Christmas is fast approaching and it’s coming around to the time of year where teachers need something to keep their class occupied and channel their Christmas excitement! We know that outdoor learning probably isn’t too appealing right now with this wet and cold weather. But that doesn’t have to stop your children interacting with nature! Here’s 4 Christmas Craft ideas using natural items!
So simple yet so effective. You could make large star ornaments to decorate your outdoor learning space or small ones for the children to take home and hang on their trees. Each child will need 5 sticks, some twine or festive coloured wool & something to fix the star together. Depending on the age of your children you may want to choose glue guns (used under supervision), twine to tie them together or masking tape (you can cover it up by binding the twine over the top of it when decorating).
If you want this activity to fill some time, you could set your class the challenge of creating the star shapes themselves and simply having one made earlier to refer to, or you could model laying out the sticks to create a star shape. Then fix the sticks into place using your chosen method. Decorate by wrapping twine around the ornament. Then add a loop to hang it by!
Bring some nature to your RE lessons and recount the Nativity story by creating the scenery from natural loose parts such as leaves. Then use leaves and sticks to create leaf puppets! You could paint the characters onto the leaves and when they’re dry, use them to retell the story!
This craft activity is great for revisiting or introducing measurement vocabulary such as longer, shorter, longest & shortest. Begin with the central stick. Have the children layout their other sticks on top and model how to safely snap them (away from faces) to their desired length. Model how the sticks become shorter and shorter as you progress towards the top. Fix the sticks into place using a glue gun (& adult supervision) or fasten them into place using twine or pipe cleaners. Then wrap pipe cleaners around the horizontal sticks to decorate, we used a pompom for the top! Don’t forget to add a loop to hang them, or make small trees and glue them onto the front of Christmas cards!
Pine cones lend themselves to all different types of craft! Here we’ve made some Santa and Rudolf characters! This craft will require glue guns or a lot of patience with PVA glue to fix the decorations into place! For rudolf we used twigs for antlers, googly eyes & a pompom for the nose! For Santa we used some felt, cotton wool & a pompom to create the hat, a pompom for his nose and a pipe cleaner for the beard. Both characters have been fixed onto a small log slice to help them stand up! You could extend this activity to make new characters to use in your small world area too!!
If you loved these Christmas Craft ideas you will love our Pinterest account! We’ve been busy pinning away ideas for Outdoor Christmas, School Gardens, Outdoor Maths, Art etc. As well as lots of inspiration for bringing nature into your classroom and to develop your outdoor spaces. Head on over there now, click follow and save yourself some searching time for fresh outdoor ideas!