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Christmas BellChristmas and Kwanzaa Activity Theme

There are 2 black & white printable coloring pages available for this theme:   and. Use your BACK button to return to this page.

Reindeer Food
Try this idea from Denise H. for Christmas Eve fun!

Paper sacks (enough for each child),
Poem preprinted
Markers or crayons
Christmas stickers 

Description: Either glue the poems in advance or let the child glue the poem on after their sack is decorated.  Decorate the paper bag for Christmas. We use crayons and punched christmas trees, hearts, stars, stickers etc. Attach the  following poem to the bag...

On Christmas eve I'll leave a treat
Something good for Santa to eat
But don't forget to be extra kind
The sleigh pulling clan keep in mind

Every year Santa gets really big
Eating cookies is his gig
But reindeer are hungry too
This year I'll tell you what to do.

To make extra sure that you are found
Sprinkle reindeer food on the ground
Your house is sure to be a big hit
Because you're keeping reindeer nice and fit!

After the bags have dried (you may do this one day, then send home another day) from decorating and gluing. Mix Oatmeal and birdseed and whatever else you'd like to clean out of your cupboard.  Have the children help you mix this special treat and put several scoops in their bags. Then make sure they understand this is to be done the night before Christmas and that it will help make sure that Santa can find their house because the reindeer will smell the food and some down right away!

Kwanzaa - Noodle Necklace
During this preschool craft activity by Yolanda D. children use fine motor skills by inserting string into colored noodles.

1 box of ziti noodles
3 cups of water diluted tempra paint (1 red, 1 green, 1 black)
1 ball of yarn

Description: First you need to divide the noodles into three containers. One for each color. Let the noodles soak in the paint overnight. Next day strain noodles let dry, (air, or put in oven 200° for 15 minutes). Then measure out the size of yarn you want, and finally lace noodles onto yarn alternating colors. 

Kwanzaa Poem
Melanie A. offers this harvest Kwanzaa poem written by Heidi Porter.

Let's sing a stanza
In honor of kwanzaa,
The harvest of first fruits that grow!
On each night we light
A new candle, so bright
Until we have seven that glow.

As the kinara glows
On our bright, festive clothes
And the karamu food that sits near,
We will think what to do 
To be faithful and true
And to honor Kwanzaa all year.

Christmas Songs
Here's a collection of preschool and kindergarten Christmas Songs from Gillian M.

Materials: Nothing, but bells would make some of the songs more interesting for 
the children, especially if they each have a set.

Christmas songChristmas Puddings
(Tune: I Hear Thunder)
Christmas pudding, christmas pudding
Steaming hot, steaming hot
Sprinkle on the sugar, sprinkle on the sugar
Eat the lot, eat the lot.

Christmas song Christmas Day Is Coming!
(Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
Christmas day is coming
Santa's on his way
Bringing toys for girls and boys
In his magic sleigh

Christmas songI'm A Christmas Reindeer
(Tune: I'm A Little Teapot)
I'm a Christmas reindeer, big and strong
I can pull a sleigh along
When the toys are loaded, you will see
Father Christmas driving me.

Christmas song5 White Snowmen
(Tune: 5 Green Bottles)
5 white snowmen sitting in the snow
5 white snowmen sitting in the snow
And if one white snowman should melt away and go
There'll be 4 white snowmen sitting in the snow
(3-2-1- etc. until)
There'll be no more snowmen and no more crispy snow

Comments: Any age children love these songs, including babies and toddlers. My nursery children love the 5 White Snowmen song and singing Jingle Bells using 
a set of bells each.

Christmas songChristmas Concert Song
Kim I. offers this fun song for children to sing to their parents at a Christmas party.

Materials: Snowballs made of crumpled up tissue paper.

Description: Have the children sing the following song to the tune of Let it Snow.

We're so glad you came here today
To hear what we have to say                (cup one ear)
Now we just have one thing more          (hold up one finger)
So please don't head for the door          (shake finger back & forth)

Well the weather outside is frightful        (shiver like your cold)
But the kids are so delightful              (hands out palms up)
So as long as you love us so                 (hands to chest)
Let it snow, let it snow. let it snow.         (fingers gently fall like snow)

Let it snow                                       (pick up snowballs)
Let it snow  Let it SNOW!!               (throw snowballs at audience)

Comments: The kids LOVED throwing snowballs at the audience and the parents 
loved the surprise too!

