Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kids Christmas Crafts

Only three sleeps to go and the kids can hardly contain themselves. They are brimming with excitement and anticipation. Maybe just a little too much so. It's interesting how kids who are trying to be on their best behaviour can have such a hard time doing that. They are wonderful kids, but the closer we get to Christmas, the less patient and more self-centred they are becoming. One minute we are singing Christmas carols and making something with glitter glue - God help me! - and the next they are at each other's throats.

My strategy? I try to keep them busy. We've been doing a lot of crafts this year. Crafts were never my thing but the kids love it. I do too, mostly. When I became a Scout leader I dreaded craft time but I'm starting to embrace it. I hate the clean-up, but that's pretty easy to fix with good preplanning. Of course, we do our crafts in the kitchen and kitchen disasters seem to seek me out. Seriously, how much damage should one five year old be able to inflict on a house with 2 teaspoons of glitter ?!

The clean-up is no fun but the actual crafting usually is. It doesn't take much to get them started, especially the seven year olds. The five year old, clearly, needs a little more guidance. We put on some Christmas music and let their imaginations take over. They are very creative kids and are rightly proud of their final products. 

Everyone has their own project list, and we have a couple of group projects to work on too. I'm sometimes sneaky with these. I try to find ways for them each to do a part of something that we can bring together in the end. Three entirely different kids usually come up with three completely different visions for anything we do. They are such individuals, with their own opinions and skill level, that group projects can turn into an argument, and end up with hurt feelings, in a split second.

The best group project this year has been reindeer puppets. Each kid made their own out of a paper bag, construction paper, felt and markers. We ended up with three very different creations: Gavin the Rednosed Reindeer, Rock Star the Reindeer, and Freckles the Reindeer Princess. They played with them for the longest time and then decided to have a puppet play. Queue the bickering. Enter the referee. Ultimately, we decided that each kid could write and direct their own play, that the other two would be happy actors in each play, and that Jonas could be a stuffed monster puppet instead of Rock Star the Reindeer. It was a blast! I didn't think of the video camera but I did remember to get a few pictures.


The Two Reindeer and a Monster Puppet Play
Starring "Gavin the Rednosed Reindeer", the Monster and "Freckles the Reindeer Princess"
Jonas' reindeer "Rock Star"
Rock Star missed his stage debut in The Three Reindeer Play.
Jonas was upset that "his antlers are all bumpy and wonky, the eyes are glued on upside down,
and the antlers are on the wrong place upside down!"
Once we checked out the internet and saw that no two reindeer are exactly alike,
it was show time for Rock Star!  :)

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