Holiday crafts for kids and toddlers

Are you looking for something to make with your kids?  I always am.  Especially for gifts.  Once you have kids, gifts for grandparents and aunts and uncles and great-grandparents and godparents become a cinch.  Who wouldn’t want a cute ornament made by a kid?  Decorating for the holidays is fun and economical.  These were the crafts we tackled last year.

As always, crafts can be adjusted for the age and ability of the child.  The older the child, the more the kid can do.

Picture Ornaments

(I thought this was a cute craft.  I make a different ornament with the kids every year and give them out as gifts and keep them for my own tree.  I liked the idea of saving a picture of the boys on my tree.  The boys enjoyed making these.  Anything with glue is fun to them. Younger kids can decorate the ornament.  Older kids can trace and cut as well as decorate.  My children (6, 4, and 1) are not fantastic cutters, so I cut.  I got the idea from here.)

Things you need:

  • Card stock
  • Jar lid recommended 3″ lid
  • Another round lid slightly smaller (to cut the pictures)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Photos
  • Glue
  • Pens, markers, paint, stamps (anything to decorate the front)
  • String, elastic cord, something to hang up the ornament

What to do:

Fold the stock paper.  Make a simple ornament shape by tracing the jar lid and leaving the fold intact with the topper of the ornament.  Cut out ornament.  Decorate the front of the ornament with paints, stamps, whatever or do the activity below.  Using the smaller round shape, draw a circle on the photo, and cut it out.  Glue the picture on the inside of the ornament.  You can glue the string in place or just tie it.  (I’m a rebel.  I didn’t use glue for the string.)

Reindeer fingerprints

( I got the idea from Spoonfuls, the same site that brought you the craft above.  I wasn’t able to find the directions.  I thought these were so adorable on the cards.  But I thought they would be awesome on the photo ornament.  A fingerprint to match the picture to show how small they once were.  The boys LOVED this!  They got to get messy.  Tornado E and Tornado S (6 and 4) drew the antlers and glued the eyes and nose.  I helped the one year old.)

Things you need:

  • Card stock
  • Brown washable (I can’t stress WASHABLE enough) ink pad
  • Brown marker
  • 5mm googly eyes (for small fingers)
  • 1/4 in black or red pom poms (for small fingers)

Have the child make a fingerprint with the WASHABLE brown ink.  Finger or thumb.  After the ink dries, have the child draw antlers.  Then have the child glue eyes and a nose.  Our craft we did just one.  If you’re making a card or have a large ornament, do more than one.

Making reindeer

Holiday Wreaths

(I stole this from my BFF and her holiday program at her church.  I was suppose to run this craft and got bumped.  In my disappointment, I decided to do this with my boys.  I did the hot glue.  They decided where to put the decorations.  If you’re A personality, I don’t recommend this.  We made an ugly wreath, but it was done with love.  The boys LOVED this.)

Things you need:

  • Cheap fake Christmas wreath
  • Cheap decorations like mini christmas ornaments and bells (I bought ours at the dollar store and Walmart.)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue
  • Ribbon (optional)

What to do:

Lay the wreath down.  Heat the glue gun.  Have the kids place the decorations on the wreath.  Glue the decorations.

That is a kid approved wreath

For more craft ideas:

https://faemom.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/christmas-ornaments-for-kids-preschoolers-and-toddlers-to-make/

https://faemom.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/christmas-crafts-for-kids-toddlers-and-babies/

https://faemom.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/winter-and-christmas-crafts-for-toddlers-and-children/

https://faemom.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/more-christmas-crafts-for-children-toddlers-and-babies/

https://faemom.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/christmas-crafts-for-kids-preschoolers-and-toddlers-part-2/

The Pirate Ship

So of course, we had to get Tornado S his own pirate ship.  Since that was all his little heart desired.  The Husband and I stayed up until midnight putting things together for the surprise.  Yet another Christmas Eve of us bickering our frustration at each other because including directions with the toys is now so not cool.

The next morning, Tornado E woke first and looked at his toys before coming and getting us.  We smiled as he exclaimed over each toy.  After 45 minutes and no Tornado S, I went in to check on him.  He was just lying in bed, thinking, contemplating, relaxing.  When he saw me he climbed out of his bed, and I ran into the family room for the perfect spot to catch a picture of the look on Tornado S’s face when he saw his pirate ship.

