I love the Elf on the Shelf book, and my students always LOVE the fun of running into the room and searching for the little stuffed elf each morning when they enter the classroom. So this year, I decided to create a special Elf on the Shelf art project that the children could each take home and use in the same way! My inspiration for the project was an old toilet tube Santa project that I used to make with our fifth grade book buddies many years ago called the “Shelf Sitter Santa.” Unfortunately, it was my fifth grade teacher friend’s project, and I did not have a sample, the patterns, or even a picture, and my memories are dim!! So I had to start from scratch and make it up myself.
I loved the way my sample came out so much that I sent the picture to one of my Kindergarten teacher friends at my former school and asked her if she would like to make one with her students, and she was excited to give it a try! I was excited, too, so I arranged to go down and help out for the day. Ah, it was so much fun to be in a REAL Kindergarten classroom again! (Remember, I am on a leave of absence this year.) I have to say that it really felt so natural, like I was “home” again! I had a BLAST! Yippee!!!!!
I do miss the little kinders! Halfway through the morning, one little girl came across the room, wrapped her arms around me and out of the blue said, “I LOVE you!!!!” (I still don’t know the child’s name!) Another time, one little boy asked me if I can hear all of the children singing when I am up on the screen (on the DVD.) I tried to explain that I could not- and why- but he just kept saying, “But WHY NOT????” He never did “get it!”
I loved seeing the classroom all decorated with many of the kindergarten projects that I helped create, too! One of my favorites is the reindeer on the wall in the picture below. To make the elf stay on the reindeer’s back, I put a tongue depressor sized craft stick up the back of the elf inside the toilet tube, and then slipped the stick behind the reindeer. As long as the reindeer is stapled or pinned down well, the elf stays put! 🙂
Here is the download for the elf. I hope that you enjoy it! If you cannot get enough toilet paper tubes, remember that wrapping paper tubes or paper towel tubes cut down to about four inches each will also work! The tube that I used for my sample was just slightly over four inches long- it was four and one-sixteenth inches! So when I cut my paper for the body, I had to cut it just over four inches.
* By the way, if you use HeidiSongs in your classroom and you feel comfortable suggesting that parents purchase some of our products as educational holiday gifts, I have created a note that you can fill out with your gift suggestions and send home. Each year, I have given my students HeidiSongs DVD’s as holiday gifts, and I can’t even begin to describe how much more quickly students learn when they are getting their lessons reinforced at home in a fun, easy way! You can download the note here.
And here is a round up of all of my best holiday freebies that I can possibly fit into one post!
1. The Reindeer and the Elf- These are two of my all time favorite holiday art projects! I just LOVE them! You can download them here.
2. Hanukkah Candle- I know that it’s too late for this year’s celebration, but you could still save it for next year, right? I like teaching the children to make patterns on it, too. You can download it here.
3. Christmas Guided Drawing- I just LOVE doing guided drawing with children! And they are always so pleased to see that, yes- they CAN draw recognizable objects. Plus, it is great for the development of their visual perception and fine motor skills, plus it fits right into the Common Core State Standards, since they are drawing and composing shapes. What more could you ask for? Download it here.
4. Christmas Tree Ornaments Ten Frames 0-30 Matching Sets Cards- In this set, the children just count the number of ornaments on the tree, and match it to the number on the star at the top of the tree. Sounds simple, right? It’s actually much harder than it seems! My students had a bit of a tough time finding and counting up all of the ornaments correctly, and were much more successful doing this activity as a group. They had no trouble at all just doing 0-10, of course. Oh, that Common Core… We could have kept working on this activity well into February! I guess that means I also need to make some out of snowflakes and hearts. 🙂 You can download them here.
If you are short on paper and ink, only print out the ones that you think your students can really do successfully in the amount of time that they have, especially if they are working alone. My top students needed about 30 minutes to put all of them together from 0-30- and quite a bit of floor space as well, because you really have to spread them out.
5. Count by Tens Christmas Tree Hat- This little hat is fun and easy to make. We had our kids write the numbers on it from 10 to 100, counting by tens, but you could have them write anything on there, including sight words or whatever! Download it here.
6. Sight Word Santa Game- Here is a fun little game that I made up to help practice sight words. All you have to do is copy off the Santa cards with the words on them. (There are blank cards at the end so that you can customize the game.) Then you hide a little paper present (also included) under one one of the cards. Then the children all chant, “Santa, Santa, ho, ho, ho! Santa, Santa, where did it go?” Each child in turn has to read a word and pick up the card. If the present is under that word card, he is the winner! This game is fun because it is simple and easy. Download it here.
7. Christmas Worksheets- Here are a few Christmas worksheets that I made a few years back.
Christmas Graph Worksheet: Here is a fun graph with a Santa, elves, reindeer, and a few presents to count.
Christmas Counting Worksheet: This worksheet gives kids practice counting out quantities from 11-20. The kids are counting bells this time.
Christmas Tree Color Words Worksheet: This color-by-number worksheet helps kids practice the color words and also the numbers 11-17.
Elf Color Word Worksheet 11-30; This is a color word worksheet with an elf on it.
Gingerbread Man Counting Worksheet This is a matching sets worksheet using ten frames with Gingerbread Men inside them.
8. Christmas Countdown Book- Alright, this one is not free, but since it took so long to prepare and there are so many freebies here, maybe you will forgive me for that? This is a guided drawing book with each holiday object “started.” All the kids have to do is trace and then finish the pictures. The point of the book is to teach the children to count out quantities from 11-20, and also get a little practice counting backwards, too! At this point in the year, you may want to just teach the song, and then do certain pages of it rather than the whole thing. This book can be purchased here for five bucks, which includes the mp3 file of the music. 🙂
This book is usually “do-able” for most of my students, and it is such fun for the holidays! (And boy, am I sure glad that no one has “banned” this sort of thing from our schools yet!)
9. Gingerbread Man Project- This is a very simple Gingerbread Man project for the children to decorate any way they (or you!) choose! I always give my kids tempera paint mixed with white to create pastels and invite them to paint it however they like. Then I save that paint for February projects! Download the template here.
10. Jingle Bell BANG!- Here is a really fun version of Bang! that you can play with your kids, with a holiday twist! Again, this one is not free because it took me so long to prepare, but I think it is well worth the five bucks that it costs. The game helps kids practice sight words, alphabet, numbers 0-30, and counting out quantities from 0-30. It also includes blank cards so that you can modify the game to include your own sight words, etc. The game can be purchased here.
11. Candy Cane Art Project- This is a fun and relatively simple project to make! The kids just have to cut out the pre-traced or xeroxed candy cane, glue on some white strips of paper that are cut too long for the candy cane, and then give the whole thing a “hair cut!” You can download it here.
12. Candy Cane Printable Easy Reader- This is fun little book to read, fill in the missing words, and color for the holidays. You may want to read the full description on how I made it work, though. It was trickier than I thought it was going to be! Download it here.
13. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas Freebies- AND one more thing- if you click on this link here, you will find a blog post with three more really great Pete the Cat Christmas themed freebies that my kids really loved.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I know that there are MORE holiday freebies on this blog, but frankly, my fingers, back, and neck are TIRED! LOL! Please consider signing up for our email updates! You can also follow this blog on Bloglovin’, and keep in touch with me on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube, too!