Children anticipate the holidays with eyes-wide-open wonder, and with good reason. They get weeks off from school. The house fills with the most amazing aromas, as dishes normally reserved for special occasions become almost commonplace. Favorite relatives come for visits, and presents appear as if by magic.
Reclaim a little of that magic for yourself by engaging your children in fun holiday craft activities. Here are just a few ideas to get the holiday and creative spirits flowing:
Everyone loves cookies
Holiday cookies, cakes and snacks are part of everyone’s happiest memories. Fill the house with delicious scents as you fill the oven with baked goods. Then let the children’s artistic streak run wild with colorful icing, sprinkles and candy pieces.
Snowmen of all shapes and sizes
Outside, or even inside your home, you can create magic by building snowmen. You don’t need snow to make them, either. Foam balls, available in most craft stores, form a great foundation for a snowmasterpiece. Other snowman-creation materials can include cotton balls glued to construction paper, paper plates of different sizes or socks stuffed with pillow batting and tied into sections with string.
Creativity you can put a bow on
Gift giving is a part of the holiday season, and that gives you another opportunity to let the children express their creativity. In lieu of store-bought wrapping paper, you can have kids decorate butcher paper with construction paper cutouts, or cut pieces of sponge into holiday shapes and use them with tempera paint as stamping templates. Turn ordinary gift bags into something special with paint, glitter, and pieces of colorful paper cut into shapes.
Cards that say “season’s greetings” with flair
Greeting stores are filled with holiday cards, and you can personalize photo cards online in less time than it takes to say “cheese.” Even with all these options available, nothing can beat the warmth of a handmade card from a child. For a twist on the same old season’s greetings, have your kids craft their own original and heartfelt messages.
A special place card at the table
If you’re having a traditional holiday dinner this year, let the kids make the place cards. Suggest decorating each card with something special about the person that will be sitting there, or keep them consistent from card to card.
Beaded pipe cleaner ornaments
An assortment of beads and a few pipe cleaners can give your children a fun outlet to create ornaments of their own. Create the outlines of holiday items, from candy canes and stars to trees and wreaths, and then add on the beads for a colorful touch. Use sections of pipe cleaner and the stick from a frozen treat to make fuzzy holiday trees as well.