Time is short during the holiday season and these ornaments took no time at all to fill. The fun part for your kids is to find things that fit through the hole at the top to fill the ornaments with. As you can imagine we have a lot of craft supplies that we have gathered over the years and me being me I save everything to use again . Having a bunch of ornaments and different fill in a craft buffet would be super fun activity for a holiday party. I like the idea of using these as an alternative to wrapping too.
Here were our ideas:
Fuse beads were so colorful and would make a cute stocking stuffer as is.
The glass beads reflected the light so well.
These pony beads could be packaged with a jewelry box and some beading thread as a whole jewelery themed gift.
The pom poms were fun for my toddler to help me put in and make a great unbreakable ornament for a tree for a young family or someone with cats!
The jingle bells not only looked great they also had a beautiful and a little muted jingle to them.
It goes without saying that the LEGO one was my son’s favorite. I think it might be mine too.
What would you fill your empty ornaments with ?This post contains affiliate links.
Shapes are such a simple way of sneaking some math into creative projects and that is exactly what I did with my kids when we made Christmas wreaths for their bedroom doors. You could make this a patterning lesson as well . The main goal with this project though wasn’t to learn the difference between a triangle and square it was to create something for my kids to decorate their own doors with. I remember feeling so grown up with my own wreath and I hope my kids feel the pride in decorating their own space too.
- Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard , green paint, glue, shape cut outs like these wood ones and felt stars from craftprojectideas.com and ribbon.
- Start by cutting out a wreath from cardboard. I used a salad bowl for the outside and a soup bowl for the inner one.
- Next get the table ready for painting. At first I had it like this. Way better for picture taking… but a table like this is way better for having fun and no one worrying about mess.
- Add kids and paint.
- Let the paint dry . Ours only took about 15 minutes to dry enough to glue. We played doll house and made Lego presents for our Little People while we waited.
- Now it’s time to glue and add some shapes.
- The mix of felt stickers and wood shapes were fun for my toddler to explore. But my favorite part was the conversation between the two of them. Listening to them talk and craft at the same time makes me so happy.
- Let the wreaths dry and add ribbons.Wait a full day before hanging up just to be sure everything stays put.
Oh, What a Christmas!by Micheal Garland is a sweet story about how Santa made do when the unexpected happened. As we all know reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh but when the reins break and Santa comes crashing down they are nowhere to be seen! Luckily a rag tag group of fam animals step in and save the day. The message that it’s not the reindeer but rather the magic that makes the difference is loud and clear . I like how this book can also open a dialog about how even special days can have unexpected bumps and you make do with what you have , just like Santa in this story.
Santa Duck and His Merry Helpersby David Milgrim is really funny. Santa duck is the duck liaison to Santa and he goes around to find out what all the other ducks want for Christmas. His younger siblings want in on the action too and start telling ducks that they can get them bigger and better gifts in an effort to out Santa Santa Duck. Santa Duck explains that bigger and better gifts is not what Christmas is about . Christmas is about giving and sharing with your family. My son who is 6 and I both laughed at the smart alec ducks and while rude and annoying in many ways they were right when they said Santa Duck was hogging all the fun by being the only duck allowed to dress as Santa and be his helper. Cute book !This post contains affiliate links
I was going to wait a few days to post this because it’s similar to our Sticky Wall Christmas Tree but after posting this picture on our Facebook wall I had so many questions about what it was I promised to post it asap. This color matching activity has a Christmas theme but could easily be simple polka dots for any time of year. My toddler loved this and we have played with it multiple times . I think her favorite thing is all I have to do is set it up after that she is good to go.
- Gather your materials. You will need some wrapping paper for the background, ribbon, double stick tape, painter’s tape. scissors, contact paper, jar lids in various colors and paper in the same colors as the lids.
- Start by tracing the lids on your colored paper and cutting out.
- Put your wrapping paper on the wall with painter’s tape. Using the double stick tape stick the ribbon on in various lengths and add the colored paper circle on the end.
- Cover with contact paper **sticky side out**. The trick to doing this is to peel a little of the backing off and use push pins to keep is secure while peeling the rest off. Trim if you need to.
- Pop the lids in a box or basket as an invitation to play. I left 2 lids on their match as a guide for my daughter.
