Christmas Crafts for Kids, Toddlers, and Babies

Because Christmas is coming around the corner and we’re all trying to figure out what to do, I thought I would throw out some suggestions of things I’ve done in the past with my boys.  Some of these can be down with babies as well as older children.  In a week or so, I’ll make some new holiday gifts with the boys, and I’ll post those too.

 

Paper Ornaments

(Nothing is better than home-made ornaments.  These are simple and easy.  Perfect for toddlers.  For older children, use glue and glitter to decorate.  Grandparents are suckers for these sort of things.  Evan loved doing this last year.)

 

Things you need:

 

  • Construction paper
  • Christmas cookie cutters
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Hole puncher
  • Ribbon
  • Crayons, markers, glue, glitter (whatever you want to decorate with)

 

Trace the cookie cutters with a pen on the construction paper.  Cut the shape out.  Have the child decorate the shapes.  Punch a hole in the top and string with ribbon.  Don’t forget to mark the year and the child’s name on the back.

 

 

Lid Ornaments

(I haven’t done this with Evan yet, but I remember doing them when I was four and loved it.  My mom still has mine hanging on the tree every year)

 

Things you need:

 

  • Plastic lids (from butter containers or sour cream containers or any top)
  • Hole puncher
  • Old Christmas cards or magazines
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Glue

 

Have the child cut out (or if it is a toddler, cut it out for the child) a picture of Christmas.  Let the child glue the picture on the lid.  Punch a hole in the lid and string it with some ribbon.  Don’t forget to mark the year and the child’s name on the ornament.

 

 

Footprints and Handprints

(When Evan was a baby, I inked up his feet and put down footprints that I decorated and framed for my parents and in-laws.  They loved it.  You can either frame the footprints or handprints or you can make them into ornaments.)

 

Things you need:

 

  • White paper
  • Washable ink pad
  • Wet wash cloth or wipes
  • Hole punch, scissor, ribbon (if you make the ornament)

 

Just ink the feet or hands (on young babies, hands are difficult).  Then place the inked hand or foot onto the paper.  Wash the hand or foot right away for nothing else gets decorated. 

 

 

Handprint Shirt

(The last time we did this, Evan loved it, and Sean was too little to remember, but we plan on doing it again.  I looked online for clever shirt sayings.  Our favorite: “You’re the best (fill in here)!  Hands Down!”  We also put the ages and names of the boys underneath their hand prints.  My dad loves his shirt.)

 

Things you need:

 

  • Shirt
  • Fabric paint
  • Cardboard
  • Wipes

 

(If you don’t like the raise look of fabric paint writing, water down the fabric paint a little bit and use a brush or pencil to write the saying.)

 

Place the cardboard inside the shirt to keep the paint from bleeding through.  Write the clever saying with the fabric paint.  Allow it to dry.  Then dip the child’s hands into the paint, making sure it’s nice and even, and place the hands on the shirt.  Wipe the child’s hands immediately.  Allow the hand prints to dry, and write the name and age of the child.

 

Picture Frame

 

(I did this for a gift.  The boys loved painting the frame and showing it off later.  I used the black paint as the background color.  I had them paint on newspaper on the floor.)

 

What you need:

 

·      Unfinished thick picture frame (the thicker the better to give room for toddler creativity)

·      black or white paint

·      finger paints

·      paint brushes

·      sealer or top coat

·      sand paper

·      smock

 

First sand and prep the picture frame.  Next paint the background color with white or black paint.  Once the background paint is dry, have the child paint the frame.  After the painting is dry, paint the sealer or clear top coat to protect the painting.

 

Check out these posts for more Christmas and winter craft ideas:

More Christmas crafts

Winter and Christmas crafts

Christmas Crafts for kids, preschoolers, and toddlers part 2

Cotton Candy

Today we visited a pumpkin patch, or more accurately, we visited a park that was pretending to be a pumpkin patch.  (Since I have actually gone to a real pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins, I find these things more of a tourist trap.)  There were many different pumpkins in groups, two bounce houses, the park train, face painting and hay rides.  Then there was the hay maze.

The maze was small, but the walls of hay pales were just over five feet high, just high enough that most adults couldn’t cheat and toddlers could hide from their mothers who wanted to go and pick out a pumpkin.  Evan and Sean LOVED it.  Sean would go around the first couple turns and find himself at the entrance.  He was so excited that he “found” the exit.  Evan must have run through that maze a dozen times or so.  When we were finally too exhausted to go through the maze yet again, Evan just went to other adults and asked if they would take him.  We quietly led our son away explaining that those grown-ups had their own children to watch. 

After much convincing, Evan was excited to help pick a pumpkin.  He first went and picked out a tiny, perfectly round pumpkin.  We explained that pumpkin was set aside for school children.  Then he ran and picked up a tiny yellow pumpkin.  Yellow?  We explained how we wanted an orange pumpkin, so he picked a fancy, flat orange one.  My husband explained we were looking for a big, round pumpkin.  I showed him an example.  Since we rudely tossed out his picks, now Evan didn’t want to play.  Until I started to choose one out myself, Evan was content to sulk.  Just when I was about to make my selection, Evan demanded to take the pumpkin he just found.  I looked, and sure enough, he found the perfect pumpkin, orange, round, and big.  Now to convince my husband not to carve it, so I can use it for pumpkin bread after Halloween. 

