Christmas Craft Projects: Bust Boredom With Kid Crafts
Have you ever heard those familiar words, "I'm bored," coming from the mouth of your child? If so, then kid crafts are the answer. Providing the kids with plenty of interesting craft materials and project ideas and boredom will soon be a thing of the past. In here I will outline a few ideas and their instructions to keep little fingers busy throughout the Holidays.
I'm sure you already know that you need to have plenty of the basic essential on hand like paper, crayons, safe scissors, and glue. Paper for kid crafts can include construction paper, plain typing paper, cardstock of various colors, and many other options. Make sure you start saving magazines and even junk mail can be cut up to make interesting art projects. Crayons are nice for younger children, but the stores are now filled with other options, such as washable dry-erase markers, watercolor pencils, and gel pens. Kid crafts supplies can run into money, but even on a tight budget there are many affordable craft materials for kids.
Other materials kids can craft with include recycled junk and found objects. By recycled junk, I'm referring to things lying around the house and empty packaging like plastic containers, and even tin cans. If you let kids craft with tin cans, however, you need to make sure the open edge of the can doesn't have any sharp edges. Simply file these off or squeeze them flat with a pair of pliers.
Found objects include dry leaves, pebbles, feathers and other natural items a child might find. You can also recycle old or damaged toys to make interesting gifts for the family. Even a colourful jigsaw that lost the box so has no guide picture anymore can be used for the pieces to be glued to a paper circle to make a decorative wreath for Christmas. Glue on some extra decorations or holly scraps and it will be a welcome gift for other family members.
One of the most fun and popular kid crafts is making a collage. Kids can glue together all kinds of paper products and objects when making a collage. Use heavy paper for the background, and then let the creativity begin! For an extra challenge, a collage can be built around a theme, like food, animals, or babies. Old magazines can be searched for just the right pictures, which can be cut out and glued to the background. Older kids can also cut out interesting words and headlines and add them as well.
You can also use this idea to make your own jigsaws for toddlers. Glue an attractive picture from the magazine onto some firm cardboard, and then just cut it into irregular large shapes for your little kids to re-assemble.
Younger kid crafts can include collages made of glued down pasta, beans, popsicle sticks, leaves, and many other materials. And make sure you remember the sparkles. If the budget allows only a few kid crafts splurges, remember that kids of all ages, particularly girls, really enjoy crafting artwork that includes *glitter* But whether your kids are boys or girls, young or older, suggest some kid crafts the next time your kids are bored!
Bead and Pipe Cleaner Ornaments
Christmas objects made from ordinary pipe cleaners and inexpensive acrylic beads are very pretty and easy to make. They look quite impressive but only needs a basic level of skill for small children to make. This is one Christmas craft idea to use again and again. Older people will enjoy making this Christmas craft, too, which can be varied to make a number of different sparkling ornaments for your Christmas tree.
To make the bead and pipe cleaner ornaments, you need craft supply pipe cleaners in desired colors and acrylic beads. Two types of beads are particularly effective when strung on pipe cleaners. One type are called sunburst beads, but are also known as paddlewheel beads, snowflake beads, or starburst beads. These beads have six faceted paddles spaced equally around a center that contains the hole for stringing. When several of these sunburst beads are strung consecutively, they fit against each other in an interlocking pattern.
The other type of bead that is also effective for this Christmas craft is called the tri bead or propeller bead. It has three rounded bumps arranged around the stringing hole. Like the sunburst beads, the tri beads interlock when strung consecutively. For the most cheerful and bright Christmas ornaments, get tri beads and/or sunburst beads in translucent colors of red, green, and clear. The tri beads can also be found in metallic gold and silver which can be used in this Christmas craft as well.
Pipe cleaners can be found in silver and gold tinsel as well as chenille of all colors. For Christmas crafts, the best colors to use are the metallics and Christmas colors. The beads cover the pipe cleaners, but the ends will need to be twisted together and made into hangers, so they show.
Anyone, even small children, can string these beads on pipe cleaners. Bend up the end of the pipe cleaner so the beads don't fall off. The pipe cleaner works like a needle, making a needle unnecessary. For best results, show the children how to use a variety of bead styles and colours when stringing, or start a pattern of three colors. When the beads are strung on the pipe cleaners, they can be bent into different Christmas shapes.
For instance, string red and clear beads alternately, then bend down one end of the pipe cleaner for a candy cane shape. Or alternate red and green beads and form a circle for a wreath. Use red pipe cleaner to form a small bow to decorate the wreath. Form a hanger for the Christmas craft or simply slip the circle over a branch of the tree.
If you experiment with clear beads and silver pipe cleaners, you can make some very attractive snowflake or star ornaments. Snowflake designs can be twisted of silver pipe cleaner only, without the beads for a simple but pretty decoration.
Bead and pipe cleaner ornaments are a Christmas craft you will find yourself using every year. Children and their parents will both appreciate this simple yet pretty Christmas craft.
Craft Idea for a Group: Make a Mural
If you are minding the kids for the rest of the family on some of the key holiday, it is helpful to come up with group games and activities to suit the tastes of all involved, for a wide range of ages and of course interesting for both girls and boys. Most craft ideas are geared to individuals, whether kids or adults. Sometimes you'd like to have a craft idea that works for a group of kids working together. Making a mural together is an idea that works for a group. By working together, you are creating something to decorate a shared area.
Individual crafts can be displayed, but one unique item is often more effective than a group of items that are almost identical. In addition, sometimes kids crafts, like it or not, just become clutter when they are taken home, and it isn't long before Mom throws it out. This craft idea of making a group mural can be displayed for several weeks and will not become clutter in anyone's home.
The basic materials for a kids' group mural is freezer paper. Freezer paper is about 18 inches wide, and it is very tough. One side is plastic coated. That is the side that is designed to be placed against the food. You will have better luck drawing on and gluing things onto the other side. Class or group murals can feature a number of different design elements.
You can mix up some finger paint and let the children make finger streaks on the paper. You can let them scour old cast-off magazines and color catalogs for pictures they like and let them cut the pictures out and glue them on. They can add scribbles, designs, signatures, slogans, or pictures using markers, crayons, or gel pens. They can attach stickers to the mural as well. This craft idea is very flexible!
For making the mural, choose a theme that relates to the whole group in some way. If the group are girl scouts, for instance, and have been learning to camp, the mural can feature pictures of items related to camping. If you've been learning about dinosaurs, you can use them as a theme.
Little preschoolers will like making a mural with an animal theme. You should probably find and cut out animal magazine pictures to start with, and then let the children choose the ones they like for gluing down.
The children can also use animal cookie cutters dipped in finger paint to stamp animals on the mural, too. You may need to tape the paper to the table so it doesn't slide around while the children work.
Again, the craft idea is to build group solidarity and not to highlight one artist's skills over another. When the mural is completed, it can be a group project to display it. It can be hung in a special central location or given to an appreciated community leader or family member.
You should be ready now to begin a variety of great kid crafts projects over the holidays! If you still need more ideas come see what else I have to suggest, with instructions, of course. Visit the free online kid craft projects that Donna Dueck has available here: http://www.squidoo.com/kid-crafts