Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Making Paper Shoes for Three King's Day-DIY How To Plus Tips for the Classroom

SHARE THE TRADITION OF PUTTING OUT SHOES FOR THREE KING'S DAY with your students by making paper shoes! I found this pattern for a Dutch shoe which is fairly simple, though it does require a fair amount of folding. The tutorial thankfully has step by step instructions with photos- I put them up on my Smartboard while we made the shoes so my kiddos could both watch me and see each step.

AS YOU CAN SEE, I added a star sticker to each shoe, filled them with tissue paper, and then they will get a few pieces of candy (UPDATE: I can no longer put candy in the shoes, so I put a selection of small erasers, pompoms, play money, stickers, etc ) right before I put them out after school on January 5, Three King's Eve.

A FEW TIPS when making the shoes:
*Make sure your stapler is full of staples- I learned the hard way that running out of staples half way through making these is no fun. (I stapled the back flaps instead of using tape)
*Be sure you also have plenty of tape on hand- I wanted to staple the front as well, but couldn't fit my stapler in, so tape is a must for the front portion.
*Enlist the help of colleagues or a few parents to stuff the shoes with treats if you are doing lots of students- I have 378 students, so extra hands are a lifesaver!
*Trying on the shoes inevitably results in a shoe coming apart! (Yes, many of my students try this lol)
*Younger students are challenged by all the folding, especially if, like me, you teach 90% or more in the target language. I had my 4th Graders make a shoe for themselves, and then one for the Kindergartners. They loved it, and I avoided a potentially nightmare situation with a whole class of  Kinders asking for help for every step!
*This took me almost exactly 30 minutes start to finish, with on average 18 kiddos per class. This included having them select a color (in Spanish, of course), putting their name on the back, in the center, and then construction of the shoe. I put the star and tissue paper on/in after they left.
*If you are doing this project with multiple classes, have bags ready with labels on them for each classroom. This keeps each class together, and if you travel, makes it easier to store them until you are ready to put them out. I just stapled a piece of paper to each bag with the classroom teacher's name on it.

*Here are some visual supports that I make as we are constructing the shoes that help me stay in the target language AND help kids understand what to do during each step.

Three Kings Paper Shoes

*NOT SURE OF SOME KEY VOCABULARY for folding? Here are a few helpful words:
-hacia abajo, hacia arriba
-por la mitad
-volver a doblar
-marcar el doble

Want to see how I introduce a comparison of Christmas and Three King's Day completely in the target language? Here's my post with script!

And don't miss my fun Rosca de Reyes Game-easy for little kids, it is always a hit with my kids! Click here to grab it!

Juego de la Rosca de Reyes for Spanish Class

HAVE FUN and Feliz Día de Reyes!


  1. Thanks for linking up with us this month! What a fun idea for Three Kings Day! :)

    1. Thanks for the opportunity!!! Lot's of great links and resources!

  2. What a great way to start the year! Thank you for the idea!

  3. Love this activity! Thank you for sharing :)

  4. I love this idea and this site! I'm definitely going to do this with my classes. I connect with other district during the day so this will be a fun project to do!

  5. What a cute activity! Thank you so much!

  6. Hola Julie!
    What grade levels actually made the shoes with you? Also- did you celebrate Three King's Day with all of grade levels?

  7. Hi Lynn,
    I talk about the holiday with all grades, K-4. Grades 1-4 make a shoe-my 4th graders make two shoes, one for them and one for a kindergartener. The folding is a little too difficult for my Ks. :)

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