Christmas Tree Or Kwanzaa Corn Magnets
Preschool and kindergarten children create these gifts for family members during this early childhood activity by Lynn A.

Materials: Wonderfoam, magnetic strips, glue, glitter, sequins, buttons, etc.

Description: Cut out a tree or corn shape from your wonderfoam.  We used green for the tree and a small brown rectangle for the base. Yellow is fine for the corn.  Let children put dots of glue all over and lines for the garland.  Put glitter on the lines for the garland and sequins, buttons, beads, etc. on the dots.  attach a magnetic strip on the back to be used as a magnet.

Comments: Our families loved their gifts. This can be done at any holiday with any type of shapes.

Christmas Alphabet Activity Alphabet Christmas Tree
Donna C. offers this early childhood activity to help preschoolers learn the alphabet.

Materials: Printed copies of christmas trees with alphabet ornaments on them, green and red M & M's, alphabet flash cards and pencils or crayons.

Description: Teachers copy a picture of a Christmas tree and for ornaments decorate the tree with different letters of the alphabet.  Then take alphabet flash cards and play this game with the children.

Hold up a letter and they have to find it on the tree.  When they find the matching letter they put an M & M on top of it.  Soon the tree is decorated with M & M ornaments.  Another way to use this idea is decorate the tree with different letters but place one letter of choice many times on the tree and have the children find just that one letter as many times as they can. For example " C" for Christmas placed on the tree 10 times among the other letters of the alphabet.  Have the children find all of the C's.

Comments: I use a clip art program that I purchased to make and decorate the tree 
then printed off enough copies for each child.  They have a lot of fun with this 
activity, especially the M & M's part.

Christmas Candleholder
Velinda suggests this preschool craft activity so that youngster have a special gift for parents or grandparents. Just be careful if using a glass jar or better yet, substitute a small plastic jar.

Materials: Small baby food jar, small candle to fit in jar, old Christmas card,
rubber band, white glue, scissors, paintbrush, salt, curling ribbon and a tray or newspaper for working on.

Description: Cut out a pretty christmas picture from a card small enough to fit on 
the jar.  Glue it to the jar and secure it to jar with rubber band.  Leave the rubber 
band on until it dries.

When it is dry remove the rubber band.  Using a paintbrush (or child's finger) spread glue over entire outside of jar.  Hold the jar over a tray or paper and sprinkle salt over it until it glistens.  Let the jar dry on a tray or paper.
When dry place curling ribbon around the rim.  Curl the ends of the ribbon and put the candle inside.  Makes a great parent gift!

Comments: I used this at school and also with my son as grandparent gifts.

Christmas Tree Pine Cone Christmas Trees
Preschoolers and kindergarten children use fine motor skill, eye hand coordination and creative imagination as they create pine cone Christmas trees by Faye T.

Materials: Large, flat bottomed pine cones, green spray paint, cotton balls, 
pony beads, dental floss and colored marshmallows.

Description: Use large flat bottomed open pine cones. Teachers spray paint
pine cones green. Children string pony beads onto floss then glue cotton balls along the bottom of the cones for added stability. Decorate with beads and marshmallows.  Other ornaments may be added as the imagination allows.

Christmas counting songChristmas Counted Down 
Children practice their counting skills by singing and counting on their little fingers
during this song by Denita R.

Materials: All you'll need for this activity are your fingers and to know how to 
sing to the tune of  Ten Little Indians.

One and a two, three more days till Christmas.
Four and a five, six more days till Christmas.
Seven and a eight, nine more days till Christmas.
Ten more days till Christmas.
Comments: The children love to sing this song at circle time. The song can be 
sang every day all you have do is subtract days.

Christmas art activityChristmas Art Activity
Angelica A. offers this activity to help children use their creativity to assemble a reindeer.

Materials: A shoe, a hand, pom-poms, and wiggly eyes.

Description: First, trace a shoe for the reindeer's face or have the child trace 
his or her shoe on brown construction paper.
Second, trace or have the children trace their hands on black construction paper.  Next, cut out shoe and hands then glue hands to top of shoe to serve as antlers.  Then, have the children glue wiggly eyes onto the face, and glue the pom-poms to the face to serve as the nose. 
Finally, have children draw a smile on the reindeer. 

Colored Pasta Counting
This early childhood education art and math activity by Tatra M. can be adapted to many different holidays.

