I absolutely love celebrating holidays! I get so much joy out of decorating, and the food, happiness, and family togetherness is priceless. Holidays are also fun in therapy, because they provide an array of new vocabulary words and activities that the children don't hear and see on a regular basis. So much fun-filled learning can happen around holidays.
I'm sure many of you enjoy doing crafts around the holidays too. I love to craft, but I have a confession to make. I haven't always enjoyed crafting with my therapy children. I'm a perfectionist (surprised?), and the imperfections and messiness of children crafting added to the time it takes to prep the crafts used to make my skin crawl. But through a lot of trials, some simplification, minimal preparation, and some OCD therapy (just kidding), I learned to re-embrace kid crafts, and eventually quickly found their way back into my therapy room. My key to crafting in therapy centers around the simplification. Many of my kiddos are really young (under 3 years). So the fewer steps the better, and cutting and gluing is basically out. (I do use cutting and gluing with my older kids). Also, since I pay for the materials, cheap is also really, really good.
So which craft is cute, simple, cheap, with minimal to no prep work required, and holiday-rrific? Painted Hand/Foot Prints!
Following are pictures I've done with my daughter at home. (I use thin canvasses for hers that I'm going to keep and hot-glue a ribbon on top to hang). I use cardstock or construction paper for my kiddos in therapy.
Hand print Turkeys for Thanksgiving. (I forgot to take a picture of her hand print Rudloph and footprint Christmas tree for Christmas)
Even though this isn't a hand print, we let Halle Jane get a little practice in with the paintbrush by painting in this heart. She loved it!
Although the paint is washable, we decided not to take a chance and went shirtless! Here's my other tips: instead of dipping her hand or foot into the paint, I paint the paint on her hand and foot with a paintbrush. This ensures that it goes on evenly and there's less mess. I also keep baby wipes on hand and wipe the paint off when we're finished, instead of taking her back and forth to the sink. Baby wipes are also helpful when you're in a classroom or daycare and don't have access to a sink right away!
We sent these out to grandparents and great-grandparents for Valentine's Day!
And this is the Valentine's Day canvass we made for our house!
We made a shamrock for St. Patrick's Day!
A bunny and carrot for Easter...
And these are what we're sending the grandparents and great-grandparents for Easter! I used strips of scrapbook paper for the greenery.
There are also TONS of other ideas on Pinterest for not only holidays, but also other hand/footprint crafts for all kinds of themes.
For instance, we did this crab last year during summer school for our beach unit. Googly eyes completed the project!
Have you done any hand or footprint crafts in therapy? I'd love to hear what you have done!