I love the Christmas season! One of my favorite things about it is doing all those great Christmas crafts with my kids.
This will be my 19th Christmas as a mom. 19th Christmas with kids 6 or under. 19th Christmas of crafts. That’s a lot of crafts.
I’ll be honest. I’ve gotten picky. I’ve noticed, over the years, that some crafts are just not suitable for our family. These include:
The $150 in Supplies Craft
These are the “simple” crafts that require a trip to the craft store to buy things I’d never normally use (maybe never even heard of), like hemp twine and battenburg lace.
The Print Out Craft
These crafts are great for large groups, but it’s not really a “craft”. When I’m with only one or three of my own kids, I’d rather do something with more creative input.
The Mom-Did-Everything Craft
These are my least favorite. These are the crafts that either have a very specific template and outcome, and I have to trace and cut each piece and then direct the placement of each one, or they need way too much small motor control and a hot glue gun.
The Cleaning Up For The Next Five Hours Craft
I’m usually okay with mess, even a lot of mess. Even glitter. But there are some crafts that stretch even my tolerance level. (Homemade cloud dough, I’m looking at you.)
I prefer crafts that: my six year old can do without a lot of help, are open ended, don’t cost a fortune and can be cleaned up at least in time to start dinner. Below are the great crafts we’ve already done this year. Most of these crafts are self-explanatory, but I’ll provide links in each description to directions.
Christmas Crafts I Actually Did With My Six Year Old
Bead and Pipe Cleaner Ornament
Pros: Easy for even a very young child, inexpensive, allows for creativity, easy clean-up, good grandparent gift
What she did: Made the ornaments
What I did: Tied ribbon for hanging
This is one of my favorite crafts, simple and quick. We made ours like bracelets and tied ribbons on them to hang on the tree.
Paper Tube Christmas Village
Pros: Inexpensive, allows for creativity, great homemade toy to play with later
What she did: Painted the tubes, arranged the village, decorated roofs with glitter and ground with cotton balls for snow.
What I did: Cut tubes, made roofs, glued roofs on, cut doors
This has actually been an ongoing craft. As we use more toilet paper, we add more houses (yay for lots of company over Thanksgiving!). Even though this was a little more work intensive for me, there was still plenty for my 6 year old to do. There was also the unintended bonus of a homemade toy. She’s played with it every day since we built it. Her little Shopkins and Counting Bears love living there!
Mason Jar Luminaries
Pros: Inexpensive, easy for a young child, allows for creativity, easy clean-up, nice decoration
What she did: Mixed the glue, water and food coloring, painted the mason jar
What I did: Put the mason jar in the oven
This was such a simple craft. If we didn’t have an unforgiving tile floor that shatters everything dropped on it, I’d even consider doing this craft with a large group. We used thinned out school glue and our results were pretty nice, but I think I probably needed to either drain it or bake it longer than I did to make it as beautiful as the ones on Hands On As We Grow.
Santa Hat Christmas Card
Pros: Quick, Inexpensive, easy clean up, good “together” craft
What she did: Arranged and glued everything on the card
What I did: Cut out the Santa Hat
Though she could have done this craft all by herself, I enjoyed cutting out the Santa hat. I think we’ll try this one again with more ideas, like Christmas trees, snowflakes and ornaments, and use them as gift tags.
Paper Plate Santa Face
Pros: Inexpensive, easy clean up, easy for even a very young child, allows for creativity
What she did: Everything
What I did: Made my own
We actually did this as part of a family party when the grandparents were visiting. Everyone made their own paper plate santa and we hung them on the wall. I think the adults had as much fun as the six year old!
Pros: Inexpensive, allows for creativity, great grandparent gift
What she did: Rolled out dough, cut out and painted ornaments
What I did: Made dough, painted a couple of ornaments, tied the ribbon for hanging
We make these almost every year. In fact, I remember making these with my mom. Because I’m gluten free, I’ll either use Crayola Air Dry Clay or I’ll make my own gluten free playdough and bake the ornaments.
You can find my gluten free Christmas play clay below.
- 1 cup baking soda
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1T cinnamon
- 2tsp ground cloves
- ¾ cup water
- Combine baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon and cloves in a pot.
- Stir in water until smooth.
- Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until it thickens to playdough consistency.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely (when it’s starting to cool, I press plastic wrap over the top of the dough so that it doesn’t get a crust on it).
- Roll dough ¼” thick and cut ornaments with cookie cutters.
- Poke small hole near the top of the ornament using a plastic drinking straw.
- Let air dry overnight, or bake at 200F on a parchment lined cookie sheet until ornaments are completely firm.