Happy Holidays To All!
In a perfect world, each of the following crafting adventures would have been blogged about and posted as they happened (and BEFORE the holidays came and went). I, however, do not live in a perfect world and often fall short of perfection. The whirlwind of activity that was his birthday and the holidays – and the accompanying guests and familial obligations – left me bleary eyed and slightly over-caffeinated in the evenings. Placing a higher premium on sleep than blogging has resulted in a belated holiday crafting post. I would love to say this won’t happen again but let’s be real. It will. If you’re looking for a perfect mama, blogger or crafter – this isn’t the blog for you!
So, consider this like the post holiday sales at Micheal’s. Stock up on ideas for next year!
Mateo’s Year In Review New Year’s Craft
I’m not one for resolutions myself and wanted to focus on the good in 2016, rather than what we are hoping to see happen in 2017. Therefore, we created an adorable year in review to celebrate our milestones. To get excited about it, we discussed the year and talked about how he was a “teeny baby” last year and is such a big boy this year. Now, he is two so answering questions like “what’s your favorite color, Mateo” is not really his strong suit yet. Therefore, for each of the questions I asked, I also provided a few options and he chose what he felt most drawn to at the moment. If you asked him again in an hour, the answer would change. I cannot be expected to make a new craft every hour! Here’s what we’ve accomplished in 2016!
- Construction paper
- Red and Blue paint
- Marker or sharpie
- Let your child paint their hands red and then make a set of hand prints on white card stock paper. Clean your little one’s hands and do the same in blue paint with their feet.
- Cut each of these sets of prints out and glue onto a larger piece of paper.
- Write each of the questions you want to ask and leave room for the answer. Chat with your little one a bit. Ask him or what she remembers about the year. Ask them how old they are. Ask them what they want to do next year. Use it as a chance to get excited about another year and remember the one you’re about to leave behind. Then, ask the questions you choose for the craft. You know your child. Ask questions that work for them and offer choices if need be. Write the answers and display.
Salt Dough Ornaments: AKA “That Time I Almost Cried During Crafting”
Salt dough looked so so easy on the internet. Let me make one thing crystal clear: this was neither quick nor easy. Mateo had a phenomenal time making the dough and an epic meltdown upon realizing it had to cook for two hours. The recipe is simple enough. The baking time was fine as it allowed me to go about the rest of my day and save painting for another day and the prep provided Mateo a fabulous opportunity to get good and dirty. Beyond that, I found it stressful, messy and not worth the final product.
- 1 cup of salt
- 2 cups of flour
- 3/4 cups of water
- A rolling pin
- Baking sheet
- Cookie Cutters
- Paint (optional depending on whether you want to paint the salt dough once it dries)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix flour and salt thoroughly. When Mateo and I bake or cook, I pre-measure the ingredients and then let him handle the pouring (because it’s his favorite part). Gradually add the water.
- Roll out on a floured surface and use cookie cutters (or your child’s hands and feet, as we did) to create shapes. I had Mateo step on the salt dough to create a footprint. Then I used a knife to carve out the footprint to bake.
- Bake for 2 hours or until hardened.
- Paint – Optional.
Counting Christmas Trees
The next Christmas craft we created was designed to combine holiday cheer with a lesson in counting. These counting Christmas trees were incredibly simple to create and Mateo enjoyed carrying around the finished trees and counting the circles. It killed a solid hour and gave us a chance to work on counting while having fun. Gets my vote!
- Construction paper
- Glue stick
- To prep: cut triangles out for the trees, circles for the ornaments and stars to top the trees. I used the top of the glue stick to create the circles. Label five clothespins with the numbers 1-5.
- To begin, laid out a tree for him to work on and labeled it with the number 1. Then I asked him to glue one ornament on our tree. He’s two and loves circles and gluing. He was a tad disappointed when I held off on allowing him to glue more ornaments on the tree. To redirect, we moved on to gluing the star atop the tree. Once finished, I asked him to find the clothespin with the number 1 on it — fully understanding he would not be able to do so. This gave us a chance to work on matching. I showed him the number 1 I had drawn on the tree and asked him to find a number that looked the same. It took a couple tries but he got it eventually. Then, we repeated this for the rest of the four numbers.
- Once finished, he walked around holding up his trees and randomly yelling numbers. I call that a satisfied customer.
Hand print Menorahs For Hanukkah
Clearly most of our holiday crafting focused on Christmas, since that’s what we celebrate. That said, two of the closest women in our lives celebrate Hanukkah and I wanted to create something special to share with them. Using this as an opportunity to teach Mateo about other traditions, we watched the Sesame Street Hanukkah episode and talked about the meaning behind the holiday and how our Jewish friends celebrate their holidays (to the best of my ability, of course). Then we got down to crafting business.
- Card stock paper
- Blue and yellow paint
- Have your child paint his hands blue. This has become Mateo’s favorite activity in the world – hands down (ha. ha). Place his hand (or let him place his own hand) towards the left hand side of the paper – leaving room for another hand print on the other side. Wipe your child’s hand down and let him paint the other hand and place it directly next to the first hand print – so that the thumbs are touching in the middle.
- Wipe your child’s hands clean and then have them dip their finger in yellow paint to create thumbprint flames for each of the candles.
- Once dry, write whatever holiday message you see fit.
So, here you are. A day or two late but not a dollar short. Our holiday crafting barrage. Enjoy and feel free to comment to let me know what you and your little one’s made this holiday season!