Oh Christmas Tree!

Yesterday morning I was stuck in a rut. I had no idea what to do with my students. I had no time to prep crafting materials for multiple children so I scoured Pinterest for a winter activity. I came across this cute idea of a pipe cleaner Christmas Tree. An activity that is easy to talk during and works on motor skills? Perfect! The tree featured on the Pink and Green Mama blog is a store bought kit so I got to thinking how I could make it from materials I already had. I rummaged through my craft box at work and lucky for me I had all the necessary materials.

Whit’s Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree

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Ages: Preschoolers and Kindergarteners
Materials: Green pipe cleaners, wooden dowel, wooden block, hot glue gun, craft beads, scissors
1) Apply hot glue to one end of the dowel. Place it in the center of the block and let dry.
2) Wrap the pipe cleaners around the dowel so that the two ends stick out. Scissors may be used to cut pipe cleaners in half to vary the length of the “branches.”
3) Hot glue a “star” on top of the tree.
4) Give the child some beads and have he/ she string the beads on the pipe cleaners to “trim the tree.”

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Result: The kids loved it! They were actually fighting for the next turn. This tree is easy to make and fun to play!
Warning: Monitor small children when using beads!

Fall Craft: Squirrels

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It is a difficult task trying to teach about fall when it is 80 degrees outside :(. Yet fall is one of my favorite times of  year, so I decided to take a different approach this year. I chose to focus on animals and how their actions relate to preparing for winter. Most of my students are city kids, so I decided to start with squirrels rather than deer or bears.

I stumbled upon this cute book Nuts to You by Lois Ehlert.  After reading the story the students made squirrels to put in my “speech tree.”

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How many squirrels can you find?

Here is how to make your own squirrels:

Materials needed: liquid glue (think Elmer’s), construction paper (I used black, dark brown, and white), poster board or cardboard, a pencil, scissors, and feathers.

1. Create a template of  squirrel parts using the pencil and poster board.

2. Cut out your template pieces.

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3. Trace your template pieces onto your desired color of construction paper. You should make 1 head, 1 body, 2 arms , 2 ears, and 2 legs per squirrel. Cut all of your pieces out.

5. On your background paper glue all the pieces together to form your squirrel. Add eyes and a nose to the face.  The feather will serve as the tail.

Additional add ons can include yarn whiskers, an acorn or some seeds, or googly eyes.

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Want more activities? Click here or here

Enjoy!