Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Crafting

One thing for sure, the kids I nanny are getting their crafts in. Wedged between extra curricular activities, we’ve been crafting our little Christmas hearts out. And thanks to Pinterest, there's an unstopped flow of ideas pouring their way. The trick for me is finding activities that teach and are fun and are mess free. I’d love to go all out and make huge messes, but there frequently just isn’t enough time. My usual method is to wait for a warmer day so we can do things in the grass outside. Doing things inside just makes me scared they’ll get paint on something really expensive.

Some of the winning holiday crafts so far have been:

1. the classic snowflake cutouts. We made them three days in a row since they just keep asking to make more. This is good for the two year old to practice his cutting skills (although no real snowflake will follow) while the 6 year old gets to express her creativity. We made the prettier 6 point snowflakes just to be spiffier and hung them on the chandelier when we finished.


2. Painting glass ornaments

We picked up some clear glass ornaments at Michaels and acrylic paint. Squirted a few globs in the tops and let them swirl and shake. It turns into fun since the two year old gets to squirt (who doesn’t like to squirt?) and can shake them without paint flying everywhere. It also helps the 6 year old exercise patience as the slow moving paint rolls inside the ball.

3. Masking tape Christmas tree

We took a tiny canvas and masked off the edges of a Christmas tree shape. I let the kids get to work at gooping on the good stuff. For some particular reason, the tree ended up a pretty shade of barf/ red. We let it dry and then added some strands of glitter glue for the lights.  All week long we’ve made a project of “decorating the tree”. We took some tiny objects and glued Velcro pieces so they can be removed or put on. Next on the agenda is to make a few fake presents to Velcro on too that they can hide secret messages in.

4. Clay ornaments

I took my ikea woodland creatures cookie cutters and together we mixed some homemade play dough. The best part is how excited they get about rolling out the dough  and “kneading”. Phase two was another glue, paint, sparkles, pom-poms frenzy. Then phase three was tying some pretty bows on them (since we forgot the holes).

5. Melted crayons

We melted some red and green crayon bits into a wreath with the “raygun blaster from mars” aka mommy’s hairdryer. They enjoyed this simply for it’s destructive nature.

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