The most wonderful time of the year is here and we are so ready to create special Christmas memories with our family. With a toddler and a preschooler in our house, the wonder and magic of the season is in full effect. I’ve spend time gathering the best ideas for preschool and toddler Christmas fun to share with you and your wee ones. Pick a few ideas and spread holiday cheer in your home. Don’t forget to enter to win one of 4 $500 CASH prizes we’re giving away at the bottom of this post to make your holiday extra special. If you’re looking for gift ideas for your favorite toddler, you’ll find our gift guide for 1-3 year olds here.
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is creating DIY holiday keepsake ornaments each year to remember important events, stages in life, and vacations. The next year as we decorate the tree as a family we are reminded of those precious memories by the ornaments we hang. I’ve compiled a list of 10 easy DIY holiday keepsake ornaments you can make yourself. They are simple and frugal options and I hope they will become family favorites at your house as you create them. At the bottom of this post you’ll find links to other DIY holiday posts from the Festive Family bloggers as well as the entry form for our HUGE Festive Family Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway with over $1800 in prizes that ends November 17th.
Never take family photos when your 3 year old has a pumpkin bucket full of candy. It won’t go well for you, amigo. As I’ve shared before, we love dressing up in family Halloween costumes. Well, the kids and I love it. Jed tolerates it with style. This year we went medieval with DIY knight and princess costumes.
Finger painting with toddlers and little kids may sound like a total disaster waiting to happen, but I promise it can be fun and painless. All you need is construction paper and washable paint. For this project, I offered the kids a red, white, and blue palette and asked them to create fireworks. Pearl girl obviously had no idea what I was talking about, but Bear knows what they are and went for it immediately. You can read more about stress free finger painting with toddlers here, and read on to learn how we made this project flow with minimal chaos and only a minor mess. 🙂
This was the Pearl Girl’s first foray in to finger painting, and she did well for about 10 minutes. I feel pretty great about that for a 14 month old. She really liked the feel of the paint on her fingers and patting it down on the paper. I set out four color options on a disposible paper plate. Only put out as much paint as you think they’ll need for one painting at a time. I gave each child a piece of paper and had Bear show PG how to do it. I guided her first few strokes and then she got the hang of it quickly. The Bear will paint happily for about 20 minutes now at age 3.
Let go of any image of Pinterest perfection and let your kids have a blast being creative. We’ve been reading a book about Franklin the Turtle being an artist, so the Bear believes he is one. I think every kid does until someone tells them different. Artistic expression is important for development and doesn’t have to be difficult for parents and caregivers to execute.
Clean up is so easy during the summer. I turn on the hose and let the kids splash the paint away, then turn the hose on our mini picnic table to wash it down. Leave the paintings out to dry and head in for a snack. You can find one of the ways we preserve kid art at no cost here. Happy Independence Day America!
Holy Week is one of my favorite times of the year because we get to take the time to focus on Christ’s work on the cross and what it means for us. I’ve shared with y’all about simple ways to bring Jesus in to your child’s daily life here, but talking about Easter and what it means can be a bit more difficult. Christmas is easy with the baby Jesus and all of the manger scene and Jesse Tree activities. Death on a cross for the sin of humanity is slightly more difficult to discuss with preschoolers, am I right? One way we’ve made it personal for our kids this year is to create a thumbprint cross with each of them. Their unique thumbprint represents the personal nature of Jesus’ death and resurrection – that it means the possibility of real relationship with God and eternal life for them. Plus, they are super fun and easy to make.
Crafting with toddlers and preschoolers can be a bit of an adventure, but it is great for their fine motor development and can kill major chunks of time with no tv involved. This one is crazy easy, turns out really cute and festive, and will give you about 20 minutes of peaceful fine motor practice. Go for it. Everybody needs a festive pumpkin to hang on the fridge, and your little one will be so proud of their handiwork.
construction paper or cards tock
one sheet of orange tissue paper
glue stick or spray adhesive
1) Trace a basic pumpkin shape on to your card stock or construction paper and cut it, or just cut it out freehand with scissors. It doesn’t need to be perfect. An oval with a stem will do.
2) Let your toddler tear the tissue paper up in to tiny pieces. Really let them get in to it. To contain this part of the process I put Bear in his art box and let him go to town. He LOVED it.
3) Spray your pumpkin shape with a light coat of spray adhesive or cover with your glue stick. I recommend the spray because it won’t get your little one sticky and holds the tissue very effectively.
4) Show your wee one how to stick the pieces of tissue on to the pumpkin. Encourage them to cover the whole thing. Back away slowly and watch them work.
5) Take a photo of your babe with the finished product and then pat yourself on the back. Craft accomplished. Mischief managed.
What’s your favorite fall craft for little ones?