Here's what we accomplished (with my new Mariah Carey "Merry Christmas" CD playing in the background - my first teacher gift of the year - and the Holiday Yule Log video playing on the SmartBoard. I have to set the scene for you!)
The hot-ticket station was definitely the Your Fresh Market Gingerbread cookie-pop/gingerbread kids assembly station, with the kits kindly provided by Walmart ($6 per kit available at Walmart for the holiday season). The students loved being able to put together their peanut-free treats and decorate them as they wished (bonus: there are some extras for my girls at home, too).
One of my favourite activities is the lightbulb penguin ornament. I originally found this on Pinterest, though the link is broken now, it was from etsy.com:
(Last year I asked parents to send in used lightbulbs. This year I was less environmentally friendly - sorry! - and purchased them at the dollar store. At 50 cents a bulb it was a great deal.)
Here are a couple of samples from my class:
Our third station was another ornament-making task. A parent from the school sent in a huge bag full of these cardboard discs (they may look edible in the photo but trust me, you don't want to take a bite):
I tried to come up with a craft where I could use them (because sometimes I try to think green and reuse!), and I decided to have the kids cut wrapping paper to cover both sides of the discs, and then attach the mini stickers we receive from the school photo company (not shown) which include a small picture of the student, their name, and the year. We hole-punched the top and looped ribbon through, and voila - a cute keepsake for the tree.
At the final centre, kids had the opportunity to use leftover foam pieces which I've collected over the last few years to make Christmas cards for friends and family members:
Thanks again to Walmart for supplying the cookie kits, and to the moms who gave their mornings to come and help out (I'm hoping my tray of Keurig selections will keep them coming back!) My students are pretty bright and independent, but for tasks like this, the more help the better - plus students this age love to have an adult from home come and spend time in their classroom.
Let the countdown continue!