Tornado S came out into the family, taking in the magical scene.  I lifted the camera up, focusing it.  His eyes landed on the pirate ship.  Those dark brown eyes lit up.  A smile burst on his face.  He took a running step forward.  I started to press down on the button.  Then Tornado E jumped up and bumped his brother out of the way.

Yup, Tornado E cock-blocked his little brother from Tornado S’s own toy.  Nice.

Tornado S was determined.  They raced to the pirate ship, getting there at the same time.  Tornado S let out a yell as Tornado E grabbed the pirates and the ship.

I have spent the last several days trying to make sure everyone is sharing and not hitting, punching, kicking, scratching, biting, pushing, bludgeoning each other over a toy pirate ship.

Christmas is magical.

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Where’s Ho Ho?

Christmas Eve is when my dad’s family get together.  Five out of the six siblings with their significant others were there.  All but one of their children was accounted.  Three great-grandchildren.  Plus both sets of the parents/grandparents/great-grandparents where there.  At least it was held in my parents’ house, not my grandma’s double-wide.

One of my uncles dressed as Santa again.  Both my boys were hesitant to approach the stranger, but another uncle threw some presents to Santa to entice the boys, which worked.  The boys took their gifts, thanked him, and gave him a hug before getting the hell out of dodge.

About twenty minutes after my uncle got back to the party, Tornado S wandered the house.

Tornado S: Where Ho Ho?  Where Ho Ho?

Me: Santa had to go, Tornado S.  He has lots of other houses to stop at to give gifts to little boys and girls.

Tornado S: Where Ho Ho?  Where’s my pirate ship?

Did I mention all Tornado S wanted for Christmas was a pirate ship?

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Christmas crafts for kids, preschoolers and toddlers part 2

Here are a few crafts we’re working on at Faemom’s.  All crafts are kid friendly.  Depending on the age and the ability of the child will depend on how much the child can and how much you do.  Stay tune because I’m still working on hot coco mix, dipped cookies, shell ornaments, pine cone ornaments, and decorative candles.

Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments

I know.  I know.  I published this last year, but I never got around to doing them last year.  I did do them two years ago.  So I did them this year, and I learned a lot more. Tornado E (4) and Tornado S (2) helped mix the clay, roll the clay, and cut the clay with cookie cutters.  This is an easy recipe to multiply or divide.

Things you need:

½ cup applesauce

½ cup and 2tbs of cinnamon (this doesn’t have to be exact.  I just found I needed a little more cinnamon to make it less sticky.)

Bowl

Spoon

Wax paper

Rolling pin

Cookie cutters

Straw

Ribbon

Mix the applesauce and cinnamon.  You want a clay consistency, not too sticky, not too dry.  Roll the clay out in between two sheets of wax paper.  Roll it to a ½ in to 1/3 in thickness.  Too thick and it’ll take forever to dry.  Too thin and you can’t get it off the wax paper.  Cut out shapes with the cookie cutter.  Use the straw to make a hole for the ribbon.  Carefully remove the ornament with a knife and your fingers.  (This is when you realize it’s too thin or sticky.)  Move the ornament to a fresh piece of wax paper to dry.  (Because we’re in cramp quarters I placed mine on a wax papered cookie sheet, so they could be easily moved away from little hands at any time.)  If you need to leave the project, you can save the clay in a plastic container with a lid in the fridge for at least a week.  Let the shapes dry for two to three days.  Thread a ribbon through the hole and tie.

Metal Juice Lid Ornaments

I made these in Girl Scouts years ago.  Then I saw it online last year, and I thought it was a nifty idea.  Of course, you have to have metal juice lids, which can take some time to collect.  This is defiantly an older kid project.

Things you need:

Metal juice lids

A small wood board

A nail

A hammer

Ribbon

Marker (optional)

If you like, you can draw the dots of on the lid before you nail.  You can see the marker after you’re done, but mine looked better than when I free-handed it.  (Of course, that could just be me.)  Put the lid on the board.  Place the nail over the lid near the top.  Hammer the nail through the lid.  Since this is where you’ll run the ribbon, you might want to make this your biggest hole.  Continue to make holes of the design you want.  I made initials.  When finished, thread the ribbon through the top hole and tie.  (I am curious to see if these can be painted or polished, which will be an experiment for another time.)

Chocolate Dipped Spoons  with Marshmallows

I saw this somewhere in an old craft magazine.  Since I couldn’t find the magazine again, I just winged it.  Children can help dipping the spoons.  Because mine kept trying to eat the chocolate, they were forced out of the kitchen.

