© by Leanne Guenther
- Christmas Scissor Skills Projects If your child is new to safety scissors, the scissor skills Christmas crafts are the perfect first craft to build confidence while making a cute decoration to be cherished. You can allow the children to just cut the strips of paper free hand or you can draw lines for them to cut along. I prefer free hand!
- Christmas Quilt Paper Craft There are two different Christmas quilts on the site – a generic one and a nativity one. The cut and paste paper quilts make wonderful group or long term projects – they turn out nice and large, making great decorations for a classroom or Sunday School bulletin board. If making one with just one or two children, give yourself a couple of weeks – you can work on coloring a page or two every couple of days. These simple quilt squares are easy to cut out for children learning to use scissors!
- Paper Strip Christmas Tree The paper strip Christmas tree takes cut and paste crafting a step further and gives children the chance to practice sorting from long to short. The color template pieces have nice patterns on them and this would be one of the few situations where I, personally, might prefer to print out the color version instead of the black and white version. This also allows the children to focus on their cutting skills rather than their coloring skills. The shapes are easy to cut out, but there are a lot of them. If they still have energy at the end of their crafting, they can still get creative by decorate the background page by drawing some presents underneath of the Christmas tree.
- Paper Poinsettia Flowers Poinsettia flowers are surprisingly easy to make – crafty grade schoolers end up with very “professional” looking Christmas flowers. You can “fancy up” the project by using decorative scrapbooking paper or shiny red gift wrap instead of construction paper. The biggest challenge of this craft is that there is not a template. Children make the petals freehand from folded paper (similar to making construction paper hearts). This can be a challenge for some children and may take one or two practice petals before they understand the method.
- Christmas Cat Wreath This is the most difficult cut and paste craft I’m suggesting today. It can take a couple of days for your average crafty grade schooler to complete, but in all likelihood, they will proudly hang it on their bedroom door and drag grandma over to view it before she even has her coat off *grin*. You can provide the child with a ruler so they can measure out the length of their construction paper strips. Doing so makes all of the rings be a consistent size. For many children, this may be the first time they get to practice with a ruler!
If you craft with your child from a very young age, you’ll find yourself doing a lot of “cutting out” with your handy pair of scissors. One suggestion I would make is to use children’s safety scissors from the very beginning. That way, when it’s time for you to pass the scissors off to your child for their first attempt at cutting things out they will feel all the more excited to be using the exact same scissors that mommy or daddy have always used! That’s a huge accomplishment and privilege in the minds of most preschoolers.
Cutting and pasting activities develop a child’s fine motor skills and let them practice their ability to follow verbal instructions (for example, glue the arms on first). If you use the black and white version of the templates, children also get to express themselves creatively. I like to provide two different types of coloring tools for the kids each time so they can mix and match – crayons, pastels, pencil crayons, colored chalk, markers, bingo daubers, water color paints, finger paints or tempra paints – and then just let them have at it without too much instruction. After they are done coloring and the pieces are dry (if painted), we move on to the cutting and pasting.