December in the classroom can seem like the longest short month of the school year...plenty of breaks for Christmas programs and special events...a last day on the Friday before Christmas...parties and gifts. So much excitement that it can be a challenge to keep to the curriculum and still have a little fun. I don't do this project every year because it can take too long with all the interruptions, but this year my fourth grade class schedule was clear from the week after Thanksgiving until our Christmas break.
After choosing a perfect vacation location for Santa, each student traced a simple body form using a template that I made myself. The Santa faces were from free clip art a few years ago, so unfortunately, I no longer remember the exact website. I'm sure there are plenty of free Santas out there! The only rule for the Santa heads was that the face and beard had to remain. It was ok to change the hat or give Santa some sunglasses or goggles to fit his vacation plans. To keep it simple and minimize the mess at this busy time of year, we used our stash of painted paper, colored construction paper, colored markers, colored pencils, and crayons to design and construct Santa's vacation outfit.
The project guidelines were simple: dress Santa for his Great Escape, make at least three items of clothing or props out of our painted paper (to add lots of pattern and color), and to include a prop, sign, or shirt design to let the viewers know where each Santa was headed for his January vacation!
Our finished Santas will be on display in the school Children's Art Gallery through the month of January...just enough time to finish up some clay projects to replace them in February!