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Fun & Easy Holiday Crafts with Kids

 
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Your child’s winter break from school will be here before you know it. This break from often an overfilled schedule provides ample opportunity to enjoy working on creative projects together. One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is making holiday decorations (that we’ll pull out and enjoy year after year) and crafting sweet homemade gifts for friends and family. Below you’ll find a few ideas that are easy for even the youngest artists. Plus, these crafts are so simple that you’ll probably have most of the materials you need already in your home!

Paper Snowman
Our older daughter, who is in second grade, came home with a super cute holiday decoration that she made at school last week (see the photo above). This project is perfect for early elementary school-age children. All you need is 4 sheets of plain white paper, markers, scissors, and tape. First, take one sheet of paper, draw a large snowflake, and cut a circle around the perimeter of the design. This will serve as the base of the snowman. Next, crumple up two pieces of plain white paper to make 2 balls. A couple pieces of tape will hold the balls in together, stacked one on top of the other, and tape one end to the snowflake. Use the remaining sheets of paper to draw arms, a hat, buttons, a carrot nose, or any other items your child would like to create to bring their snowman to life. Lastly, tape these items to the snowman, draw on a set of eyes, and any other embellishments. Voila! You have your very own snowman, no matter the weather!
 

holiday-kid-craft-2.jpgHandprint Ornaments with Salt Dough
Our children our growing and changing so quickly. I love to incorporate their hands and feet in holiday crafts so we can always remember how little they once were. For this project, you’ll need 1 cup of salt, 4 cups of flour, food coloring (if desired), a baking pan, rolling pin, plastic straw, large mixing bowl, ribbon, a small amount of oil, and water.

First, preheat your oven to 150 degrees. Next, mix your flour, salt, and water (just enough to moisten the dough) in the bowl. If you want to add a bit of green or red food coloring, now is the time. Grease a baking pan and roll out the dough. You can form the dough into any shape, but I’ve found that the easiest way to make a circle is to place a large-mouthed cup (like a mason jar) on the dough, press, and peel away the excess dough. Now, go ahead and press your straw into the top middle of the dough where you’ll thread the ribbon. Then, have your kiddos emboss their hand into the dough. Last, place the baking pan in the oven for about one hour.

Once the ornaments have cooled, be sure to write your child’s name and year on the back with a permanent marker or paint. Slip the ribbon through the hole, tie it in a loose bow, and you have a sweet ornament to give as a gift to grandparents or to cherish yourself for years to come.
 

holiday-kid-craft-3.jpgStar of David Ornaments for Hanukkah
These ornaments are super simple and look lovely hanging in varied lengths from the mantle, over a window, or from the light fixture above your dining room table. Take traditional blue (or any color) pipe cleaners and bend them into triangles. Interlock the triangles like the traditional Star of David or simply place one triangle over the other, making sure each one is turned to create a 6-point star. Use a bit of hot glue to secure one star to the other. Last, tie a bit of twine, ribbon, or string to one point of the star and hang the stars in a place where everyone can see and enjoy them. Make as many as you like to create a most festive Hanukkah decoration.
 

holiday-kid-craft-4a.jpegFire & Ice Holiday Lanterns
This is a fun and unusual take on the traditional paper bag lantern. All you’ll need is water, large plastic containers (like Tupperware), smaller plastic cups that will fit easily inside the larger containers, and tea lights or small candles. Fill your small cups and larger containers with water. The small cup creates a hole where you’ll place your tea lights, so be sure to put it in the middle of the larger container. Repeat this process for as many lanterns as you’d like to make. Carefully place the containers on a level surface in the freezer and let them sit overnight.

The following evening, run warm water on the outside of the large container to loosen the ice from the mold. Do the same for the small plastic cup. Place your tea light in the hole where you removed the smaller cup. Display your ice lanterns outside on your steps or sidewalk with a bit of greenery, pinecones, or sprigs of holly. These beautiful homemade ice lanterns look even more lovely as the ice as cracks and melts, refracting the candlelight into brilliant shapes.
 

holiday-kid-craft-5.jpgFootprint Reindeer
This project is a sweet way to capture your child’s ever-changing and adorable feet. And the best part of all: kids love putting their toes in paint! For this project, you’ll need brown, red, and white non-toxic paint. Heavy or card stock paper is easiest to use because it holds up best against the weight of the paint. Next, you can paint your child’s foot with a brush. Or, if you’re making several reindeer, it’s easiest to squeeze some brown paint onto a plate or newspaper and let your child put the full weight of their foot in the paint. Place the painted foot on the paper and allow to dry. Last, complete the reindeer’s face with red thumbprint noses and finger paint the whites of their eyes. Take a black marker to add pupils to the eyes and freehand a winsome set of antlers. It’s easy and inexpensive to make multiple footprint reindeer prints for your child to give to friends and classmates.