Simple Q-Tip Painted Christmas Tree

Christmas art project Q-Tips are one of my favorite painting tools. Christmas trees all lit up for Christmas are possibly my daughter’s favorite thing ever. This is a fun craft that isn’t too structured but offers kids the opportunity to work on fine motor skills while getting to decorate a Christmas tree just the way they want.Although my daughter dotted the q-tip encourage your child to use the q-tip however they see fit.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper in green and another in black. White and various colors of paint, scissors and a glue stick. You may also want some extra sheets of paper for extra exploration after.
  2. Start by painting the snow scene by using only white paint on black paper. While it looks like snow to us to my 2 year old it was just polka dots and that is cool!
  3. While they paint the background cut the green paper into a Christmas tree.
  4. While her dots dried I gave her a 2nd piece of paper to paint she chose her hands as the tools this time. With toddlers especially always have extras on hand of everything. Emotions are high and their hands don’t always do what they want and art time should be fun not upsetting. I like it because it balances a little structure with a lot of open ended.
  5. After the background is mostly dry add glue to the tree.
  6. Glue it on to the background.
  7. Add colored paint.  When we paint with Q-tips I like using the lids of the paint jars as mini paint plates. You don’t need much paint and you don’t waste much doing it this way. Just make sure you have one Q-Tip per color.
  8. Let dry and grab another extra sheet to finger paint some more.

Sticky Wall Christmas Tree Mural

My kids love sticky murals and this one was a big hit with my toddler. This Christmas tree craft is fun to make and the best part is that you can keep adding to it for the days and weeks ahead.Also now our playroom has it’s very own Christmas tree that doesn’t need to be watered and is safe for kids too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some green wrapping paper ( ours is glittery and awesome but messy when cut), contact paper, tissue paper in various colors , buttons ( optional) , a pencil, scissors and painter’s tape.
  2. Start by cutting out a Christmas tree from your wrapping paper.
  3. Trace onto the backing of the contact paper.
  4. Tape the tree to your wall using painter’s tape. Place the cut out contact paper on top and hold and peel. Tape it to the wall with more painter’s tape as your peel the backing off. The contact paper should be sticky side out.
  5. Invite your decorators. Give them the tissue paper and have them rip, crumple and stick it on.
  6. This was OK for my son but this activity really appealed to my 2 year old, she LOVED it.
  7. Add some buttons!
  8. Talk about colors and shapes while they work. She even found a googly eye in the button jar and added it on. She was so proud of her tree she wanted a picture with it.

Christmas Books

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson tickles my funny bone and my son thought it was funny and full of adventure too. Stick Man is a happy stick who loves with his stick family until a dog grabs him and he ends up far from his family but determined to get home. As the seasons change he is used as many things from a sword, a bat and even an arm for a snowman. After that he ends up in a fireplace just as a certain jolly old guy gets stuck in the chimney. This is a unique story we both enjoyed , you will never look at another stick in your child’s hands without wondering what it’s been turned into .

How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky is a fun and surprisingly practical story about Santa and how he developed the skills needed for his one of a kind job. It starts with Santa as a young man and as he keeps bouncing from job to job he acquires skills like going in and out of chimneys as a chimney sweep with ease and without getting dirty, develops a relationship with reindeer as a zoo worker and gets chubby eating all the food at a all night diner gig! There are more but i don’t want to spoil the story. My son loved it, especially once the elves showed up, which was when the toys did too! I know when i was a kid I wanted to know how Santa got his job, and there are movies dedicated to this so this book jumped on the bandwagon and did a great job , it’s very cute!

Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson is such a heartwarming story about friendship. Bear is hibernating but his friends wake him up to celebrate Christmas. It’s not easy at first , Bear is super sleepy and wants nothing more than to cuddle back up and fall back to sleep. They get a tree, decorate it, hang their stockings and sing carols. When all the other animals snuggle in and go to sleep Bear stays up. He is busily making gifts for all his friends, he is so busy he doesn’t even notice Santa coming and filling the stockings. He delights in the friendship and when his friends present him with a lovely quilt, he snuggles under and goes back to sleep happy and filled with friendship. This is such a wonderful book , I love it’s focus on friendship and the excitement of giving gifts!

