Friday, December 7, 2012

Dollar Store Stocking Decorating Party

One of the big hits in my classroom in December happens when the Dollar Store sells their Christmas stockings! They are not very fancy, but do come with iron-on letters so you can personalize each stocking. This year, the students voted to have their names put on with glitter and glue instead. 

My students usually do this as one of the activities at their class party. However, our room mom has another fun idea that involves painting the inside of an ornament. So I was wondering how I might still have 24 kindergarteners who are armed with squeezy glitter glue bottles decorate a Christmas stocking. We were meeting with our 4th grade Buddies one more time before the holiday, so I opted to have them do this project with the kindergarteners. 

I got the students really excited by telling them that we could pretend we were elves working in Santa's workshop. The second I told them that, they were super excited and could barely contain themselves. 

I put their name on the tag on their stocking I purchased for $1 each at the Dollar Store. I had a plastic bin for each table filled with sequins, sparkly, plastic jewels, holiday foam pieces, foam stickers, rick-rack, tiny bells, sparkly pom-poms, and shiny shapes cut from holiday garland. We dumped the bin across the table so that the students could choose exactly what they wanted to include on the stocking. I also included skinny bottles of glitter glue (red, gold, silver, green, purple, and blue) in each of the boxes. A bonus left from last year were bottles of glow-in-the-dark glitter glue purchased from Oriental Trading. I showed the children how "a little dab'l do ya" with the glue. I also explained that if any glue spread out from under the item they were gluing onto the stocking, it would leave a pretty glitter line behind it.

For this project, I had the 4th grade buddies sit with their kindergarteners and work on decorating the stocking together. While they did this, they shared special Christmas memories from their family with each other. We played Christmas music in the background. I had nearly 50 children in the room with just 2 teachers and the room was magical. The students quietly worked together and enjoyed their time immensely. They even requested I turn out most of the lights so they could work in low-light for a tiny bit to enjoy working with the glow-in-the-dark glue. Many of the 4th graders were relishing the days back when they got to make their own stocking in kindergarten with their 4th grade buddy. Some of them mentioned that they still have them and put them out for a decoration every Christmas season.

I heard more than one student say that working in Santa's workshop was so much fun! I will hang the stockings up in the class as a decoration for our class party. I also purchased some really great academic activity pads for each student that I will put in the stocking on the day of the party. There will still be two weeks until Christmas after the party, so I will then let the students take them home to decorate at home with.

Do you do any fun Christmas projects with 4th or 5th grade Buddies? Try this idea sometime with your students. It is truly a hit every year!


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