The kids are home for winter break and after the first day, they’re bored. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, they’re also housebound. So what’s a parent or babysitter to do?
After you’ve exhausted your supply of kids’ movies and they’ve grown tired of playing the same old video games (maybe there’s a new one under the Christmas tree?), you break out the 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, but even that will only keep their attention for so long.
How about getting crafty?
Your local library has Storytime events that often include a craft, and there are dozens of books on crafts to do at home. Check ‘em out. Craft stores also sell kits for specific projects. But if you can’t get there easily, here are some holiday crafts for kids you can try at home.
Christmas ornaments and other holiday crafts
Keep kids occupied and fill in the empty spaces on your Christmas tree with a couple of nifty crafts.
Did you save last year’s holiday greeting cards? Cut off the fronts, get creative with shapes, punch a hole in the top and run a piece of gold or silver cord or red yarn through the hole. Tie it up and hang it on the tree – or hang them from their bedroom windowsills (not the fireplace mantel, where they might catch on fire).
With clear-drying glue, write their names on plain glass ornaments, then dip the wet blue in glitter. Voila! A personalized tree ornament. Do one for mom and dad and grandparents or other relatives who spend the holiday with you, too.
Make a giant batch of sugar cookies (or gingerbread, or whatever you like) and put out lots of colored frosting and decorations and let them have a ball! They’ll decorate cookies for hours. Some may not be works of art, but they still taste good. If you prefer, you can do cupcakes, but cookies take longer.
Make some gifts for your pets. Pet stores charge a small fortune for toys that provide entertainment for your kitty or pup. There are also great ideas for treats and gifts for your pets.
Kid crafts for after the holidays
Now, what do you do? The holiday is over but the kids are still not back in school.
Well, depending on the age, you can always make sock puppets. Time to clean out the sock drawer, anyway, right? So take those old socks, add felt eyes and mouths, yarn hair, whatever you can find to make them funny or silly, and have them perform a play with the characters they created. That means they have to “write” a play – that’ll take time, too.
If they’re of an age where they like to dress up, dig out your old prom dress (you know it’s buried in the back of a closet somewhere) and other formal wear and let them dress up and, again, perform a play.
Create your own jigsaw puzzles. Take a photo of each child, print it on your printer, paste it onto cardboard (cut up Christmas gift boxes if you need to) and let it dry. Then cut them into fairly small pieces. They can exchange photo puzzles or keep their own image to put together. Don’t have a camera or printer handy? Use the images from last year’s wall calendar and do the same process.
There are tons of ideas online, too. They have everything from simple construction paper crafts to a recipe for making your own play-dough. Check out:
Many of the crafts on these sites use simple household items, but if you want to do a little research in advance, you’ll have the specialty items you need on hand –such things as colored yarn, tempura paints, Popsicle sticks and such. Forewarned is forearmed.