Monday, December 14, 2009

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Creating With Colors: How to Make a Christmas Countdown Sign

I had a cool camouflage art project brewing in my mind, but I had to put it off to fit in one Christmas project before the holidays just passed us by. Since younger children seem to have no concept of time, I thought it would be a good idea to make something to help my children keep track of how many days there are until Christmas.

Today's Project: Christmas Countdown Sign

Ask your child to help design and color in a border and some colorful text to make a sign that will help track how many days are left until Christmas Day.


Supplies Needed:

1) Any type of small to medium dry erase board. (Can be substituted with a chalk board.)
2) Printable pages with borders and text for the sign. The number of copies made of the border page depends on how large your dry erase board is.
4) Expo Click Fine Point dry erase markers and/or Expo Bright Sticks wet erase markers.
5) Children's safety scissors
6) Masking tape



Step 1: Print out the two coloring pages provided below. You may need to print more than one copy of the second page to have enough border to frame the entire perimeter of your dry erase board.

(To print, click on the desired image to enlarge. Then right click on image and select print.)


Step 2: Have your child decorate the pictures of the ornaments with fun designs and have your child color in the blocks of text.


Tip #1: If you are covering a large dry erase board, then you may want to help design some of the border. It is very time consuming and your child may grow tired before they are all done. Plus it is more fun when you color together.


Step 3: Using the scissors, cut out each row of four ornaments and the two rectangles of text.

Step 4: Next decide where you would like to position each piece of border.

Tip #2: As expected, each piece of border may not be the correct size to cover each edge of your particular dry erase board. You may need to cut some of the borders to suit your needs. For example, we needed to cut one section of ornaments into two pieces to lengthen two sides. Be sure to hide the cut ends underneath another piece of uncut border for a seamless look.


Step 5: After deciding where each piece of border will go, apply loops of masking tape on the front edge of your dry erase board as shown below.


Step 6: Carefully press your border into place on the sticky masking tape all around the front edge of your dry erase board.


Step 7: Place loops of masking tape on the backs of the two blocks of text. Then place the "Happy Holidays!" greeting at the top of the dry erase board on top of the ornaments and the "Days Until Christmas" text along the bottom also on top of the ornaments.


Step 8: With the fine dry erase markers, have your child add some minor decorations to the outer areas of the dry erase board.

Step 9: With a thicker dry erase marker or wet erase marker, have your child write the number of days left until Christmas boldly in the center of the dry erase board.


This is the final result of our project:


My kindergartner was extremely proud of how our Christmas Countdown Sign turned out. He liked it so much that he insisted on hanging it at the end of his bunk bed. He was so excited when I reminded him that he needed to change the number on the board the next day. This sign will really help him understand how far off Christmas morning really is.


Thank you to Expo for providing the dry erase and wet erase markers for this project free of charge. Thank you also to Discount School Supply for providing the washable markers for this project free of charge. No compensation was received for publishing this article.