By: Karen Braga
The holidays always bring people together and sprinkles a little special magic in the air. So for this holiday season why not do some fun Christmas activities with your toddler.
I will share with you my top ten favorite DIY projects that you can do to either decorate your home or to give as a personalized gift to someone special. Remember when doing activities with your toddler always set up a good working station. Also make sure you and your toddler are wearing old clothes if you are working with paint. So play your favorite Christmas songs and let’s get started.
Top Ten DIY Projects
- Personalized Christmas Ornament
*Please note that you can find some ornaments that are thicker and will not break easily; however in case you don’t, just work over a soft surface.*
Materials Needed: Plain White Christmas Ornament (I got a couple of mine from the dollar store), Paint, Glitter (optional) and Glue.
First, have your toddler pick the colors of paint that he/she wants to work with and put some on a paper plate. With hand over hand, guide your toddler to add some paint on their brush and have them decorate the ornament. For a more simple/personalized decoration, you can add some paint onto your toddlers hand and have them hold the ornament. This will leave their hand print on the ornament. Once dried you can have your toddler add some glue and then sprinkle some glitter over the glued areas.
- Christmas Stockings
Materials Needed: A Plain Christmas Stocking, Hot Glue Gun (for your use only of course) and some decorations of their choice. Some art decoration ideas for your toddler would be pom poms, Fabric Paint and Christmas Foam Designs.
Place the stocking in front of your toddler and have them hand you the decorations that they would like on it and where they would like it placed. You can also have your toddler fill the stocking with some Christmas treats and little gifts.
- Stuffed Snowman’s
Materials Needed: A sock of your choice (you can use a plain White one or get a Christmas themed one), Rice, Three Elastic Bands, Materials to make a snowman face and hot glue gun (for your use only of course).
This idea is super cute, fun to do and also a great sensory play for toddlers. Hold open the sock and have your child scoop up some rice with a scooper or with their hands and put it in the sock. Together fill the sock close to the top but not all the way and tie it tight with an elastic band. This will leave a little piece of the sock sticking up and that’s ok as that will be the bottom of your snowman. You can either hot glue it down so it can stand up straight or fold it up. Now create your snowman layers by tying two elastic bands in two different spots. If you want to cover the elastic bands you can tie a ribbon around it. Once completed your toddler can hand you the materials for the face of the snowman. I used materials I already had around the house. For the eyes we used small buttons. For the nose I colored a tooth pick orange and cut a small piece (I put the pointy part sticking out however I added a small drop of hot glue on it so it wouldn’t be sharp). Then for the mouth we drew it on with a marker. Feel free to be creative by using different materials you already have and doing your own snowman design.
- Hot cup of love
Materials Needed: Tin of Hot Coco Powder, Mini Marshmallow, Plain White Mugs or Mini Jars, Candy Canes, Little Bags, Ribbon and Paint. Tip: I like to get my mugs or mini jars from Walmart as I can get a set for a lot less money than purchasing them separately.
This is one of my favorite DIY gift ideas because it is not only fun to do, you can also make a lot with it such as giving this as a gift to many people.
Make sure your mugs or jars are all washed and dried. Then by using hand over hand, guide your toddlers hand with the paint brush to create your design. Once your toddler is done painting, set them aside to dry. Hold open a small bag in front of your child and have them place some mini marshmallows in the bag and then tie it closed with a piece of ribbon. Repeat this step with your child with the coco powder. Have your toddler put a candy cane, bag of coco and a bag of mini marshmallows in the mug. If you decided to use the mini jars instead of the mugs, you can put the coco directly in the jar followed by some mini marshmallows on top, then seal the lid and tape the candy cane onto the jar. Finally, don’t forget to add a tag with the person’s name on it.
- Christmas Wreath
Material Needed: Ring foam (You can find this from Michaels Craft store), Christmas bows, Christmas Tinsel garlands, Pom Poms, Hot Glue Gun (for your use only of course) and any other decorations you would like to use. *If you’re on a tight budget please feel free to cut out a reef shape out of a paper plate instead. However if you would like to use the ring foam from Michaels Craft store please check out their website, as they have coupons you can use towards your purchase.*
This gift is super cute and a great decoration piece. Add some hot glue onto the ring foam to secure on the end of the tinsel garlands. Together with your toddler wrap the rest of the tinsel garland around it until it is all covered and then glue the last piece down. Put some hot glue onto the Christmas bows and with hand over hand, guide them to place the bow on the reef. Other decorations such as pom poms, have your child hand them to you as you glue them down. Once you have completed your look it is ready to be given or displayed.
- A “Hand-Full” Christmas Tree
Materials Needed: Green construction paper, Brown construction paper, Scissors (for you of course), A Pencil, Glue and some art decorations of your child’s choice.
First trace your toddler’s hands onto a Green construction paper with your pencil. You will need a couple of them so if your toddler is getting inpatient have them walk away from the activity until you have traced and cut out the hands that are needed (you will need about 10). Also cut out a rectangle piece of Brown construction paper for the stem of the tree; however make sure it is long as it will be the support for the hands. Together with your toddler, glue four hands together (have the fingers facing down) onto the brown stem, as the bottom of the tree. Then glue three hands onto the stem, then two on top of that and then finally your last hand on top. With the decorations of your choice decorate the tree from top to bottom and don’t forget to add a tree topper. For a personalized touch you can add a small family photo as your tree topper.
- Christmas lights
Material Needed: White Paper, Different Colored Paint and A Black Marker.
This activity is safer than it sounds. Together with your toddler add a small, thin amount of paint onto your toddlers thumb and place it onto the paper, leaving a thumb print. You can also add some of your thumb prints as well. Continue this process until you both have reached your desired look. Then with the black marker draw lines to connect the lights together (you can use hand over hand guide).
- Just for Santa
Material Needed: White Plain Plate (I got mine from the dollar store), different Colored Paint and a Black Permeant Marker (just for you of course).
This activity is super cute and will get all children excited for the big jolly guy. As you explain to your child how Santa gets really hungry after making all his stops, he likes to munch on snacks; so creating a special plate just for him will make him feel special.
Have your toddler paint the plate and then set aside to dry. Once completed you can write a message for Santa on the plate for example: “Dear Santa, hope you like these tasty snacks I have left you.”
Material Needed: Colored Construction Paper, Glue, Scissors (for you of course) and the decorations of your child’s choice.
Cut out mitten shapes with the colored construction paper that your toddler has picked. Then with hand over hand, add some glue onto the mittens and encourage them to add the decorations that interests them. For a more complex activity you can get a solid colored pair of mittens for them to use; however decorate them with fabric paint.
- Pretty snowflakes
Materials Needed: This activity can get a little messy as it requires glitter so if you do not wish to use this then you can substitute it with paint or markers. Other materials needed is glue, tape and string.
Place your pre-cut snowflake designs in front of your toddler, then with hand over hand, add some glue to the snowflake and sprinkle some glitter on top. Repeat this step until all snowflakes are decorated. Then once dried tape your snowflakes onto your string and hang it up for decoration.
These are just some of the many DIY activity ideas you can do with your toddlers this holiday season. Remember to add some special touches yourself into the activity so it’s a special project made just from the two of you. Writing your child’s name and the year they made it on would be ideal to place on the back of the DIY projects as this will be an added memory for them and you!
If you make any of these DIY projects please be sure to tag me as I would love to see everyone’s creations.
Until next time…Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
About the Author
Karen Braga graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Combined with her ECE background and passion for DIY projects and baking, she has recently become an expert writer for mom blogger, Momma Braga. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can bring families together through her creative ideas.