and tiny pom poms) or you can do other variations for a reindeer with little sticks, etc. You just use whatever you have to decorate. The little foam craft pieces from Michaels work well too. It is very cute when done. I have a few on my tree that I have had for years. I used to do this with my daycare kids. I obviously bent the spoons ahead of time, but the kids did the painting and glue part, and they had a lot of fun. The parents loved them. They lasted much longer than paper ornaments do. I think the goodwill store even sells used flatware for something like 10 pieces for a dollar . Have fun!
1 mom found this helpful
S.Z. answers from Reno on November 29, 2010
Sometimes the school photo company provides extry little photos to use during the year; anything with a kid's photo on it is a big hit. :) Candy cane reindeer are fun - just put a pom pom nose, google eyes and pipe cleaner antlers on a candy cane. Handprint wreaths are nice, too. You can cut out several copies of a child's hands from paper or craft foam and assemble them in a circle, but the one my kids made for me, and I still hang up, is a banner with painted hands. Get cheap flat sheets in white or ivory - it's less expensive then buying fabric at the fabric store, usually - and hot glue trim on the cut edges to keep it from fraying. (Usually you can find flat sheets at Walmart for $4 - $7 each.) Have the kids use their hands as a paint stamp and make a circle of hands for a wreath, with thumb print red berries on it. Glue on a ribbon hanger. An easy handmade ornament that doesn't look handmade is a "pearl" ball; get styrofoam balls and push a white ribbon loop into the top of each and glue it there. Get white cord or very small rope - I've found soft, shiny white rope in the hardware depatment that's SO much cheaper than buying cord at a fabric store! Starting around the loop, wrap it around the whole ball, gluing as you go. When you've wrapped the whole ball in rope, take plastic pearls, the kind pre-strung, and wrap and glue them in the seams of the rope. Paper snowflakes are fun to make, easy, individual, cheap and fun. Don't forget about food gifts, too - a cookie decorated by a child, a mug from the dollar store or a plastic bag cone (like the kind used as a decorating bag for frosting) filled with hot cocoa mix, decorated cupcakes or stovetop candy can be a lot of fun to make, and great gifts! Have fun and don't stress too much!
M.A. answers from Dallas on November 30, 2010
Check out Oriental Trading Company - they have great crafts for cheap!
S.M. answers from Dallas on November 30, 2010
I have 2 ideas. One is a wreath picture frame ornament made out of puzzle pieces. You can buy the kit from oriental trading or you could do it yourself. You'd need a bunch of small puzzle pieces, spray paint them green, use the die cut machine at school to cut out a circle (wreath shape) and have the kids glue the pieces around the shape to make the wreath. You could add red puff paint for the berries, and a bit of red string/yarn/ribbon so it will hang on the tree. Very easy. My second idea is clear plastic/glass ornaments. Have the kids dip their fingers in white paint, and put the finger (from tip to bottom) on the ornament. then use sharpies to add hat, eyes, scarf, whatever. They can write their name on it. You can even get the kind that you fill and let them put cotton balls inside so it looks snowy. Good luck. sorry you are having little help from the other parents. It seems we always have at least 1 class where that is the case. I also suggest that if you don't get money for the teacher gift, just send out a note saying that due to lack of participation, there will not be 1 group gift for the teacher, but feel free to bring individual gifts!
M.C. answers from Dallas on November 30, 2010
What about having each child bring a picture of themselves to class and create an ornament. You could have the parents donate a dollar and then go to Michaels or Joanns and pick up colored glitter. Each child can make an ornament with thier picture, their name and the year. (I still have one that i made with my picture in it from when i was in first grade...and I STILL put it on my christmas tree every year).