How to Make White Dough Ornaments

As a special end of year celebratory treat we like to make a little Christmas gift to share with our classmates.  Last year we made White Dough Star Ornaments.  This was by far the cheapest and my favourite gift we have ever made!  Judging by the popularity of this blog post, I am guessing lots of other people loved it too!

So I wanted to give you an update.  An after the fact recount AKA what I learnt and a quick HOW TO.

Traditionally dough ornaments are made using a “Salt Dough” recipe.  This is an easy way to make the ornaments and you get a very natural appearance as a result.  But I wanted WHITE!!!!  After some research on google, and advice from the ever helpful “The Organised Nest” Facebook flock.  I found a new recipe! I have adapted it slightly for Australians and this will create enough dough for about 16 small ornaments.

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[yumprint-recipe id=’1′]

 THE INGREDIENTS

These ingredients are cheap, cheap, cheap!  After some trial and error I found that the Wooloworths Homebrand ingredients work just as well and are literally half the price.   BUY the Homebrand Ingredients from Woolworths and this recipe costs you less than $2!!! I mistakenly bought the branded items and it cost me about $6 which still isn’t too bad! Win Win!

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PERSONALISING

Nothing says thoughtful like a personalised gift.  We stamped each classmates name on the ornament using a Wiltshire “Cookie Stamp” Kit from Big W.  

Wiltshire - Sweet Messages Cookie Kit - From Big W

Wiltshire – Sweet Messages Cookie Kit – From Big W

Last year this Kit was found in Big W  in the Cooking/Kitchen Utensil aisles, it retails for about $18.

 

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The kit contained some predesigned messages (Thank You, I Love You etc) and then a whole heap of individual letters for you to design your own messages. This is seriously one of my favourite purchases and I have already used it over and over again!

LONGEVITY

The ornaments once dry are ready to go but personally I like to lacquer the finished product. For longevity and to hopefully make them look even better! You can find a simple spray on lacquer at Masters/Bunnings/Spotlight.

PACKAGING


Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 1.49.12 PMI usually buy the bulk lots of resealable clear bags from the dollar stores but then I stumbled across these beauties.  In the Party aisle of Woolworths and they are the PERFECT fit. 

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I wrote a little poem and turned it into a bag topper just using some cardboard. 

DELIVERY
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Now they are ready to deliver!  Made easier if you have an extra cute delivery elf like this one! Oh I hope this Christmas dress still fits her this year.

There you have it.  A cheap, easy, thoughtful gift for any occasion really but especially nice to spread some joy this Christmas. 

 

 

 

Day 3 ~ A Nifty Name ~ Naming Your Christmas Elf

Just like naming a doll or pet, naming an elf can be difficult!  But you can’t go any further on your elf adventure without a befitting name for the main character!  Talk to your children about how you chose their names and the meaning behind their name. Brainstorm a list of names and as a family chose which one suits your elf!

“Maybe it’s Snowy, maybe it’s Sue

Whatever my name is, it’s up to you!

Please make it lovely or maybe just fun

Something easy to say and spell for everyone!”

 

The Elf has a marker in its hand and is writing a list of names with some crossed out.  Add the children’s names for a bit of fun! 

 

Maybe the Elf has spelt your child’s name out with cereal!

If you have a baby name book have the elf sit on top of it!

TEACHERS:

  • When you are brainstorming Elf names record the options on some cardboard and have children help you spell each name.
  • Narrow the names down to the 4 or 5 most popular options. You could use a simple “Hands up, vote once” voting system.  Record the most popular options along the bottom of a large graph.
  • Now using post it notes or square pieces of paper each child “votes” for their favourite Elf name. 
  • As you call out each name option, the children who have voted for that name bring their post it up and place it on the graph.
  • At the end of voting count up which name had the most votes!
  • Give The Graph a Title
  • Discuss which name had the least votes, which name came second and third?
  • Discuss what other options they could have used to decide a fair vote? (Picking names out of a hat, hands up and counting, picking the short straw)

Need help thinking of a name?  Kids really are cretive when it come to choosing Elf names but some popular Elf names we have heard are;

  • Jingle
  • Trixie
  • Pixie
  • Snowy
  • Red
  • Buddy
  • Rudolph
  • Santa’s Helper
  • Elvis The Elf
  • Evie
  • Eve
  • Holly
  • Belle

PARENTS and TEACHERS:

  • Now that your Elf has a name!!!!  If you have bought an “Official” Elf On The Shelf you can register their name online! Follow the instructions in your pack.
  • Make your elf  a name card! Use the “My Christmas Elf” “Name Your Elf Printable” to write the Elf’s name, draw their portrait and record how you came up with their name! Get creative! Use paints or stamps or stickers to make it an artwork.  

