Last year I was lucky enough to be a part of the 2011 Creative Christmas Countdown, if you missed it make sure to check it out… 24 fantastic ideas from 24 amazing bloggers.
This year Alissa from Creative with Kids and Maggy from Red Ted Art have outdone themselves. They took something incredible and IMPROVED it! This year you will still find 24 bloggers with 24 fantastic ideas. (One a day until Christmas.) But this year they have compiled a supply list (so you can be prepared to start each activity asap) and created a newsletter (so you won’t miss a thing). Head over and sign up real quick. (Then come back here to see what I have for Day 2!)
Day 2: Ornament Making Station
Setting up an ornament making station is one of our family traditions. It started back when M and M were 2 and 4 years old… and it has been my favorite tradition ever since. While their skills and materials have increased over the years one thing has remained the same, their creative spirit always shines through.
Our art center has become the central hub of our home, it is where you can find the kids first thing in the morning and right before bed each night. Creativity is a reoccurring theme around here. (I even wrote a book about it. Raising a Creative Kid.) Switching out a few items to add a little Christmas kick was easy, don’t worry if you are starting from scratch. You will be surprised how cheap and easy it is!
BEFORE YOU START!!! These materials are just to get you thinking. If you close up the computer, grab a box and start searching through your house I’m sure you will find everything you need to get your kids creating. The most important part of these home-made Christmas decorations is that they are KID designed and KID made. Collect materials with no expectations in mind. Let them explore the materials (and perhaps add their own). Be proud of what they create (even if you can’t identify it). Sit back and watch their passion… it just might inspire you!
If there is place right next to your art area for a tree…PERFECT! If not, make some room near the bottom of your family tree. That way the kids can hang up their work.
Start with the bones…
Having a base for the ornaments and a way to attach everything is really important. Get creative with your collection but here’s a list to get you started.
Items for the base Items for attaching
1. Vitamin Boxes 1. White glue
2. Small boxes (like the one Vanilla 2. Glue stick
extract comes in.) 3. Stapler
3. Crayon boxes 4. Tape
4. Gum boxes 5. Hot glue gun (this will be
5. Sticker boxes the first year for it at Christmas!)
6. Tic Tac containers
7. Mini Candy boxes
8. Lids of all shapes and sizes
9. Toilet paper rolls (some left whole,
some cut into round strips)
10. Egg cartons (cut into 12 small cups)
11. Ribbon spools
12. Anything small that
other things can be glued to!
Add some odds and ends…
Odds and ends are my favorite part of the collecting process. My friends and family are happy to hand over their “junk” and I am always happy to take it! Sometimes I score at the thrift store or garage sales and once in a while I actually buy things full price… at the $1 store.
1. Corks 9. Make up sponges
2. Pipe cleaners 10. Bottle caps
3. String 11. Candy wrappers
5. Wooden craft pieces
6. Little cups or muffin cups
7. Ribbon (You can find tons of FREE ribbon at birthday parties all you have to do is offer to be in charge of the after present mess.)
8. Kit stuff (You know those kits you can get for groups of kids to make frames, ornaments or other cute things like that? If I know someone is going to use them… I ask for the left over pieces!)
Add some Christmas fun…
Yes this is the place I spend a little bit of money. (Hee hee, we are talking very little money!) I have a small box labeled holiday that I keep out of the kids reach which makes saving the left over supplies easy! When you are looking for Christmas art supplies think beyond the craft section. Some decorations can be cut up and pulled apart to offer interesting pieces for free art.
1. Felt 10. Craft sticks
2. Fabric 11. Pine cones and mini pine cones
3. Googly eyes 12. Candy canes
4. Pom poms
7. Netting (Can be found wrapped around some produce)
8. Wooden pieces (these can be used as tracers or as a base)
9. Wrapping paper scraps (from last year or bought at the dollar store)
Add some Learning fun…
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add a little learning! One way to encourage new little readers and writers to practice is by adding it wherever you can. In our art center we have name cards (the kind you can get at the teacher supply store and maybe Target) I wrote out the names of friends and family that are close to us. That way they can practice writing Grandma, Aunt L and each other’s names whenever they feel like it. You can do the same thing with Christmas words OR you can make your own cards like I did. I wrote out words that might get the kids interested, cut them out and used contact paper to seal them up.
1. Santa Claus 7. Tree
2. Mrs. Claus 8. Stocking
3. Christmas 9. Chimney
4. Christmas Eve 10.Gingerbread
5. Snowflake 11. Gifts
6. Reindeer 12. Family
Enjoy and then save your Home-Made Christmas Decorations
These are decorations made by M and M a few years ago. The box marked home-made decorations is the most exciting one to open. It reminds me of what they were doing in the past… and gets me anxious to see what will come! They decorate their own tree and we enjoy it all through December. Then, when it’s time to take Christmas down we all pick a few of our favorites to save. (Trust me there are way too many to save them all!)
I mark the date and the name of the artist and then carefully package them for safe storage… they are after all my most valuable ornaments.
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