Nov
28

Top 10 Holiday Crafts Kids Love

Posted by: Lyra Pappin

Children can get overexcited and eager for Christmas and this can leave parents worn down in an already stressful time.  A great way to help kids enjoy the holidays is by taking some time to help them express their creativity and get them feeling involved in the process of Christmas, not just the presents!  Here are 10 crafts that you and your child will surely enjoy creating together.

1. Light Bulb Penguins or Snowmen

To make a fun ornament for your Christmas tree, all you need are some craft basics and an old, burnt out light bulb that you will turn into a cute little penguin or snowman.  To begin, wipe down the light bulb with rubbing alcohol to help the paint stick to the bulb.  If you are making a penguin, paint the bulb black, except for an area in front, which will be the penguin’s belly.  Be sure to allow the paint to dry completely, and use a second coat if it is streaky.

While the paint dries, you can prepare the extra decorations to create your penguin or snowman.  You can use an old hat or mitten to cut out a tiny version of a hat or mittens that will be part of the ornament.  Have your child help choose things such as the kind of outfit the snowman or penguin should wear while you do the cutting and gluing.

You can make a scarf or a bowtie for your ornament out of gold or silver chenille, or you can buy small bows pre-made and securely glue them on, after the paint is dry.  Next, you can glue your hat over the socket.  Next, make a loop out of gold, green, or red ribbon or cord and generously glue to the back of the bulb.  Use a black marker to dot on some eyes, and any other finishing touches you desire. The last step is to hang it on the tree!

2. Pinecone Ornament

Turning a large pinecone into a beautiful ornament is quite simple.  Either go for a nature walk with your children and collect some nice pinecones, or purchase already cleaned up ones from a craft store.  Carefully use a glue gun to dap on bits of clear glue on the inner parts of the pinecone. Generously pour glitter over the whole cone and shake off the remaining bits.  The result is a beautifully, shiny pine cone ready to be fit with either some felt and bells, or a gold bow and loop to hang on your tree.

3. Cookie Cutter Decorations

Make some treats that double as Christmas decorations this year!  Kids will love helping you roll out the dough in the kitchen, and once they have cooked and cooled, you can paint half and eat the rest!

A basic cookie dough recipe is as follows:

2 c Unsifted all-purpose flour
1/4 c Sugar
1/4 ts Salt
1/2 c Butter, softened

In large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt; mix well. With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Place in airtight container; store in refrigerator (mixture will keep for up to 8 weeks).
Bring to room temperature before using. Recipe can be doubled or tripled.

To make your Christmas decorations super fun, be sure to make interesting shapes with cookie cutters before baking them.  Many inexpensive shapes can be bought from your local grocery or craft store.

4. Wrap It Up!

Kids love to get messy and express their creative sides, so why not let them combine the two and make their own holiday wrapping paper!  All you need to do is buy a large roll of craft or brown paper and organize some simple craft materials.  Gather a mix of acrylic, watercolour, and fabric paints and other stamps, markers, glitter and glue.  You could also take sponges and cut them into shapes to help the kids make neater designs on the paper. 

Make sure to paint-proof your crafting area (and clothes) before beginning!

5.  Paint-a-Shirt

A great gift idea for kids’ friends or relatives is a homemade t-shirt, sweatshirt, or tie.  This is a great one for younger children, as you just need to get some green fabric paint and let them dip their  hands in it to create hand print Christmas trees on the shirt or tie.  It’s a cute way for your child to wish someone Merry Christmas, while enjoying getting messy and giving a personalized gift.

6.  Candy Cane Sheen

A simple way to keep your kids busy during the holidays is by creating decorations you can proudly display around the house.  A simple and fun activity is to cut out large candy cane shapes and give the kids red and white pompoms and some glitter, to fill in the candy cane form.  The fuzzy pompoms mixed with the sparkles are sure to keep your children in a happy holiday spirit.

7.  Heartfelt Cards

Turn your child’s handprint into a Christmas tree once again, but this time on green or red felt.  Help him or her cut out the tree and decorate it as they wish, writing Merry Christmas and Love from your child’s name with the date. This is a fun activity to repeat each year, starting when your son or daughter is quite small, so you can see their “tree” growing each year.
 
8.  Fantasy Santa Sack

Help your child draw a huge picture of Santa with his sack or sleigh on a large piece of paper.  Next, the children can either draw or cut out pictures from magazines of the toys and items they would like for Christmas and place them “inside” the sack or sleigh.  They can decorate the Christmas scene whatever way they wish and have fun thinking about all the exciting toys and games that Santa might bring.

9.  Christmas Day Mural

Let your child feel proud and creative by inviting them to draw a large Christmas mural that you will display on a wall in your home.  Get a roll of craft paper and measure it out to fit on an area in either the child’s bedroom or the hallway, wherever you feel most comfortable displaying their artwork. 

This activity can be done in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and you could suggest they add a new scene or aspect of Christmas each day.  Your child could also invite his friends or siblings to help create the scene, bringing it to life and keeping your child happy and occupied in a creative way.

10.  Holiday Headbands

Who says costumes are just for Halloween?  Kids love dressing up and a fun and easy way to let them do this over the holidays is to convert an old or plain headband into some fun reindeer antlers or ones that jingle with Christmas cheer.  Simply cover a headband in any material they desire – whether sparkles, old fabric cut and glued around the headband, or fabric paints.  Next, cut out antlers in felt or material.  Use pipe cleaners on the inside to help them stand up and connect to the headband.  You could also glue on jingle bells or elf ears instead of antlers.

The best way to keep the focus on Christmas and spending time together is by encouraging your children to express their creativity and enjoy the gift of contributing to a family event, rather than focusing explicitly on toys.  Encouraging children to pay attention to their work and to take pride in giving homemade gifts is also a fun way to help them realize that holiday spirit goes two ways. Happy Holiday Crafting!

Sources:
www.crafterscommunity.com
http://freebiesandstuff.freeyellow.com/christmas/christmas-cookies.html

Pictures © www.crafterscommunity.com

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Submitted by:

Lyra Pappin
Toronto, ON, Canada


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