Choosing the Right Christmas Craft

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There are so many great crafts being shared on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram during the holidays, but how do you choose from the plethora of crafts to find one that your little learners will enjoy.  Here are some things I consider before sitting down with my little ones to create a Christmas craft together.

Choosing the Right Christmas Craft for Your Little Learners - MJCS

Choosing the RIGHT Activity

Many crafts and holiday projects may be cute, but not at all right for your child. As you pick holiday activities for your little ones please keep in mind their age, ability level and interests.

My son is 4 years old and I have seen some great activities that 4 year olds would LOVE to do, but they might not be right for mine! And let’s be honest where is the fun for my children when I am completing the majority of the craft?!?! My two year old would find no pleasure in anything SHE cannot do on her own (I’m sure anyone who knows toddlers can relate)

A Simple Christmas Craft - Washi-Tape Ornament - MJCS

Too Much Prep Time

How many reindeer antlers do I have to cut?  How much pasta do I have to dye?  All before we can even start the craft…no thank you!

When you plan a Christmas craft with your little ones, PLEASE don’t spend the whole time prepping!  If you can’t prep their activity in 5 minutes…JUST SAY NO!  Too much prep time is clue #1 that this activity is probably not on their level.

The point of kids’ crafts is for the KIDS to complete and fun activity that they enjoy.  Don’t waste time preparing for fun with your kids and students…ENJOY that time WITH them instead.

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Have Some FUN!

It’s important to know what your little ones are capable of and what they show interest in doing.  If you little one is interested in the craft itself, materials for the craft or the subject matter of the craft…it’ll be an activity they’ll enjoy.

For example, my son LOVE all things fine motor and spends all of 30 seconds painting.  I will not be choosing a Christmas craft where he needs to paint a whole paper plate to make a tree because he wouldn’t enjoy it, however gluing scrap paper onto the plate would be a completely different story. (Side note: my daughter would TOTALLY pick the paint)

A Simple Christmas Craft - Washi-Tape Ornament - MJCS

Crafting IS Learning

Am I saying NOT to do crafts this holiday with your little learners…NO WAY!  Crafting is learning in early childhood and there is no better way to disguise learning as play than a fun and engaging craft.  Fine motor development, color recognition, writing, scissor skills, shape recognition and so many more skills are incorporated in a wide variety of crafts.

When you skip these developmental essential skills and go straight to the strictly academic learning you are creating a void in your early learners’ foundation.  Let them play and learn while they complete an age appropriate craft.

A Simple Christmas Craft - Washi-Tape Ornament - MJCS

Washi-Tape Ornament

One craft that was right on target for my little man was our washi-tape ornament.  This washi-tape ornament was super simple and fun for Grayson.  I picked up washi-tape and clear ornaments from the dollar store, put the rolls on the Lakeshore dispenser found here, gave him scissors and he went to town.

He was able to practice his scissor, spatial and fine motor skills while building his vocabulary with words like, long, short, round, bumpy and more!  Once the whole ornament was covered…I mean every bet…he put it on our Christmas tree to enjoy all season!

A Simple Christmas Craft - Washi-Tape Ornament - MJCS

Providing little ones with a variety of experiences as they celebrate this holiday season are more important than having the most adorable crafts in the hallway (that you did mostly yourself anyways)!  We are sticking to simple, fun, and age appropriate crafts this holiday that I know my kiddos will enjoy and if you are teaching little learners I hope you do they same.

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progress monitoring in the early elementary classroom for math, literacy and reading