Best Christmas Cards To Make With Young Children

It’s that time of year again!  Time to spread Christmas cheer by sending a few Christmas cards to friends and family near and far…

I have spent the past few years searching for Christmas cards easy enough for preschoolers to make at home.  Here are my favourite cards to make with young children.  Even toddlers will be able to do a bit of sponge painting and printing on these cards.  My eldest enjoyed making the samples and printing a few for his teachers as well.

Fingerprint Christmas Lights

1. Fingerprint Christmas Lights

    Yes, it’s that easy.  Just pour some different coloured washable paint onto a paper plate or into a paint pot and let your child dip his/her fingers in the paint and stamp it onto a piece of construction paper folded in half.
    You can use a Sharpie to connect the “lights” when the paint dries.  Older children can do this step on their own.

 

2. Finger-printed Candy Cane

Fingerprint Candy Cane

Materials:  Green construction paper, red and white paint, and a sharpie

You just need red and white paint for this one.  You can draw a faint pencil outline of a candy cane for children to follow when they print on the paper if they need the guidance.

    For additional mathematical learning discuss the pattern you have made:  (red, white, red, white or A,B,A,B…)

3. Handprint Holly Leaves

Handprint Holly Leaves

Materials:  White construction paper, green and red paint, and a sharpie

    Paint your child’s hand green and press it twice upside down onto your construction paper card.  I like to have wet wipes on hand to get most of the paint off before we make our way to the sink to wash up.
    Paint a finger red and stamp it at the top of your holly to make the berries.

4. Hand-printed Reindeer

Handprint Reindeer

Materials:  Construction Paper, paint, googly eyes, red or black pom-pom

Paint your child’s hand brown (you can choose to paint 4 or all 5 fingers).  Then, press it onto your construction paper card.  When the paint dries, add googly eyes and a pom-pom nose.  Optional:  add red and green or red and white fingerprints around the reindeer for decoration.

5. Sponge-painted Christmas Trees

Sponge-painted Christmas Trees

Materials: Construction paper, paint, square sponge, circular sponge, sequins

I used a circular sponge to create one of these trees and a rectangular sponge to create the other.  You can use the rectangle sponge to print gifts under the tree as well. Decorate with sequins or make ornaments using a Q-tip dipped in paint.

Best Halloween Crafts for Young Children

Best Halloween Crafts for Young Children

It’s my favourite time of year. The leaves are changing colours, the weather is getting cooler (now that I am in the U.K. and no longer living in California ;-), and pumpkin treats have made their appearance in all my favourite coffee shops. It’s almost Halloween!

There are so many cute Halloween crafts to do with young children.  I discovered several when I manned the craft table at our local toddler group.  Here is a list of my all-time favourites including links:

Masking Tape Mummy

Masking Tape Mummy

 

 

 

 

 

This is a cute and relatively mess-free craft:

https://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2013/10/mummy-halloween-craft-kids.html

Apple Print Pumpkins

Apple-printed Pumpkins

Just slice some apples in half.  Push a craft stick into the back of the apple to create a handle for your little one to hold. Then dip the apple stamp into orange paint to make pumpkin shapes on your paper.  When the pumpkin shapes dry, draw faces on them with a black sharpie.  https://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Nature/appleprintpumpkins/appleprintpumpkins.html

Handprint Frankenstein

Paint your child’s palm green and four fingers black.  Then press your child’s hand onto a white piece of paper.  Add googly eyes and draw on some black plugs either side of the head.  This a cute keepsake to pull out every Halloween.

 

https://www.momdot.com/frankenstein-handprints-craft-easy-halloween/

Q-Tip Skeleton

 This is a great craft for  older children and a good way to learn the names of the bones.  Sing “Dem Bones” as you do this craft with your kids.

For complete instructions of this crafts click on the following link:  https://www.thriftyfun.com/Halloween-Q-Tip-Skeleton.html

Handprint Spider and Other Halloween Handprint Crafts

Here is another fun handprint craft for young children.  Paint their hands black, press them onto some construction paper and add googly eyes and a web when they dry.

Handprint Spider

 

 

Halloween Handprint Crafts

Here is a link for a more complete instructions for the Handprint Spider: https://ipinnedit.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/handprint-spider-halloween-craft/

Footprint Ghosts

This is one of my favourite Halloween crafts.  I first did it with my eldest son when he was 18 months old.  I love looking at his little footprints every Halloween when I get out our old crafts to decorate the house.  Make sure you have some wet wipes handy to wipe the white paint off of little feet.  Trace your child’s hand and arm (up to the elbow) onto brown paper to make the tree.

Footprint Ghosts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Where The Wild Things Are” Monster

Get a green paper bag or paint a brown bag green. Next, add some egg carton eyes, pasta piece nose, sharp fangs, horns, claws, and spots to create your own Halloween monster.

Make Your Own Monster

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spooky Cereal Boxes

Decorate cereal boxes to make some spooky touchy, feely containers for your next Halloween party.

Spooky Cereal Boxes
Frankenstein Boxes

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy these Halloween crafts.  Let me know if you have others to recommend.

Happy Halloween!  

Still Life Learning

shading practice
orchid sketch

Every other week my 7-year-old has a creative task to complete for homework.  This usually has something to do with a topic they are learning about in class. This spring the topic is plants and growing.

Ollie was asked to look carefully at a plant and draw what it looks like. Then, he had to label the plant parts he could identify.

It was a wet day in the U.K. so I asked if he would like to sketch one of my indoor plants. He chose the orchids.

Here is how I extended the learning of this assignment.

  1. I explained he was about to do a ‘still life’ drawing and defined the phrase.  Still Life – A collection of inanimate (non-living) objects arranged together in a specific way.
  2. We looked at a few famous still life painting like Apples and Grapes by Claude Monet, Vase With Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh (I reminded him that we saw one of the Sunflowers paintings at the National Gallery in London to make the real life connection), Apples and Oranges by Paul Cezanne, and Vanitas by Pieter Claesz.
  3. I pulled up a few orchid sketches on Google images so my son could see the techniques artists use to make a 2-dimensional drawing appear 3-D.
  4. I introduced the concept of shading. My son loves to draw so he was really excited about this. We watched this inspiring YouTube video on shading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzszH9BN_hI
  5. Next, I left my son to his orchid sketch.
  6. Ollie labeled the plant parts he knew.
  7. We used Google images to look at labeled plants and learn a couple of new plant parts to add to his sketch. We only added two new ones so he would remember them. I know he will learn more when he is older so I kept it simple and only introduced two new plant labels.

Starry, Starry Night Craft

Starry, Starry Night Craft for Children

This is a fun craft for all ages. Recreate Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting Starry, Starry Night by swirling washable paint around an aluminium foil surface with a Q-tip.

Materials:

  • cardboard or card
  • aluminium foil
  • tape
  • washable paint (white, yellow, dark blue, light blue)
  • Q-tips

Instructions:

  1. Cover a piece of card with aluminium foil and tape it down in the back.
  2. Put out all of the colours of paint with a Q-tip in each colour.
  3. Have fun swirling and sliding the paint along the foil surface a la Van Gogh.

Printing:

    My four-year-old decided to press another foil-covered cardboard piece on top of his painting to make two prints.  This looked nice as well (almost like a Monet Impressionist piece).
    *Remember to let your children follow their ideas however much they deviate from the original.  I like to have a go myself so I can create my own piece that really looks like Van Gogh. It is interesting to see what my children come up with when I give them the art materials and the idea. It is never what I expect and I guess this is the point of the activity.