In searching through the annals of crafts enjoyed by my students throughout the years, Christmas crafts always proved to be the most popular and enjoyable. There were a few that we simply had to revisit year after year. Here, in all their simplicity, are a few of the absolute favorites:
Candy Cane Reindeer
All you need for this project is candy canes, brown chenille stems, small googly eyes, tiny red pompoms (noses) and some craft glue.
Wrap a chenille stem (light or regular brown) around the hook part of the candy cane and shape into antlers. Each child will have their own particular way of doing this – there is no right or wrong. Children can then glue the eyes on each side of the hook and the nose can go on the hook’s front bottom. (see the photo for placement)
Chenille Stem Bead Wreaths & Candy Canes
This is a staple in most homes and classrooms in which there are preschool or kindergarten aged children. Recommended for children over 3 years of age because of the small beads.
Wreaths: You will need red, green and white (or clear) three-sided beads (available at all crafts stores or WalMart), chenille stems, Christmas colored (red, green, white or silver/gold) thin ribbons (to make bows).
Children make up their own patterns by stringing the beads onto the chenille stems, then fashion them into a circle for the “wreath” shape. You may have to help them twist the ends and hide them by tying on a thin ribbon of their choice into a bow shape for the top or bottom. There you go! Beautiful wreaths.
Candy Canes: These are even easier. You simply need the same three-sided beads and chenille stems. Children slide the beads onto the pipe cleaner (alternating colors or in their own patterns) and then shape one end into a “hook” to make the traditional candy cane shape. You may wish to fold back and twist the chenille ends around the end beads to ensure the beads don’t slide right off again.
Note: A few of my kids got really ambitious and made the beaded candy canes into candy cane reindeer! Nothing wrong with that!
Both can be hung on the tree or strung on strings to make garland with other Christmas decorations that your children create.