 

Name Your Elf Worksheet 

 

Clue Cards For Weeks 1 and 2

Maths – Statistics and Probability –  Data representation and interpretation 

Foundation

  • Answer yes/no questions to collect information (ACMSP011)

Year 1

  • Choose simple questions and gather responses (ACMSP262) 


  • Represent data with objects and drawings where one object or drawing represents one data value. Describe the displays (ACMSP263)

Year 2

  • Identify a question of interest based on one categorical variable. Gather data relevant to the question (ACMSP048) 


  • Collect, check and classify data  (ACMSP049) 


  • Create displays of data using lists, table and picture graphs and interpret them (ACMSP050)

Year 3

  • Identify questions or issues for categorical variables. Identify data sources and plan methods of data collection and recording (ACMSP068) 


  • Collect data, organise into categories and create displays using lists, tables, picture graphs and simple column graphs, with and without the use of digital technologies (ACMSP069) 


  • Interpret and compare data displays (ACMSP070) 


So what will you name your Elf?  

Day 2 ~ Welcoming Your Christmas Elf

Welcoming any new member of the family is a joyous occasion.  Celebrating the arrival of your new elf should be just the same! Our Elf makes its grand entrance in the form of a surprise “Elfy Breakfast” 

 On the morning of the 25th November the children awake to find a cheeky little Elf has prepared them a Christmas themed Breakfast!  The Elf also presents the children with a “Letter of Introduction” from the Jolly man himself, Santa!!!

So how will YOU welcome the Elf?

Here are some ideas for your family or class.

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An “Elfy Breakfast”:  Christmas Themed food complete with hot chocolate with snowballs (marshmallows) Snowman shaped pancakes with bacon scarves, and elfberry muffins (raspberry muffins)  If breakfast is too hard you could always have an “Elfy” afternoon tea or dinner! I originally saw this brilliant idea on “Little Pumpkin Grace” this clever mummy has spared no detail!

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Elf Door Drama:  Eye spy with my little eye an ‘elfy ‘body stuck in the front door holding onto a set of keys!  This cheeky little elf tried very hard to come through the front door but his key wouldn’t work!  Lucky Santa sent a key for him to use next time! (Santa keys are readily available form most department stores.  We bought this one from Big W) 

Riding in on a Reindeer: Some little powdery tracks on the floor lead to an Elf riding a reindeer!  How else would elves travel but by First Class reindeer flight!  The Elf may even have their very own Reindeer ticket!  Reindeer Christmas decorations are a perfect size for an elf to sit on and tracks can be made with a little cocoa or baby powder on the floor.

However your Elf make it’s grand entrance they will need a letter to introduce themselves, so here it is! 

Letter of Introduction from Santa

Blank Santa Letter Template

  • Use the “My Christmas Elf” letter and ask the students or children what it is that you have (a letter)
  • How did they know it was a letter and not an email or a postcard or a poster or a recipe?
  • What is in a letter?
  • Using the blank letter template as a class (for younger students) or individually (for older students) write a thankyou letter back to Santa!  Fell free to enlarge the Blank template to A3 size for easier use with a whole class.
  • If you are a parent ask your child what they would like to say to Santa!  Be the Scribe and write down what they say!  This is a great one to file away with other special Christmas memories, to look back on in years to come!
  • For Older Students; Discuss what they will need to write (Address at the top, Dear Santa, Letter Body, Closing) Encourage them to write as much on their own as possible, sounding out words and using sight words.  You will be amazed at how much they can do!
Other possibilities: 
  • Take your Elf on a tour of the house.
  • Introduce the Elf to the other “dolls” in the house.
  • Take a photo of the Elf on his first night in his new home!
These are all great opportunities to encourage social skills, oral language and develop creativity and imagination!

Their are numerous links to  be made to The Australian Curriculum for this activity. Some possibilities are;   

English – Language – Text Structure and Organisation (By reading, identifying and discussing the features of a letter)
Foundation – Understand that texts can take many forms, can be very short (for example an exit sign) or quite long (for example an information book or a film) and that stories and informative texts have different purposes(ACELA1430)
 
 
English – Literacy – Creating Texts (By writing a letter)
Year 1 – Create short imaginative and informative texts  that show emerging use of appropriate text structure, sentence-level grammar,  word choice, spelling, punctuation and appropriate multimodal elements, for example illustrations and diagrams.(ACELY1661) 
 
 
English – Language – Text Structure and Organisation (By reading, identifying and discussing the features of a letter)
Year 2 – Understand that different types of texts have identifiable text structures and  language features that help the text serve its purpose (ACELA1463)
 
So get writing and welcome a new piece of wonder and magic into your lives!