After a picnic lunch of sandwiches that my husband made, the boys were running around.  Actually Evan was running around, and my mother-in-law was pushing Sean around in a wheelbarrow.  (She’s so sweet.)  My father-in-law asked if Evan could have cotton candy.  My husband said no as I said yes.  Really, what’s the problem?  So Evan received his first cotton candy (or at least the one he remembers). 

First he didn’t know what to do with it.  He held it like a blue Olympic torch.  Then as fast as a hawk, I grabbed a chunk, breaking it into smaller pieces for the boys to eat.  As the cotton-y goodness melted into sugar in their mouths, their eyes lit up.  CANDY!  I tore off more hunks as I tried to keep Evan from licking it.  At the end, Evan looked at his paper cone with shreds of wet sugar and asked “Can we get some more?”  Your mom isn’t that crazy, and it’s nap time.  See the way you’re throwing that temper tantrum just proves that you are tired.

Besides next week , we’re going to Disneyland.  They have LOTS of cotton candy there.  Plus a Grandma with a sweet tooth to rival your mother’s.

Bring me the head of Yoda

My family are Star Wars fans.  Not fanatics, but we have seen the movies over and over.  We even saw all the new ones several times in the theater even though they sucked.  Honest to God, they sucked bad.

My husband’s love of Star Wars came at a young age.  Since he was born in ’71, he was the perfect age for the Star Wars trilogy.  To cinch the deal, as though it actually needed to be closed after watching the movie on the big screen as many times as he could beg his parents, that Christmas some family friends bought him the WHOLE set of Star Wars action figures.  We’re talking every single action figure they had made, plus the Millennium Falcon.  I can only imagine how the must of been.  He talks of it with longing, as he remembers how he kept pulling one toy after another out of a giant box.  Of course, he doesn’t have them anymore because he sold them in his early 20s for beer money.  Smart.

I was born the night after my parents went and saw The Empire Strikes Back.  Actually my mom thought she had indigestion from the pizza the night before.  Instead she was in labor.  What pop out?  A skinny, bald, big-head, big-ear baby, who bobbled her head if you didn’t support it.  (Yeah, my parents were pretty clueless when it came to babies.  I’ll write about it one day.)  Basically my dad held me up and proclaimed me Yoda.  And it stuck.  He encouraged the movies when ever they were on tv.  The three of us grew up wanting to be Jedis.

Now that my husband and I have boys of our own, we are just chomping on the bit to indoctrinate them into the culture.  We have Yoda toys everywhere.  My parents gave my husband tons of Happy Meal toys of Star Wars.  We own tons of Pez dispensers.  We own both trilogies and the Star Wars: Clone Wars series.  Let’s not mention all the video games.  We were ready to have boys.

But we’re a little too ready.  I threw one of the Clone War series in the DVD because it was a cartoon.  How bad could this be?  (Anyone with toddlers is laughing at me.)  Evan loved it!  He loved it!  And he wanted to be a Jedi.  After I explained that the red swords were for bad guys and the green and blue for good guys, Evan went in search for a sword to match the colors.  Realizing for the first time that to sword fight meant you needed someone to beat and hurt, Evan then searched for his new bad guy, Sean.  Great!  We weren’t even half way through the shows when Evan is using a foam stick to get his little brother.  Ah!  No more!  No more DVD.  Your brother is a Jedi.  Your both good guys!  Remember rule #1, no sword fighting an unarmed person!  Stupid DVD!

Of course, my husband wasn’t home for this colossal mistake, so now I have to keep convincing him that Star Wars is not a good idea right now.  He is also pushing the real movies.  They’re PG!!!!  My husband is completely clueless when it comes to ratings.  I actually caught him showing the Batman cartoons to Evan, and those are pretty violent and dark (Or the time several years ago when he wanted to put a movie on for his best friends kids {4&8}, he was about to put on Jurassic Park before his beast friend stopped him.)

Yesterday I learned the Evan is probably too young for the Yoda toys.  As I buy almost every Yoda toy I can find, we have several and several are too complicated for Evan.  Evan has a few rubber Yodas, but they are not nearly as fun as Mommy’s.  Those spin and do tricks.  And Daddy is just as pleased to let Evan play with him.  It’s like saying “Daddy, I love football; let’s watch.”  “Daddy, can I please play with Yoda?  I love him.”  Months of playing with Yoda have yielded no problems, except one of the Yoda’s heads comes off.  I watch this one carefully because it seems the perfect Sean-choking size or Evan-nose size.  Then yesterday Evan handed me one of Snap Lock beads and asked me to get Yoda’s head out of it.  Crap.  But I guess it could be worse.  I peered into the hole to see Yoda’s head at the bottom of the bead, realizing this was a fantastic opportunity to explain to Evan how we need to be careful with our toys.

As soon as the mini-lecture was over, Evan was running around bopping things with the Yoda pillow.  Yup, that worked.  Ah, running a household of boys.  I really need some more estrogen in this house.