Friday, January 8, 2016

Christmas Toddler Craft Round-Up

I thought I'd take a moment and share the activities and crafts we did month (December). Realizing that it was going to be an incredibly busy month, I was on the ball early (I'm not usually half so organized!) and had a whole calendar written out before December even started. (I have one written out for January, too, so hopefully this trend will continue!)

Some of these are art process projects, some are more traditional crafts, and some are newer ideas. The kids were really into Christmas this year (I think they remembered some from last year) and got very excited whenever we did anything "Christmasy" - even if it was just painting for a "Christmas craft" lol. ;)

Our counting wall. We always have something seasonal up on the wall to practice our counting with, so this time we did ornaments. I had the kids paint a big piece of paper with glitter paint, that I then cut into 20 circles and attached the tops to make ornaments (although I feel they're out of scale somehow - the struggle of being an art-challenged nanny, sigh.)

Michaels has had a great assortment of cheap craft kids lately. I picked up this bracelet kit for $1.29 and it had enough for three projects. As much as I love homemade craft projects, sometimes it's nice to be able to grab something prepackaged and all-included in a pinch! :) This is great fine motor skill practice; we also worked on patterns and color recognition as they worked on "green, red, white" order.
I was confessing on Instagram that I rarely do "invitation to play" crafts because they can get so out of control so fast; however, this one was so worth it! I adapted it from this pin and put out pompoms, pipe cleaners cut into 1/2" lengths, red, silver, and gold glitter, pony beads in red, yellow, and green, and sequins. The kids took forever filling up their bottles (bonus!) and then played with them nonstop for over an hour, rolling them back and forth, having "races," and just shaking them up and watching them settle.
I created these simple "order puzzles" for one of our circle times. The kids struggled more than I expected to complete them!
We played this counting game at the same circle time; throw the dice and find the Christmas tree with the same number of stickers.
Torn paper collages are fun, and we've done several different seasonal themes. This time I let the kids use scissors for part of the time, which they enjoyed, but got frustrated/tired with easily.
Another really fun activity, especially for Miles (who often tires of being told to "stop banging on things" - he kept banging on the buttons with the hammer, then looking at me like, "Can I really hit it?" lol). Oversized buttons, crab hammers, and styrofoam cones. We have to figure out a way to reuse these cones, or else save them for next year - they were easily one of the more expensive craft supplies I've ever bought!
Super-easy craft, making pipe-cleaner and pony bead candycanes for the tree.
The kids were able to do this craft completely by themselves this year. I did the cutting, but they did the gluing and positioning without any help. :)
Another easy ornament craft - popsicle stick trees. (I swear they're almost totally painted in real life, I don't know why the glitter glue won't show up on the camera!)
Cinnamon-dough ornaments. The kids loved mixing the dough and enjoyed playing with it for a bit before making the handprints. We followed up this craft several days later by painting the handprint ornaments.
The kids LOVED getting to paint their hands lol.
Sometimes our crafts turn out more "Fail" than "pinterest" lol
We did this after dinner one night with all four kiddos. Right before we turned them loose, I told DB that I had the sudden feeling I was making the biggest mistake of my nanny career ;) but it ended up being a relatively mess free craft and one that they definitely enjoyed!

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