Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Party Hats

Yep, I'm still here. I bet you think I've had the whole week off, huh? No, I did have to go in for a couple days, but I've also been out of town here and there, plus I had a battle with the stomach flu. But I do have one more craft to share in 2011. We made party hats to ring in the new year! These were made just like our Fourth of July party hats, so check there for complete instructions. What we did differently this time was use a big roll of white paper instead of construction paper. This worked better because the paper was lighter so the strips hung down easier. Also, I could make the hats longer so they fit all the way around the children's heads. So I set out the hats for the kids to decorate and write "Happy New Year."
Then they flipped it over and glued on stars to the strips of paper.
Some kids even decorated the strips of paper. You just have to remember that this needs to be done on the back so when they hang down, you can see them.
Then I stapled the hats to fit the kids' heads. So easy!

Happy New Year!!

**I know many blogs are doing the Best of 2011 thing, but I've only been up and running since April. However, I did take a peek at my stats to find out what my most popular post was and I was shocked at the number! My Firefighter Hand Print craft was viewed 3,921 times (thanks to Pinterest)! That may not seem like a lot to most of you, but in comparison, the runner-up was viewed 323 times. So now you see why I was so shocked!**

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Gifts

Here is a quick post to share what my kids made for their parents for Christmas. For dads, they painted a small paper plate (with the middle cut out) with green paint,
and then glued on red tri-beads.
When it was dry, I added a ribbon for hanging, a bow, and their picture in the middle.
Quick share: One girl found in the scrap bucket the circles that I cut out of the paper plates and she made a snowman, all by herself. So cute!
For the moms, the kids painted baby food jars with watered-down glue and stuck tissue paper squares all over it, then added another layer of glue.

Then they sprinkled glitter on top of the tissue paper. (Very similar to how we made our stained glass ornaments.)
I put a tea light candle inside and wrapped them up.
My kids also made holiday cards for the residents of a nearby nursing home. I asked parents to bring in old or unused cards (you know, those free ones you tend to get in the mail) and the kids cut them up to make new cards.

On the back I stuck on little labels saying who they were from.
(Having a little fun with Picnik!)

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Class Display

I finally finished this year's holiday display. I actually finished it just in time for our party on Friday, but I'm just now getting around to blogging about it. It all started when I saw these extra big candy canes at Shopko.
I thought of the Grinch, where he takes all the Whos' candy canes when they are asleep in the bed. So I waited until nap time and put the big candy cane next to a sleeping child and took a picture.
Then I found these holiday note cards that my sister gave me years ago.
I thought if I just cut out the middle and put the picture behind the card, it would look kind of like we were peeking in on sleeping children (while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads!). So I did just that and it worked perfectly.
I wrote out, "The children were nestled all snug in their beds..." and put the pictures all over. I also hung up their glittery candy canes to add some sparkle.

I purposely put the letters a little crooked because there was no way I would be able to get them straight no matter how hard I tried. But I think they look cute that way. The parents and other teachers had fun guessing which kids were really sleeping and which ones were faking. (Yes, sadly, I had to pose a few because they were non-nappers!)

Grinch Craft

I love reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas to my class every year, so this year I searched for a craft to go with it. I found one here that inspired me. I drew everything freehand. A Grinch head:
A santa hat:
Two eyes:
And a big smile:
I had the kids do all of the cutting! This was great. I was so proud of them. It was a lot of cutting, but they stuck with it. I reminded them that the Grinch is kind of scruffy, so it didn't matter if they followed the lines exactly. I love how they turned out, with each one being unique. After cutting, they glued the pieces together.
They used a marker to draw in the eyes and a nose. And then I gave them cotton balls to glue onto the hat. They stretched them out along the rim and used a full one on the tip.
Each one is different, and so stinkin' cute!

I could have left them like that, but I used the idea from my inspiration and asked the kids what they could do to make the Grinch grin. I wrote their answers inside the mouth.
And because they kind of looked like muppets to me, I made sure to write "Mr. Grinch" on the wall next to the display.

**Linking up to The Imagination Tree!**

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Handprint Menorahs

To celebrate the first day of Hanukkah today, we made menorahs with our handprints. I got the idea here, but changed it a bit. First the kids made blue handprints on white paper, doing one hand at a time. I helped them make sure that their thumbs overlapped a bit.
Then they traced "Happy Hanukkah" on the bottom of their paper. Finally, they glued crumpled up pieces of orange and yellow tissue paper to the tops of the 8 fingers and "one" thumb to make flames. Because the paint was still wet, they turned their paper upside down so they wouldn't have to worry about reaching across and getting their arms and sleeves blue.
When it was finished, they had a beautiful menorah!

**Linking up to Crafty Moms Share!**

Jolly Little Elves

So I got this idea from somewhere on the web, but I can't seem to find it again. (I know, it's time for me to get on the Pinterest train, right?) I'll keep looking for it, but for now I'll share what we made yesterday because it's slightly different than my inspiration. First I took pictures of the kids making silly faces, then printed them out (5x7 again). I cut out rectangles, shoes, mittens, hats and long strips of construction paper. I accordion-folded the long strips. I also put out some pom poms.

The kids started by gluing the paper strips to the rectangle for arms and legs. Then they glued mittens and shoes on.
I used a stencil for the mittens,
but drew the shoes freehand.
Then they took the hat (which I also drew freehand and I shouldn't have because it turned out terrible, but what can you do when you are in a rush?) and glued on two triangles that were curled on one point. That was supposed to make the hats more elfish, but not all the kids wanted them on.
The kids could also glue on pom poms to the body and hat if they wanted. Then they glued the hat on the picture of their head, and glued their head to the body.

Then they glued mini jingle bells to the tips of the shoes.
Are you ready for the whole picture? This is sooooo cute!

You sure you're ready?!

Told ya! I wanted to hang them from the ceiling, but we have low ceilings and they would have gotten in the way, so I hung them all over the room on different walls.

Everyone loves them!

UPDATE!!!! I found it! I got the idea from Mrs. Morrow's Kingergarten.
**Linking up to The Imagination Tree, Crafty Moms Share, and The Sunday Showcase!**

Sunday, December 18, 2011

YAH: Glass Ball Ornaments

I wanted to show you some ornaments I made for my mother-in-law. I don't think she reads this, so I should be safe. (Sherry, if you are reading this, stop please!) I had a few glass ball ornaments from last year, and I had a ton of little odds-n-ends in my craft box, so I decided to put 2 and 2 together. The hard part was coming up with ideas that actually worked, because lots of my little things didn't fit through the neck of the ornament, which was a major bummer. But I'm happy with those that did work out. The first one has a small tree, stuck to the bottom with a pop-up glue dot, and some white glitter for snow. I tied a bow at the top.
Another one I filled with fake snow and wrote "joy" in glittery self-adhesive letters. This one has a flat front.
The third one has pine branches, red berries, and a small pine cone inside.
And the last one was filled with white glitter again, and had jingle bells hanging down. I also added a wreath to the flat front.

Each of these ornaments took less than 2 minutes to make, and most of it was "free" (things I already had), but what took the longest was deciding on what to do. This was my work space:
Not fun. I walked away several times because I was getting frustrated when something I wanted to do wasn't working. But I'm glad that I kept coming back because I really like the four ornaments that came to be. I hope Sherry does, too.