- She immediately started matching them up. The one thing I did have to help her with was to make sure she put the lids on with the outside on the wall. The other way will result in many falling lids , a very frustrated 2 year old and not a lot of learning. She was so proud she yet again asked for a all done picture, this may be a start of a trend.
- Interestingly she quickly noticed that there were extras in the box and started adding them to the wall . Simple matching turned to sorting naturally. I loved it!
Christmas adds up quickly! Even when you are focusing on making it about people and not things the bills have a way of adding up. One way to keep cost down and your green meter up is to create Christmas crafts, decorations and ornaments from recycled materials. All of these crafts and activities use some recycled materials. Not only does it send your kids the message to reduce, reuse and recycle it also encourages them to think creatively. ” What can I make from this?” is something I hear at my house all the time ( and not just when I am talking to myself) and I hope that goes on for years and years.
Bubble Wrap Christmas Tree
Cardboard Noel Garland
Shampoo Bottle Wise Men
Recycled Christmas Bows
Gift Wrap Scrap Patterns
Cork Painted Wreath
Recycled Puzzle Piece Ornaments
Scrap Paper Stocking
Advent Calendar from Baby Wipes Container Lids
Recycled Photo Card Ornaments
Magazine Collage Christmas Tree
Wrapping Paper Scrap Sorting
Yogurt Lid Ornaments
We like to tell stories at our house and one of the series we have created is based around Santa and his elves. Over the past three years we have created a complex north pole with a full community of elves . When I picked up a few birdhouses on clearance at a craft store I knew exactly what my plan was and how much my kids would be into it. What I love about this project is that these are great decorations to keep year after year and they will stand up to it too. We kept ours simple but you could add sequins, pompoms, jewels… your imagination is the limit.
- Gather your materials. You will need some unfinished wood birdhouses, acrylic paint made for wood ( I really love Martha Stewart Multi Surface Paint) , paint brushes , paper plates, table protection, painter’s tape and make sure your kids are in clothes that you do not care if it gets stained. These paints are not washable. I also has baby wipes on hand for quick clean up.
- Start by making a door and windows with your painter’s tape on the back of the birdhouse. Older kids can be encouraged to draw their own architectural details but using tape for a resist effect is such a fun way for kids who aren’t able to achieve the look they imagine but still want to create.
- Pour paint into paper plates. Since the paint was not at all washable I kept the bottles far out of reach and provided each kiddo with colors they helped me pick out.
- Invite your artists. Paint. A tip for choosing paint brushes for kids , give larger brushes for kids that are younger or have a harder time with fine motor control. They both loved this and I was so glad. Sometimes my son will just show his sister or else the activity will be so obviously past her ability that I will try to do it with him while she is napping . When I find something they both love I feel like I won the lottery.
- Let dry and peel off the tape.
- Display. Ours are prominently displayed in our family room – they look like little elf chalets and since they are turned around no one even knows they are birdhouses I grabbed on clearance!
Counting Christmas by Karen Katz is what you might expect from this awesome author. It’s sweet, cute and will get your littlest readers excited for Christmas. I like the sentiment that Christmas is a magical day to share with family . My daughter adores the illustrations of all the babies and the math element is a great bonus too.
Ho, Ho, Ho, Tucker! by Leslie McGuirk is a cute story about an adorable little dog Tucker who is crazy about Christmas. While getting into the holiday spirit he burns his nose on a cookie pan . When Santa sees his bright red nose he asks him to come a long for the fun on Christmas Eve. There is a lot of good natured humor that any young child will giggle at , Tucker peeing on a Christmas tree got some good giggles at our house. I doubt this will be a Christmas classic to read on Christmas Eve but it a cute book your kids will enjoy.
SantaKid by James Patterson is a favorite library book in our house this year . My son inherited his love and curiosity of the inner workings of the North Pole from me and this book feeds that wonder. It also taps into something preschoolers are often seeking, power and a voice that gets heard. In the story Santa’s daughter saves the North Pole and Christmas from a corporate take over. I liked this book, and my son did too. It doesn’t focus on the religious celebration but rather on Santa and it doesn’t take a very sophisticated kid to know it’s make believe, 3 pages in my son said ” Mommy, this is a made up story right? Santa isn’t a regular Daddy, that’s silly!” What it does is focuses on giving kids power to save something. Maybe it’s just my 4 year old but he spends all day pretending to save the day and this book spoke right to that desire to be powerful and good!This post contains affiliate links