Monday, January 8, 2018

Heart Wreath of Deliberate Moments of Caring

This is a memorable craft that not only creates a beautiful finished heart wreath, but it fosters simple acts of caring!

Bend a clothes hanger into a heart shape. The handle at the top bends down into a loop and becomes the hook for hanging the wreath.
To decorate the wreath I cut a variety of ribbons and tulle or netting to about 8 inches long each. How many yards of ribbon needed depends on how tightly the ribbons are pushed together on the hanger.
It is always better to have too much of the materials to make the wreath rather than run out in the middle of the project. I usually use about 6 to 8 different varieties of ribbon, plus tulle using rolls of ribbon with about 25 feet on each.

Cut the various ribbons and tulle and place each different set in large zip baggies.
Share with the children that when they choose to do something helpful, nice, thoughtful or caring for someone, they may tie on a ribbon and a netting piece on the heart hanger.

Daily deliberate and intentional acts can make a big difference and get them into the habit of showing care for each other.
To tie on the ribbon to the heart wire, the child simply wraps the ribbon around the hanger and does one tie like the first part of tying their shoes, pulling it tight.
It is so simple that even the youngest learner can participate in this. It is a wonderful fine motor activity too!
I thought the ladybug ribbon looked a little like hearts to add fun to the wreath!
The ribbons can be put on in random order or a pattern can be established to be repeated.
Extras like shiny pipe cleaners or garland can be used to bring more sparkle!

When the ribbons are pushed up together it keeps them from falling off the hanger. The tighter the ribbons are pushed together the better the finished heart will look.
If you find the time is passing and the wreath is not getting finished, change the amount of ribbon that the child can put on the wreath to five or ten at a time. It is motivating to see the heart wreath getting more full with each passing day.

When finished place it on the door or wall for all to see the number of
Deliberate Moments of Caring!
While this is a great month project for Valentine’s Day, it can be done for each month as a monthly theme with decorative ribbon for the season/holiday. The hanger can simply be bent into a circle shape instead of a heart.

Hopefully we are fostering deliberate actions to bring happiness to another, doing something thoughtful, nice, and caring.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Ugly Sweaters of Christmas!

Oh, the sweaters of Christmas, they have been given such a bad rap!
I love Christmas sweaters!
It was very special to have a decorated sweater for Christmas as I was growing up! It was even better if they had cute pictures, ribbons, bows, bells and sparkly thread.

Christmas-themed sweaters were first produced on a grand scale, when the Christmas holiday was becoming increasingly commercialized. Initially referred to as “Jingle Bell Sweaters,” the first  sweaters saw decades of popularity. 
Then came the word "ugly" when referring to Christmas sweaters. 
 Gaudy, bad taste, tacky, the more stuff on them the better! People hold parties to celebrate the worst sweaters of the year!
So for fun I created a cute craft activity for children to make their own version of the Christmas sweater. It is one that can also be done with parent help as a family project. 
Decorate the Ugly Sweater
This adorable Christmas activity includes the cover sheet, 4 different blank sweater templates to use and a parent letter.
When finished, it then becomes a prompt for story writing and telling. It is always fun to see the different methods of creating an ugly sweater!

Also see my other activities for:
Maybe you will have a wonderfully ugly sweater of Christmas!
I'm pretty sure I will! 

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