Happy November! It’s time for me to start thinking about holiday plans so everything will flow smoothly and won’t be rushed and hectic. I’ve been thinking about what holiday crafts I’ll be enjoying with my children, what gifts we can make together, what gifts I can make for them and other loved ones, and how we will make our home cheery and festive. So, on that note, here are my “holiday crafting with children” plans…
When it comes to the crafts we do together, I know it can be easy to go overboard and try to cram too much in. I get a little over ambitious sometimes! So this year, between pregnancy and keeping busy with Cedar Ring Circle, I want a simple plan. I’ve decided, as much as possible, to keep the crafts flowing the way our daily rhythm flows. This also means we won’t break the bank on holiday fun, because we will use materials that, for the most part, we already have.
For Baking/Cooking Day…
- St. Lucia Buns
- Holiday Cookies… a few kinds!
- Gingerbread Ornaments to hang from garlands or trees
- Gingerbread House
For Watercolor Day…
- Watercolor Christmas Cards. We can make our own, and perhaps cut a rectangle out of the front to make a “frame” for our family portrait photo. We might even get a little crazy and add glitter. 😉
- Watercolor Gift Tags- I like the free printable template for gift tag shapes here.
- Watercolor Advent Calendar– I love this idea! And no matter what you may think of your artistry skills (or lack thereof), children always seem to be ten times more enthralled by something made together as a family, something that they watch their mama make with and for them!
- Watercolor snowy scene like this. Last year we made the winter birch trees in snow pictures using this tutorial, and loved the effect of the painter’s tape silhouettes and coarse sea salt snow. This year I am thinking a pine tree scene might be nice…
- I also want to have some watercolored paper around for a star lantern, like this one. I’ve been meaning to make one for ages!
For Modeling Day…
- Red and white homemade aromatherapy playdough with peppermint essential oils, green playdough with pine essential oil, and orange with clove and cinnamon essential oil. I like this recipe for the dough, and I usually add about 30 drops to an apple-sized lump of playdough.
- Modelling Beeswax St. Nicholas (for St. Nicholas Day).
- Beeswax ornaments. Absolutely beautiful! She used candy molds from Michael’s to get the beautiful designs below, far left.
- Beeswax candles… especially walnut shell and citrus rind candles, but I also love these candle lanterns.
- Candles decorated with Stockmar decorating wax… these have become a tradition in our family.
For Handwork Time…
- Fingerknit garlands in holiday colors, to hang paper snowflakes and Christmas origami on.
- Felt ornaments… like these (beautiful!) or these.
- Felted wool sweater Christmas stockings. Because the kids want to make a new one for the baby. 😉
- A simple knit scarf.
- Felted wool ball tree decorations. I started this one by needle-felting a roving ball around a loop of cotton yarn. When it was a decent size, we wet felted colored roving around the ball, then threw it in the washing machine in an old stocking on the spin cycle. I cut a paper stencil of a star, pinned it to the ball, added yellow roving over the stencil and needle-felted roving through the stencil.
We’ve been enjoying a once-a-week craft relating to a special book we are reading, and The Crafty Crow had a special “Book And Activity Advent” series a while ago, where they listed a book and craft to go along with each day of Advent. There are some great ideas and personal favorite books, although I would have to be superwoman to fit that many books and crafts in! I’ll probably get a dozen or so of the books in that list from my library for cozy reading ’round the woodstove on chilly nights, and we’ll read Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Jesse Tree. This tale follows a carpenter and an observant young boy through the symbols and stories that lead up to the birth of Christ, and we read it each year. I would love to craft, draw, or purchase a small trinket for each of these symbols and add them to our nature tree in the playroom!
In addition, it wouldn’t be kindergarten without pine cone bird treats (pine cones dipped in peanut butter and/or suet, then rolled in birdseed and hung around the yard) or window stars for Solstice (although I usually end up doing the folding).
I’ll be back very soon with Homemade Gifts To Make For Kids and Loved Ones this holiday season!