Looking for some fun and easy holiday crafts? Every year around this time, my computer lab would be filled with busy student elves who worked to create holiday gifts for mom and dad. Here are a couple of favorites from my computer lab.
Primary Grades: Make a Holiday Card
In primary grades, we combine learning to read and recognize our shape names with creating an illustration that can be used on a holiday card. Using a drawing program like KidPix, have students create a Christmas tree with the following instructions:
- In the middle of your page, make a large green triangle.
- Under the triangle, make a medium brown rectangle.
- Make small red and yellow circles inside the triangle.
- Draw a yellow "t" at the top of the triangle.
- Draw a yellow "x" on top of the "t"
- Congratulations! You've drawn a tree!
Need a free student-friendly drawing program? Try TuxPaint. It's an easy to use program that is perfect for elementary students. If you're looking for an web-based alternative, check out Online SketchPad. (It's the program I used to create this week's illustration!)
Intermediate Grades: Create a Calendar
My older students loved to take photographs, so in the fall I would introduce a photography course. Students would learn the basics of taking great photographs and practice photo editing with a program like PhotoShop Elements. We would complete several photography projects such as learning to create a collage, colorizing black and white photos, and using filters to create artistic effects. At the end of the unit, students would pick their favorite photos and we'd use them to create a yearly calendar for the class. Our local copy shop was willing to give us a discount on bound copies so that students and parents could buy multiple copies as gifts.
If you don't have a photo editing program on your computer, there are several free online tools to try. SumoPaint (left) is probably my favorite because it gives as much functionality as a full-fledged photo editor. It runs in a browser window and works much the same as Photoshop. Other quick and easy photo websites include Pixenate, Picnik, and FotoFlexer.
We'd love to hear about your favorite computer craft projects. Share your student holiday creations with us here.