Materials: Plastic jar, a container, paper, a variety of small objects such as paper clips, rubber bands, rice, pasta, beans, etc.

Description: Once a week put a number of the same objects in a jar and put it on 
a table.  Label the jar 'Jar of Estimation'.  Put black sheets of paper and a 
container for students to put their guess into.  On Friday, graph the guesses and 
then as a class, count the number of the item in the jar.  The student with the 
closest or correct guess wins a small prize.

Talk about estimating, how the students made their guess, too much or too small.  Use a small number of items for younger kids.  Use holiday objects during those times, such as small candy canes for Christmas, message hearts for Valentine's Day, etc.

Ornaments for Christmas
Enoka S. encourages young children to make dough and cut out figures to use as Christmas Tree decorations during this holiday activity.

1 cup of cinnamon
¼ cup of white glue
¼ to ½ cup of water
Rolling pin
Cookie cutters
Straw or pencil
Ornament hooks
Oven, preheated to 200°

Description / Process:
1.   Mix together all ingredients.
2.   Roll out mixture onto a flat surface and cut
      with cookie cutters to make ornaments.
3.   With a straw or pencil, poke a hole through each ornament
      for the ribbon.
4.   Caution: For Teachers ONLY
      place cinnamon ornaments in a warm oven.
5.   Caution: For Teachers only:
      Turn ornaments every 5 to 10 minutes until firm.
6.   After dough has cooled: Place a ribbon through
      the cooled ornaments and tie the ribbon into a bow or knot.
7.   Attach finish ornament on an ornament hook and hang
      on a tree branch or plant.

1.   Add pinches of nutmeg and cloves to cinnamon.
2.   Try modeling the mixture into coils or shapes by hand.

Comments: This gives a nice smell too!  The kids enjoy playing & cutting out shapes.

Nativity Mural
Encourage preschool and kindergarten to learn about the Nativity and cooperation with this art and craft activity by Wendy H.

Materials: Large newsprint, brown paint, paint brushes, and an easel.  Large roll of white paper for tracing bodies or large brown paper bag.  Crayons, glue, tape, glitter or glitter glue.

Description: First I have the children at center time volunteer to paint full sheets of paper brown.  Then we hang it to dry.  After we have about 15 done, we piece together a manger.  Then we tape it to a wall.  Next we choose a Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, 3 kings, sheep, cow(s), camel(s).  The children have to work together and trace the people and animals.
Last year the children strategically placed the the animals on the paper before tracing. Then in groups of 2 or 3, they color in the characters of the Nativity.  Then we again work in groups to cut them out.
At last we get to paste or tape them to the manger.  Our last and most important piece is the Large Star above the manger.  I drew a large star on a white roll of paper and had volunteers cut it out.  Then a group of children colored it and another group of children pasted gold glitter mixed with glue onto the star to make it shinny.  Next, we taped it above the manger.  It was a beautiful scene during the Christmas season. 

Comments: The parents loved it and the children were very proud of their work.

Christmas Tree A Christmas Tree Of Hands
Make a Christmas tree using the outlines of children's hands during this Christmas craft activity by Jennifer M.

Materials: Green construction paper, various other things to decorate the tree, markers, crayons, construction paper, paint, glitter and glue stick.

Description: Trace each child's hand onto construction paper at least 10 times. Glue the hands together forming a tree.  Start with four hands glued in a line as the bottom of the tree and then three and then two and so on. Until just one hand is at the top. Have the children decorate the tree any way they want, using paint,  markers, crayons, glitter etc.

Comments: Instead of cutting out hand prints using construction paper, teachers could just paint the child's hand green and make a tree out of hand prints.  After it's dry, the child can decorate it!

Craft Stick Reindeer
Foster creativity and fine motor skills while creating a festive holiday ornament with this Christmas craft activity by Kerri C.

Materials: Each child will need three jumbo craft sticks (perhaps a doctor mom or dad will donate tongue depressors), two large "google" eyes, a brown or red pompom, a set of brown felt antlers, and a 6" length of ribbon, and glue. 

Description: Prep work: To make this craft fun for our little creators, the teacher will need to hot glue the three craft sticks into a triangle ahead of time. You will also need to hot glue the ribbon into a loop on the center of the back of one side, this will become the top of the reindeers head. If you cannot buy felt antlers you may need to cut them out ahead of time or you can substitute brown pipe cleaners. That saves a lot of prep time.

