Kindergarten Christmas Tips - Keep it simple and enjoy the season!
Its December, a crazy time of the school year. Kindergarten Christmas days are filled with glitter, glue, Christmas concerts and parties.
School and home routines are often changed at this time of the year and your students may be tired and easily upset. For a happier classroom be sure to give the kids time to play and create in an unhurried, relaxed atmosphere.
Remember the golden rule of teaching kindergarten so you, the parents and the kids all have fun "Keep it Simple".
For ideas to simplify your Christmas season, read the Kindergarten christmas tips below.
Kindergarten Christmas tip #1- ask parents to help with craft preparations
- Include "help with cutting out crafts" in the volunteer list I send home in September
- There are always one or two parents that cannot help in the classroom, but do not mind cutting things out in the evenings.
- Create a Christmas cutting out list for these parents and save it for future years.
- Don't worry if crafts are not cut out perfectly, as the kids don't care
- Keep a finished sample, samples of the cut out pieces and a list of how many pieces you need for the class in an individual Ziploc type bag
- Give the "cutting out parents" the baggies and the materials
- Written instructions can be vague, so always supplement them with samples of the craft
- Save a baggie of each craft and next year it will be easy to hand the instructions and samples to your new "cutting out parents"
As teachers of young children, we can take things like cutting out piles of star shapes for granted. I had to teach some parents not to cut out items one at a time and how to fold the papers to cut out a whole pile of items quickly. If your parents do not have good sharp scissors, lend them a pair or your crafts will have soft torn looking edges.
Kindergarten Christmas tip #2-use name labels
- Some children produce an abundance of crafts at this time of the year and it can be difficult for them to print their names on bumpy or small surfaces
- The novelty of name stickers ensures that items are correctly labeled so the children can take them home before the holidays.
- Teach them to press the labels on firmly.
- Another benefit of using labels is that the children have practice scanning the page for their names.
Purchase Avery Inkjet White Labels and then go to the Avery website and download a free template for the label size (copy the number from the box without the 0 to get your template) you have purchased. I use small labels and print sheets with about 6 of each childs name and leave it on the craft table.
Kindergarten Christmas tip #3- Make big tracers
- Make a pile of fairly large Christmas tracers that can be used over and over for years
- Mark all tracers with large Xs and teach kids that the shapes with big Xs are for tracing only or some children will use them for their crafts
- Use medium weight cardboard and make shapes for candleholders (with candles), candy canes, Christmas trees, ball shape ornaments, bells, doves and stars.
- Some children will spend a long time drawing on, coloring and decorating their ornaments, others will quickly cut it out, put a hanger on it and be off to build with blocks.
Kindergarten Christmas tip #4- Make a Christmas imagination station
- Use two lids from photocopier paper boxes. The sides are high enough to keep the materials from falling out and they are easily available so you can throw them out when they get ratty. Small baskets placed inside keeps a semblance of order. Collect material throughout year, keep it in see through bags in a Xmas box and reload the imagination station every few days.
- Put a single hole punch, glue sticks, scissors, white glue in little jam jars with short stir sticks, 6" lengths of twist tie wire and tape in the little containers in the box.
- Load the imagination station with squares of wax paper (teach kids to place one under each craft or it will glue to the table), bits of Mylar plastic, reflective ribbon, colored tissue - light and dark, transparent papers, cellophane paper in different colors, old glittery Christmas cards and sequins.
- For ornament hangers use twist tie wire which comes in a roll, cut in 6 lengths or pipe cleaners cut in half. The kids poke a hole in their creations, thread the wire through and twist the ends. With a bit of instruction, most can do this independently.
Create three zones to the kindergarten Christmas imagination station:
- Tracing zone One with tracers, papers, and scissors.
- Decorating zone with the above glues and materials.
- Drying zone Important to have this close by. If the craft is not too gluey it can go right on the bulletin board.
I have found that glitter needs a bit more supervision and instruction or large mounds of glue and glitter quickly build up. I set up a time to glitter and have a parent supervise the amount of glue and glitter that is used.
Kindergarten Christmas tip #5 - Get ready for January before you go home
- Send all the children's decorations, crafts, paintings, etcetra home before the last day of school in December.
- Eat early so there is time to clean up the mess while the children look at books or do puzzles.
- Take down all Christmas decorations, put up January's bulletin board basics and prepare an easy day activity for the first day back.
- Go home and do not think about school until January (except to visit kindergarten-lessons.com of course!).