Nov 29, 2007

holiday crafting with the wee ones

salt dough ornament

As promised! I'll begin with my personal chart-topper, salt dough ornaments.

Use the play doh recipe and leave out the food coloring. Form a small ball (about 1" diameter) by rolling the dough in your hands. On wax paper, flatten the ball with the palm of your hand and use a small rolling pin to roll out the ornament until it is no less than 1/2 cm thick. With a small wooden dowel (or a pencil with the eraser cut off) make a hole in the top of the ornament. Using acrylic paints (or even washable tempera, which I used due to availability) paint the ornament while it is still soft. Let it air dry on the wax paper overnight, then flip it over and air dry it some more. Two days later, it should be dry enough to finish with a glossy mod podge seal. Attach the ribbon, and ta da! You now have a keepsake ornament for the family collection. (Before the ornament is dry, you might consider "engraving" the date on the back with a toothpick.)

Winter scene collage
Gather all of the white miscellany you can get your hands on - cotton balls, white buttons, styrofoam packing peanuts, soap flakes, white yarn, egg shells, etc. Glue away on a dark card stock background.

Winter scene 3-D collage
Using a scrap of cardboard as the base, go outside and collect sticks and stones, and perhaps a little moss if you're lucky. Using that handy-dandy play doh once again, make a sturdy base in which to place the sticks to make the "trees" stand upright. Go for it with the play doh, glue, and other white items such as the ones suggested above. You might consider providing a bit of glitter to evoke a moon-kissed snowy eve.

This looks awesome, too - though I haven't tried it yet.

Soap Snow
Here's an idea from one of my favorite children's craft books: Global Art.

Measure 1 cup of cold water into a bowl. Little by little, using a hand mixer, add 4 cups of soap flakes (such as Ivory) to the water. Beat the soap and water until just stiff. Put some of the soap mixture into a pastry bag or a sandwich bag with a small hole cut out of the corner to allow the soap to escape. Squeeze soap designs onto cardboard and dry until hard.
*Don't put the mixture down the drain as it will cause a whopper of a clog!*

suggested children's craft goodness

As far as holiday crafting goes, I'm a huge proponent of going the multi-cultural route whenever possible. A family (or classroom) crafting activity becomes that much more meaningful when it is accompanied by stories, food, and music from the region. These two books have been a real boon in this aspect. Festivals Together is a great amalgamation of traditional crafts, activities, songs, stories, and recipes from cultures around the world, arranged by season.

Oh - one more thing - don't forget to visit Bella Dia during the month of December. Cassi will be authoring a daily "activity advent," replete with holiday activities, children's crafting, and cooking!

If you have a children's holiday craft you would like to share, please consider posting a short tutorial in the comments!

:) Meg


Anonymous said...

I will be a Dallas swapper. My partner has removed the Holiday Exchange Logo from her blog and is not responding to my emails. So --yes I need a Holiday Exchange Partner as my package is all complete including handmade ornament, ornament and holiday tradition and no where to send it. Susan Dyer

Bean said...

Aren't the salt dough ornaments the best? We'll be making some with cookie cutters in my art class this weekend :)

Michelle said...

I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I am a homeschooler and I use Calvert curriculum but I would love to find ways to incorporate Montessori learning into our home as well. Thank you for sharing.

Natalie said...

Fun ideas...
Have you done the whipped soap project yourself, because I am wondering about the durability/storage of it? My son always *needs* to know how long something will last.
Thank you for all the great suggestions.

Melissa said...

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jojoebi said...

I have just posted a snow dome tutorial, very easy!

Sadaf Trimarchi said...

Thanks for posting the play-dough recipe. I've got two sick toddlers at home this week, and this was the perfect distraction this morning. It was so fast to make, and easy to clean up.

Such a lovely blog!

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