Inspiring Forest School Ideas for Outdoor Play
Christmas Crafts with Orange - three ways!

Handmade Christmas Stars with Children - Three Ways

Handmade Children's wool Christmas star at How we Montessori

My children love making Christmas ornaments. They often make them freestyle, with paper, ribbon and lots of stuck on things. But I also like to show them ways we can make ornaments using different materials. 

1. Wool Christmas Stars. This first one is a favourite because we almost always have these materials in the house. We use card covered in plastic food wrap. The card is doubled over (it's an Amazon delivery pocket) so it's quite thick. I put toothpicks in the corners of what would be a star, the toothpicks are in far enough that they are stable and will stay upright. I've seen a similar tutorial where they have inserted the toothpicks into a foam food tray. I tie some wool around one toothpick and leave enough of a tail so that a loop can be made and the star can be put on a tree  branch. Then the kids use the wool and wrap it around the toothpicks. Once they are happy with the design they cut the wool and tie it to the top piece of wool, apply lots of PVA glue and allow it to dry. Or if they are in a hurry they use the hairdryer to blow it dry. Then it can be peeled off the plastic and put on the Christmas tree! I think they look cute!

Handmade wool Christmas star at How we Montessori

2. German Straw Stars. "The Legend of the Straw Stars is a wonderful story to share with children... Once upon a time, a young shepherdess wanted to give a gift to the Baby Jesus. But she had no money to buy anything. She sat on her straw mattress staring up at the heavens, and saw the star of Bethlehem. Suddenly she knew what she should make! She wove the straw from her bed into a Star of Straw… and gave it as a special gift. As the story goes, Mary laid her son Jesus in a bed of straw in a manger… so the straw ornaments are closely tied to infant Jesus." - German Girl in America

There are lots of different designs you can make with these. As we are new to this craft we made similar and simple designs! I would recommend this for children 5 years +. Kits are available that include everything you need including coloured straw, thread and red moulds, ours is from Conscious Craft (UK). Baiscally, you place the straw in the red moulds in the shape of a star, place the little red plastic insert on top to keep the straws in place, then you use the red thread to tie around the edges of the star, this red thread will keep the star together, then you remove the red plastic insert and remove the star. It is a lot of fun once you know what you are doing. I love this for kids as over time they can become more creative with the designs - the sky is the limit!

How we Montessori German Straw Stars

3. Twig Star Wands. We made these a couple of weeks ago (inspired by a Forest School activity) but they are addictive, easy to make if you are playing around outside. These are self explanitory, we use a long stick (willow is best as it will bend after being soaked). We simply bend and snap our sticks to make a star shape and bend them or tie them at the end with twine. Here is a short tutorial

How we Montessori German Straw Stars

 

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