Make Art Class Merry With Creative Christmas Art Activities
Kids get hands-on with seasonal crafts through Christmas art activities!
By Alison Panik
December brings a special feeling to schools everywhere, even in the art classrooms. Christmas art activities take advantage of children's holiday anticipation energy and provide decorations and gifts enjoyed by families and the school community. Holiday lessons provide an opportunity for children to share their family traditions and beliefs. Art lessons can be a hands-on way for children to express the customs they enjoy each holiday season.
Because many schools are a multicultural community with many ways of celebrating and many reasons for celebration, it is always important to be sensitive to every family's culture. Choosing projects that can be meaningful to all children makes holiday lessons another way to build community and encourage understanding among people of different backgrounds.
Teachers can provide an overview of the different holidays celebrated at this time including Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah, and connect art activities to these celebrations. They can also use this season as a way to talk about wishes, hopes, and their community.
You can also sprinkle a little math into a holiday art lesson. Take for example the cinnamon ornament lesson featured below. Students measure the ingredients for the dough mixture used to make the ornaments. They can learn about measurement, fractions, and recipe reading, all in one lesson. The lesson plans below provide a variety of art activities to brighten your students' holidays this month:
Christmas Art Activities:
Create these air-dry ornaments with a sweet scent to bring some merry spirit to your elementary classroom -- then send them along home for children to give as gifts or deliver them to a local senior center! Simple ingredients and no-bake instructions make this lesson easy. Solicit donations of cinnamon and applesauce from parents. Get all of the children involved in mixing the dough by giving each child a numbered slip of paper. Invite each child to perform one step in the order of the numbers (for example, #1 would measure 1 cup of cinnamon, #2 pours it in, #3 measure another cup, #4 pours that cup in, etc.) Children enjoy being a part of the measuring and mixing as well as the ornament design. Make this lesson even more creative by inviting children to cut their own shapes using plastic knives.
This lesson provides an opportunity for students to create and share a symbol representing the holidays or traditions they each celebrate in December. Also incorporates reusing old CDs, which students can gather and donate from home.
Students can create their own Christmas decorations using bread, glue, and glitter. This can become a multicultural and literature based activity if students learn about different holiday traditions through reading books, and create decorations representing different celebrations.
An easy activity that makes a big impact! Students can create wreaths using felt, or they can create large ones using hands they've designed by tracing their own hands. Students can also create trees by gluing these hands onto construction paper. Or go for the big impact with a huge tree using hands from every student and teacher. Invite families to trace hands and send them in to school as well. I would also ask each contributor to write a holiday message or Christmas wish on each hand.
Create a keepsake with this multi-step art activity for grades K-3. Plan for one short session to paint the gold banner background. Plan for a long session to cut, carve, and print symbols on the banner. Plan for two more short sessions - one to add a handprint, and another to punch holes and tie ribbon through the banner.