Now that Thanksgiving break is on the horizon with Winter break not far off from that, it’s time to get out the crafting supplies and start getting creative with the kiddos. If you’re high on holiday spirit but low on ideas, no worries! We’ve gathered up some of the best fall, winter, and holiday crafts for all ages. So, roll up your sleeves, get on those art smocks and enjoy!
Fall Harvest & Thanksgiving Crafts
Welcome to Nana’s has outdone themselves with the number of mask options possible in this DIY selection. Does your kiddo like owls? Or do they prefer foxes, bears, or raccoons? Just choose your mask, grab your supplies, and follow the site’s instructions. Soon you’ll all be brilliantly disguised as your favorite animals! There are also a few that aren’t fall-related, like cats, dogs, and pigs, so there’s probably an animal for everyone!
A pretty decoration that even your preschoolers can make, this craft from I Heart Crafty Things calls for simple supplies. You may need to look around for foam leaf stickers, however, or just use your own handmade construction paper cut-outs and glue (add on a little drying time if you go the latter route). Let these hang outside (preferably when it’s not raining or snowing) and watch them fly in the wind or enjoy them inside where they’ll stay safe all season.
With only 3 supplies needed (and one of them is the colorful fall leaves you’ve collected from your yard or a family nature walk), this super simple craft from the Artful Parent highlights the beauty of the season with a gorgeous window suncatcher. You can prepare the contact paper and let your helpers arrange the leaves to their liking--then hang them up together. You may decide they’re easy enough to make for all your windows!
Show your Thanksgiving spirit when you make these adorable, beaded pipe cleaner Indian corn decorations from One Little Project with your favorite kiddos. Perfect for the holiday dinner table or placing atop Thanksgiving gifts and to-go plates/packages for friends and neighbors, these are a cinch to make and the site even has a video demonstration to help keep things simple.
This craft comes with a free printable tree template from Glued to my Crafts, but if you don’t have a working printer you can probably draw this leafless tree and branches fairly easily on your 2nd or 3rd try (use pencil first). Then you’ll just need some non-toxic colorful paints and a few pieces of broccoli and you’re good to go!
If you’re fresh outta broccoli, you can always swap it out for a cut-up dry sponge for this project.
Wanna make a snowy winter tree instead? Follow these instructions using sky blue paper and white paint, and voila!
Do you have a few smooth rocks gathered, washed, and dried (or would you prefer store-bought)? Either way, once you’ve got them, you’re ready for Rock Painting 101! Just relax and follow the video to see how you can guide your crafters in painting these adorable gnome rocks. (You could do the outline and let them color in with paint pens -- or use actual paint with tiny brushes in a pinch). Not into gnomes? There are 10 other autumn-related rock painting options you can choose from on this site.
If you’ve got any uncarved pumpkins left over from Halloween, give these crafty ideas from The Artful Parent a try! We’ve also got how-to’s for:
Thumbprint pumpkins from Handmade Charlotte (these are adorable for the littlest ones)
Toddler pumpkin painting from Glued to my Crafts
Squeeze paint pumpkin art from Hello, Wonderful
DIY mini unicorn pumpkins also from Hello, Wonderful
Stylish gingham painted pumpkins from Kelly in the City
Olaf, the snowman from Frozen from Yesterday on Tuesday
And even marbled indigo nail polish painted pumpkins (these turn out really pretty, but please make sure you’ve got a well-ventilated work area and plenty of adult supervision)
This Momdot project uses brilliantly colorful (fake) leaves (although you could use real ones if you have some around) and is easy to make, but you’ll need to supervise the littles’ use of the hot glue gun. Printing the template would be easiest unless you’ve got skills and can create your own turkey to trace onto your card stock. If you don’t have the Silhouette label puncher she uses, just follow her instructions at the end to make the hearts with names on them. Once finished, these are a fun holiday surprise for anyone who sits down to eat at your table!
What are you grateful for this year? Count your blessings as a family and post each one on your Thankful Tree. For this craft from DIY Mommy, you’ll need an attractive stick from your yard (if you don’t have any, take a walk together and find one!), some smooth, clean rocks and a small pail, scissors, a few sheets of quality construction paper, and a thin-tipped marker. A hot glue gun works best for attaching your leaves, but you can probably improvise with clear tape and other kinds of glue in a pinch.
Do you like the theme, but prefer something a little different? Check out this DIY how-to for a Thankful Chalkboard from Where the Smiles Have Been, instead. (It involves substantial adult participation and supervision, fyi).
These ornaments from ABC’s and Garden Peas are shockingly easy to make and smell divine for a super long time. Just plan on getting a little bit messy with the little ones and you won’t be disappointed! You can use these as your placeholders for Thanksgiving dinner as well if you have a leaf, acorn, or other autumn or Thanksgiving-shaped cookie cutters. Remember to poke a hole in each one before drying so you can thread a ribbon through and hang them up on your tree after dinner is over.
Christmas/Winter Holiday Crafts
These make adorable decorations that your Pre-K thru any-age-that-wants-to-do-it kiddos will be extra proud of showing off. You’ll need a few basic supplies plus several colors of construction paper, some googly eyes, and red pom-poms. Just follow the instructions on the blog and use your choice of template to make these cheerful holiday helpers from Non-Toy Gifts.
These sassy snowmen from A Taste of Home are really fun to make! We’ve spent hours playing with ideas for these, getting creative for the holidays, and they’re super cute to set out in mugs for sharing, stick in planters as decorations, or to give away as gifts (coffee or hot cocoa stirrers? Stocking stuffers? You decide! They’re a hit and bring a smile wherever they go)
Be sure you try out a few different ideas for the hats (gumdrops work just as well as white chocolate chips, and M&M’s can be earmuffs) and you can fray the edges of your snowmen’s ‘scarves’ for a totally different look. We even found ways to make colorful wigs and big Santa belts on some of ours!
Here are some variations on them for inspiration:
These are indoor decorations and quite easy to make, too. All you need is white paper, scissors, and clear tape or a glue gun -- whichever you prefer (we did all of ours with clear tape). Prefer to make gold, silver, or green and red plaid snowflakes? Grab any color paper you like! Some people even made snowflakes with waterproof patterned fabric and hung them outside on their front door.
Wanna kick your giant snowflakes up a notch? These colorful 3D snowflakes are even fancier, including sparkling sequins and glitter, and can easily be printed off in 3 different sizes. Here’s a video showing the process.
Countdown the days to Christmas with these easy peasy Advent chains from the Modge Podge Rocks blog. You’ll need a few simple supplies, as well as googly eyes, craft foam, craft glue, and a steady hand for measuring and cutting. So, involve the smallest munchkins on later tasks (like hanging it up together and removing one link of the chain each day). You may prefer to use clear tape instead of staples just in case any fall out to protect your feet, pets, and any littles around.
Make these special boxes from The Whoot to open together the night before Christmas and make the evening just perfect--and include whatever you like! The important part is putting items in the box that your family will enjoy and treasure. The site suggests including a fun Christmas Eve movie, special Christmas Eve pajamas, some reindeer food for Santa’s team, a key for Santa in case you don’t have a chimney, some tasty before-bed snacks, and more. Your family may also enjoy making some for extended family or neighbors/friends, or anyone else you exchange gifts with.
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