1-2-3 Come Do Some Christmas Craftivities With Me
If you'd like to put a lid on the question: How many more days 'til Christmas vacation? make a countdown craftivity. Last week, I designed one with a gingerbread using a paper chain, so you could work on patterning, but if you'd like your kiddo's to see and practice real numbers, then you might want to make either Santa's Countdown Beard or the Finger Print Wreath.
Counting down the days to Christmas, by gluing a cotton ball on a numbered circle, is not my original idea.
I've seen it many times, in a variety of ways, all over the Internet, so I thought I'd draw a Santa and give this idea a whirl too. Click on the link to view/download the Santa's Countdown.
Make one for your class and take turns having students glue a cotton ball on each day, or run off a copy for each child and set this up as a daily center.
An easy way to set up independent centers, without taking up a lot of room, is to use TV trays. Simply keep all of your students' Santa's in a basket on one of the trays and a bottle of glue and a container of cotton balls on another.
If you'd like an alternative to Santa, I also designed a Countdown to Christmas Wreath.
So that you can reinforce the fact that December has 31 days, both the Santa and wreath have numbers to 31.
Have students circle the 25th with a red or green crayon so they can readily see that special day.
Students can opt for a paper-heart "bow" or a real ribbon one. For the added "awww-dorable" factor, have children glue a photo in the center.
To countdown days, students press their thumb onto a red stamp pad and place it on the appropriate day. Click on the link to view/download the Countdown Wreath.
If you're looking for some other keepsake wreath activities, finger painting one was a Y5's favorite.
Because learning colors was one of our standards, I'd often have students mix 2 primary ones to make a secondary color.
This also was a teachable moment for reviewing equations: Yellow + Blue = Green. A "magical" way to do this, is by fingerpainting.
Put a dollop of yellow and a much smaller dot of blue on their tag board wreath cut out. Children swirl and mix 'til they have a pretty shade of green.
My kiddo's often squealed in delight: "Mrs. H. come quick! Come see! My paint is green!" Their joy was worth the bit of mess.
Set aside to dry. Later, students add finger print holly berries and glue the poem in the middle: "I made this pretty wreath for you. I made it mixing yellow and blue. Yellow + blue as you have seen, makes a lovely Christmas green. The red berries--I'll give you a hint, are made from someone's finger print. This wreath is a circle it has no end. It's like my love, that I now send." Click on the link to view/download the Fingerpainted Wreath Craftivity.
Another idea is to draw a circle in the center of a large square of tag board. Paint child's hand with green paint and have them press it around the circle to make a wreath. (To keep things bright, paint-press; paint-press etc.)
My son, Jason, did this activity in Y5's 29 years ago and I still have it somewhere in the basement! Click on the link to see a tutorial of another mom doing this with her daughter Elsie.
Instead of paper, she used fabric. To make a fabric project do-able for a class, simply have students bring in a plain white pillowcase.
Reindeer are the perfect animals for making hand and foot print "craftivities." I've designed several for you to choose from.
The Lunch Bag Reindeer is A wonderful keepsake art project that makes a great manipulative to whole group assess spatial directions, and body part identification.
My personal favorite reindeer "craftivity" is Rudy. His head is made by tracing a child's foot with their shoe on. The antlers of course are hand prints cut from a darker shade of brown construction paper.
Add a neck and wreath collar and you have an adorable keepsake. The poem on the collar: "These are my finger prints oh so small, that I left on your heart and every wall. This is my hand you used to hold, when I was only ____ years old."
Ribbon, wiggle eyes, a red pom pom nose and a photo of the child, add those finishing touches. Click on the link to view/download the Reindeer Hand and Foot Print Crafts.
Also in this packet is Reindeer Noses. "Sliders" are a quick, easy and fun way to whole group assess, in this case, 2D shapes.
To review an ABAB pattern as well, have students alternate coloring the shapes red and black. Call out a shape; students slide to it and hold it in the air.
