Lessons & Classroom Games for Teachers
Teachers can harness the excitement of Christmas for educational purposes with lessons about the holiday and the customs that surround it. When teaching about Christmas, use art projects to provide children with hands-on extension activities, fostering a greater understanding of the traditions and symbols that are associated with the holiday.
Christmas trees are one of the quintessential symbols of the holiday season. After teaching your students about the history and significance of the Christmas tree, set up an art project for them so they can create their own Christmas trees. Provide students with craft sticks, instruct them to paint the sticks green and assemble them into the shape of a triangle, forming Christmas trees. They can glue sequins and faux gemstones onto their trees as ornaments and glue a loop of yarn onto the back to create an ornament. For another option, set out green finger paint; instruct children to dip their hands into the finger paint and press them several times onto paper, forming the shape of a triangle, or a Christmas tree. For ornaments, students can dip their fingertips into different colors of paint and press them onto their trees.
Santa Claus is another quintessential symbol of the Christmas season. Teach your students about the history of the jolly elf, and further their excitement by engaging them in Santa Claus-themed art activities. For a simple art project, have children glue a red construction paper triangle onto the top of a paper plate and paint the central portion peach. After the paint dries, have them draw facial features on the peach portion and glue cotton balls onto the bottom section of the plate, creating a beard for the elf. Using red construction paper, children can create a Santa hat that they can wear. Simply form a piece of red construction paper into a cone and secure it with tape or glue. Glue cotton balls around the base of the cone and one on top; punch two holes on either side of the base of the hat and insert yarn through the holes. Use the yarn to tie the Santa hats in place.
Have your students create wreaths to decorate your classroom or that they can use to decorate their homes. One option is to cut the center out of a paper plate and glue crumpled pieces of green tissue paper around the perimeter of the plate. Students can glue a piece of ribbon tied into a bow onto the bottom of their paper plate wreaths. Or have students trace their hands onto green construction paper and glue the hands together into the shape of a circle, forming a wreath.
Reindeer are another Christmas-related symbol that can serve as a theme for Christmas art activities in the classroom. Have students trace one of their feet onto dark brown construction paper and both of their hands onto light brown construction paper and cut all of the prints out. The handprints can be glued to the top of the footprint, forming the antlers for a deer. Students can use markers to add facial features to their creations. Or paint a craft stick brown and glue two brown pipe cleaners to the top as antlers. Googly eyes and a pom-pom nose complete the project.