Kids Crafts | Christmas and Winter Crafts

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Crafts to Brighten the Holidays

When the weather turns chilly and it's too damp to go outside, why not stay in and create your own homemade holiday decorations?  The whole family will love these kid-friendly crafts and activities, and they'll help you add a festive touch of holiday sparkle to your home.

Sparkly Snowflakes
These snowflakes shimmer with real crystals, looking almost as perfect as the ones that fall outside the window.  The secret is to dip the snowflakes (made with pipe cleaners) into a borax solution.  The crystals grow overnight, making this a magical surprise to uncover in the morning.

To get started, take several pipe cleaners and twist them together to form a flat snowflake.  Feel free to snip some of the pipe cleaners in half, so you can make little fringes on the ends.  Make a standard design by laying one pipe cleaner on a table, then placing two on top of it in an x-shape, so your snowflakes has six "arms" that are evenly spaced.  Twist the pipe cleaners together, and add your short bits, making three "fingers" on the end of each arm.  Use string to tie your flake to a pencil.

Find a jar that's big enough to hold your snowflake without it touching the sides.  Fill the jar with a mixture in this ratio: three tablespoons of borax and one drop of blue food coloring for each cup of boiling water.  (If you use a gallon jar, you'll want three cups of borax.)  Let the mixture dissolve, then hang the snowflake in the jar.  Let it sit overnight.  In the morning, remove your sparkly snowflake!

Cookie-Cutter Tracing
Keep your kids busy making all the holiday trimmings you need, from gift tags and holiday cards to ornaments for the windows and the tree.  Using cookie cutters as a design guide, trace along the outside onto stiff paper.  Let the kids fill in the inside, then cut out the shape and use it as a gift tag or ornament.  Or you can glue it on the front of a folded piece of paper to make a homemade card.

Gift-giving Treasure Hunts
You can add a lot of fun to your gift-giving tradition by creating individual treasure hunts.  Kids will enjoy designing these treasure hunts, especially since it's a fun way to give a present without having to do much work with wrapping paper, scissors, and tape.  Find a secure place for your present (someplace where no one will stumble on it before the big day).  Then, working backwards, make a trail of clues that will lead the recipient from one to the next.  Put the final clue in an envelope under the tree.  The treasure hunts are fun to follow, so if you're inspired, make one for every member of the family!