LEGO printed wrapping paper – Easy Christmas Craft

lego print wrapping paperOn Monday we went to my son’s school book fair and while each of my kids chose a book to read right away they also chose one for each other to wrap up and put under the Christmas tree. Instead of using plain old bought wrapping paper my daughter made some using LEGO Duplo and paint.  I love how simple this easy Christmas craft is, it let her explore with abandon , mix colors ,and create something fun to give to her brother.

 

Gather your materials. You will need some paper ( easel paper works great), LEGO Duplo, a dish, paint, and painter’s tape. When it’s time to wrap you’ll also need scissors, tape and a ribbon. lego print wrapping paper for christmas

Start by taping paper to the table with painter’s tape and pouring some paint onto the dish. lego printed wrapping paper for kids

Invite your artist to come explore and make some wrapping paper. Lego wrapping paper

My daughter started slowlego painted wrapping paper but when she warmed up she was off her chair and banging the Lego down to make a fun sound on the table.lego painting wrapping paper craft

We let it dry by peeling the tape off the table and using it to hang the painting on the wall. Let dry. lego wrapping paper craft

When it’s dry trim the tape off and wrap up something special! lego painted wrapping paper craft

 

1 Minute Christmas Ornaments

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.

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All you really need are some clear plastic ornaments waiting to be filled.

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 wood beads would fit right in with our rustic holiday decor.

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 ?

 

Quick Link Supply List

 

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Kiwi Crate – Holiday Crafts Made Simple!

kiwi crate holiday crates When I was first asked to check out Kiwi Crate I was reluctant because I try to encourage parents to use what they have and do it all themselves. The reality for most of us is that we are busy and even if you can get all the supplies at a local store getting them doesn’t always fit in your schedule. Even the craftiest do it yourselfer can use a little extra time this time of year , I know I can. This is what I think Kiwi Crate is absolutely perfect for.

If you aren’t already familiar with Kiwi Crate what they offer families are complete craft kits by way of a subscription or special kits like the one we received you can buy a la carte from their celebration shop.  These kits are beautiful , come with ample supplies ( I was not expecting this ) and great easy to follow directions that early readers can handle solo. They have a great FAQ section for all the specifics too.

I will be completely honest I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as I did. I am kind of like a 2 year old who stamps her feet and throws directions on the floor in order to do it all herself so kits aren’t normally my thing. The crafts were so well created to have the ability to be very open ended for the kids who crave freedom while creating and yet have enough structure for the kits who would feel lost without them. As I said there was ample supplies too so those who want to do their own thing aren’t left searching for materials .

We got a chance to play with the Crafty Christmas holiday crate and made both the paint swirled ornaments and the ginger bread house.

The ornaments took a few minutes to make but both my kids enjoyed them and took great pride in doing it themselves. I liked that the kit included 3 ornaments.I made one too!

Then my daughter and I made the gingerbread house. I should have skipped the one with candy she made with her grandparents ( and has been sneaking candies off of since!) and just made this cardboard one. It was fun and even though she is obviously younger than the average crafter I didn’t have to help that much at all.

My overall thoughts about Kiwi Crate is that they are beautiful, well made and perfect for busy families who want to craft but need someone else to do the grunt work for them. So that’s pretty much most of us !

I was compensated for this review by Kiwi Crate. The opinions and kids are mine.

Easy Elf Houses {made from birdhouses}

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Let dry and peel off the tape.
  6. 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!

Christmas Books

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!

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Clay Ornaments -made with stamps & cookie cutters

This year I have cut every corner there is to cut. My daughter has me chasing her , making sure she hasn’t swallowed any of my son’s Legos that may have escaped his room, I have much more grey hair this year… but a more full heart too.  This project isn’t ground breaking but using stamps and cookie cutters with the air dry clay was a great way of making this project attainable for both my kids. Air dry clay is not as easy to manipulate as say salt dough or play dough that little hands are used to so using tools like these help make it a fun successful activity.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some air dry clay ( although you could do it with salt dough or ready to bake clay too), cookie cutters, Christmas themed rubber stamps, a toothpick . Once dry you can paint with all sorts of paints, we used water color.
  2. Start by just playing with the clay. Then cut out with cookie cutters. Both wanted a star .
  3. Using stamps you can make designs on the clay. My daughter loved this and unlike when she uses stamps on playdough the clay was stiff enough that the impressions stayed.My son cut a second and started creating his own shapes … he still hasn’t painted it but if he never does that’s ok too, it doesn’t have to be painted.
  4. Add holes for hanging using a toothpick.
  5. Let dry for a few days.
  6. Time to paint.I loved using the water color because it was a great opportunity to have a lesson about colors with all in front of my toddler without a huge effort.
  7. She explored the paint… make sure it’s non toxic especially if you are doing this with a teething toddler like I did.
  8. I was impressed how vivid the colors stayed on the clay.
  9. Let dry and hang up.

 

Book

The Little Christmas Elf (Little Golden Book) by Nikki Shannon Smith is a sweet book not just about Christmas but also about perseverance, attention to detail and hard work. In this story the littlest elf is working hard but just sin’t fast enough to get her teddy bear finished in time to be in Santa’s sack for Christmas. Santa delivers the bad news but encourages the little elf to keep at it and they will use the toy next year. She still doesn’t give up doing her best work even knowing Santa is already off to children’s homes everywhere. Right after she is done Santa comes back, a new baby was born and he needs that teddy bear! I loved the message and my son did too. Very sweet book.