Call on quiet students to continue to choose shapes 'til all have been reinforced. You can see at a glance who is is having difficulty. I'm designing The Reindeer's Nose easy reader today; so I hope you can stop by tomorrow to grab that freebie as a nice language arts follow up.
The last craftivity in the reindeer keepsake packet features a reindeer that students color. You can add wiggle eyes and a pom pom nose as well. Call students up to the painting center and paint their hand a dark shade of brown. Press to make antlers.
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"To dance with the moon, you need only become friendly with the dreams of a reindeer." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some More Gingerbread Activities With Me
I decided to design some easy readers that cover a variety of standards using a gingerbread theme.
I hope you'll enjoy the Let's Count Gingerbread packet. Students trace and write the number; color it, and circle it in the sequence. They also add end punctuation to the sentences.
I've included 2 different sets of gingerbread number cards to 20, with a 2-page tip list of all sorts of things you can do with them, including games like Kaboom; + several "trace & write the number" worksheets, as well as a few "What's Missing?" activities and a traceable bookmark you can use as an assessment tool.
When students have completed the packet, you can give them a certificate of praise. Click on the link to view/download the Let's Count Gingerbread packet.
One of my most downloaded easy-readers are the 10-Frame booklets, so I wanted to make one for gingerbread. Click on the link to grab the 1-2-3 Count Gingerbread With Me one.
Finally, one of my Y5's favorite gingerbread activities started with me giving them a gingerbread cookie.
If you're not a baker (I am not; the 1st time I attempted brownies, my son said they tasted like hockey pucks(!) and I'm wondering when he bit into one of those?) you can buy a box of Keebler gingerbread cookies or another brand. They always have them in the grocery stories in December.
Any hoo, I told my students to take only 1 bite and then to freeze. We graphed who bit off what part of the gingerbread.
In the 10 years I taught Y5's, every year the head was bit off the most, and my quieter students almost always bit off an arm. I wonder if one can draw any conclusions from these experiments?
If you'd like to do this with your kiddo's I included a graph of the parts, as well as a graph of who does and doesn't like gingerbread.
These can be found in the Our Gingerbread Class Book packet. Students fill in their name and what part of the gingerbread they bit off first and then draw a picture. Collect the pages, collate and make a class book.
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"A little sugar, a lot of spice, a woman shaped him … oh so nice. He’s made of dough, with a golden tan; the closest thing to the perfect man!" -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some More Gingerbread Activities With Me
I LOVE drawing gingerbread boys and girls. Each one has their own personality. I try to give them that cuteness factor with special eyes and grins. Since the "craftivities" I post are pretty popular, I decided to revamp a few favorites.
Gingerbread Cookie Counting now has a variety of traceable number sequences. Choose one for your kiddo's to trace and write. I've included counting to 20, counting backwards from 10 to 0 or 20 to 0 + skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's, or 10's.
Children cut and collate their little booklet and staple the edge. Glue the last page on the box on the gingerbread's belly and you're all set. Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread Cookie Counting packet.
Look closely at the picture and you'll see that the cheek portion of the gingerbread is a pocket! Students paint 2 paper plates brown. When they are dry, cut one in half and staple it bottom-up, to the "face" of the gingerbread man to make a pocket.
Children decorate their pocket to look like a gingerbread man's face, and fill with a variety of little accordion-folded books. I up-dated this packet so that all of the booklets are now traceable. There are strips for counting to 36, skip counting by 2's, 3's 5's, and 10's.
I've also included templates for the hexagon, pentagon and octagon shapes. Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread Pocket Pal.
Every month I put up a new paper chain that contained a link for each day in the month. I used it to review a variety of standards. We'd count the links and subtract one by tearing it off; we'd identify the colors in English and Spanish and state what the pattern was.
Children would count how many were left in English and then up to 10 in Spanish. Students told me that the number of links was greater yesterday than they were today etc.
