Why are Holiday Crafts and Activities Important For Children?
Holidays help children learn more about their culture as well as others. It’s a time to let one’s hair down, celebrate, honour, and enjoy our culture and world. Celebrating holidays as a family can increase feelings of belonging in children which increases resiliency. As well, learning about other cultures and their celebrations helps create an awareness and appreciation of diversity.
These holiday crafts and activities for kids are just the beginning. There are more holiday crafts and activities on the It’s All Kid’s Play blog as well as my Pinterest boards. As well, I share activities on Twitter! Oh! And be sure to check out the book I wrote, too. It includes even more travel games as well as over 1,000 other play activities so no matter where you are and what your interests or age, there is something in there for you–guaranteed! Check it out!
New Year’s Activities
Make a New Year's Resolution
Happy New Year! What would you like to change, do better, or try to do more often in the new year? It can be something simple like trying to remember to brush your hair every day to perfecting that trick you are trying to do in gymnastics. Or it can be something like trying not to tease your brother *quite* so much or cleaning your room before Mom and Dad nag you for the hundredth time. See if you can make it the whole year without breaking your resolution.
–For birthday parties be sure to check out the games pages for tons of great party activities.
Make a Birthday Wish List
If you could have anything, anything in the whole world… what would you choose? Write it down.
Best Birthday Ever
If you could do anything for your birthday… what would it be? A triple layer cake after paintball? A princess makeover and jelly beans for breakfast?
Groundhog’s Day Activities
Search for a Groundhog
If the groundhog comes out of its burrow and sees its shadow, that means six more weeks of winter! See if you can find a groundhog on Groundhog’s Day (February 2nd). Can you find a groundhog? Check to see if your community has a groundhog celebration, a groundhog mascot, or even if the local zoo has a groundhog. Found one? Check for a shadow!
Valentine’s Day Crafts and Activities
Make Valentine’s Day Cards
Make your own Valentine’s for the people you love–use whatever you have on hand. I once made a card with a Valentine’s Day flyer from a drug store because it had tons of red and pink hearts on it.
Make Paper Hearts
Fold a piece of paper in half and draw half a heart, with the fold being at the middle of the heart. When you unfold it, the two sides will be the same. Now cut along the drawn line… and voila! A heart that is the same on one side as it is on the other!
St. Patrick’s Day Crafts and Activities
Make a Leprechaun Trap
Want to try and catch a leprechaun so he’ll share his gold? Build a ‘house’ that will trap your leprechaun out of popsicle sticks.
Start by making a strong base for your trap by gluing four sticks in a square shape. Keep stacking popsicle sticks (use about 28-32) until you have a bit of a log cabin going on. Next, lay sticks flat along the top for the roof. Paint or colour the roof like a rainbow as leprechauns love rainbows (it’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that gets them every time!). The night before St. Patrick’s Day, you will need to prop the trap up slightly and place some leprechaun bait underneath (do you think they like Lucky Charms cereal or a couple of coins?). The leprechaun will try to sneak underneath to take your bait/treat. Maybe you can trap them–if you do, don’t blink! (They can escape if you do.) If you catch one and ask where his pot of gold is–he’ll have to tell you.
What else can you make a leprechaun trap out of?
Search for a Leprechaun
Where do you think you would find a leprechaun? Where do they live? Hang out? Think you can find one? Maybe you’d better try the trap above because those little leprechauns are sneaky little fellows.
Decorate Easter Eggs
There are about 853 ways to colour an Easter Egg. How do you want to colour and decorate yours?
Here are some ideas: You can soak an egg in water coloured with food colouring to colour it, or you can use a special kit bought in a store. You can also do like on the blog and wrap hardboiled eggs in dampened streamers until they dry–the colour bleeds out of the streamers. Or, you could draw (with markers) or paint the eggs and add stickers to make your eggs look great.
Hint: You might want to hard boil the eggs first so they don’t make a mess if they break. Ew, egg mess.
Make a Bunny Ears Headband
Want to look like a bunny? This is an easy paper craft to make bunny ears on a headband. This link will take you to a template you can print, colour, and cut out. It also has more instructions.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Homemade Gifts and Activities
Check out the arts and craft page for gift ideas as well as the homemade gift ideas section on the It’s All Kid’s Play Blog. When kids make a present you can just about see them burst with pride! Plus, making a gift for someone teaches them how to give, appreciate others, and that gifts from the heart can mean more than a store-bought gift (not that there is anything wrong with those either!).
