Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christmas Countdown Ribbon

I have done this craft activity with my students for years and just realized I have never blogged about it. Well, I'm fixing that today.

Each year at the end of November, I have my students bring in 24 Hershey's Kisses. They don't know ahead of time what we will be doing with the Kisses, so there is a lot of excitement in the air as they speculate about what project is looming in their future.

I supply the other materials needed for them to make a Christmas Countdown Ribbon.

Material Needed
1 piece of wired ribbon 30" long for each student
1 8" piece of small ribbon for each child (this is the hanger)
1 small bell for each student (purchased from Michael's)
24 Hershey's Kisses (or similar wrapped candy)
hot glue glues and glue sticks
1 cellophane gift bag for each student (purchased from Michael's)
card stock to print poem on
pinking shears (optional)
piece of poster board for each table
Step 1: Type up this poem in your favorite font using a word processing program. Click here for my Google doc version.
How many days till Christmas?
It's mighty hard to tell.
Take off a candy every night
When the Sandman casts his spell,
And Christmas Eve will be here
By the time you reach the bell.

Print it on the card stock and cut them apart with the pinking shears. (Using pinking shears is optional.)

Step 2: Review (or teach) hot glue gun safety.

Step 3: Plug in the glue guns.

Step 4: Explain how to lay the candies out on the ribbon. Space is needed at the top for the poem and at the bottom for the bell.

Step 5: Have one student demonstrate how to place everything on the ribbon.

Step 6: Put a piece of poster board on the tables being used before anyone starts gluing. This will protect the table tops from getting glue all over them.

Step 7: I set up 4 working stations. I have my four best listeners place everything on their ribbons and then start gluing everything in place as I closely monitor. They write their names on the back of the poem card which is glued to the top of their piece of ribbon. I glue on everyone's bell at the bottom of the ribbon because I find this difficult for my 4th graders to do without getting hot glue on their fingers. (Ouch!)

Step 8: I will glue the small piece of ribbon (used for hanging the Countdown Ribbon) on the back of the poem card. Again I find it easier for me to do this and I don't get kids with burned fingers. Use Plenty of glue to attach the ribbon hanger.

Step 9: Gently lift the ribbon off of the poster board. Yes, there will be some sticking. Just keep pulling and you will get the ribbon off the paper. If a candy pops off in this process, just glue it back on.

Step 10: Lay the ribbons somewhere safe to thoroughly dry.

Step 11: Now my four students become a monitor at each working station, as the rest of my students take their turn putting their countdown ribbon together. I continue with the rest of the class working on our regular lessons.

Step 12: Curl the countdown ribbon up carefully, place it in a cellophane gift bag, and send it home with the students on December 1.

We always make some extra ones for the office staff, lunchroom ladies, and custodial staff. Have fun with this craft and Happy Holidays.