Give each child their triangle with the flat side with the loop at the top. Allow children to glue eyes, pompom nose, and antlers where they want. Its fun to see where they put them. Let dry. 

 Comments: This craft makes a cute holiday gift. 

Christmas WreathChristmas Wreath
Make a beautiful wreath which includes all of the children with this early childhood activity by April N.

Materials: Red and green construction paper, a sheet of poster board, glitter, scissors, glue, stapler, pencil for tracing andribbon.

Description: Each child gets each hand traced on either red or green construction paper.  They can cut out their hands, or have assistance from a teacher. They can paint their hand with glue, and then sprinkle on glitter, the color of their choice.

After all the hands are made and dry, they are stapled onto the poster board. It must be cut into a wreath shape before. The hands should be arranged so that red and green alternates through out the wreath. A bow can be made and added to the wreath.  It makes a nice decoration in the classroom during the ChristmasSeason. 

Comments: Ages 2 1/2 and up, older children can do more themselves, such as cutting. It makes a beautiful decoration and each child knows that his or her hands helped to create it. Their name should show so they can see which ones are theirs.

Christmas Collage
Young preschool children work as a team to create a collage to use as a decoration for the classroom during this Christmas activity by Nancy D.

Materials: Large white paper across whole table all, sorts of Christmas objects such as; ribbon, cards, gift wrap, magazines, glitter, stickers etc., scissors and glue.

Description: Have children glue on objects learning to cooperate and work together to create a picture for all to enjoy.

Comments: Children love to make this kind of picture!  Have many different kinds of objects for them to use.

Christmas gift ideaGift Idea
Children All Nestled, All Snug in their Beds
Preschool children create a cute Christmas gift for their parents during this activity by Nancy D.

Materials: 6x8 index card, picture of child with head on pillow and eyes closed, Christmas material cut in 1 inch squares, glue, magnet strips, fleece like material (for pillow) and glue.

Description: Have child glue a piece of fleece (for pillow) about 2x5 inches to top of an index card. Glue child's picture with head cut out to fit on pillow then have them glue on squares of material to make a BLANKET- COVER ALL OF CARD.

Place a piece of strip magnet to the back. We put them all on display with a sign saying, "Children all nestled so snug in their beds" for our Christmas party. 

Comments: Parents absolutely loved this as a keeper!

Craft Activity:  Holly Wrapping Paper
Preschool children have fun with the stamping process of this craft idea and the product has a practical use. You can change the stamp from holly to whatever you like in order to adapt this activity for other holidays. 

You will need:
Medium size raw potatoes, a sharp kitchen knife, green and red tempera paint, paint brushes, newsprint paper or plain white shelf paper, pencils with erasers (optional).

Teachers must prepare potato stamps in advance by cutting each potato in half with one even stroke of the sharp knife to give the potato a smooth surface. With the edge of the knife make a straight cut about 1/8 inch deep from one end of the potato surface to the other. Make a second cut, right beside it, slightly angled toward the first cut.  Lift out the thin strip of potato.

Next, starting at one end of the cut line, cut out three curved sections along the edge of the potato, ending at the opposite end of the cut line.  Now cut out 3 curved sections on the other side. This makes the general shape of a holly leaf (looks like a scallop design).  Blot away the potato juice and cut a small piece of potato or use a pencil eraser for printing the holly berries.

Let the fun begin!
After teachers have prepared enough potato stamps for all the preschool children in their groups and have provided paper, paint and brushes it's time for the youngsters to have fun. Encourage each child to lightly brush the cut surface of the
potato with green tempera paint.  Then press the potato on the newsprint paper.  Children repeat the process until the paper is covered with holly leaves. Now it's time to let the leaves dry. 
Later children can use small round potato stamps or pencil erasers to make clusters of berries with each bunch of leaves.

Extension: The design possibilities of potato printing are endless. Experiment with combining circles, squares and odd shapes in different colors to come up with unusual patterns that help preschoolers learn about shapes. Wrapping paper for all kinds of special occasions can be made in this way.

Sweet Christmas Treat
Karen M. contributed this sweet idea for a Christmas snack.

You will need:
Sugar cones, vanilla icing, sprinkles and green sugar crystals, Lucky Charm marshmallow shapes, craft sticks and paper plates.

