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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Children's Christmas Crafts no 2 - Paper Leaf Wreath

Christmas crafts idea no 2 for children brings you these stunning paper wreaths. These can take a bit of time, so are good at looking at patience and perseverance but do look gorgeous when they have been completed. This is also a really good activity to use to assess and monitor scissor skills, fine motor skills and spatial awareness.
You will need card, glue, patterned paper, a piece of ribbon and any additional embellishments you may want to add.

 Complete leaf Wreath
1. On a piece of card trace around the edge of a paper plate to give you a perfect circle. Place a roll of cello tap in the centre of your drawn circle and draw around this. You should not have two circles, one inside the other on your piece of card.
2. Carefully cut around the edge of the large circle. Once you have cut out your large circle, carefully cut out the smaller circle in the middle. This should leave you with a “halo” shape. This will be the base for your Christmas leaf wreath.  
 3. Using the leaf template (or your own design you could use heart or stars or various Christmas figures) cut out around 50 shapes. To save time cutting out your shapes why not fold your paper in half or quarters enabling you to cut more than one shape out at a time.
4. Fold each shape in half, this give a more textured finish when glued onto the wreath.
 5. Now it’s time to start gluing the leaves (or shapes) onto the wreath. Glue three shapes in a row three across the band on your circle shape as shown in the picture above. Think carefully about how to angle the leaf shapes when placing them on to create an interesting effect
 6. Continue to glue the leaf shapes around the template in rows of three, overlapping slightly with each new row. Continue around the band until the wreath is full.

7. Finally add a piece of ribbon and any embellishments, the wreaths look quite nice with a hint of glitter. You can spray the wreaths with a mixture of pva and water and gentle sprinkle glitter over the top. Alternatively you could add sequins, pom poms, stickers etc to your wreath.

This activity can be split into two sessions - One to cut out all the shapes required and a second to make the wreath.
Be inventive with the use of paper for this project. You can buy some really nice paper from Hobbycraft and good art shops, but you can also use magazines, newspaper, wrapping paper, pre painted papers etc.

This project can be easily adapted for all age groups.
Foundation children – the leave shapes can be stamped out by a member of staff using a leaf (or any shape) hole punch. The wreaths look quite effective with any shape and sometimes less complicated shapes such as circles work very well. If you do not have access to a hole punch you can buy pre-cut gummed shapes that can be used. Cut out the centre of a paper plate and encourage the children to glue the shapes around the paper plate. Try to encourage the children not to leave any white parts of the plate showing.

Key Stage One – Once again it may be easier to pre-cut out the shapes, however children that are working on their scissor skills should be encouraged to cut out shapes. Key stage one children could also use large hole punches to lunch shapes out of paper to glue onto their wreath creating a more independent learning experience. Ask the children to think carefully about what colour papers they are going to use. What patterns can the make when they stick the different coloured papers onto the wreath. As the shapes tend to be stuck on in rows of three this activity can easily be used to help learn and embed the 3 times table.

Key Stage Two – Children should be cutting out their own shapes and be encouraged to consider how appropriate the shape will be for the wreath – a cut out heart will look nice but a car shape may be too complicated and look messy when placed in multiples on the wreath. Children can be encouraged to consider the use of colour – do they want their wreath to be made of cool colours or warm colours? This is a good project for introducing the colour wheel or reinforcing learning of complimentary and contrasting colours.

Key Stage Three children could design their own paper for the project (once again taking into account colour theory and mood) – Linking in printmaking techniques, brusho splatter papers or delicate watercolour washes. When the papers are dry Key Stage 3 children should be focusing on precision with their cutting and assembling of the wreath. Children should be taking time to think about spacing, measuring the gap between each row and formulating a pattern that flows through the wreath.

I hope that you enjoy this activity - Look out for some fun Bead decorations tomorrow...

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