Make: Candy Cane Ornaments

Candy Cane Ornaments


This is a fun, open-ended, hands-on activity where children make patterns with beads on a pipe cleaner. Here are my lesson plans.

Lesson Title: Candy Cane Ornaments

Subject: Math

Objectives: Students will recognize and create an AB pattern. (Colorado Standards: Math Knowledge And Skills: Patterns: The recognition of patterns, sequencing, and critical thinking skills necessary to predict and classify objects in a pattern.)

Materials: Pony beads (in groups of 5 different colors/ styles), pipe cleaners -any color (I use red), string, Book: The Legend of the Candy Cane

Procedure:  Read Book: The Legend of the Candy Cane.  Review AB pattern.  Model what it looks like to create an ABC pattern on the whiteboard.  Today we will be using ABC patterns to make a candy cane ornament.  Review the colors.  Model what it looks like to make an ABC pattern with the beads.  Then bend the pipe cleaner so it looks like a candy cane.  Students work at tables to create their candy cane ornaments.

Assessment:  The standards will have been met when students are able to use the beads to create an ABC pattern that repeats at least 3 times.

Extension: Students create a more complicated pattern, such as an AAB pattern or ABCD pattern.

Celebrating Holidays Around The World

Here are a 5 lessons designed to teach students about different holidays around the world, including Christmas, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa while incorporating core subjects including math, science, language arts, and social studies.

I teach one lesson per day, starting on Monday. Throughout the week, students learn about the many different celebrations going on around the world and create festive crafts for many different holidays.

Each lesson is designed to take up about an hour of time, 30 minuted for the large group/ reading activity, and 30 minutes for the craft.  It may take you more or less time to actually complete each lesson.  I hope you enjoy these and let me know what you think!

Lesson 1: Celebrating Christmas, Journaling

Objectives:  Students will use scribbles, shapes, pictures, and letters to represent objects, stories, experiences, or ideas.  Students will copy, trace, or independently write letters or words (Colorado Standards: Literacy Knowledge & Skills 5.3, 5.4)

Materials: Book: Celebrate Christmas, Book: Santa Claus, Journals/ Writing paper, Pencils, Colored pencils

Procedure: Read Book: Celebrate Christmas. Ask: What are some things that might be under a christmas tree?  Gifts, Presents, Toys.  Today we will be writing about some things that we might find under a christmas tree.

Write students suggestions on the whiteboard. Students work on journals at tables, drawing a picture of a gift that might be under a Christmas tree, using the writing prompt, “Under the Christmas Tree, there is  _________.”

Assessment:  Objectives will be met if students are able to write the first and last letter of the words they are writing, and pictures have at least 3 colors and details.


Lesson 2: Celebrating Kwanzaa and Weaving Patterned Mats



Subject Math

Objectives: Students will create patterns through the repetition of a unit (Colorado Standards: Math Knowledge And Skills 4.3)

Materials: Book: Celebrating Kwanzaa, Black red and green construction paper – prepared for weaving

Procedure:  Read Book: Celebrating Kwanzaa, Have a discussion about traditions associated with Kwanzaa, such as the mat, or mkeke.  Why do people celebrate Kwanzaa.  

Model how to make the Kwanzaa mat.  Students go to tables and get busy making their own Kwanza mats

Assessment:  The standards will have been met when students are able create a pattern by alternating the red and green strips of paper as they create their mats.

Large Motor Connection Activity: Kwanzaa Colors Jump Game

Resources: Kwanzaa Activities by Mrs Richardson


Lesson 3: 

Celebrating Ramadan and Learning About Cycles of the Moon



Objectives: Students will identify patterns based on representations of objects in the sky. Vocab: Crescent Moon, Full Moon, New Moon (Colorado Standards: Science and Knowledge Skills 2.4)

Materials: Book: Celebrating Ramadan, Crescent shape outlined with marker on paper plates or card stock, buttons, sequins, glue, scissors.

Procedure:  Say, “Ramadan is celebrated at a certain time in the year when the moon looks like a crescent.  The moon has phases and what it looks like changes over time.”

Show pictures of a full moon, crescent moon, and new moon and talk about what it looks like when it is in different phases.

Today we will create a crescent moon craft. Students cut out the moon shape and teachers punch a hole in the top.  Students glue buttons and sequins onto the paper moon and let dry.  Tie a string in a loop through the hole in the top.

Assessment:  Objectives will be met when students are able to identify that there are different phases of the moon.

