"Deck the halls" with these holiday art projects.
You will need an empty cheese ball container or similar cylinder shape with a lid. Cut a piece of paper so you can roll it and put it in the cylinder. Take two jingle bells. Drop one in red paint and the other in green paint. Use a spoon to transfer the bells to the can. Put on the lid, then shake up the can as you sing "Jingle Bells." Take out the paper and you'll have a jingle bell painting!


Ask parents to send in old greeting cards. Children can make lacing cards out of these. First, punch holes around the edges; then they sew with yarn. (Wrap the end of the yarn with masking tape to make a needle.) Children also can make crayon rubbings from cards that have a relief. Little books, puzzles, collages, and other creative projects can be made with greeting cards, wrapping paper scraps, and leftover ribbons.


Children can glue puzzle pieces to a cardboard frame.
Attach a strip of magnetic tape to the back, so it can be used on the refrigerator.

Another useful gift is a key rack or belt hanger.
Collect wood scraps from a building site. (Ask permission first!) Have children decorate the wood with markers, paints, or crayons. Let them hammer in 3-4 nails, add a hook on the back, and there's a great gift.

The "Golden Shoe" continues to be the all time favorite gift for parents. Look in December, 1999, for this project.

Picture frames are always popular with parents.
Simply cut out the shape of a frame from cardboard. (4" x 6" works well) Let children glue buttons on the frame.
Insert a photograph or self-portrait with the caption: "Cute as a Button."


Bring in sale flyers and holiday advertisements.
Help each child make a "Wish Book" by folding several sheets of white paper in a construction paper cover.
Punch two holes in the left side and tie with yarn or ribbon. Children can cut out pictures of toys they want, or ask them to cut out items they would like to give others.
Encourage children to write sentences or label their books. Older children will be challenged by making an "ABC Wish Book." Finding a toy or item for each letter of the alphabet will keep them busy a long time!


These activities reflect my beliefs and traditions, but it is important to be sensitive to the different cultures in your classroom. Have children bring in photographs of how their families celebrate. Read books about how different cultures celebrate. Encourage parents to visit your classroom and share different customs, foods, and holidays.

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