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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Candy Canes and Christmas Trees...Fine Motor Crafting

This post has been sitting unfinished for a few weeks.  I had a hard time remembering to take pictures of our candy-cane chaos (below).  Anyway, here are some ideas for next year...

I've been wanting to have the kids do ribbon Christmas trees, like this, and paper candy canes, like this.  With a few minutes of down time today, I whipped up the materials for whenever the kids and I had the chance to start crafting.

Thinking about the candy canes, I knew that gluing the stripes onto the cane would be a challenge for Mikey, so I decided we'd glue the stripes on the paper and then cut out the cane shape.  My next thought was I needed a cane-shaped stencil, but I remembered I have a couple dozen stencils in the pantry.  ;o)  In this craft, I used the following skills: gluing, placing, tracing and cutting.

First, I glued the white stripes on the red paper.  You could, of course, do this the other way around.  Make sure you fully coat the stripes so you don't have any separation after you cut out the canes.

Second, I turned over the paper and traced the candy cane several times.  I recommend laying the cane on an angle so you get diagonal stripes across your cut-out canes.  Also, be sure to leave generous tracing borders, especially if you're using skinny candy canes, to make them easier to cut out.

Third, cut out the candy canes.

I haven't decided what to do with ours yet.  I thought about gluing them onto paper as a candy-cane collage, maybe sponge painting the paper first.  I also thought about hanging them on yarn as garland.  I decided to wad up newspaper and use watered-down white paint to make snow.  When the kids' snowstorms were dry, they glued on the candy canes.  I think it's obvious which one was done by the two-year-old ad which was done by the four-year-old.

When I decided to do the ribbon trees, I knew I didn't have any ribbon (yes, I know this is a theme with me), so I cut strips of paper in varying lengths.  Since I wanted the trees to have a little sparkle, I threw shiny star stickers into the mix.  As I started the project, I decided our trees need stars on top, so I pulled out the glitter glue.  In this craft, I used the following skills: ordering, gluing, peeling and placing, and glue drawing.

First, give the strips to the child in a pile so that they have to order them from longest to shortest or shortest to longest.  Then glue the strips to the paper with the longest at the bottom and the shortest at the top.  Second, decorate the tree with the stickers.  Finally, use glitter glue to create a star on top of the tree.  (I'm sorry I don't have a better picture.  I always wait until nighttime to take these pictures, and the lighting just doesn't work.)

Ellie decided hers needed "branches" at the top 
Mikey needed surprisingly little direction for this!

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