Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Crafting with the Kiddies

Crafts are great fun year round, but especially around the holidays. Gather up the construction paper, markers, and everyday supplies you have hanging around the house, like cotton balls, to make some or all of the following crafts. Spend time with your kids and make some holiday decorations that you can cherish for years to come.

1. Construction paper chain

This versatile craft suits all types of holidays. Make a Christmas chain using red and green construction paper or a Hanukkah chain using blue and white paper. You can also use white paper that you decorate with handmade stamps, which can also be purchased at your local craft or stationery store. You can also repurpose brown paper lunch sacks or grocery bags. Once you decide what paper you'll be using, cut into 2" x 8" sections. Decorate with glitter, paint, stickers, ribbon, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Loop the paper strips together and staple or glue to close. This is a good craft to do at the workbench since it can get a little messy.

2. Make a snowperson

This craft helps you find a home for a white sock that no longer has a match. Fill clean socks with a material like dried beans (any kind). You'll be filling three 'compartments,' which should be sectioned off with rubber bands. (You can use any kind of fastener, including ribbon, as long as it's securely tied.) Make a hat from the toe portion of a baby sock, which you can then glue on. Use buttons or beads for eyes and pipe cleaners for arms. A piece of orange paper or felt makes a great snowperson nose.

You can also use Styrofoam balls that can be purchased at any craft store. Choose three different sizes for your snowperson. Use a glue gun or toothpicks to attach the three spheres together. You'll want to level off the bottom of the largest ball so that your snowperson can easily stand up. (You can also glue the largest Styrofoam ball to a wooden base.) Decorate with arms made of twigs, toothpicks, or, again, pipe cleaners. Use leftover fabric or felt scraps to make a hat, a carrot nose, and a scarf.

3. Decorate stockings

This is a personal favorite in our household because it gives kids free reign to decorate however they'd like. Consider making a Santa face with felt and buttons and a beard made from cotton balls. Use fabric paint to draw names or create freehand designs. Make snowpeople, ornaments, candy canes, and more with colored felt and markers. There are a lot of options for this craft, including choosing your own material if you decide to make your own stockings.

Now that you've got some winter crafting ideas, get your creative groove on and welcome the holidays with a bang this year. Start with these ideas and work your way up to making holiday gifts for family and friends. You might even consider opening your very own Etsy store. Have fun!

Holly is a wife and stay-at-home mother who blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she uses and trusts. She enjoys spending time with her kids, whose next craft idea is decorating the workbench where they make projects.

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