The holidays are usually when families and loved ones get together to share some Christmas cheer. But with the grownups busy with Christmas dinner preparations, Christmas parties, and other activities, kids are often left with nothing to do but watch television or videos on their tablets. Encourage kids to spread the holiday spirit with these crafty Christmas activities that may very well become yearly family traditions.
Handmade greeting cards are more than just gifts – they are works of art. They are unique and the receiver will surely appreciate the amount of thought and effort put into making them.
Simply provide pre-cut and pre-folded colored paper to avoid the use of scissors or other sharp materials. Have some art materials, like colored markers, stickers, glue, and some glitter, on hand, as well. You may also want to provide square paper that children can make into origami decorations that they can stick on their cards.
While crayons and markers are the go-to supplies for illustration, brush pens and stamps can be used as well. Aqua brush pens and stamps make crafting a little neater because they use inks that dry fast, such as memento ink and watercolor. And unlike marker stains, water-based inks are easier to wipe or wash off of most surfaces.
After everyone is satisfied with their masterpiece, display the cards somewhere people can easily see them. That way, the kids feel a sense of satisfaction and proud over their works of art.
Gingerbread houses are a Christmas staple. The process of building and decorating is what brings the family together during the holiday season. Store-bought gingerbread houses are easier to put together, but making one from scratch is both challenging and rewarding.
All you need are flour, butter, ground ginger and cinnamon, sugar, syrup or molasses, and some eggs. The quantities of these ingredients will vary, depending on the size of your gingerbread house. Combine flour, butter, and the ground ginger and cinnamon in a mixing bowl, and then mix until dry. Mixing is an easy step which kids can take on. After the mixture smoothens, add the eggs, sugar, and syrup and mix again until it becomes a firm pastry.
After creating the pastry mix, roll it flat with a rolling pin and cut the desired shapes. Be careful when using a knife or cookie cutters around kids as these kitchen tools are often sharp. Cut out the walls, roof, and other parts of the house, and lay them on non-stick baking trays. Lastly, bake the gingerbread house’s parts for about 15 minutes or until golden.
Now the real fun begins: assembling the house. Some people use icing to stick the house together while some people use sugar glue made from liquified sugar. Either way, make sure that the walls stick firmly to avoid cracking or sliding while decorating.
After the house has been built, provide decorating candy such as more icing, some licorice sticks, colorful gumdrops, candy canes, and peppermints. If you decide to build a gingerbread house village, each kid can decorate their own gingerbread house. This will keep them busy while you prepare other meals. Have the kids showcase their “architecture” to the family after Christmas dinner and then let them “demolish” their work for dessert.
Personalized Christmas Ornaments
For this activity, purchase plain Christmas baubles at groceries and department stores or repurpose old Christmas balls by painting them white, beforehand. As with Christmas card making, provide the kids with art supplies such as paint, markers, and stamps. Glitters, pompoms, and stickers add flair as well. Have the children write their names on the baubles for a personal touch.
After this, host a little activity where the kids get to choose a branch on the Christmas tree to hang their creation. Preserve these decorations and continue to use them for Christmases to come.
The holidays are a great time to create memories with loved ones. With these tradition-setting activities for kids, you are giving your children something to look forward to every year, and making the entire family happy while you’re at it.