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KinderArt® Lesson/Activity


Grade: K-6
Age: 4-12

Submitted by: Gretta Keel, an artist and teacher from Sasebo Japan.


To focus children on the creative ideas of gift giving during the holidays

What You Need:

  • green construction paper
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue
  • tape, ribbon, glitter...
  • assorted colored paper
  • one box christmas wrapped like a package
  • with an open lid
  • stencil of a christmas ball or clipart for young children

What You Do:

To conquer the Holiday hustle and bustle, and the stress of gift giving, I proposed the following plan to address several issues.
  • Gifts come from the heart. People who love you, love the things you make for them. You don't have to spend a lot of money.

  • Representation: Hands represent the act of helping. The wrapped box represents giving.

  • Freedom of expression and creative thinking when deciding on a gift.
This project was done in 3 segments.
  1. Children draw their hand prints on green construction paper and cut them out.
    • They will then arrange them upside down in the triangle shape of a christmas tree
    • This will serve as the bulletin board.

  2. Children use the colored paper, and draw a christmas ball, decorate it with glitter, or ribbons etc. leaving enough room to write in the center.
    • The children then think of a gift to give, (ie: help teach you a new game, invite you to my birthday party, help you clean your desk, play with you at the park after school, read you a book, draw you a picture...teachers need to check the "gift" to make sure it is within reason)
    • Write the "gift" on the ornament.
    • Place the ornaments with the child's name on the back, into the wrapped box.
    • Sitting in a circle, the box is passed from child to child, each child taking an ornament from the box, not choosing his/her own.
    • When all the ornaments are chosen, each child reads out loud the "gift" he will receive and who the gift is from.
    • The ornaments will then be taped to the hand tree bulletin board.
  3. As the children honor their "gift", over the next few weeks before Christmas or on into the new year, the ornament will be taken off the tree to take home as a reminder of the "gift" The child who received his/her gift, will write "Thank you" on his/her green handprints and give it to the giver.

In the end, The tree and ornaments will be gone and the "Little acts of Kindness" is all that remains. Progress on the tree will let the children know just how they are doing, and by being kind to each other the holiday stress seems to disappear just like the tree.

© Gretta Keel

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