Making Christmas Decorations with Primary School Kids November 23 2011

Here are a few great ideas that you can do with your primary school classes during the buzz and anticipation that inevitably happens during the build up of breaking up from school for Christmas.

Each Christmas decoration below also includes a list of the suggested items you will need to make them.

Festive Fruit-Inspired Decorations

Oranges are traditional for many during the Christmas season, in appearance as well as practice. By drying out orange slices in the oven, you can make a variety of individual Christmas decorations perfect for the Christmas season.

Slices on their own can be fixed to create door wreaths, hung from doors in a pendant-like fashion, or used to decorate Christmas trees when combined with simple loops made from string or pipe cleaners.

You can even create orange skin spirals using a vegetable peeler, making sure not to cut the piece away from the rest of the orange prematurely - 4 to 5 rotations usually look best. These can then be hung as decorations in their own right using string tried to one end (carefully punch a hole using scissors) or combined in numbers to create decorative hanging mobiles.

You will need 1-2 oranges per a student, craft glue, ribbon or coloured string and scissors. For slicing the orange or cutting spirals it will be necessary to use a sharp knife or instrument and we highly recommend an adult or teacher do this on their behalf.

Glitter Cones

Our natural surroundings are full of great beauty once you know where to look!Endless sources of inspiration will be revealed to you and your kids for creating fun, crafty, Christmas decorations in your classroom this Christmas.

Pine Forests are abundant in many locations and ideal places to collect pine cones for use in creative projects such as this simple Christmas craft. The cones respond to both heat and moisture. Store them in a warm, dry place to cause the cones to arc open into their familiar shape. Your kids can paint them green to turn them into Christmas trees or white for snowmen. Coat them in glue and sprinkle with glitter to make mystical eggs, but first soak them in water to cause them to close again.

If you don’t live near any forests, you can look at what’s available from your local park or even the school yard. Twigs blown from trees, acorns, or even holy sprigs if you’re lucky!

You will need: Pine cones (enough for 1 each), craft glue, paint brushes, paint and beads as desired.

Crafty Snowflakes

During the Christmas season, snowflakes are never really far away! A number of craft stores and general hardware stores will sell pipe cleaners pre-coated in a layer of shimmery tinsel, or your students can create a similar effect yourself with simple glitter and glue. For a more modest snowflake, normal pipe cleaners can be covered in white tissue paper.

Take 1 of the pipe cleaners, and then overlap 2 more pipe cleaners bending them around the center of the axis in order to fix together a star shape with 6 spokes. Take an additional 2 pipe cleaners and cut them down to size into 2 inch strips. Bend these small strips in the middle to form triangle shapes. These can then be glued at intervals along each of the 6 spokes to create a variety of flake like patterns, each one as individual as the students in your classroom!

You will need: pipe cleaners (5-6 per student), scissors, glitter & glue (optional), string and soft craft tissue paper (optional)

Christmas Jar Lanterns

Painted jars make great candle lanterns with some fun and simple customizations. Before starting the craft, ask your students to start collecting clear glass jars and ask them to bring them in to store in your classroom.

You will need to pre-purchase a selection of brightly colored ceramic paints or tinted glass varnishes to use for this craft - take a look around your classroom to take inventory of paint that you already have.

Let your students loose when it comes to painting a particular pattern or using a variety of color, though you might like to suggest Christmas themes. Once your students have painted and created a unique design they are happy with, the jars can be fired off in a regular oven to set the paint.

Once this is done and the jars have been allowed to cool, you can create a cradle and handle so that these Christmas lanterns can be carried round. This will vary depending on the size of the jar, so you may wish to help them with this step. Cut enough wire to create a ring that snugly fits the circumference of the top part of the jar, where the lid grooves are and tie this off, cutting off any excess wire. Taking a second section of wire, bend in the middle sufficiently enough to create a simple handle and fix each end to the ring at opposite ends of the jar by wrapping the wire round.

You will need: 1 or 2 glass jars (per student), ceramic paint, paint brushes and soft coated craft wire.

This article was written on behalf of Christmas Trees and Lights who sell a selection of artificial Christmas trees and Christmas fairy lights.