Inside: a paper Christmas tree craft inspired by the story North Pole Ninjas.
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I lay half awake Saturday morning, listening to the quiet house. Then I heard whispers, hushed giggles, and footsteps headed to the kitchen.
I pretended I was still asleep.
I may have actually drifted back to sleep for a while. It’s nice having elementary aged kids.
When I did finally shuffle sleepily out to the kitchen, I expected to find spilled cereal on the floor and telltale splashes of milk on the table. I hoped I’d also find a couple of rinsed out bowls in the sink.
Instead, I found 5 different cereal boxes and bowls carefully displayed across the table, arranged as if on a stage instead of at each person’s spot at the table.
My girls were back in their beds, pretending to be asleep.
With a big smile on my face, I started up my coffee and peeked at the back of the book that Penguin Young Readers had sent us to review. I knew I had some ninjas to thank…
North Pole Ninjas
North Pole Ninjas – Mission: Christmas (affiliate) is an imaginative and captivating story about some of Santa’s little known helpers. The North Pole ninjas quietly perform random acts of kindness and other helpful tasks. Santa is grateful that “these elves are on his team.”
Sometimes, though, the ninja elves need help. I love that the book addresses the reader directly:
“Santa gave [the ninjas] permission
to ask for help from you.
“Consider yourself chosen!
Now you’re a ninja, too!”
Yes, my girls definitely took those lines to heart!
There’s a special envelope in the back of the book containing 50 “top secret” missions.
My girls fell so completely into the spell of this book that they insisted that I not look at “their” missions.
I mostly haven’t, but I did peek at them enough to tell you about them. There are items such as make breakfast for your family (I guess cereal counts!) and sweep the floor when no one is looking (I’m still waiting for that one.)
I think my girls would have enjoyed this books as preschoolers as much as they do now as 3rd graders. I wish I’d had it in time to add to my list of favorite holiday books for preschoolers – now I’m going to have to go back and add it!
FYI – the book was originally published in a set with a stuffed animal. Now you can get just the book and the missions, which is the version we received. We SO don’t need any more stuffed animals!
Paper Christmas Tree Craft
I wanted to make a craft inspired by this book. Rather than make ninjas – there’s no way I could do Piper Thibodeau’s adorable illustrations justice – I picked up on the red and green striped motif and made this paper Christmas tree craft.
Paper Christmas Tree Craft – Materials
You may already have everything you need to make this paper Christmas tree!
- Thin cardboard, such as from a cereal box
- Construction paper: red, green, yellow, brown
- Glue Stick
Paper Christmas Tree Craft – Instructions
I think this is one of those crafts that is harder to explain than it actually is to do. Read through these until it clicks, and then you’ll see how simple it actually is.
- Cut out a Christmas tree shape from the cardboard, and then trace the cardboard onto 2 sheets of green and 1 sheet of red construction paper.
- Cut out the construction paper Christmas tree shapes. Then, glue one of the green ones onto the cardboard.
- Stack up the other green shape with the red one and mark off the edge as shown (or you may want to draw lines all the way across)
- Cut the paper into strips as shown, following the lines you marked off.
- Pick up every other red strip and set aside. Then pick up every other green strip and set those aside too. (You can use them for a second tree if you wish).
- Fold a narrow piece of each strip down. Then, cut fringe from the bottom up to the fold.
- Glue each fringed strip onto the tree, alternating red and green strips.
- When you get to the top, trace the top triangle onto yellow paper. Fold it in half horizontally and cut fringe. Glue onto the top of the tree.
- (not shown) Cut out and glue on a trunk from the brown construction paper.
You can also make a little kid version with fewer sections and less fringe.
My own ninjas and I are going to hang ours on our real Christmas tree as a little reminder that spreading kindness is the reason for the season.