Saturday, December 5, 2015

Holiday Traditions

Christmas is my favorite.time.of.year.
I love everything about this time of year. From the cold weather, sparkling lights, endless hot chocolate {with marshmallows}, smell of Evergreen, the way it seems to make everyone more cheerful, and the traditions; both at home and in the classroom.

Today I'm going to share with you some holiday traditions that I have done in my classroom in years past.
Remember I'm home with my Little Man this year, so my pictures are not up to par :)

I love making gifts with my students for their parents. I usually come up with what the craft will be {I've never had a student disapprove}, I guide them in making it and in helping them wrap their presents. I always give them a bow and tag to place on their present. They love wrapping the presents and I love getting to spend 1-on-1 time with them!

I usually search Pinterest or discuss with co-workers some ideas.
Here are two that I've done:
 My Mom purchased the canvas' from Michael's when they were on sale 50% off. They came in packs of 2.  I think it ended up being about $1 each.
I then just used tempura paint.
I put green paint on paper plates and I placed the kids hands on the canvas to make the tree.  They painted the tree base brown with a paintbrush and then after all that dried, they used their fingerprints to make lights. 
I added a yellow star to the top of each. 
On the back I added an Avery Label that had their name, grade and year on it.

 I think the ornaments are my favorite.  I did this two different years. 
The kids also love them, but I am the one who does the majority of the work.
I bought packs of plain blue ornaments from Hobby Lobby when they were on sale super cheap. I usually buy the materials for my Christmas craft a year ahead when it's on mega sale! :) 
I then painted the kids hands white and had them cup the ornament. We practice together once and they practice holding the ornament once by themselves BEFORE we paint!
The rest is done by me since I have kindergartners and...well...I want them to come out cute! ha  If you teach an older grade, I'm sure you could let them complete the rest.
  I'm going to be honest.  I first initially liked the idea of having a Polar Express Day solely for the fact I would get to wear pajamas to work. I mean...dream job! lol  Then, after my first Polar Express Day, I completely fell in love with the story and all the wonderful activities and lessons that can come from it. 
My one day of Polar Express fun quickly became a full week of fun!

Here are my kiddos in their pajamas doing a holiday tradition in my classroom!

Another tradition that goes along with my unit on the story The Polar Express, is hot chocolate and donuts!  As a culminating activity, we watch the movie in our pjs and drink hot chocolate {w/marshmallows of course} and enjoy a delicious donut. Some years I turn the classroom into train, lining the chairs up, etc...

I enjoy all the stories that I hear about my students and their families throughout this week. We share traditions, favorite memories and lots of love and laughter.

Here's my Polar Express unit that I created to compliment the numerous activities my students are participating in throughout the week (the centers I use for the remainder of the month).

You can click any image or HERE to check it out at my shop.

I'm super excited to read all about your holiday traditions in your classroom. I am sure I will find more than enough to add to my list of to-do's for next year!
 To check out other fabulous ideas, click below


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