Child-made ornaments make great holiday gifts for loved ones to ooh and aah over.
Consider making a second one to save for yourself to start a family tradition of having your child make one hand-made ornament each year. Hang the ornaments on your family tree while your son or daughter is little, and when they grow older, let them have a tiny tree in their own room that they can decorate with all the special ornaments they made by themselves over the years. Think of the fun they’ll have looking back on how their artistic skills and interests have grown.
Ready to get started? Read on to choose this year’s hand-made ornament idea!
All you need are clear (glass or plastic) bulb ornaments, poster paint, and some unbridled enthusiasm to make your own stained-glass ornaments. Let the kiddos SHAKE, RATTLE, and ROLL their way to some fantastic effects inside the bulbs. See tips for making these painted ornaments — plus get 5 more winter-themed crafts, activities, and learning ideas — in guest blogger Julie Kieras’s full post “6 Wondrous Winter Activities for Kids.”
If the idea above of letting your child shake a glass bulb filled with poster paint didn’t scare you away, then you’re ready to take things to the next messy-paint level with Spin-Art Ornaments! Yep — it’s just as you’d think . . . Several colors of paint spin and splatter on paper, creating whimsical patterns that kids love. Let the painted paper dry, then shape into cones to make a tree. Get step-by-step instructions for making (and don’t forget BEJEWLING!) these adorable trees in Adrienne’s full post: “Spin-Art Ornaments.” BONUS: The spinner is hand-operated (no batteries needed!), so even the littlest ones can get into the fun and make their artistic creations at their own pace. (For additional no-battery ideas for games, crafts, and activities, see our Battery-Free Pinterest board.)
Originally a Valentine’s Day craft, these clay ornaments can easily be used as gift tags or as Christmas ornaments! Instead of using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, use any holiday-themed cookie cutter you like. The idea is to “stamp-spell” a word, name, or message across multiple ornaments (think: J-O-Y, P-E-A-C-E, or HO! HO! HO!). Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald believes these ornaments are simple enough for the youngest artist, but still appealing to older kids, too. NOTE: This craft could take up to 3 days to dry, so be sure to leave time for that. Get all the details for this home-baked ornament craft in Allison’s full post: “Learning Letters with Clay Initial Hearts.”
If painting crafts aren’t for you, try this sticker-by-number activity that includes everything young artists need to create a shimmering “stained glass” light catcher (a nice keepsake gift for a grandparent or other relative). The finished ornament can be hung in a sunny window to see a gorgeous scene shimmer to life! Plus, it’s super-easy for kids to make: Just match the stickers to the key, and place them on the see-through template. All FUN — No MESS. And it even includes a ready-to-hang frame. Get a walk-through for this window-ornament idea — plus two more hand-made gift ideas — in Blog Ambassador Stacy Teet’s full post: “Simple Gift Ideas.”
Stuck for a new tree-theme idea this year? Why not honor your loved ones, near and far, by decorating your Christmas tree with ornaments in the shape of the states they live in! Or make several ornaments of your own state with your family’s names on them to send to others across the miles as holiday gifts. Guest Blogger Joyce recommends adding some learning to your tree-trimming festivities using a U.S. (or world) map to talk about where your family members live. Get her instructions for these “stately ornaments” (which can be made out of cardboard or salt dough) in her full post, “DIY: State Ornaments.”
What a great way to spend some family time, creating gifts made from the heart!
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For more ideas of holiday gifts that families can make, do, and play together, check out our latest Holiday Catalog, conveniently organized by our top-picks for: Building Skills, Imaginative and Pretend Play, and New Ways to Learn. It’s 8 pages of quality gifts galore to help you get your holiday shopping done in no time. With gifts like these, you’ll even make Santa proud!
And be sure to hop on over to our Melissa & Doug Pinterest boards to see who won our Family Night: Holiday Craft Contest!