Coffee filter trees, combined with pine needle printing for the background: These turned out wonderfully, and let the kids experience a number of textures, techniques and creativity.
Felt tree decorating: My aunt made this for Ellie last year, and the kiddos loved decorating the tree (and telling me what shapes to cut with the extra felt). It was great fun, plus good shape and color practice.
Look at that crazy hair!!
Salt dough ornaments with nature stamping: We gave each of the kids a cup, bundled them up and sent them outside to collect nature things to make prints in their ornaments. They picked all kinds of neat things, like pine needles, pinecones, rocks, leaves, etc. We added whole wheat flour, which gave them a really neat texture. I didn't get any pictures of the finished product, but here's one of them hard at work!
Cotton ball snowflakes: Ours didn't turn out exactly like snowflakes, because we let the kids do their own glue. But it was good fine motor practice, and we were surprised by how much the kids liked this one.
Candy cane tissue paper collage: I printed out a candy cane picture for each kid, then gave them red and white tissue paper to glue onto the correct color. The older kids seemed to get it and like it for awhile, but needed more one-on-one help than we had adults for. Ellie enjoyed it on her own later.
Candy cane letter name hunt: I printed out each child's name in a candy cane font, then printed a duplicate set that I cut apart. I hid the letters around our living room, and we helped them match the letters. Two of the oldest really liked this, but again, it took a lot of adult interaction to help them do this one.
Fluffy stuff: Keeping with the theme of this day, the older three liked it, the younger ones did not.
Red and white beanbag toss: Taking an idea from a library story time by us, I made six red and six white beanbags out of children's socks. Just fill them with rice or beans and tie a knot. They held up wonderfully and the kids sorted them into a red or white basket. This was a great game that Ellie has asked to repeat multiple times since tot school that week.
Christmas picture fishing: I made "fishing rods" out of a dowel rod, string and a heavy-duty magnet. Then I printed out a bunch of pictures of Christmasy things, and attached a paper clip to each. I put all the pictures in a hula hoop and let the kids fish. This one held their attention for a LONG time. We'll probably repeat it with different pictures later.
WHEW! That's a lot of catch up...