The Giving Bag

The contents of this decorative bag let children keep on giving after the gift is opened.

What Kids Practice
  • Writing
  • Thinking about others
  1. Invite children to brainstorm special things they can do for the recipient of their gifts (i.e., give a hug, tell a funny joke, or sing a song). Write their responses on 3"x 6" strips of paper.
  2. Help children wrap the strips tightly around a pencil to create scrolls.
  3. Decorate a plain paper bag with festive craft items such as holiday confetti and glitter glue. Set aside to dry.
  4. Put the scrolls inside the bag. Fold down the top of the bag, punch two holes, and thread a length of ribbon through the holes. Tie the ribbon to create a bow.

Magnetic Mini Memo Board

This colorful memo board will be a welcome addition to kids’ family message centers.

What Kids Practice
  • Measurement
  • Patterns
  1. Use a plastic soda bottle lid and tempera paint to stamp colorful rings around the edges of a 6" square of posterboard. Set aside to dry.
  2. Glue a 5" square of light-colored paper to the center of the posterboard. Laminate.
  3. Tape one end of a 9" length of ribbon to the top back of the board. Tape a wipe-off crayon to the other end of the ribbon. Add several strips of magnetic tape to the back of the new memo board.

Whimsical Windcatcher

This delightful windcatcher can be enjoyed during the holidays and all year round.

What Kids Practice  
  • Cutting
  • Measurement
  • Fine motor skills
  1. Cut four 7" squares from colorful wrapping paper. Fold each square into fourths, keeping the decorated side on the inside.
  2. Trace a 3" tagboard circle onto each folded square. Cut out the circle through all layers.
  3. Cut four 16" lengths of crepe paper streamer. Glue four circles onto each streamer. Tie 8" lengths of ribbon around the streamers between some of the circles.
  4. Glue together the ends of a 2"x 18" strip of colored posterboard to form a loop. Glue one end of each crepe paper streamer to the bottom edge of the loop.
  5. Punch two holes in the top of the windcatcher and add a ribbon hanger.

Tasty Tea for Two

Kids can enjoy this holiday tea with a family member or special friend.

What Kids Practice  
  • Measurement
  • Pouring
  1. Insert a small funnel into the top of a 3"x 4" resealable bag. Measure and pour into the bag 2 teaspoons unsweetened instant tea, 1/2 teaspoon sugar-free cranberry gelatin, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder.
  2. Remove the funnel and seal the bag. Repeat.
  3. Stack together two 10-ounce foam cups. Put the two bags of tea into the top cup.
  4. Include the recipe and preparation directions: “Pour 8 ounces of boiling water into a cup. Stir in contents of one tea bag until dissolved. Add sugar to taste.”
  5. Wrap the cups in colorful tissue paper. Add a ribbon or bow.

Treat-and-Trinket Holder

Children can fill this decorative hanging canister with small, individually wrapped treats.

What Kids Practice
  • Gluing
  • Fine motor skills
  1. Tear colored tissue paper into small pieces.
  2. Remove the lid from a short, clean chip canister. Slide one hand into the canister and use the other hand to coat the canister with water-thinned glue (use a wide paintbrush). Cover the glue with pieces of tissue paper.
  3. Paint glue over the first layer of tissue paper and add another layer. Continue adding layers until the print on the canister is completely concealed.
  4. Coat the last tissue paper layer with glue. Sprinkle glitter or holiday confetti onto the glue. Set aside to dry.
  5. Punch two holes near the rim of the canister and add a ribbon hanger.
  6. Fill the canister with treats and snap on the lid. Make sure the hanger is left free outside the container.

Wall-Plate Picture Frame

This inexpensive, magnetic-framed photo makes a picture-perfect keepsake.

What Kids Practice
  • Drawing
  • Tracing
  1. For each child, you will need a plastic wall plate with a single 1 1/2" round-hole cutout (available at home improvement stores) and a small photo of the child.
  2. Use glitter glue pens in a variety of colors to decorate the front of the wall plate. Set aside to dry.
  3. Position and tape the photo in place behind the large hole opening.
  4. Trace the wall plate onto posterboard. Cut out the shape and glue it to the back of the wall plate. Add magnetic tape to the back of the frame.