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I love the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud and intentionally teaching students to be bucket fillers, not bucket dippers. But what if this December your students were stocking stuffers instead? Here’s a Christmas kindness idea for kids that’s a fun twist on the bucket filler concept!
Paper Stocking Craft
Have students make and decorate a paper stocking. There are lots of free stocking templates online. Here’s a link to one of my favorites: Christmas Stocking Pattern.
Print two stockings, a front and a back. Have students cut them out and then secure them together along the edges. However, make sure they leave the top open so that notes may be placed inside.
Instead of using glue, I simply stapled the front and back of the stocking together. This is much less messy, you don’t have to wait for the glue to dry and you don’t have to worry about students gluing the stocking closed. The staples resemble stitching along the edge, too!
Stocking Stuffers Activity
Kind, encouraging words are a gift that don’t cost anything but mean so much. They go a long way in filling up someone’s bucket, or stuffing their stocking. 🙂
Have students write compliments or encouraging notes and place in each others’ stockings. Students might write freely or use one or more of these Free Stocking Stuffer Sentence Starters. Click on the link to download!
Ideas for Classroom Use
Here are several ways you might use this stocking stuffer idea in your classroom:
- If you want students to receive kind notes from ALL of their classmates, I suggest breaking it up and doing a little at a time. Most students will be overwhelmed to have to think and write that many notes at once. Have one to four students that the whole class writes to each day leading up to Christmas break. The messages will be more meaningful if students are able to focus on a few students at a time.
- Use this as a writing center activity. Provide a list of names and the writing prompts for students to use during independent writing.
- If you want students to get notes from SOME of their classmates, divide the students into small groups. Have the students in each group write to each other.
- Hang the stockings on a bulletin board or in the hallway. Cute titles might be “Have you stuffed someone’s stocking today?” or “The stockings were hung in our classroom with care, in hopes that kind words would be left in there.”
The Gift of Kindness
Keep the notes in the students’ stockings a surprise. Then, send the stuffed stockings home with them as a gift before Christmas break. Maybe add a candy cane treat and don’t forget to include a note from yourself! Students love and respect you. What you say to them and about them matters a lot!