The kids are out of school on December 20th and I'll be looking for fun things to do together before and after Christmas. Here is a list of thirteen fun kid crafts that'll keep everyone busy and happy on into the new year.
1. Make a gum drop wreath. Even a three year old can help with this fun craft--though I imagine ours will get picked over pretty thoroughly before the gum drops even get stale. The tutorial is from Posie Gets Cozy. Here's a variation on the theme: gumdrop trees at Bella Dia.
2. Measure the weather. We're going to set out containers and measure how much snow we get and record the daily temperature--want to make sure the reindeer have Optimal Flying Conditions you know.
3. Play indoor hopscotch. We have laminate flooring and will tape game boards on the flooring when the weather doesn't permit the outside versions. There are all sorts of things you can do with masking tape, see this post for more details.
4. Read some holiday books. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is at the top of the list but have you ever read The Christmas Dolls by Carol Beach York? An out-of-print classic that I still treasure. I have a ratty, falling-apart paperback copy that I think we'll need to explore while sitting by the fire.
5. Play "Hide the Button." I sometimes forget how younger children will love simple games like this. You can't go wrong when you take 15 minutes to play this.
6. Make a snow fort using super scoopers. Gallon-sized plastic milk jugs make terrific snow scoopers when you cut away half the bottom of the jug. Mix some food coloring and water in a spray bottle to use for "decorating" the snow and you've got an instant hit. Now if only we had some snow. . .
7. Make glittering pinecones. If you water down Elmer's glue you can paint it onto the branches of big pinecones (the kind you can find at craft stores). Once it's been well-painted, sprinkle glitter over it and hang it by its stem.
8. Write thank you cards. The perfect afternoon activity. Stickers, glitter, glue, construction paper--get it out and say thanks for all the presents. I bet Santa doesn't get that many "thank you" cards but it wouldn't be a bad idea.
9. Make pipe cleaner snowflakes. Twist sparkley white pipe cleaners together to make snowflakes and hang them from your windows. If you're feeling really adventurous here's a tutorial to make 3-D paper snowflakes.
10. Shovel a neighbor's driveway. It's fun to make it a game and see if you can get it done "before the giant sees you."
11. Go ice skating. We've got a hockey rink nearby and last year we had a great time skating whenever we had a free afternoon. I have always had a hard time staying warm and ice skates are the worst for cold feet but last year I found these wonderful soft boot skates that are warm and toasty and great for helping you keep your ankles straight. They're on sale and they even come in pink.
12. Make snow molecules. Use toothpicks and tiny marshmallows to make "snow molecules" by sticking the toothpicks into the marshmallows in whatever configuration seems appropriate.
13. Make igloos. Use frosting to glue large marshmallows together like snow blocks to make your very own igloo. Sample at your own risk--that's enough sugar to bring down a nation. Susie J had an alternative to using marshmallows at her post here.
Bonus: 14. Attempt this cutie pie dessert. From Sew Darn Cute, my kids would think it was pretty cool to eat a cake that's shaped like a tree and she makes it sound so easy I think I'm going to give it a try.
Have you entered this month's Write-Away Contest? The theme is "My Favorite Day."
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