Make Mom/ Dad Breakfast in Bed
What does Mom/Dad like for breakfast? Make it, deliver it, and watch her/him beam with happiness!
Help Mom/Dad or Make Them Help Out Coupons
Do a nice thing for Mom or Dad around the house. Look for things they normally do–or would like to do if they had time–and help them get it done. If you want, you can make Mom or Dad coupons that say the things you will help them with–when they need help, they will ‘cash in’ a coupon.
Halloween Crafts and Activities
Carve a Jack-O-Lantern
Safety First: If you are too young to use a knife for carving, draw on the pumpkin with a marker and have an adult cut out the design.
Go Ghost Hunting
Where do you think ghosts hang out? What do they do? What do they say? Can you find one? Don’t let it scare you!
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
Materials needed to toast your own pumpkin seeds: pumpkin seeds, salt, measuring cup, baking sheet, oven, oven mitts.
Scoop the seeds out of a pumpkin. Rinse the seeds under warm water. A strainer works well for this job. Lay the seeds out on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Use 23 mL (1 ½ tbsp) of salt for every 180 mL (¾ cups) of seeds.
Have an adult place the tray of seeds in an oven at 175 C (300F) for 20-30 minutes until the seeds are dry and crisp. Let them cool and enjoy the snack.
Make a Tissue Ghost
Materials needed for ghost craft: 2 facial tissues, string, black marker.
Place one scrunched up tissue in the middle of a tissue laid flat. Take the ends of the flat tissue, pushing the scrunched tissue up into a ball to make a head for your ghost. Tie a piece of string under the head to keep the tissue in a nice shape. Use a marker to draw a face on your ghost. Ta da!
Christmas Crafts and Activities for Kids
Materials needed: popcorn, needle, string
How to string popcorn: Pop some popcorn in an air popper (do not use microwave popcorn unless it is all natural with nothing on it). Thread a needle with a long piece of string or thick thread. Stick the needle through the popcorn. Keep adding popcorn until you run out of string.
Long garlands of popcorn can be placed on the Christmas tree or hung outside for hungry animals to snack on.
Make a Christmas Wish List
What would you like for Christmas? Make a list!
Now that you’ve got that out of the way… what would you like to do over the Christmas holidays? Who would you like to see? Where would you like to go? What games would you like to play?
Sing Christmas Carols
Sing Christmas songs… and if you are feeling outgoing… head to the great outdoors with family and friends to go caroling at the homes of your friends or neighbours.
Prepare a Gift for a Needy Child or Family
Get some friends together and put some small gifts and food together for a needy family or child. You can do this locally (in your town) or send needed items to a child in another country. Some organizations need donations all year, while some only help out during emergencies or special times of the year. See what you can do to help.
Some ideas on places to start: Operation Christmas Child, Santa’s Anonymous, The Red Cross. (We also buy Gifts of Hope for people like teachers and grandparents. These gifts help people in other countries while reducing the clutter in the lives of the people we care about–for example, does my daughter’s teacher really need another coffee cup?)
Candy Christmas Tree
Make a pretty, edible (that means you can eat it) Christmas tree. You will need a pointy ended ice cream cone, green icing, and candies.
Cover the ice cream cone with icing and stick your candies on the tree and ta-da! You have a yummy tree. (For icing, you can make your own, or buy premade icing. Both work.)
You will need gingerbread OR graham wafer crackers, royal icing (make your own or buy some from a bakery, or buy mix), candies, a plate, and a knife to spread the icing.
Use the icing as glue to hold pieces of graham wafer crackers (or gingerbread) together to make a house shape. Decorate it with pieces of candy.
Now eat it! It pains me to see these houses get hard and then nobody eats them. Eat it! It’s soooooo yummy!
Decorate a Christmas Tree or a Room for the Holidays
I love putting up decorations! See how Christmasy you can make a room.
Write to Santa Claus
In Canada you can write a letter to Santa Claus during November and early December and he will write back. Don’t forget to give him your return mailing address.
Santa’s Canadian address is:
The North Pole, Canada
Santa’s American (United States) address is:
North Pole Christmas Cancellation
5400 Mail Trail
Fairbanks AK 99709-9998
Looking for more? Try these places as well:
Might I also suggest this time-saver…
Never be bored again! All of this website’s great content and MORE!