Christmas Decoration Creation Station

Nov 24, 2013

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After seeing how much, Maddie (4) enjoyed her Valentines Creation Station, I had been looking forward to creating a Christmas Decoration Creation Station all year long. Finally the time has arrived!

I love this sort of open-ended creativity. Provide your child with an invitation to create simply by setting out a range of enticing materials that can be used in a variety of different ways individually and together, and then sit back as they get stuck in. After your child is used to being presented with invitations to play, they will need very little instruction, (if any) before they start. Children experiencing this sort of provocation for the first time may be hesitant to start without instruction. If they ask what they should do, try asking them,  "What do you think you could do?", and go from there.

By an open window I set out a variety of different materials to decorate Christmas ornaments with.

These materials included:
  • Plain Christmas baubles (I bought a cheap pack of 6 for $2)

  • Sequins
  • 3D paint
  • glitter paint
  • mini plastic beads
  • White craft glue (PVA glue) with cotton bud for application

  • Cut out cardboard Christmas shapes (with holes punched at the top)
  • Glitter (in shakers)
  • Patterned paper tape
  • Stickers (letter stickers and little crystals)
  • Broken Christmas embellishment

I laid them all out so that they were easily visible and accessible and gave it an extra Christmas-y feel with a strand of tinsel around the table. I provided something for the ornaments to hang from as that is the best way to dry them without smudging anything.

I'm not sure she knew where to start. I could see her processing all the materials and all the different ways she could use them. And off she went.

She was so focused and she had a completely different plan for each and every ornament.

It really was too tempting. I had to make some with her as well. Sitting side by side creating with my daughter is one of the most glorious, wonderful feelings in the world. This is the time to talk, learn and share together. (I love the simple spots with the 3D paint. I want to make a whole set of them in different colours!)

I loved seeing that pincer-grip and concentration as she manipulated and stuck small and fiddly materials.

We can't wait to do this activity again next year. We just loved it! It'll be so fun to create our entire range over the years. I'm going back and adding dates onto these ones so that we remember.

Handy Tips

Simplify this activity for younger children by providing them with things like foam stickers that are easy for them to peel and stick and pre-cut pieces of patterned tape. You can leave out some of the more fiddly items like sequins and mini beads (although they can be fabulous for practicing fine motor skills).

Extend this activity by:
  • Encouraging children to spell out Christmas words and names using letter stickers, stamps and paint.
  • Encourage your child to think about patterns, colours and spacing
  • Have children paint plain decorations first before adding embellishments

Mix it up with different shapes and sizes of ornaments

- Use descriptive language that goes with this experience to help develop your child's vocabulary. Eg "pattern, design, stick, peel, paste, control" etc.

- Having a damp cloth on the side of the table is handy for attending to spills and cleaning fingers along the way.

Happy playing,
Debs :)

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