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DIY Advent Calendar- Made From Wipes Lids

I love advent calendars and there are so many great ones out there. I have been dreaming of making this advent calendar  since about February- and it took me about that long to get all the lids from baby wipe containers I needed.  What I love about it is that I control what’s in it. As Halloween reminded me my kids and artificial flavors/ colors are just not a good mix. I love treats and enjoy sharing them with my kids but a calendar like this where you control the treat is the best way to go for us. Be sure not to miss my screw ups so you can learn from them!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 24 or 25 ( depending on if you include 25 in your calendar – I do) flip top wipes lids. Lots of things have these lids all mine came from baby wipes. You will also need spray paint for the lids- Make sure it is for PLASTIC. I grabbed mine in a rush and the red was good for plastic the white…not so much. I had some flaking already. The paint made for plastic should be a ok. Also a drop cloth, canvas or a poster paper, ribbon, christmas themed card stock, glitter number stickers, white card stock, hot glue , fine tiped pen, pinking sheers, plain paper.
  2. Start by spray painting your lids, I did the inside then the outside.  Let dry.
  3. Spray paint your poster if it’s not the color you want it to be or like me just want it to be extra pretty.
  4. Now make the numbers. I cut one piece of christmas themed card stock per flip top and one smaller piece of white card stock, and put the number stickers on. I used an extra lid to make sure it would cover the brand on the top.
  5. I laid the paper numbers out before gluing them on. You may notice I ran out of the number 2. I was so careful to make sure I had enough number 1s … so I ran back to the store. I wanted this to look whimsical and home made so I didn’t use a ruler, I just eyeballed everything.
  6. Some of the lids still had the sticky residue from where they were attached to their plastic container which was great for spacing them out. Many still needed to be hot glued on.
  7. I glued the paper on with hot glue, regular white glue just didn’t work. 
  8. Make a bow by tying two loops together ( think tying your shoes with bunny ears) hot glue the ends to the back. Sorry about the dark photos I have a 16 month old who thinks we are 2 parts of one person and needs to be attached at all times, I had to maximize the happy seperation time to the fullest.
  9. Now time to write out all the activities I balanced them out with lots of activities like an indoor snowball fight, cutting our own Christmas Tree and setting out our nativity scene as well as a few candy canes, small toys and baking cookies. I also put some giving back like choosing a toy for toys for tots, and canned food for our local food bank.
  10. I cut each sentance out with pinking sheers and popped them in the doors.
  11. Hang Up. As you can see I have a 25 door on ours, many people do not add actual Christmas Day. I did because last year my son opened his 24th door and proclaimed it to be Christmas and while it didn’t take too long to explain the confusion he was genuinely disapointed. So I added one to open on Christmas Day too.

I hope you like this, even if you don’t please lie to me. I have been bursting at the seams to make this and share it with you all, and finally I had enough time to manage! Back to stuff for the kids to make and learn tomorrow !

Recycled Christmas Tree

I love this craft, I have done it over the years with kids ranging from 3 – 13 and although he needed help and skipped the star my son (who is 2)loved it too. This is a great project when you have a wide range of abilities because it’s easily adjusted. For older kids have them add on ornaments or a Christmas message cut from the catalog’s text.

  1. You will need a brown grocery bag, some catalogs you are trying not to order things from, scissors, glue and a marker.
  2. Start looking through the catalog for green things, you want them to vary, it’s what makes the collage so cool. Cut them out. I have done this with 4&5 year olds and I would rip out pages that had green on them before starting the activity, and they would cut out the actual picture. Older kids can search for the pages themselves. Toddlers will may get very frustrated very fast, so do this step for them, or be prepared to do it with them.
  3. Draw or have your child draw the outline of a Christmas tree.
  4. Have your child color the tree- skip this step with kids that will be able to cover the whole tree, this fills in the gaps well with the little guys though, and they have fun!
  5. Grab that glue, no need to be exact !
  6. Start putting the cut out green pieces on the tree. Show little ones that you want the green side facing out, but if they object, I would let it be. If you are using this as a color lesson just label the color that is showing saying something like ” Oh wow your tree is purple”.
  7. Keep adding glue,and pieces of catalog. Don’t worry if all the corners are glued down, they will roll up and give the tree some texture. If you have a toddler help them with this step, once my son saw that I was popping the catalog cut pieces on anywhere he started adding one after another.Also the lines are just guides , if your collage goes over it that’s fine , you will cut it out in a later step. Let dry.
  8. These next steps I did myself, at this point my son has had enough and was off to play. Draw a star in the corner.Find gold and yellow pictures in your catalog and cut out.Glue onto the star shape. Let dry
  9. Cut both the tree and the star out .
  10. Glue the star on the top of the tree and voila!