Boost the holiday cheer for students with door decorations that call out the season. Even better, enlist students’ help in creating the elements for the decor and include their names, faces or artwork in the design.
Sweet Season’s Greetings
Entice visitors to your classroom with a gingerbread house door with candy trim, all made from colored craft and construction paper. Cover the door with light brown or tan paper, and add a house shape to the door frame and surrounding walls. Include a couple of windows, and decorate the house with icing trim. Add some large lollipops and gingerbread sentries on each side of the door. Frame the door with giant candy canes, and place each child’s picture on red and white candy mints.
For middle school or high school classrooms, write students' names on the mints in place of their pictures, if you -- or the students -- prefer not having their faces on the door.
A Simple Gift
If time is slipping away, go simple with a giant, wrapped present. Cover the door with holiday gift wrap. Add a big paper or ribbon bow and a giant gift tag with student names or pictures on it. Take it up a notch with a border of tiny twinkle lights, or outline the ribbon with matching lights.
Tree’s the Limit
Combine tradition and innovation with a paper-chain Christmas tree on the door. Cut green paper strips 1-inch wide, and let your students make old-fashioned chains in lengths to match the desired height of the tree. Cover the door with red paper or fabric and hang a yellow or metallic gold star at the top. Then build a triangle-shaped tree with the chains. Add a brown, paper tube, tree trunk and paper presents under the branches. Keep the 3-D look going by wrapping small boxes and attaching them under the tree.
Must Be Santa
What would Christmas be without Santa Claus? Amp up the anticipation by turning Santa into a Christmas break countdown calendar. Cover the door with a light-colored background paper. Add a pink half-circle for Santa’s face. Paint or draw eyes and a nose or add paper versions, along with a white paper mustache. Top it all with a red and white hat. Each day add a white pompom to make Santa’s beard and to track the days to his arrival.
If you’d rather hang the decorations all at once and be done, cover the door with blue, white and green paper for the sky and snow covered, tree dotted hills. Build Santa with simple shapes: Use a red rectangle for body, black rectangles for his legs, a circle for his face, a red triangle for hat and circles of faux fur for his hat's trim. Use a string mop to make his mustache and beard, and place a grapevine wreath in his hands.
Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.