"Take a sugar cone and turn it upside down on a paper saucer. Ice it with vanilla icing using craft sticks. Roll it in sprinkles, then sprinkle it with green sugar crystals. We used Lucky Charms marshmallow shapes for the top for stars, they have several shapes that will work and they're just the right size to "top" your "tree"!

ideaChristmas Craft Ideas
Three creative Christmas craft ideas contributed by Karen M.,who often shares her ideas with The Preschool Rainbow. 

Christmas Wreath
"This is easy enough to do with 3 yr. olds and turns out really nice. We plan to use it as a   tree ornament. I am doing it as a math center activity because you have to count 10 pieces, twice, to make the green part of the wreath. "

"Go to the thrift shop and buy a 1000 piece puzzle. If you can find a picture with a lot of green, the more the better. I was going to spray paint the pieces green, but found a picture that was 2/3 green - easy!!!! Cut out a 2  1/2" - 3" circle out of 
thin cardboard ( poster board or cereal boxes). Spray paint the circle green and cut a 2" opening in the middle. Use tacky glue / elmers school glue to glue about 10 puzzle pieces around the circle.

Use tacky glue / hot glue to glue another layer of pieces on the "seams" of the bottom pieces. Glue a couple of small jingle bells on each side of the "wreath" and put a mini bow ( 12/$1 at the Dollar Store ) on the top. Attach a red 1/8" satin ribbon loop ( 6") to the top for a hanger. This is easy, cheap and nice!!" 

An Advent Calendar Idea
An advent calendar is normally 24 pieces/parts, but we're going to make one next week with only 15 as we will be doing it on the 10th. Decorate a  paper plate (I'm going to spray ours gold ) then glue 1/2"x2 1/2" strips of red and green construction paper around the edges, alternating colors. This makes a pretty wreathand a strip can be torn off each day until it's Christmas. Make a hanger for the wreath out of red 1/8" satin ribbon, cording, etc. 

A Manger Scene 
As a tactile center activity, we're using a blue construction paper background for a manger scene that has a manger made out of pretzels, broken spaghetti "straw", one half of a craft stick with a face marked on one end, wrapped in a white square of material or part of a cotton ball glued on for the baby wrapped in a blanket,
and a star that has glue sprinkled with glitter. 

Kwanzaa kinaraKinara for Kwanzaa
Tara K. suggests teaching young children about patterns as you teach about the three colors of Kwanzaa. 

Materials: Cardboard Tubes (small- the one that come on clothes hangers), red, green, and black spray paint, glue and cardboard boxes. 

Description: Cut the tubes into small pieces. Make sure that the black pieces are 
longer than the red and green pieces. You can spray the tubes in advance or let the children paint them with paint brushes. Cut the cardboard boxes into rectangle pieces. Now, let the children glue the pieces in order the way they should look on the kinara or let them make their own pattern.

Kwanzaa flag and mat colors  Kwanzaa- Mkekas
During this early childhood activity by Yolanda D. children will use their fine motor skills by weaving paper strips to create a mkeka (EM-KE-KAH), the mat for the Kwanzaa centerpiece.

Materials: 3 pieces of 11x17 construction paper (1 black, 1 red, & 1 green) and  scissors.

Description: First fold the black paper in half.  Then cut slits upward on the fold.  This creates the paper loom.  Next, take the green and red paper and cut into paper strips. Finally, take the strips and alternate color weaving over and under the the black loom.  When you finish you will have beautiful creation that is nice enough for any centerpiece. 

Comments: To preserve the mkeka laminate or cover it with clear contact paper.

Kwanzaa cornKwanzaa Craft Activity: "Corny Gift Wrap"
This wrapping paper idea is an especially suitable activity for wrapping gifts during the last day of Kwanzaa.  Very young children will enjoy the simple rolling technique used to create the designs.

You will need:
Newspaper (no comics) several ears of corn, newsprint paper, craft paper or white shelf paper, orange and yellow tempera paint, several recycled vegetable styrofoam trays.

Teachers encourage a small group of preschool children (no more than 4) to cover a low table with old newspaper. Then spoon the orange or yellow tempera into the styrofoam trays. One color per tray.  Now, encourage each child to roll one ear ofcorn in the yellow tempera and then roll it on the paper. Youngsters should roll the corn in several directions, covering the paper.

Next, children roll their ear of corn in the orange tempera and then roll on paper.  Allow the paint time to dry and you have wrapping paper!  Ask the preschoolers to rinse and dry the corn so another small group can enjoy creating wrapping paper.

Related Christmas Theme:
The Gingerbread Man



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