The holidays are upon us and that means cookies, candy, presents, decorations, and ribbon galore! When I was teaching elementary school, I loved this time of year (yes, I know all you teachers are shaking your heads in disbelief right now.) I know, I know, students are filled with excitement and struggle to stay focused with so much going on. In the midst of holiday parties, concerts, and crafts, it’s enough to make your head spin!
Now that I am in higher ed, and don’t get the chance to do half as many crafts, (though I’m sure my college students wouldn’t mind trading a lecture for a craft), I look forward to the time I can spend with my son creating and living the spirit of the holiday season. He absolutely LOVES everything about Christmas and would sit for hours making paper snowflakes if I let him. I’m sharing with you all today some of the fun we have had decorating and crafting together these past two weeks. All our activities are simple, easy, won’t break the bank, and help your toddler practice their fine motor skills!
The first activity is a really simple tree craft. All you need is a paper plate, markers, crepe paper or tissue paper, and basic decorations like pom poms, stickers, and jewel beads. You start by cutting the paper plate in half and then take that half and cut it into thirds. These thirds are then assembled and glued into a three-part tree. Have your child color the tree, and then add any decoration they want. My favorite is having them rip the tissue paper (great for fine motor) and pinching it and gluing it on to make the tree a little 3D. Punch a hold at the top to make it an ornament or glue a magnet on the back and showcase it on your fridge. Lots of creative possibilities with this one.
Next is one we just did today. I call it “Merry and Bright” as I helped my son make colored thumb prints around a black swirly light strand to create his own “twinkle light painting” on canvas. With a small white canvas and some acrylic paint, you and your child can make your own strand of holiday lights. I started off by drawing a swirly line with a permanent marker (he’s only four, your child may be able to do that if he or she is older), draw some small sockets, and then have your child dip and press their thumb around the black strand to create colorful lights that will surely dazzle. Crayon Kid made his masterpiece for his grandparents. Handmade art is a great present for the ones you love. All you need is some paint and some imagination!
Lastly, we spent the day today finishing up our decorating. We finally got the tree finished as well as spent some time decorating our windows with holiday decals. I never thought about this, but these are great for fine motor skills as our kiddoes have to pinch and press to get the decals off the paper and onto the glass, and your child is working on a vertical surface the whole time, which also is really great for strength and stability.
I’ve loved sharing some of our holiday fun with you. I hope it inspires some holiday crafting magic in your house. These everyday crafts and activities are so great for our kiddo’s development, and they are fun! No worksheets here!
I wish you all a very blessed holiday season. We want to thank you for following us and supporting us in our endeavors to bring art and accessibility to others. We can’t wait to see you all in the New Year.
Happy Holiday’s from The Effortless Art Family,
Jason, Nancy, and Crayon Kid