Yesterday we enjoyed one of our great family holiday traditions: We picked out our Christmas tree and put out the Christmas decorations. I love that activity! Nothing gets me into the spirit like pulling out our glitter stars and smelling that heavenly balsam fir in our very own home. It's a tradition my son loves, too, especially since I let him have a lot of say in how we decorate. That's why some of his smallest stuffed animals are nestled in our Christmas tree boughs -- because why not?
Anyway, many of our ornaments are crafts from our respective childhoods, and we love all the memories they bring. So if your child is old enough and loves crafts, making ornaments is a fabulous way to create new memories. To help get your kids in the spirit, we've found 10 simple, easy ornament crafts you could make together.
1. Terrarium ornament. I spied these on the White House tree in the green room and totally fell in love. You could use moss, succulents (like hens and chicks), or even air plants. And little toy animals -- which you probably already have -- add such a cute touch. Here are directions for making a terrarium ornament and some sources for clear glass ball ornaments.
2. Hershey's Kiss mice. So sweet -- and if Santa gets hungry, he can help himself on Christmas Eve. Here's how to make these merry Kiss mice.
3. Yarn sheep ornaments. Make your own little woolly friends -- pom poms that look like lambs. Here's how to make these yarn sheep ornaments.
4. Glitter stars. A few years ago I made a whole pile of glitter stars. You just cut out stars from poster board (or you could use wood stars from the craft store), use a hole punch to cut out a small hole at the top, paint or spray one side with glue, sprinkle with glitter, and repeat on the other side after they dry. Thread a ribbon or thread through the hole for hanging. You can adapt the instructions for these glitter star hair pins, and here's a template for your star.
5. Melted snowman. This one couldn't be easier -- it's just a "melted" snowman made with dried glue. Here's how to make your own melted snowman along with four other cute holiday craft ideas.
6. Coffee filter angels. I don't know why, but there's just something funny about making angels out of coffee filters. They're like heavenly creatures born from those after-church coffee hours, right? Here's how to make your own coffee filter angels.
7. Juice can Santa. Cover an old juice can with felt to bring Saint Nick to life. I made something similar when I was a kid, only using toilet paper rolls. Here are instructions for the juice can Santa.
8. Candy cane reindeer. This is another favorite from my childhood, and it's especially easy for little ones. You're just tying on pipe cleaner antlers and gluing on googly eyes and a nose. How to make candy cane reindeer.
9. Christmas trees made of ribbon and beads. If you've got kids who love playing with ribbons and beads, this is a really fun one. Instructions for Christmas ribbon trees.
10. Balloons. I saved the easiest for last! This is another idea from the White House, and it couldn't be simpler: They decorated an entire tree with balloons! Just a fun, wacky idea if you happen to have an extra tree or if you're starting fresh without ornaments. And it couldn't be cheaper.
What are your favorite ornaments to make with your kids?
Images via Adriana Velez