Things you need:

Plastic spoons

Melting chocolate (you can go with chocolate chips, but I went and bought chocolate made for making candies)

Bowl or jar

Wax paper

Plate or cookie sheet

Mini marshmallows

Different colored chocolate (optional)

Spoon or chocolate bag (optional)

Melt the chocolate according to the directions on the bag.  I prefer the double broiler method because I’ve burnt chocolate before (not good).  Dip the spoon to cover the bowl part of the spoon.  Wipe the back of the spoon against the bowl or jar to get excess chocolate off the back.  Place the spoon on the wax paper covered plate or cookie sheet (depending how much room you have in your freezer).  Place marshmallow into chocolate.  Repeat with other spoons until plate or cookie sheet are covered.  Place in freezer until chocolate is hard (anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes).  Dip spoons in chocolate again.  Place back on the plate and back into the freezer.  If you would like, you can melt more chocolate like white or colored to drizzle on the spoons.  When spoons are hardened, dip them for a third time in the chocolate.  If you want to, drizzle the chocolate over the chocolate spoons.  Put into freezer until hard.

This can be done without the marshmallow as well.  You can also flavor the chocolate too.

Gingerbread Men Ornaments

Every year I like to make an ornament with the boys.  This year we’re doing two.  This is the first one.  Both boys, at 4 and 2, were able to do this and had a lot of fun doing it.  I’m sure an 18 month old would be able to make these too.

Things you need:

Brown craft foam (I bet this would work with felt or brown paper)

Gingerbread man cookie cutter or template

Pen

Scissors

Craft foam stickers, markers, crayons, fabric paint, paint, glue, glitter, whatever you want to decorate with.  All things I have mentioned will work.

Hole puncher

Ribbon

Trace the gingerbread cookie cutter or template on the craft foam.  Cut out the gingerbread man.  You may punch the hole for the ribbon now or after the gingerbread man is decorated.  Have the child decorate the gingerbread man.  (Since my boys wouldn’t put eyes on if I didn’t do it, I did that with craft foam dots.)  Punch hole for the ribbon if you haven’t yet done so.  Thread ribbon through the hole and tie.

 

Pipe Cleaner Candy Canes

This is something we did do last year.  Like three days before Christmas.  I thought if I posted crafts three days before Christmas, someone would shoot me.  But you have to keep young hands busy somehow or else they would be wrecking the tree, getting into the presents, finding the presents, opening up the cookies meant for Christmas. Tornado E was three, and Tornado S was eighteen months.  Tornado E could do both kinds of candy canes.  Tornado S did better with stringing the beads as long as I held the pipe cleaner.

Type 1

Things you need:

Red pipe cleaners

White pipe cleaners (You could use green if you like.)

Take the pipe cleaners and twist them together.  Then take the pipe cleaners and form a hook to make it look like a candy cane.

Type 2

Things you need:

Red or white pipe cleaners

Red or white or green pony beads (whatever color is opposite of your pipe cleaner)

Take the pipe cleaner and thread the pony beads on it, leaving space in between to look like stripes.  Take the pipe cleaner and form a hook to make it look like a candy cane.

Need more ideas?  Check out my other posts on Christmas and winter crafts for kids.

Christmas Crafts for Kids, Toddlers, and Babies

More Christmas Crafts for Children, Toddlers, and Babies

Winter and Christmas Crafts for Toddlers and Children

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The Perfect Present: Or how important is this stupid toy?

Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.

 

A week ago we received my husband’s Christmas bonus, and I was dying to spend it.  For a month I had been checking on various Lego products searching for the perfect gift Sean.  Sean enjoys playing with our one Duplo boy, putting and taking him in and out of Evan’s police vehicles.  He’ll sit playing with the little boy for a half an hour which is like two hours in toddler time.  He needs more of these characters.

 

For weeks I debated which ones to buy him.  There was the awesome zoo vehicle set with two cars, two people and several animals, but it turns out that hadn’t been made for a while because people were charging twice the amount.  There was the police station with a car, a policeman, and a bad guy, but something about giving an 18 month a bad guy just didn’t sit well with me.  I finally decided to buy the police boat kit with two boats and four policemen.  Perfect.

 

But first I wanted to check the stores so that I could get around the shipping and handling fees.  Wal-Mart?  No.  Target?  No.  Toys ‘r’ us?  Nope.  The Lego Store?  Surprisingly no, though they had several police stations.  But the boat was cheaper with more men.