Resources: – Moon Button Collage – Button Art Ideas for Kids


Lesson 4: Celebrating Diwali and Making Festive Candle HoldersSalt Dough Candle Holders Image

Objectives:  Students will ask and answer questions and make comments about print materials (Colorado Standards:  Literacy Knowledge & Skills 1.3)

Materials:  Book: Celebrating Diwali, Salt Doh (see recipe below) or Air-Dry Clay, Sequins, Glitter, Gemstones, Cabochons, Glitter Glue.

Procedure: Read Book: Celebrating Diwali.  Review some of the important things that are celebrated for Diwali.  Write students answers on the whiteboard.

Today we will be making special candle holders, similar to the candle holders used during Diwali celebrations.  Students got to tables and create candle holders out of salt dough, then decorate them with the rhinestones, sequins, and other craft materials provided.  Let dry for 2 days before taking home.

Colored Salt Dough Candle HoldersAssessment:  Standards will have been met when students answer questions based on the book, Celebrating Diwali

*Salt Dough Recipe: 1 cup Salt, 1 cup flour, ½ cup water. Bake at 100F or 200F for 1 Hour or Air dry for 2 days






Lesson 5: Celebrating Hanukkah

Standards: Social Studies Knowledge & Skills 1.2

popsicle stick and tissue paper star craft


Objectives: Students will understand similarities and respect differences among people

Materials: Blue Tissue Paper, Popsicle stick stars (prepared before the lesson) watered-down glue

Procedure:  Read Book: Celebrating Hanukkah.  Talk about some of the objects and symbols used in celebrating  Hanukkah, dreidel, menorah, Jewish star/ star of david which is a symbol of the Hanukkah celebration.  Explain to students how to make the star of David craft.

Students go to tables and create the Star of David craft.

Assessment:  Objectives will be met when students discuss some of the traditions people take part in for Hanukkah



Making Patterns With Vegetables – PreK Lesson

Veggie Prints


In this activity, students dip pieces of vegetables into paint and stamp onto paper to create patterns. Students will practice making patterns, learn about the vegetables we eat and get a glimpse of how vegetables grow.


Students will create patterns through the repetition of a unit (Colorado Standard, Math Knowledge And Skills 4.3)



First tape some chart paper to the tables. I like to completely cover the tables and tape the edges of the paper to the underside of the table to give the kids lots of room to stamp.

Cut the vegetables you will be using as stamps. If you are feeling creative you can carve into the vegetables to make different shapes.  

Now grab your book and gather the children..


Ask questions such as, “What is a vegetable” (carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers) and “Where are vegetables grown?” (gardens, farms, etc) to assess students prior understanding.

Say, ” Today we will talk about some of the vegetables we eat and make patterns with real vegetables!”

Read the book, The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons

Now pull out the magic vegetable basket Talk about each vegetable as you pull it out. how some of the real cut vegetables and have kids guess talk about what kind of vegetable it is. You can even let students taste some of the raw carrots. Talk about the color of the vegetable and what it looks like. Have students describe the vegetables.

Say, “Today we will use the vegetables to make patterns.”

Model stamping a vegetable to make an AB/ABC/ABCD/ABCB pattern.

Students go to tables and stamp the vegetables in paint and them on the chart paper to create patterns.

Assessment:  The standards will have been met when students are able create a pattern using the vegetable stamps and paint

Large Motor Connection Activity: Vegetable Color Toss Game – Bean Bags  Students pick a colored bean bag.  Then say a vegetable that is the same color.  Then they try to toss the bean bag into a container set out a little ways in front of them.


Veggie Print Making by Meri Cherry


President’s Day Activities

It’s almost Presidents’ Day which means it’s time to talk a little bit about the history of the United States.  Traditionally, Presidents Day is celebrated on the third Monday every February, usually between the 15th and 22nd.  It is also known as “Washington’s Birthday” in celebration of the first president, George Washington, born on February 22nd, 1732.  We now celebrate all our presidents on this day.

These President’s Day activities are aligned to Colorado Academic Standards for ages 3-5.

President’s Day Lessons & Activities

Activity # 1 George Washington, ​Our First President

cherry tree craft image


Objectives: ​LKS 1.1, 1.3, 1.5

Materials: ​Book: A Picture Book of George Washington, tissue paper, construction paper, glue, pencils


1. Read book, A Picture Book of George Washington.

2. Students discuss important facts from the book, write ideas on the board/ draw


3. Students work at tables. Help students trace their hand and arm with a pencil to make the tree trunk. They cut out the leaves and attach to the trunk. Then add cherry blossoms using pink and white tissue paper (not shown in the picture).