As a great fine motor skill, I'd sometimes have my Y5's make their own paper chains. They could take it home, hang it up and countdown the days to whatever special occassion was happening that month. I designed the gingerbread paper chain with all of this in mind. Click on the link to view/download it.
Another fun way to get some number recognition and counting sequences in, is to have students put together gingerbread 10-piece number-strip puzzles. There's one that counts to 10, another that counts backwards and finally one that counts by 10's.
Print, laminate and trim and have students place the pieces on the numbered grid, or run off copies for everyone; they trim and then glue back together. Click on the link to view/download the gingerbread puzzles.
I made a gingerbread dice game with a 6-piece puzzle as well. Students pick a partner and take turns rolling the dice. Whatever number they roll, they place that numbered puzzle piece on the grid. The first one to complete their puzzle is the winner.
I've also included a black and white set if you want to run off copies for all of your kiddo's. They color and trim.
They can either glue their rolled pieces to the grid, or place them on so that they can take their gingerbread puzzle home and play again. Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread 6-Piece Puzzle packet.
I hope your students will also enjoy the Gingerbread Number Fun packet. This 33-page packet is chock full of all sorts of activities to help students recognize numbers; add and subtract; make groups and sets; show greater and less than; and count from any number.
I've included gingerbread number cards from 1 to 126, with a blank template for you to program with more. There's also trace and write the number worksheets, "what's missing?" worksheets + skip counting activities by 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's. Skip counting bookmarks to use as rewards, are also included. Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread Number Fun packet.
Finally, since the Clothespin Number Matching games have been so popular, I decided to make some winter ones as well, and started with gingerbread. Click on the link to view/download the Gingerbread Clothespin Number Matching Game.
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I design and blog daily so I hope you can stop by tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES.
"Come sit at my table and share with me, warm gingerbread cookies and cinnamon tea." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some Gingerbread Activities With Me!
I really enjoy it when teachers contact me with special requests, so when Carol in Wisconsin, asked me for some gingerbread alphabet cards to go with her big themed-unit in December, I happily got to work.
To help reinforce Common Core State Standards, I also included a trace and write upper and lowercase worksheet as well as a match the uppercase letter to the lowercase letter one.
There's 5 different assessments + a 3-page tip list of what to do with the cards, including games like Kaboom.
To review even more standards I designed 2 gingerbread sliders and included slider strips for counting numbers to 30; counting backwards from 10 to 0 and 20 to 0; skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's, and 10's; shapes, + upper and lowercase letters. You can use these to review, assess, and play games with.
Students trace the numbers/letters/shapes. I encouraged an ABAB pattern using red and green markers.
For that finishing touch allow students to decorate with wiggle eyes, ribbons, rhinestones, buttons and glitter. I used white puffy paint for the "frosting." My kiddo's loved that; so easy, but so "Wow!" Click on the link for the Gingerbread Sliders.
I also started working on the winter time cards, and completed the gingerbread ones. The packet includes digital and analog time to the hour and half hour, with a cover to make an Itty Bitty booklet + a tip list of how to use the cards. Click on the link for the Gingerbread Time Cards
I tried to graph every day with my Y5's. Pretty soon the light bulb comes on for everyone. A graph was always part of our table top lessons, and I think my kiddo's really enjoyed coloring and filling in their worksheets.
By switching things up via a theme, interest remained high. I often used shapes inside the themed-item, so that I could review yet another standard. This packet also includes a game. Click on the link for the Gingerbread Graphing Activities
Finally, I also designed the ever-popular shape matching game with a gingerbread theme. I feel as with the above lessons, if you change an activity with a new theme, things stay fresh. Students also feel empowered because they know what to do an can get right down to business. Click on the link for the Gingerbread Shape Games
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I design and blog daily so I hope you can pop in tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES. I have lots more gingerbread goodies that I'm excited to share.
"A cookie a day chases sadness away; an entire jar brings it back!" -Unknown