As Christmas draws nearer, the kids will be off school and screaming for new, fun activities.
On the hot days we get in summer, it can be best to keep the kids indoors and do a some quiet, energy-conserving activities – like craft!
These activities are not only fun, they’re easy, they can help develop fine motor co-ordination, and they leave you with cool decorations that can adorn the Christmas tree as well as around the rest of the house.
Give these Christmas craft ideas a try, and see which ones become yearly traditions.
Photo Baubles for the Christmas Tree
- old cardboard boxes (cereal boxes are ideal) or paper plates
- pom poms, glitter, feathers, and decorating items
- Cut 2 circles out of the cereal boxes, each approximately 12 cm in diameter (or you can choose any size).
- Cut out of the centre of one circle to make a ring large enough for your chosen photo to be displayed in the middle.
- Sandwich your photo between the ring and use the full circle as backing.
- Glue it all together, including putting a loop of thread between the two circles so you can hang the finished creation on the Christmas Tree.
- Now decorate the outside of the ring with feathers, pom poms, glitter, and glue.
- Once dry, you’ve got a beautiful photo bauble for your tree.
If you’re making lots of baubles, why not try cutting different shapes of the cardboard to start.
- small cardboard box – you can recycle a small box like a small tea box or similar
- craft sticks / paddlepop sticks
- Turn the box on its side so that it’s tall and narrow – like a chimney.
- Paint the box brown and draw black lines across it like bricks.
- Cut the lid off the box and make a small slit in the bottom to fit a paddlepop stick through.
- Cut out a Santa shape from some card – Santa needs to small enough to fit into the box – little kids might need some help with this cutting.
- Colour him in and glue him onto the end of the paddlepop stick.
- You will then be able to pop your Santa down and up the chimney by moving the paddlepop stick through the hole in the box.
Christmas Tree and Santa Hat Decorations
- red card
- felt – green and red
- pieces of ribbon
- yellow card
- cotton wool balls
- craft sticks (paddle pop sticks)
- craft eyes
- craft pompoms (or cotton wool)
- Cut a triangle out of red card.
- Glue one cotton ball at the top of the triangle and 2-3 rows of cotton balls along the bottom to make Santa Hat decorations!
- Cut a rectangle or square out of felt – any colour is fine, but red and green keep with the Christmas theme.
- Glue two pieces of contrasting ribbon in a cross shape on the felt square to make a great present decoration.
Paddlepop Christmas Trees:
- Paint some craft sticks tree green colour using either paint or food colouring.
- Leave to dry.
- Break some craft sticks into different lengths – you’ll need short pieces and longer pieces, gradually getting longer each time.
- Place one whole craft stick vertically.
- Glue smaller pieces of craft sticks onto the stick horizontally, with the smaller pieces at the top and the longest pieces at the bottom to make a Christmas tree shape.
- Put a glittery pom-pom at the top of the tree!
- Cut a star shape out of yellow card.
- Glue coloured pompoms or sequins on to the star for pretty decorations.
- Make a triangle shape with 3 craft sticks.
- Glue the sticks together.
- Glue two craft eyes on.
- Glue a pom-pom on one corner for a nose.
With all these decorations, you can glue a loop of string or ribbon on the back so you can hang them from the tree.
Pine Cone Christmas Tree Ornaments
This activity has a exercise component and a craft component so you can burn off a little energy before getting the kids to settle down! First you need to go for bush walk and collect some pine cones (or any large tree seeds would do too).
When you get home follow the following steps to get your decorations on the go.
- Dry Pine Cones (or substitute)
- Paint brushes
- Card stock
- Paint the pine cone with glue. Immediately sprinkle with your choice of colour glitter.
- Let it all dry.
- Cut out a yellow star (or whatever colour your card stock is).
- Glue the star to the top of pine cone.
- Once dry, tie a ribbon and hang it from the tree!
Homemade Wrapping Paper
Making your own wrapping paper is great fun and adds a personal touch to any gift. As a bonus, it’s much cheaper than buying paper too!
Buy some suitable plain paper from a local supplier. Usually known a ‘Butcher’s Paper’, it’s the thick white paper (or brown paper) that you can get in large rolls or large sheets. You can buy it from office suppliers, packaging suppliers, or some toy shops.
Get some colourful paints – if it’s for Christmas paper, use Christmas themed colours like red, green, gold, and silver. Then you’re ready to paint!
For littlies, finger paint and hand prints work best. Put the paint into a flat tray so they can get a good even coverage on their hands. Make sure you’ve got an old cloth handy so you can wipe their hands quickly before they set-off handprinting everything in site! Perhaps a good activity for outside!
You can also cut out ‘stamps’ from potatoes or buy stamps from a craft shop.
Cereal Christmas Garlands
Popcorn and cranberries are too difficult for little ones to string, plus they require a needle…ouch! But that doesn’t mean that toddlers have to be left out on the fun when it comes to make Christmas garlands.
They can string a round cereal like Cheerios or Fruit Loops on yarn or a stiff string and make a beautiful Christmas garland to hang in the house!
You could also try tube pasta – like macaroni or penne. You could even paint the pasta in different colours and designs first and then thread onto yarn when dry.
- empty toilet rolls
- crepe paper
- thin curling ribbon.
- fun trinkets and a little joke for inside
- stickers, optional
- Put the fun trinkets and a joke inside each roll
- Cut the desired length of crepe paper and roll the toilet roll in it
- Twist the ends and tie off with the curling ribbon
- Draw the scissors along the curling ribbon to make it curl up (adults might need to do this)
- Decorate the cracker with star stickers or some kind of Christmas stickers if you wish. Enjoy!
Certainly much cheaper than buying crackers and they come from the heart.
Christmas Button Bracelets
- spare buttons
- small bells
- Thick Thread
- Measure the thread around your child’s wrist.
- Cut thread, allowing some extra for tying (you can always cut loose ends off afterwards).
- Thread colourful buttons onto the thread, threading on a bells every so often.
- Continue until the thread is full, apart from the extra that you’ve allowed at the ends for tying.
- Tie the bracelet on and cut off any loose ends of thread.
If you want to be able to reuse the bracelet, use thick elastic to make the bracelet, that way you’ll be able to take the bracelet off and put it back on again.