Simple Holiday Craft Ideas for those Stir-crazy Winter Days

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kid cutting paperWe love crafts in our house. I have two boys, 1 1/2 and 3 1/2, and they are busy. Busy is actually an understatement. They are constantly moving, are all boy, and though I love them dearly, they can be simply exhausting. Especially in the dead of winter, amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, when we may already be feeling a bit stir crazy and worn out.

Why Craft?

Crafts for our household, at least in part, are a few moments of semi-quiet, controlled chaos. My oldest is obsessed with scissors and he loves crafts. He collects things from the recycle bin, leaves or twigs from walks, or other random bits and keeps them in a bin with our craft supplies. Whenever he picks things up, he matter-of-factly shrugs his precious little shoulders and tells me that we can do a craft with it. (A few months ago he cradled a dried up katydid carcass in his hands and insisted we could make something with it. Fortunately, I was able to make that poor bug strategically disappear.) Even my youngest really enjoys stickers, and sometimes tries to eat crayons, but still enjoys craft time.

Simple Holiday Craft Ideas

Below are some of our favorite holiday craft ideas that we will be working on this winter. One of my favorite things about crafts is they can also double as thoughtful gifts for our loved ones. Matty, my oldest, is always so proud to present a handmade item that he cut out and glued together himself. Remember, these can always be altered for your child’s developmental level and the items you have on hand. Sometimes it even works really well to make crafts in steps, over a few days!

*Disclaimer: The holiday crafts pictured were not made by my three-year-old, yet. I made some quick examples for you, which can be so helpful for our kids to see when we present them with a project.

Christmas Wreath Holiday Craft

Construction Paper Wreathes

Supplies:

  • Paper plate or ring of card stock
  • Construction paper
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Multi-colored hole-punch circles, pompoms, or other fun supplies for decorations.
  • Glitter, if you’re feeling brave

Tip:  Allow your kids to rip the construction paper into small pieces. My boys always enjoy helping me prepare the supplies. You can use a plate or a bowl to trace the wreath!

Paper-strip Christmas Tree

Supplies:

  • Construction paper of multiple colors
  • Card stock
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Child scissors (if age-appropriate)

Tip: Try placing a sticker on their thumbnail (if they are cutting out the strips of paper themselves) for a fun visual reminder to keep their thumb pointing up. “Make the tree by stacking the strip from biggest to smallest” is a great cue to help with development.

String Lights Holiday Craft

A String of Lights with Finger Paint or Dot Markers

Supplies:

  • Construction paper or cardstock (cardstock may hold up better with paint)
  • Fingerpaints, tempera paint, or dot markers!
  • Black or grey marker or crayon

Tip: I like to do painting activities at a time of day when it is easy for me to just throw them in the tub after for easy craft cleanup!

Cardboard Gingerbread Man

Supplies:

  • Cardboard
  • String
  • Crayons or markers
  • Construction paper
  • Child Scissors (age-appropriate)

Awl or anything to punch holes into the cardboard safely – for the parent to complete!

Tip: My three-year-old LOVES cutting things out. I plan to draw some decorations for him to cut out and glue on his gingerbread man. 

Pinecone Christmas tree Holiday Craft

Pinecone Christmas Trees

Supplies:

  • Pinecones
  • Green (or greenish) paint
  • Glitter for “snow”
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pompoms
  • Elmer’s glue

Tip: Pinecones can be collected on a walk or hike, maybe even as part of a scavenger hunt. It also works well to paint your pine cones the day before. Lastly, Elmer’s glue doesn’t always work well for crafts like this, so I like to allow my son to glue his pom-poms on, while I’ll resecure them later with hot glue if necessary.

What are your favorite simple holiday crafts?

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Danielle lives in Papillion with her husband Tyler and their two boys, Matthias (April 2016) and Graeme (April 2018). Tyler and Dani met in high school and married soon after, then traveled overseas for several years during her husband’s time as a United States Marine. He is now in the Air Force, and Dani is a licensed mental health therapist. She practices part-time in private practice and is passionate about working with complex trauma, motherhood, the military community, and first responders. Her days (and nights) are filled to the brim trying to keep up with her adventurous, fearless boys. She tries to squeeze in some yoga, coffee, walks outside, and extra snuggles for some balance.

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