1. Did students show interest in the book?

2. Were students able to repeat an important fact from the book?

3. Were students able to relate the craft to the book (George Washington cut down

the cherry tree and was truthful about it)?

Outdoor Structured Activity:​ PD/#3/85 ​Yankee Doodle Tag (Marching tag)

Social Skills Development Activity:​ Using Gentle Hands


Activity #2 We Can Vote

we can vote activity image


Materials: ​​Book: Duck for President, black fabric, box for ballots, ballots with candidates names and pictures, duck puppet, panda puppet

Objectives: ​1. MKS 2.1

Procedures: 1. ​Read Book:Duck for President.

2. Today we will be having an election to see who willl be president” The candidates

are Mr. Duck and Ms. Panda (pick two puppets) Make up a short description of each candidate, example: Duck: I will make sure we have an extra hour of recess, cookies for snack, and extra art time everyday/ Panda: I will let everyone stay awake at nap time, I will have cupcake parties every week and I will give lolly pops to everyone if I win.

3. Students line up to vote in the dramatic play areas which has been set up as a voting


4. Once everyone is voted, tally the votes together as a class and decide who is the



1. Were students able to correctly identify who the winner of the “election” is by

comparing the results of the votes?

Outdoor Structured Activity:​PD/#3/85 ​Bean Bag Toss

Social Skills Development Activity: ​Listening/ Simon Says


Activity # 3 (Science Integration) Patriotic Wind Catcher ​

president's day wind catcher image


Science: All About Wind

Objectives: ​Science and Knowledge Skills 2.1, 2.6

Materials: Book: Feel the Wind, ​strips of red and white tissue paper, blue construction paper, stars punched out of white paper, glue, yarn

Procedure: 1. ​Read Book: Feel the Wind. Review some of the important facts from the book. Students say something they learned from the book.

2. Say, “Today we have been learning about wind. We will make a wind catcher that

helps us see which direction the wind is blowing.”

3.Students work at tables on creating their wind catchers with the materials provided.

4. Students use their wind catchers to see which way the wind is blowing outside.


1. Were students able to describe a fact about wind?

2. Were students able to describe the effect of the wind on their wind catcher?

Social Skills Activity: ​Keeping ourselves and our friends safe

Large Motor Connection Activity: ​Parachute


Activity #4 “If I were President” Journaling ­ ​

presidents day writing prompt image


Language Arts: Journaling, Early Writing “If I were president, ___________”

Standards: ​Literacy Knowledge & Skills 5.3, 5.4

Objectives: ​Students will use scribbles, shapes, pictures, and letters to represent

objects, stories, experiences, or ideas. Students will copy, trace, or independently write

letters or words

Materials: ​Book: If I Were President, pencils, colored pencils, writing paper with the prompt, “If I were president, ___________” written for students to trace or you can use this: Free Printable President’s Day Writing Template (shown in the image above),

Procedure: ​1. Read book, If I Were President. Review some of the big ideas from

the book with students. Talk about some of the jobs the president is in charge

of doing.

2. Say, ​Today we will be thinking about what we would do if we were the president. Is

there anything you would change? What would you do? Students say something they

would do if they were president. Once they say their idea they can go to the tables and

write, using the writing prompt, “If I were president, __________.”

Assessment: ​Objectives will be met if students are able to write the first and last letter

of the words they are writing, and pictures have at least 3 colors and details.

Outdoor Structured Activity:​PD/#3/85 ​Ball Dump Game

Social Skills Building Activity: ​Belly Breathing


Activity # 5 Building President Lincoln’s Log Cabin ­

popsicle stick log cabin craft image


​Social Studies: Abraham Lincoln and His Log Cabin, Life in the Olden Days

Objectives: ​Social Studies Knowledge & Skills 3.1, 3.2

Materials: ​Book: My First Biography: Abraham Lincoln, popsicle sticks, crayons or colored pencils, construction paper, glue

Procedure: ​1. ​Read Book,My First Biography: Abraham Lincoln. Review some of the big ideas from the book. Students talk about some of the things Abraham Lincoln accomplished in his life.

2. Show an example of the log cabin craft

3. Students complete their own version of Lincoln’s log cabin at tables


1. Did students talk about at least one thing Abraham Lincoln did in the past as


2. Did students recognize that Abraham Lincoln lives in a log cabin a long time ago?

Large Motor Connection Activity: ​Making A Log Cabin Outside on the House


Social Skills Building Activity: ​Working As A Team


Additional Presidents Day Resources:­day­learning­fun/­president­songs­rhymes­circle­ti


Printable President Flash Cards

Presidents and Money ­- Learning about the people on coins and dollar bills