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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Making Ornaments with Kids

My mother, and her mother before her, were crafty ladies. They can and could make anything. I have a hard time buying many things, because I can hear my mothers voice, "You can make that!" in my head. My favorite crafty tradition has always been making christmas ornaments. This year, just like every other, there are brand new handcrafted ornaments on my tree. I love them. My stepson loves them too. Since my man friend scored me a beautiful, full, 7 foot tall, artificial, originally $400 christmas tree for $30 (Yes, you read that right!), Mathew gets to have our old, slightly homely christmas tree in is room. Which is why I decided to come up with some fun (and super easy on mamas) ornaments for him to make for his very own tree.

Paper and Crayon Ornaments

  • This three year old love to color, so the first ornaments we set out to make were simply shapes cut out of card stock, which he colored. 
  • We started with two sheets of heavy water color paper, which is what I had on hand, but you could use any heavy paper that you like. If you are not concerned with these ornaments lasting past this christmas, then plain old white computer paper will do. 
  • I asked Mathew to list off shapes that he would like for ornaments. We had basic shapes like, circles, squares, triangles, stars, and.....octagons. Thanks to his father, this is a new favorite shape. (Although Mathew has no idea what an octagon looks like...) 
  • Then he went to town. I encouraged him to add different colors on each ornament to add interest. I simply prompted him with questions like, " What color could you use next?" or "Have you tried this one yet?" or "What should go in this space?" (point to empty space).  The art teacher in me didn't want to pressure him to make. When he was done, I accepted what he had created, masterpieces. 
  • Then he helped me punch a single hole in the ornament, by directing to me which end of the ornament was UP.  With some black string through the holes, they were ready for the tree.

Paper and Watercolor Ornaments

This kid also loves to paint with watercolor. I recommend letting your child experience the magic feeling that comes with painting with watercolor. Its kid friendly clean up, and you can find so many inexpensive watercolor pallet sets. You will be amazed at the color schemes children come up with. Mathew has some sophisticated color choices.

We followed the same steps as we did to cut out shapes for the Paper and Crayon Ornaments, but this time we had a little different set up.

  • I set up a work station on a small baking pan with an edge to create a flat surface that could potentially contain and water messes we might make. This station had a plastic shallow container for water, a paint brush, and a watercolor pallet. 
  • He chose which ornaments to work on and painted away. The only time I prompted him during this project was to re-dip his paint brush in water when it had gone dry. 
This is a simple and b-e-a-utiful way for a child to create an ornament for any tree!

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