 

So last week, the morning after my husband placed the money in my hands, I went online to order the police boat.  When I went to click on the “add” button, instead there was a little note asking me to call for availability.

 

WHAT?!

 

Call who?  What number?  WHAT?

 

Is worth it?  Is it worth tracking down a toy that I don’t know if he’ll even want it?  As I debated I watched Sean put the little man back into the police car.  Yes.

 

I scrolled down the page, looking for any sign of a 1-800 number, finding one in tiny print at the bottom of the page.

 

Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.

 

Looking at the clock, I wondered how long this would take as I was wasting valuable shower time.  We had to go to Wal-Mart that day, and as you know, every minute is precious to get there before the crowds.  I mean we really needed to go because we needed Kleenex for running noses, art supplies for presents, and toys for Santa.  Damn.  How long will I have to be on hold?

 

Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.

 

Hmm, I can’t place that song.

 

Ring.  Ring. Click.

 

No!  No!  They didn’t just hang up on me.  You didn’t just hang up on me!  I looked at the phone.  5 minutes and 40 seconds.  No!

 

Is it worth it?  Is this toy worth it?  I imagine Sean’s face on Christmas morning.

 

Where’s that number again?

 

Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.

 

Look, we need Tootles.  Oh, Tootles!

 

It’s “The Girl from Ipanema.”  Good song.  I dance around the house.  Thank God this isn’t a health emergency and that I don’t have a baby crying demanding something.  It could be worse. 

 

Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.

 

Sean will be so excited about this toy.  He’ll push the boats around the family room as the skid on the carpet.  He’ll play with the police men.  I wonder if I should get him some police cars like Evan’s or if Evan is still content to share.  We could always use more cars in the house.  What else do I need to get at Wal-Mart?  I look over the shopping list as well as the day’s to-do list.

 

Here, Sean.  Do you want some juice?  No, Evan, that’s Sean’s jui-

 

Ring.  Ring.

 

Hello, this is Steve.  Can I assist you in a purchase?

 

Me: Only if you have it.

 

Steve: All right.  Do you have the product number?

 

Me: 12345

 

Steve: 12345?  The Police Boat?

 

Me: Yup.

 

Steve: It says “Call for availability.”  (Duh)  You’ll have to call our customer service department.  (What?)  Would you like that number?

 

Me: Sure, why not?

 

Steve: It’s 1-800-*********.  Is there anything else I can do for you?

 

Me: Nope.

 

Steve: Thank you for choosing Lego.

My pleasure.  Click.

 

Is it worth it?  Thirteen minutes, nearly half my “me” time.  I could just go get the police station.  It’s not like Sean knows about the boat or the car.  I scanned the website again, clicking on the customer service button.  But the boat actually has better reviews.  It has more police men.  What’s one more phone call?

 

Our agents are currently busy helping other customers.  Please hold on because we are answering calls in the order we receive them.

 

Ring.  Ring.

 

Lego Customer Service Department.  This is Carol.  How can I help you?

 

Me: Well, I’m checking on availability of a product.

 

Carol: I can assist you with that.  May I have the product number?

 

Me: 12345.

 

Carol: 12345?  The Police Boat?

 

Me: Yes.

 

Carol: It says there are two left.  (Pause for a cheer.)

 

Me: (Too stunned to cheer) How can I buy it?  Who can I call?

 

Carol: I can assist you with that. 

 

Me: Really?  That’s awesome.  Thank you.

 

Carol: No problem.  Have you shopped with us before?

 

Me: No.  (a few minutes to take the information)

 

Carol: Now it is possible that this item may have been sold out in the last hour, and the computer may not have updated the inventory.

 

Me: (Damn.  I forgot what I learned in my years of retail.  Computers lie.)  When will I find that out?

 

Carol: Two days.  We won’t charge you unless it’s shipped.

 

Me: And how long will it take to ship?

 

Carol: To California?  Five to seven business days.

 

Me: Well, ok, thank you.

 

Carol: Thank you.

 

Click.

 

So for the last four days I have waited for the dreaded email of apology, debating how I can slip away to the Lego Store to buy a police station and a box of Duplos for Evan.  I obsessively checked my email all weekend, knowing that that they didn’t work on weekend.  I debated the whole idea of the police boat kit, checking my bank account to see if I’ve been charged. 

 

Today this was in the inbox:

 

 

Your LEGO Order has Shipped

 

Let’s just hope we get it before Saturday as I didn’t have the heart to tell Carol that I needed it shipped to my parents’ house where Santa is going.

 

 

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