Saturday, December 6, 2014

DIY Christmas Garland

Here is a really great festive and educational craft you can do with your kids and have the outcome really be for yourself - win win ;) This DIY Christmas garland is especially great to do with kids who might have some OT or fine motor planning issues, or just to practice on those areas with them, through cutting and lacing. 
All you need for this is some baker's twine, paper straws (got mine on eBay for $2 bucks), beads (check out dollar store or Michaels), and bluntly tipped children's scissors. Have your child practice cutting with scissors by slicing up the straws, (which is easier for them to do than cutting paper as all it requires is one quick cut). Then alternating between the freshly cut straws and beads, lace onto the twine until you reach the desired length of garland for your tree. 
There's so many different ways to personalize your garland depending on your tree and desired look you're going for. Since our tree has a silver and gold theme, I used silver and gold striped paper straws along with silver and gold beads, but some other ideas I love are the wooden beads with various colored paper straws, or varied shaped and sized crystal beads with white straws for a more elegant look.
There are so many ways to make this craft even more of a learning experience for them - the most obvious is through the concept of a pattern - you can discuss how you are developing repeat pieces/colors and have them pick out the next piece in your garland as you go (this is more of a higher level/4-year old skill). You can also discuss other concepts and vocabulary such as comparing lengths of the cut straws, ("taller than", "shorter than", "the same as") and introduce or practice other descriptive words like round, shiny, smooth, hard, thin, fragile, striped, etc.

Merry Christmas Crafting!

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