One of the cutest decorations your preschooler will love to make is garland. We’re talking miles and miles of garland. For this task you will need lots and lots of strips of construction paper, beads, tacky glue, yarn or twine, fruit loops, cheerios and buttons.
The easiest garland to make is of course the loops of construction paper. You can let the preschoolers laboriously cut a hundred strips of paper with their tiny blunt scissors, or you can show mercy and cut them all for them in about ten minutes or less. Show the children how to join the first loop with a little tacky glue and how to add the next and the next. They will love making theses long strips of loops and showing off how many they got done to their little neighbors or classmates. If they are being created in the classroom for the classroom, have the children join all their finished loop ropes together to form one continuous garland to pin up all the way around the classroom. If you are working at home, go ahead and drape over the tree or around a doorway. Don’t drape it over your fireplace for obvious reasons.
If you’re making a garland out of beads, cut lengths of rope or yarn about six feet long and place them on the table along with bowls of beads, buttons or just about anything that you can run a string through. In Preschool Crafts for the Holidays II, we used Barbie shoes to make some of the ornaments. If you’ve got a lot of extra Barbie shoes, chances are you’ve got plenty of Barbie purses. Add these to the pile too. They usually have a handle on them. Or use the polly pocket purses. Little boys may not care to string girley things, so provide them with some of the dollar store GI Joes, you know the kind that are 50 or 100 to a bag for a couple of dollars – like the ones you see in Toy Story. I know it sounds weird, but the kids will love it and have a great time.
You will need to start the string by tying the first item to the end, whether that is a big bead, a GI Joe or whatever you’ve gathered for your little holiday crafter. This will help additional beads or stuff stay on the string and not just slide off. A big button might work well also. Something not too small. The kids can add anything they want in any arrangement. Just wait until you see the pride in their eyes when they see their special garland hung on the tree or looped over a doorway. Trust me, this is worth the mess, worth your time, and definitely worth keeping in the Christmas treasures box for years to come.