It has been quite the year. And even though it feels like we should be almost used to all the changes and adaptations at this point, it actually feels a little harder now that we’re in the holiday season. This time of year is all about gatherings, time together, and traditions, but many of those things are just not possible this year. I’ve been trying to find the silver lining in it all. More time together as a family. Smaller, more intimate gatherings. A slower season to allow us to enjoy and appreciate all the little moments.
And one other thing I’ve been trying to do a lot of is spending intentional time with my kids. They absolutely love crafting and being in the kitchen with me, so I’ve been on a mission to come up with as many fun, kid-friendly Christmas DIYs as I possibly can for them to do with me this year.
Today, I’m going to share three of those DIYs with you so you can make new memories together as a family. And I’m keeping them simple, with many items you might even have on hand already. Because ultimately, it’s not about the level of detail and stress that goes into a craft. It’s about the memories made in the process.
1. Salt Dough Ornaments
Have you ever made salt dough before? It’s so much fun! My kids always love it. So this season, we decided to make some salt dough ornaments that we could string up as a garland.
Here’s what you need…
- Preheat your oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine your flour and salt and stir to combine.
- Add in your water, kneading the dough until it resembles cookie dough.
- Knead in your spices (optional) until they are well combined.
- Grab a little extra flour and put it on the counter where you’ll roll out the dough so it doesn’t stick! Roll it out like you would cookie dough.
- (Optional) For an added fun effect, I used an embossed rolling pin this year to create a pattern on the dough!
- Using cookie cutters, cut your dough into shapes and lay them on your cookie sheet.
- Grab a straw and use it to punch holes out near the top of each shape so you have a place to add a hook (for ornaments) or twine (for a garland).
- Bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour, flip, and bake for an additional hour or until completely dry.
- Allow them to cool completely, then hang on hooks or twine! You can even get your kids to paint them if you’d like! We left ours natural this year.
This is such a fun way to make memories with your kids in the kitchen! My kids also love to make a few extra to add to the gifts they give to their grandparents as a sentimental touch.
2. Paper Bag Snowflakes
This seems to be a popular craft this season! Maybe it’s because so many people bought paper lunch bags for school lunches this year and rarely got to use them. Or maybe it’s just because people are getting crafty and creative this time of year! But regardless, it’s one we had to try for ourselves.
We decided to make plain paper snowflakes along with our paper bag snowflakes so both my 4 year old and 2 year old could be involved.
Regular Paper Snowflakes
Here’s what you need…
- Turn your paper horizontally and take the top left corner and fold it over so it meets the bottom edge of your paper and creates a triangle. Cut off the remaining strip of paper on the right.
- Fold the top right corner down to meet the bottom left corner to create a smaller triangle.
- With the long side of the triangle facing up, fold the triangle into thirds, overlapping the left and right corners over the triangle.
- Cut off the overlapping points so you’re left with a triangle.
- Use your scissors to make cut outs on the folded side and top of the triangle, then unfold to see your masterpiece!
My 4 year old got really into cutting the snowflakes with her safety scissors, and I would just create snowflakes for my 2 year old to color on while we cut!
Paper Bag Snowflakes
To up-level this craft and make 3-D paper bag snowflakes, you’ll need…
- Lay one lunch bag on your counter with the flap at the bottom (flap side down).
- Take your hot glue and add a strip of glue directly down the center of the bag and across the very bottom of the bag in a T shape.
- Lay another bag over top of your first bag facing exactly the same way, and repeat with your glue and bags until you have 7-9 bags glued together.
- Holding your bags with the flap sides down, take your scissors and cut the top of your bag so it has a rounded top (resembling a flower petal or point of a star), then cut notches out of each side. You can have fun with the design and make it your own!
- Unfold your bags at the top and loop them all the way around so the two ends meet to form your snowflake! Add a strip of hot glue to one end and glue the two ends together.
- Punch a hole in the top of one point and tie string or twine through it so you can hang them!
My kids were more hands on with the paper snowflakes but absolutely loved seeing the paper bag snowflakes come to life. If you have older and younger kids in your home, I suggest doing both together so everyone can get in on the fun!
3. Yarn Trees
My kids have been begging for more Christmas decorations in their room, but at the ages they are, I don’t want them to have decorations that could break or somehow hurt them.
But I get it. They need a little extra holiday cheer in their spaces this season too. That’s why we decided to create some yarn trees!
This took us less than an hour, and I absolutely love the outcome!
Here’s what you need…
- Foam cones (you can find these in the floral arrangement section of any craft store). I got an assortment of sizes.
- Hot glue
- Grab your cone and the yarn of your choice (my girls wanted pink, white, and gray… go crazy!).
- Add a dot of hot glue at the bottom of your cone and attach the end of your yarn.
- Wrap the yarn around the tree, adding dots of hot glue as you go to secure the yarn into place. Once you reach the top, continue the yarn back down the tree, wrapping to fill any gaps and fully cover the cone.
- At the bottom, cut your yarn and secure it to the cone with another dot of hot glue.
Yes, it’s really as simple as it sounds! My 4 year old was in charge of unwrapping the yarn slowly as I glued and directing me as to which colors go on which cones.
They’re the perfect whimsical décor element to add to a kid space. Plus, they’re soft and light, so no one will get hurt!
My daughter loves them and ran straight up to her room to decorate with them!
I hope these three simple crafts can allow you to spend time together as a family, making new memories and enjoying time together. Because ultimately, that’s what really matters this time of year, whether it’s in a large gathering or just within the walls of your own home.
Happy Holidays from my family to yours!