Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Elf Christmas Countdown Calendar Craft

How many days until Christmas? Our Elf on the Shelf continues to move around the house and my kids are wondering how much longer he'll stay. According to the book, he returns home on Christmas Eve with Santa.

My son had a friend over yesterday, and they made elf countdown calendars to help keep track of the days until Christmas. This craft is perfect for preschoolers because not only do the kids learn about patterns (red, green, red, green leggings), they work on number recognition and practice counting backward. In addition, the craft provides a good introduction to the concept of even/odd numbers.

(Thanks to Musings of Me for the inspiration).

To make the Elf Christmas Countdown Craft, you'll need the following:

• 12x12" scrapbook paper for background
• red, green, and black construction paper
• glue
• scissors
• pom pom balls
• stickers

1. Precut the elf shoes out of black paper. (Sorry, I don't have a shoe pattern. I freehanded the shoes. It isn't too hard to draw shoes.)
2. Cut 2" wide x 1-1/4" long pieces of red and green paper for the stockings. (The kids can help with this part if you'd like. It's a good way to practice scissors skills.)
3. Help the kids glue their feet to the bottom of the background paper.
4. One leg at a time, encourage kids to make a red-green pattern for their elf stockings by gluing the pieces of paper above the shoe. (Each leg is made of 6 pieces of paper.)
5. After the glue dries a bit, help them number the pieces of paper (even numbers on the left, odd numbers on the right leg). Practice counting down the days.
6. Glue a pom pom ball to each of the shoes.

I glued the "Days Until Christmas" header on after the kids were finished with the craft. Older kids could write their own words on the header.

Place a sticker each day on the corresponding number to countdown the days until Christmas!

My son isn't the only one counting down. My daughter's music teacher taught her class a cute countdown song this week. Here are the lyrics (I'm not sure where this song is from as I couldn't find any additional information about it online):

Countdown to Christmas, it's getting very near
Countdown to Christmas, the best time of the year!
Candy canes and holly and a sparkling Christmas tree
Lights upon the housetop and a present just for me!
Countdown to Christmas, it's getting very near
Countdown to Christmas, the best time of the year!
10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 Christmas time is here!


maggy, red ted art said...

Ah, how adorable. Love the "stripes"!

Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


Mrs. Whary said...

Love it!! In fact, now I'm going to be inspired by YOU and make one too :-) Thanks for the shout out!

LessonPlans-CraftGossip said...

This little elf craft is so cute... I wish I had seen it sooner before we already started one this year. I will definitely make this one next year!

Just posted about it on CraftGossip!

Jackie Higgins said...

very cute! My boys would love that-- and my oldest is just starting to "get" ab patterns!

melanie said...

I wrote a little poem for this craft. Thanks for sharing this cute idea!
{The Countdown}
Christmas spirit is everywhere,
so we can ENJOY the December air.
I’m waiting for Santa Claus to appear,
this must be the longest month of the year!
Since it’s mighty hard to count,
Red & green stockings show me the amount.
These are the days I must happily wait,
for the day to celebrate!
Each day I’ll serve and I’ll sing,
‘til my Elf’s bells merrily ring.
-Ms. Melanie