When schools break for the holidays, children sometimes have difficulty planning activities that will keep them entertained. Their excitement at being away from their typical weekday schedule can leave them with boundless energy but few ideas for occupying their time. As the hustle and bustle of the holidays begins, it can be fun to slow down and spend some time with your children creating ornaments and crafts that will not only help tame boredom but also leave you with some handmade decorations to cherish.
If you don’t consider yourself crafty, don’t worry, holiday crafts do not have to be complicated to make. They don’t have to be expensive either. Here are some ideas to get you started.
With just a few supplies, you can make a variety of bead ornaments for your tree, wreath or virtually anywhere in your home. Using beads and thread, craft wire or even fishing line, you can create candy canes, wreaths, stars or snowflakes to hang on your tree. Bead candlesticks are also a nice addition to your tree. Designs are only limited to your and your child’s imagination.
This is a timeless holiday decoration that children enjoy creating. All that is required is colorful paper, scissors and glue. Begin by cutting colorful paper into strips. Form a strip into a circle and glue it into place. Link the next piece of paper to the first and glue it into a circle. Continue until your garland is the desired length, or you run out of paper strips. The garland can be hung on the tree or anywhere in the house that needs a little colorful holiday touch. Just be careful not to have the paper touching lights.
Light Bulb Reindeer
This one requires a little more adult supervision, but children love watching an old light bulb become a reindeer. Start with a used incandescent light bulb. Paint the bulb brown. When the paint has dried, glue googley eyes on the round portion of the bulb. Beneath the eyes, glue a small red or black pom-pom for a nose. Use a pipe cleaner to fashion antlers around the part of the bulb that screws into a socket. As an alternative to the reindeer, you can paint the bulb white to make a snowman or red to make the bulb into a Santa figure. You can also use paint to create the face of the figure if you don’t want to use glue and google eyes.
Construction Paper Ornaments
Children love to cut, color and otherwise decorate construction paper. Using scissors, they can cut the shapes of Christmas trees, candy canes, ball ornaments, stars and snowflakes from construction paper. Then they can glue beads or sequins onto the paper, or they can draw or color on the paper to embellish it. Make sure to leave room at the top for a hole with yarn, ribbon or thread to tie it onto the tree.
There are a variety of ways to make picture frames to use as holiday decorations or gifts. One of the simplest is to use sturdy cardboard to cut a rectangular shape for the frame. Have your child decorate the cardboard with markers, crayons, paper cutouts, beads, sequins or anything they can imagine. When the frame is decorated, glue or tape a picture to it so the picture shows through your cardboard frame. If rectangular seems boring, help your child to cut the frame in the shape of a tree, ornament or snowflake instead.
These require purchasing a few items at a craft supply store. Most craft stores, and some holiday stores, stock clear plastic ball-shaped ornaments. You will also need glue, a foam brush for applying the glue, and glitter. Sequins also work well for this application. The process is simple. First, remove the cap of the ornament. Brush glue all over the interior of the ornament. Then shake glitter into the ornament. Replace the ornament cap, and shake the ornament to coat the interior with glitter or sequins. You can also make these by brushing the exterior with glue and rolling the ornament in glitter until it adheres to the glue. Either method produces beautiful, eye-catching ornaments for your tree or home.
Make Your Own Wreath
At the holidays, you often see a wreath hanging on the front door of the houses throughout the neighborhood. There are multiple ways to make your own. Use tissue paper in green and red to fashion a wreath. Glue glass or plastic ornaments together into the shape of a wreath. Purchase a foam or wire wreath form and attach greenery, ornaments and ribbon to it. Simply wrapping a foam wreath form with ribbon can make an elegant edition to your holiday decor.
Making ornaments and holiday crafts with your children can be a fun way to combat boredom as well as a creative way to decorate your home for the holidays. Children typically enjoy crafting even when adults don’t think of themselves as crafty. The holidays are a good time to help your children explore their creative abilities by crafting with them.