Marie LeBaron is a blog friend who I have yet to meet in real life, but we share a passion for crafting and food and I so admire all of the crafty awesomeness she shares on her site, Make and Takes. And though Marie and my friendship is relatively new, her enthusiasm encouraged me to sign up with her and ten other bloggers for what no doubt will be a (somewhat insane) major bonding experience: a 200-mile relay run come spring (gulp). I’m thrilled that today, for the seventh installment of my Simplifying the Holidays guest blog series, Marie shares easy yet engaging holiday crafts to enjoy with your kids.
We're now officially in the holiday stretch and there are presents to buy, the house to decorate, and treats to make. Here are a few fun projects we're making and taking in the next few weeks to celebrate the holidays.
Beaded Ornaments: Decorating the tree is part of the fun of decorating the house for Christmas. And all you need to make your own ornaments are beads and pipe cleaners. Create traditional shapes as shown here, create shapes for other winter holidays (e.g., a Star of David for Hanukkah), or let your kid’s imagination run wild. These ornaments are fun to give as gifts or to make to hang on your own tree. No doubt your kids will love to look back on them when they're grown up.
Fruit Loop Garland: This is a classic holiday craft that’s fun for kids while encouraging motor development. All that’s involved is threading Fruit Loop cereal (or check stores such as Whole Foods for a natural/organic alternative) onto string. We make a lot of these fruity garlands to put on our tree, even though my kids typically eat a lot of the cereal while we’re stringing! And a tip: attach a little bit of tape to the threading end of the yarn or string (to form a shoelace type end) to help little fingers thread the cereal through. (Garland shown in first image above.)
Stained Glass Christmas Trees: To give your windows a festive feel, try these bright and cheery stained glass trees. Simply fold green paper triangles, cut holes in them (as you would a snowflake), then add some wrapping tissue paper to the back, letting the colors shine through. Attach a brown rectangle for the tree stump and a yellow circle of paper (or a pom-pon) at the top.
Homemade Lollipops: Lollipops are the one candy that we make every December. They are fun to make and eat, and are a perfect gift to give to the neighbors. These are mostly made and poured by me, but my kids love to help set up the sticks and watch as the lollipop liquid gets poured. You can make these with metal molds, but we like to have them come out all wonky, simply pouring them over the sticks. Click here for the lollipop recipe.
M&M Graphing: With so many flavors of M&Ms, this is a fun taste testing activity to do with the kids. We poured all kinds of M&Ms into our bowl, then closed our eyes and picked one out. We graphed what color it was, what flavor it was, and if we liked it. This activity is a fun one to do in a classroom setting for younger or older grades, helping them have fun as they eat and learn! If you’d prefer to use a natural alternative (for example, SunSpire Sun Drops) you could change the parameters of the game to guess and graph colors.
Marie LeBaron is the owner and founder of Make and Takes, a website sharing kids crafts, home crafts, easy recipes, and parenting tips. She’s a crafter, foodie, and mother of 3. She also loves to read, run, and blog. You can follow Marie on Twitter at @makeandtakes.