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Crafting Connections with Kids

Goddard School of Mason shares how they celebrate the holidays while learning through fun.

From developing fine motor skills to embracing mistakes and turning them into happy accidents, doing holiday crafts with kids can be not only fun but also educational. This is something Kerra Spaeth, owner of the Goddard School of Mason knows well. Their curriculum, Fun Learning EXperience or F.L.EX, is all about play-based learning and fun is built right into the name. Holiday crafts are just one of many ways to teach important skills while keeping things entertaining throughout the season for kids.

Celebrating the winter holidays can help to build the connection between school and families as well as honor diversity in the classroom. Kerra and the staff utilize the winter holidays to teach students about different cultures. Many holidays share common themes such as gratitude, love and bringing people together. 

Parents are invited into the classroom to show and tell about the holidays their family celebrates. “The students learn about each other and their own customs and culture,” shares Kerra. “This helps build the students’ self-confidence and increases their awareness of other cultures.” 

Kerra also tells us that despite being lots of fun, the holidays can also create stress for both kids and adults. At home, parents can minimize stress and maximize kids' enjoyment by balancing out special holiday treats with fruits and vegetables, maintaining naptime and bedtime schedules so they have energy for holiday events and giving them heads up about holiday plans so they know what to expect. 

Warm Winter Wishes Craft

One of Kerra’s favorite holiday crafts can be themed for Thanksgiving or a winter holiday of choice. Although simple, this craft is sure to encourage creativity and help build fine motor skills with tracing, cutting and gluing. Connect with your little ones this holiday season while making this special keepsake. 

Tip: Create one for a special someone or make several to give as gifts to family and friends.

Supplies:

Sheets of colored paper or craft foam

Ribbon or small adhesive magnets

Small photo(s) of your family or child 

Glue stick

Washable markers

Pencil

Decorative Thanksgiving or winter craft accessories of your choice (such as feathers or snowflakes)

Tools:

Child-safe scissors

Single hole punch

Instructions:

  1. Use a pencil to trace your child’s hand on a sheet of paper, tracing around their four fingers separately or together with the thumb separately to make a mitten shape.

  2. Carefully cut around the fingers or the mitten shape, and then trim your photo to fit in the “palm” of the cutout. Glue the photo in place.

  3. Here’s the fun part! Encourage your little one to get creative with washable markers and Thanksgiving or winter craft accessories to add their own decorative touch.
  4. When your child is happy with their masterpiece, either punch a hole in the top and tie a ribbon through it for hanging or attach small adhesive magnets to the back for displaying on the refrigerator.

 *An adult should oversee all activities. Activities may not be appropriate for all ages.

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