Decorating for the Holidays with Your Kids, Arts and Crafts Style

Get ready to channel your grammar school days. It doesn’t take much to decorate with your kids for the holidays, and the long term benefits for your family are amazing. All you need is some time set aside where you’re totally focused on your kids, an empty table, some simple art supplies, and your imaginations.

It won’t be long before you’ll be running around like crazy, if you haven’t started to already. For these easy crafts, you’ll need some paper in a variety of colors, child proof scissors, either crayons or markers or both, a glue stick and some glitter, or cut straight to the point and get glittered glue. You can find all of these at your local craft store, neighborhood pharmacy, or dollar store. Then it’s time to round up the kids for some quality family time.

If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can draw the templates on the paper freehand. Or, for those of us who are less than artistically gifted, log on to your favorite search engine and search for free printable holiday templates. There will be pages upon pages of results. You can even find them on www.nickjr.com. Find the ones you like best and press print. Once you all have your own stencils, like a snowflake, Christmas tree, or dreidel, for example, it’s time to decorate them. The great thing about this activity is there’s no wrong or right way to do it. Everyone has his or her own vision, and that’s great. Make this an annual occurrence, and viola. You just started your own family holiday tradition, creating a strong foundation for your kids and their future families. And all it took was a little time together, art supplies, and creativity.

Once you’re all finished with your masterpieces, be sure to have your kids sign them on the back and add the date. These are keepsakes you’ll want to have once they’re all grown up. Next it’s time to hang the creations around your home. Windows, doors, even walls can suddenly be transformed into art galleries where your children, and even you, can proudly display your artwork.

Are you stumped on what to get this year for your parents or in-laws? Is the gift giving budget particularly tight this year? Handmade crafts from their grandchildren are an inexpensive and incredibly meaningful gift. And again, your kids will have a blast making them. Two birds, one stone.

With all the media hype surrounding the holidays, it’s really easy to forget what they’re all about. Take some time out of your shopping schedule this season to focus on what really matters – spending quality time with your family. That’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Jesseca Stenson